Asheville is a feast for both the senses and the soul, and has been billed as “The Paris of the South.” The city, with one of the most vibrant and diverse downtowns to be found anywhere, has been celebrated in magazines and newspapers worldwide.
No wonder Asheville was dubbed the “Happiest Place in the United States” by author Eric Weiner in his 2008 best-selling book The Geography of Bliss and voted over and over by national and international publications as one of the best places to live and retire in America!.
No matter what interests you, you’ll likely find it in Asheville. In less than five minutes you can be in the city center enjoying all the pleasures the city has to offer.
Eats and Drinks
Asheville is home to an array of fine dining, making the city a foodie’s paradise. The city also boasts several bakeries, confectioners, intimate coffee shops and romantic bistros, not to mention some of the world’s best hand-crafted local microbrews in the city’s many tap houses and brew pubs. In fact, Asheville has been named “Beer City USA” for its preponderance of local craft breweries. And the city is home to numerous local organic farms and farmers’ markets, supplying local shoppers and restaurants daily with fresh produce, meats and fish.
Many establishments also feature Al fresco dining and drinking, enabling you to enjoy people-watching in eclectic Asheville’s diverse downtown, or a wonderful glass of wine while you gaze upon the Blue Ridge.
One of the best aspects of downtown Asheville is it’s walkability. Park conveniently downtown and spend the day and night strolling colorful and enchanting streets brimming with hundreds of shops and specialty boutiques that range from funky to chic, and gaze upon the city’s rich architectural legacy that ranges from Art Deco to Beaux Arts to Neoclassical. Outside of Miami, no other city in the Southeast boasts a larger collection of Art Deco buildings than Asheville.
And, of course, Asheville is home to two of the most stunning buildings in America, the fabled Biltmore Estate and the Grove Park Inn & Spa, among the nation’s finest example of Arts & Crafts architecture. For architectural lovers, Asheville’s building history is truly stunning and rich.
Arts and Culture
Your time in Asheville would not be complete unless you experience the many artistic and cultural offerings that abound – theater, dance, art films, the symphony, not to mention one of the most vibrant and eclectic music scenes around, routinely drawing some of the world’s best musical artists in a range of styles.
From fine art to cutting-edge and outsider works, you’ll also marvel at the city’s abundance of art galleries, and the gritty, edgy River Arts District, where you can see artists of all stripes at work in their studios along the French Broad River.
Relaxing … From a luxurious massage to a picturesque game of golf
If you need to unwind, La Vista can always arrange a professional massage in your home, or you can experience the city’s wealth of spas and wellness centers catering to the area’s health and beauty.
Better yet, spending a stunning day on the links playing on some of America’s best golf courses. And coming soon: Tiger Woods’ first signature North American course, slated at The Cliffs at High Carolina
Seasonal Activities and Sports
Asheville is truly a four-season town filled with myriad activities. And no matter what you’re into, there is always something to do outdoors no matter the time of year.
Home to numerous lakes and fishing streams, the Asheville area is an ideal location for the angler searching for bass, or fly-fishermen matching wits with the area’s brook, brown and rainbow trout.
With the mighty French Broad River flowing through the city, and the Green, Nantahala, Nolichucky and Pigeon rivers nearby, Asheville has become a Mecca for paddlers. Whether you seek a leisurely float downriver or the challenge of tackling some of the nation’s best Class III, IV and V rapids, few places in the nation come close to rivaling Asheville and Western North Carolina.
Thanks to the area boasting the highest mountain ranges in the Eastern U.S., the Asheville area also is home to a number of the East Coast’s best ski and snowboarding areas. Adding to the enjoyment, the temperate climate in Western North Carolina allows for a long ski season (late November to early March), but without the bitter cold of other areas.
If biking is your thing, Asheville is your place, be it scenic road biking, pedaling around town or mountain biking on some of the most beautiful, challenging and fun single-track trails in America.
Bottom line: Indoors or out, downtown or out in the countryside, Asheville’s many wonders, amenities and pleasures will make your time here among the most memorable times of your life.
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