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  • Travel + Leisure, Southern Living, and WE LOVE ASHEVILLE!

    Thursday, December 21, 2023   /   by Amy Brown

    Travel + Leisure, Southern Living, and WE LOVE ASHEVILLE!

    There is no doubt that I love my hometown! It's fun, it's funky, it's eclectic and let's face it...it's just plain beautiful here. But I was very happy to see that not only are we a favorite city among Southerners or even Americans but we also have international recognition for sights, culture, food, friendliness, shopping, and value. 

    Every year Travel + Leisure magazine compiles it's World's Best Awards ranking cities around the globe on the features above. This year they received 685,000 votes ranking a list of 8,500 unique properties and destinations. This year Asheville ranked #15 in the best destinations around the world!

    15. Asheville, North Carolina

    High Angle View of South Downtown Asheville, North Carolina from the South on a Sunny Day

    JEREMY POLAND/GETTY IMAGES

    Readers raved about The Biltmore, a Vanderbilt mansion and estate that boasts stunning French Renaissance architecture and history. “Incredible!!” one reader wrote of the property, which also has overnight accommodations, a spa, and a winery. Of the city itself, another reader noted that its downtown is “fun and a bit funky,” and mentioned that they “loved” its art museum and restaurant scene. And there’s plenty of nature to enjoy along the hiking trails near the Blue Ridge Parkway or among the blooms and bonsai at the North Carolina Arboretum.

    Reader Score: 81.02

    Southern Living magazine also polls readers annually for the South's top ranked cities and this year Asheville did not disappoint coming in at #3! 

    3. Asheville, North Carolina

    Asheville, North Carolina
    SEAN PAVONE PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

    Western North Carolina’s favorite city is Asheville, a place with many claims to fame, including the storied Biltmore Estate and the majestic Blue Ridge vistas that surround it. In addition to the city’s many breweries–you’d be hard pressed to find another region as richly steeped in the stuff–it’s a hub for hiking as well as arts and culture, with several arts districts offering gallery and studio space for the city’s creatives.

    What I also enjoyed seeing is that charming Charleston, South Carolina came in at #1 for the second time in a row on both the Southern Living and Travel + Leisure polls. And what is even better is that Charleston is only a short 4 hour drive from Asheville; perfect for a quick weekend getaway.

    Asheville is lovely for many reasons but I will say that you can't be its geographic location for proximity to exciting getaways. You can be at lovely Folly Beach, SC just outside of Charleston in 4 hours, the bustling metropolis of Atlanta, GA in 4 hours, the hills and rivers of Chattanooga, TN in 3.5 hours, warm and sunny Jacksonville, FL in 6 hours, and our nations' capital, Washington, D.C. in 7.25 hours. Asheville is a great hub for local and regional exploration with a ton of potential for adventure just by hopping behind the wheel! 

    Life is better in the mountains!

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