Western North Carolina is uniquely nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Here you'll find the perfect balance of welcoming, vibrant towns alive with the arts, and some of America's most celebrated destinations for enjoying a wide range of outdoor activities and surrounding beauty.
Western North Carolina Facts and Accolades
- "Land of the Waterfalls" with over 250 scenic waterfalls in Transylvania County, and Whitewater Falls, the highest waterfall in the eastern United States
- Asheville named "One of the Best Places for Business and Careers" - Forbes, March 2009
- Hendersonville voted "One of the Best Small Towns in the South" - Southern Living "Reader's Choice Awards," 2008
- Asheville voted "One of Eight Enriching Towns for Art and Music Lovers" - Where to Retire magazine, May/June 2008
- Home to Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests and DuPont State Forest
- Asheville - "Best Towns Southeast" - Outside magazine, August 2007
- Mount Mitchell in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the highest peak east of the Mississippi, towering 6,684 feet above sea level
- One of America's Best Rock Venues (The Orange Peel music club in Asheville) - Rolling Stone "Best of Rock" issue, April 2008
- One of the Top 50 Places Globally and Top 10 Nationally - National Geographic Traveler "Fifth Annual Places Rated Survey," October 2008
Four Seasons Provide Year Round Fun
The four seasons provide activities year round, both inside and just minutes outside, of the city's limits. Outdoor adventures include river rafting, hiking, mountain biking, golfing, fly fishing, skiing and more. Nearby excursions include Chimney Rock State Park and Lake Lure to the south. To the west, there is Great Smoky National Park, and to the east, Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Rockies. Blowing Rock and Grandfather Mountain sit to the north and are filled with natural wonders. It is also home to America's largest privately-owned home, the Biltmore Estate, and the historic Grove Park Inn.
In December 2008, Yahoo! Real Estate named Asheville as one of the top 10 places to live in the nation. The city has also received multiple accolades for its local arts, outdoor adventures, cuisine, organic and vegetarian eats, educational opportunities and much more. Natural Geographic Adventure Magazine ranks Asheville the number one out of 10 cities for popular outdoor sports in the region.
In their 11th annual ranking of the Best Places for Business and Careers, Forbes Magazine ranked Asheville number six in the top metro areas category. (March 25, 2009)
First settled in the 1850s, Asheville developed a reputation for being a slow-paced health retreat due to its crisp and clean mountain air. It continues to be a health destination today. In fact, Self Magazine recently conducted a poll that named Asheville one of the top cities out of 100 for women to live. Today, this surprisingly cosmopolitan city continues to appeal to families and retirees.
While Asheville retains the charm and friendliness of a medium-sized city, it boasts the amenities of a large city. Theater, live music, festivals, excellent restaurants, diverse populations, art galleries, cultural diversions and museums abound.
Downtown Asheville is also a pedestrian-friendly and dog-friendly city and its unique skyline of art-deco style buildings are surrounded by the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. The Asheville Urban Trail, a 1.7 mile, self-guided tour stops at over 30 stations throughout the downtown area. It's a great way to learn about the history of the downtown area which is primarily comprised of independent businesses, and in today's age of super-sized malls, this change is refreshing. Eclectic art galleries, micro-breweries and cozy cafes can be found at every turn. A food lover's paradise - culinary offerings range from traditional southern comfort food to four-star cuisine.