Texas, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, Arkansas, and twelve other US states all have towns, cities, or unincorporated municipalities named Paris — making it one of the most popular place names in the United States! Even so, the nickname “Paris of the South” does not belong to any of these communities. The city of Asheville, North Carolina earned that title in the early 20th century due to its stunning European architecture and its thriving arts scene. And travelers looking for an interesting and unique destination will be happy to hear that Asheville’s idyllic, bohemian reputation hasn’t changed a bit.
Ranked in Frommer travel magazine’s top 12 must-see destinations in the world, this small city clearly has a lot of universal charm to offer — and if the scenic, walkable downtown area doesn’t convince you, then perhaps the charming Blue Ridge Mountain setting will. Still on the fence about making the trip? Check out this list of the top five attractions in Asheville to learn more about the gem of a city!
1.Natural Beauty. The western Carolina region features incredible biodiversity. Its 158 species of native trees, for example, are more than any other region in North America can boast. This fact, coupled.with a highly seasonal microclimate and a well-preserved natural landscape, makes for one of the most aesthetically immersive autumns in the world. (Though the area is beautiful year-round, as any visitor can attest!) From relaxing hikes to exciting outdoor adventure, the mountains, rivers, and forests surrounding Asheville attract many tourists!
2.Incredible Architecture. Stark and stunning architecture defines Asheville and draws visitors from all across the country and the world. The Catalonian Basilica of St. Lawrence, the neo-gothic Jackson building, and Chateauesque Biltmore village are all excellent examples this — but 20th century Art Deco is undoubtedly the signature of the city. Numerous architectural tours of Asheville are available on a daily basis; and the compact, pedestrian-friendly city center makes such excursions easy and time-efficient.
3.Music, Theatre, and the Arts. From traditional bluegrass shows to highbrow performing arts, Asheville boasts a diverse and vibrant live entertainment scene that could compete with many cities ten times its size. Dozens of local art galleries also dot the cityscape, particularly concentrated in the downtown art district.
4.Fantastic Festivals. Asheville, North Carolina is home to more than 50 festivals fairs — you can check out a list of local favorites here!
5.Unique Shopping and Delicious Dining. Traditional southern cooking meets international inspiration: this may be the best way to sum up Asheville’s eclectic culinary scene in just one sentence. (As impossible as that task may be!) Once you have had your fill, you are sure to enjoy the city’s irreplicable shopping centers, as well. Chain stores are rare here, which means local marketplaces and small businesses offer a variety of artisan products you won’t find elsewhere!
Asheville is more than just a tourist town — its ample job opportunities, respected universities, and relaxed lifestyle have helped make it one of the fastest-growing cities in North Carolina. If you are considering joining the boom, be sure to visit Bundle Your Internet to learn more about Asheville utilities, cost-of-living, and more!