Why Asheville? Visting and Living
Asheville, North Carolina, wins destination awards every single year in a wide range of categories. The small city located in Western North Carolina attracts a wide range of personalities while keeping its own unique flavor. Asheville is experiencing growing pains due to popularity and the influx of new residents. The city is planning ahead and driving the right kind of growth in the area.
Lonely Planet picked Asheville for the prestigious award “#1 Best in the U.S. Travel 2017 Destination”. Every year the site searches across the states to find the unmissable places. The combination of creative spirits and outdoor enthusiasts have pushed the city to the top of the rankings. The downtown combines dozens of breweries, locally sourced restaurants and tailgate farmer markets. Asheville combines the best of city life and rural living. Single owner homes line picturesque streets within walking distance of downtown. The excerpt from Lonely Planet writer Rebecca Warren hits the spirit of the city. “Nestled in the southeast corner of the Appalachians, Asheville bridges the gap between tradition and modernity in surprising ways. This is the kind of place where century-old folk songs are played by street corner buskers outside of fusion restaurants serving up locally distilled craft cocktails.”
The city is unique mix of the beer drinking outdoor crowd, local 2nd or 3rd generation farmers, wealthy homeowners sipping wine and vacationers enjoying the natural splendor. In Asheville you can find people who just got back from the peace corp mingling with homeowners staying at million dollar mountain cabins. In town you can find all the above listening to traveling musicians performing out of the back of a van. Asheville is different and in a good way. Everyone has a smile, and visitors take notice. In 2015, Conde Nast Traveler had readers vote on the friendliest cities in America and Asheville came in at #7. Some days you catch yourself in the hustle of your life, and then look up and see a breathtaking vista of the Pisgah mountains rising up. Then you realize in twenty minutes you can be on a trail run with friends or kayaking on the french broad. In forty minutes you can start hiking on Mount Mitchell or viewing the best waterfalls in the South. Traveling an hour an any directions opens up a world of activities.
While exploring the city, the individuals you meet come from many different backgrounds, but the message is the same. People come here for the natural beauty and then the spirit of the city catches them. Often the story is the same “I visited two years ago and i couldn’t stop thinking about the city”. The values are easy to spot when traveling around the neighborhoods. The city leads a resurgence of the backyard vegetable garden with suburbs filled with vegetable gardens. Outside of town, hobby farms and homesteads popping up. The hobby farms source food to the restaurants 10 miles away in downtown. Restaurants advertise as locally sourced and list the farms on the menu. The playgrounds recieve funding for new equipment and safe fences. You always find families enjoying the outdoors. The entire county is 250,000 people with 12 active libraries and a great school system compared to other cities of similar size. Each library hosts kid focused activities, holiday events and story times, all free and for the benefit of the community.
The beer scene has exploded in the past ten years. The city is no longer under the radar, but is starting to break into nationally known status instead of a regional city. Beer enthusiasts now treat the area as a destination, and Asheville is the epicenter. Early in 2016 Fortune took notice, picking Asheville as one of the Best New Cities for Beer Lovers.
The housing costs have gone up every year due to the influx of new residents and out of town buyers. The markets are still reasonable when comparing to areas with similar benefits. Families can find walkable neighborhoods with kids playing in the front yard. Heading outside of town it is possible to find mini farms and cabins mixed in. The rise of a local tech scene is bringing an influx of college educated individuals. In fact, some communities are advertising as “Have your chickens and hi speed internet.” Forbes took notice of this influx in 2014 and named Asheville the 8th Smartest Small City in America.
The city is growing for good reason. With the attention Asheville is receiving, the region is a great place to visit or to raise a family. As the crowds come and the city gains the recognition it deserves, we should all remember why the area is beautiful and focus on keeping the vision.