The red clay from the riverbanks is excellent for traditional household pottery as well as industrial uses such as building blocks and roof tiles.
You can see pottery being made, and even take a pottery-making class and make some yourself.
Avanos's artisans also carve alabaster, the light-colored, translucent stone.
The Sarı Han (Yellow Caravanserai), a caravanserai built by the Selcuk Turks, is out in the country 6 km (4 mi) east of Avanos. Unless you're a good walker, hire a taxi to get there as there's little hitching traffic on the road to Sarı Han.
Avanos is 17 km (11 mi, 25 minutes) NE of Nevşehir, 8 km (5 miles) N of Göreme, 13 km (8.1 mi) NW of Ürgüp. and 70 km (44 miles) W of Kayseri (map). It's not quite as central as Ürgüp or Göreme to use as a base for your visit, but it's a bit less touristy, and still has a small selection of hotels and restaurants.