Asheville

Overview

Introduction

Nestled firmly between the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville has many great qualities that attract a truly diverse population, hence the city's moniker: "Asheville: Any Way You Like It."

Although Asheville is nationally known for the Biltmore Estate, George W. Vanderbilt's palatial home built in the 1890s, it represents just one of the attractions the western North Carolina city has to offer.

Since the railroads created easier access to western North Carolina in the late 19th century, swarms of people have been drawn to Asheville's magnificent beauty and hospitable climate. People-watching from one of the city's many outdoor cafes reveals its character more than any tour could: Among the constant flow of tourists, you'll see plenty of young professionals and hippies, retired couples, street performers and mountain folk.

The number of attractions in Asheville is astounding for such a modest city. In addition to the Biltmore Estate, you'll find seemingly countless restaurants of almost every variety, museums, art galleries, theaters, cozy pubs, breweries, eclectic shops and pristine natural attractions. Nearby Pisgah National Forest is a favorite place for locals to squeeze in a weekend hike or simply relax in the woods.

If you're strolling through downtown on a Friday night, you might happen upon an odd sight. In Pritchard Park, hundreds of people of every description, both young and old, gather to dance to the rhythms of a local drum circle. Strange as it might seem at first, it's sights like these that may just entice you to stay in Asheville for good.

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