There’s something special about Asheville, North Carolina, and the world is just beginning to discover it. This thriving mountain city features a funky and eclectic downtown, hundreds of studios and art galleries, a world-class culinary and craft beer culture, a thriving live music scene and, of course, the awe-inspiring scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This must-experience destination is conveniently located a few hours driving distance from international flight hubs in Charlotte and Atlanta.
Ancient Mountains, Fresh Adventure
This is the ultimate playground with a wide diversity of outdoor adventures. Asheville serves as a basecamp for exploration with more than 800,000 acres of pristine wilderness, mountain ecosystems and nearby waterfalls; along with ziplines, whitewater rafting, outstanding hiking and mountain biking, and the most colourful fall foliage display in the nation. The Blue Ridge Parkway – America’s most visited scenic highway – runs right through Asheville.
It’s an area steeped in history, from Cherokee legends to the grand splendour of the 250-room Biltmore House, America’s largest home, and the historic Omni Grove Park Inn, to uniquely Appalachian traditions in music and craft evolving from the first Scottish and Irish settlers.
Asheville is the kind of unique, special place which lingers sweetly in your mind and memories for years to come. The city’s rich architectural legacy with its mix of Art Deco, Beaux Arts and Neoclassical styles is the perfect retro-urban backdrop to the edgy energy that emanates from the locally owned-shops and art galleries, distinctive restaurants and exciting entertainment venues. Known as an art colony, a healing resort and a home to notable luminaries, statesmen and bohemians, Asheville is one of the most welcoming, vibrant cities in America.
Gastro-Holiday: Eclectic Southern and Artisan Inspired
Asheville is a city where food is the centrepiece of daily life, with 15 farmers markets, more than 250 independent restaurants, and a plethora of local breweries. The city, home to 18 craft breweries and known as Beer City USA, has more micro-breweries per capita than any city in the nation. Biltmore is home to America’s most visited winery. The chefs cook with farm fresh ingredients as a cardinal rule, and they do it well. Discover the flavours of Appalachian mountain and southern heritage with heirloom tomatoes, wild onions, artisan cheese, spicy apple butter, and mountain trout caviar.
Folk Meets Funk
A bastion of cutting-edge art and technology in the Blue Ridge, the city also prides itself on its fascinating Appalachian past and celebrates this culture with annual events such as Shindig on the Green and the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival. Creativity and inventiveness soar during Moogfest, a festival dedicated to technology, art and music. The nearby River Arts District boasts more than 150 artists, from glass blowers to potters to painters, further cementing Asheville’s legacy as a top arts destination.
Fodors.com named Asheville one of the “Places We’re Going in 2011,” and TripAdvisor.com named Asheville a winner of the Traveler’s Choice Awards for top food and wine destinations in the U.S. And that’s just the beginning.