Our home base was Asheville, which is one of the most wonderful places to live and visit. I have never visited a place before and thought to myself, "I would love to move here someday." Asheville was the first place I visited where I felt that way. These are some of the reasons you should consider Asheville for your next vacation:The Blue Ridge Parkway
Asheville is a great jumping off point to drive the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway - one of America's most scenic drives. Starting in Virginia and ending in North Carolina, it is 469 miles of mountain beauty.
Beautiful bed & breakfasts
There appear to be more bed and breakfasts in Asheville than hotels. Take advantage of this and stay in one. If you've never stayed in a bed and breakfast before, let me explain what it's like: think staying with relatives without the annoying relatives!
While in Asheville, we stayed at the Black Walnut Inn run by Peter and Lori White. The home was gorgeous, and the 3-course breakfasts were even better.
Peter and Lori take their hospitality a step further by hosting a cocktail hour every evening that includes a variety of teas and wines, and delicious homemade hors d'ouerves, while their big fluffy samoyed, Belle, welcomes guests.
And, when it comes to dogs, Asheveille seems to welcome them everywhere. Even at work, as witnessed at this store that was locked up tight with a sign on the door that said, "Back in 5 minutes" and this dog faithfully waiting for his owner to return.
Asheville loves art
When you think of an art town, oftentimes you think that you have to have deep pockets in order to do anything other than admire. That's not true in Asheville.
At the Kress Emporium gallery, art is accessible for every pocketbook. As I walked through the gallery, I was amazed at the great prices and even managed to leave with a purchase of my own, which is something that has never happened in the few art galleries I've walked through.
This little $20 number that I purchased for my classroom.
Asheville loves food
Don't let this sleepy little mountain town fool you. There are some serious food people here. So serious that the #1 thing to do in Asheville according to Trip Advisor is Asheville Food Tours, which to a foodie like me, is just my idea of what a walking tour should be: walk around a few minutes and stop in at a bar or restaurant every few blocks to sample some of the delights of the local establishments.
Asheville hates corporate America
After walking around Asheville for a few hours, you will notice something obviously absent from their downtown area: no corporate conglomerates like Starbucks, McDonald's, Barnes & Noble, Macy's, etc. All of the business in downtown Asheville is locally owned which makes it wonderfully unique. and fun to explore.
So if you love nature, food, and unique downtowns, Asheville, North Carolina is the place for you!