Surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville has 4 distinct seasons that attract visitors year-round, and its temperate climate distinguishes the city from other southern destinations. The many sidewalk and rooftop dining and drinking establishments exemplify Asheville’s outdoorsy character and diverse cuisine options. Day trips, airport transfers, and some attractions require transportation, but downtown Asheville is very compact and pedestrian-friendly.
Many visitors come to Asheville for respite from concrete surroundings and hectic schedules. To accommodate, the city and surrounding areas offer many inns, lodges, bed-and-breakfasts, and vacation rentals suited for an idyllic and tranquil mountain getaway. Or, for easy access to walkable downtown and lively nightlife, there are plenty of boutique and other hotel options. For a taste of trendy, local living, opt for a hotel in West Asheville.
Asheville’s city center provides many quirky, independently owned shops selling handcrafted and carefully curated goods that reflect the city’s bohemian influence. Locally-made honeys, chocolates, and cheeses make great treats, and local bookstores thrive since downtown is virtually free of chain shops. Visitors to Asheville can take home functional art in the form of glassware, jewelry, and furniture, or an original piece of wall art.
Tucked between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Mountains sits eclectic Asheville. The city attracts hikers, bicyclists, and paddlers, and keeps them amply refreshed and entertained at its 27 music venues and breweries. Over 30 art galleries and as many al fresco restaurants help create a European feel, earning Asheville the nickname "Paris of the South."
Asheville offers a lively downtown filled with buskers, outdoor cafés, and more breweries per capita than any other US city. Many art galleries and music venues also line the hilly streets. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the city offers plenty of outdoor recreational options. Visitors come year-round to enjoy the temperate climate along with music, food, beer, and art festivals.
On any weekend, 50 or more live performances can be enjoyed in and around Asheville. Many venues offer dinner or food trucks and plenty of local beer. Restaurants take on a bar vibe with tables spilling onto sidewalks, and rooftop bars serve up inventive cocktails with a side of mountain views. Every weeknight too you’ll find entertainment in this lively mountain city.
A top attraction for families visiting Asheville is the abundance of outdoor activities, and their setting in outstanding natural scenery. Go whitewater rafting for adventure, or tube lazily down the French Broad River, or hike up one of the many local mountain peaks. Biltmore Estate wows visitors of all ages, and families can make the most of the outdoors with fun activities at a number of nature and adventure centers.
With a mix of neoclassical, beaux arts, and art deco architecture, Asheville has long attracted artists of all mediums. With its inspiring backdrop of mountains and forests, as well as open-minded local attitudes, the town is a natural mecca for artists. Downtown, around 30 galleries and niche museums invite strolling and visiting. In the evenings, you can soak up Asheville's performing arts at several local theaters and colleges.
Downtown Asheville has over 120 full-service restaurants throughout its 5 square miles. This high restaurants-to-residents ratio means only the best eateries can thrive here, and limited space equals many indoor-outdoor spots. Chefs and owners must keep their menus and ingredients fresh to keep regulars satisfied and visitors enticed. Farm-to-table is a way of life in Asheville, and nearly every restaurant offers creative vegetarian and organic options for a health-conscious community.
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