If you’ve developed a shortlist of places to visit and live that doesn’t include Asheville, North Carolina, you should definitely revise that list. This gem of western North Carolina is a fast-growing city that is ranked as one of the best places to live in the country. Known for its outstanding food scene and nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this sub-100,000 city boasts a rich cultural history that predates the U.S. However, there are a few things you should know before visiting or relocating to this hot-spot city.
Weather and Temperature
The weather in Asheville is generally mild. Due to its relatively high elevation thanks to its location in the mountains, it tends to be cooler than other places in the state, especially in the summer. Winters are cool, but snowfall is not generally common. Autumn and spring seasons are generally considered pleasant as well. With year-round comfort, Asheville is a great spot for short-term and long-term living, especially if you’re looking to avoid extreme temperatures.
Growing popularity has raised housing costs in North Carolina’s 12th largest city. With median incomes being below the national average in the area, you will likely spend more of your income on housing here. The cost of transportation, food and utilities have also risen with the increase in population. Top industries include healthcare, social services, education, manufacturing and technology. Unemployment levels are below the national average and are trending downward. If you’re contemplating making this city a permanent home, consult an expert in real estate Asheville North Carolina for information on buying a home.
Follow the Blue Ridge Road
The Blue Ridge Parkway is an over-400-mile scenic path that allows explorers to experience the majesty of the Blue Ridge Mountains up close and personal. Outdoor adventurers will love all that the parkway has to offer with regards to trails, wetlands and protected peaks. The Craggy Gardens is a particularly popular stop along the Parkway thanks to the large floral display there that makes an excellent backdrop for hiking and exploring. In June, the splendor of the Catawba rhododendrons has to be seen to be believed.
Asheville has a reputation for its food scene. In fact, the local food scene is known as the Foodtopian Society and is the only one of its kind in the nation. This collaborative community of restaurants, breweries, vineyards, farmers and farmers’ markets prides itself on offering elevated food experiences that celebrate all the cultural and culinary innovations Asheville has to offer. This city is also noted by the Green Restaurant Association as the first city in the country to be designated as a Green Dining Destination because of the large number of Green Dining restaurants. Boasting the most breweries per capita of any American city, the local beer scene is also a huge draw. Are you a lover of food and drink? Asheville may be just the place to scratch all your foodie itches as a visitor or a local.
Asheville has several institutions of higher learning, including the University of North Carolina-Asheville, which help to boost the creative culture and provide options for higher and continuing education for its residents. There are two public school systems in the city: Asheville City Schools and Buncombe County Schools. With 22 public schools and over 40 private schools, there are plenty of education options for primary and secondary learning for households with school-aged children. Asheville has four of the nation’s best-ranked high schools, and it rates above the national average in terms of college readiness.
Arts and Culture
Asheville boasts a significant live music scene which goes hand-in-hand with its tourism industry. Street music, nightclubs, venues and several annual music festivals provide residents and visitors with plenty of options to enjoy music regularly. The community theatre has offered productions year-round since 1946, and the Asheville Lyric Opera stages professional operas enjoyed by both locals and visitors. Art galleries at the Flood Fine Arts Center and the Asheville Art Museum also provide exhibits for public enjoyment.
Asheville may not be as large and booming as its more easterly state-mates such as Charlotte, Raleigh and Durham, but it boasts a vibrant community with a strong economy and a dynamic cultural scene. Whether you’re looking for a good time on a permanent or temporary basis, it has a lot to offer and should be on your shortlist for a visit soon.