Destination Asheville

Destination Asheville

The Asheville area continues to top “best of” lists by publications and organizations around the country. The city has been recognized for its food, beer, arts, outdoor recreation, architecture and overall quality of life. Hear what people are saying.

Who wouldn’t want to live in Asheville? Recent accolades include:

  • National Geographic Travel identified Asheville as an "up-and-coming" city in its new book, "World's Best Cities: Celebrating 220 Great Destinations."
  • named Asheville one of the Top 100 Best Places to Live in America. Asheville is No. 12 on the second annual ranking, which is the result of research into what factors most influence the livability of America's small to mid-sized cities.
  • USA Today has named Asheville one of the top 10 brightest fall foliage destinations around the USA.
  • Outside magazine announced that Asheville is one of 16 Best Towns in the country for vibrant cultural scenes and outdoor spirit.
  • Forbes names Asheville as one of Top 25 Best Places to Retire in 2012 and 2013.
  • Asheville won the 2012 Reader's Choice Awards on for Most Romantic Place in the USA and Canada. (April 2012)
  • named Asheville #1 of the “11 Coolest Small Cities It’s Time To Road Trip To” (June 2014)
  • placed Asheville at #4 on its "Top 10 Foodie Cities 2014" round-up. (June 2014)
  • Southern Living magazine named Asheville one of the "Tastiest Towns in the South." (May 2013)
  • Asheville was featured on USA Today's "Best Summer Weekend Escapes" list, chosen by readers of USA Today and 10Best. (May 2014)
  • FlipKey listed Asheville Beer Week (May 23-June 1) as one of the nation's Top Ten Summer Beer Festivals. (May 2013)
  • Fodor's named Asheville as a Best Destination for Fall Foliage in a feature on the TODAY Show. (September 2012)
  • Purina ONE selected Asheville as a "perfect dog-friendly city" after touring the country to find the best place to kick off its 28-Day Challenge. (May 2014)
  • The Omni Grove Park Inn made USA Today's "10 Best Places: Have a Heart-to-Hearth at These Hotels" list. (February 2014)
  • Forbes Travel Guide Blog featured Asheville as one of its "Five Secret Foodie Cities." (January 2014)
  • ConventionSouth recognized Asheville as one of its "Best Meeting Sites in the South Readers' Choice Awards" recipients.(December 2013)
  • Asheville Brewing Company earned a spot (#11) on Travel+Leisure's list of "America's Coolest Breweries." (October 2013)

At an average elevation of 2,340 feet above sea level, Asheville enjoys four distinct seasons. Spring arrives early in the Blue Ridge Mountains with an explosion of floral variety, and an average temperature of 62.9 degrees. Because of the elevation, summers are cool, with an average high temperature of 82 degrees and an average low of 61. Fall brings crisp days and brilliant foliage with average temperatures of 56 degrees. Winter’s average temperature is 40 degrees, with an average annual snowfall in Asheville of sixteen inches. The highest and southernmost ski slopes in the eastern U.S. are nearby.

Educational opportunities for seniors abound. The campus of the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA) is situated close to the heart of the city on 175 acres. UNCA is home to the NC Center for Creative Retirement and its College for Seniors, a lifelong learning program. Two eight-week terms in fall and spring, a four-week winter term and a special summer term offer a wide variety of more than 230 courses each year. Most courses are taught by peer instructors, but at least one course each term is taught by an outstanding UNC Asheville faculty member. Classes are held in the Reuter Center on the UNC Asheville campus. In the fall and spring terms some classes are also held at Deerfield.

Other nearby institutions of higher learning include Western Carolina University (WCU), Warren Wilson College, Mars Hill College, Brevard College and Montreat College. WCU and UNCA have expanding graduate programs.

Recreational opportunities for an active senior lifestyle are limitless! Asheville’s nine parks provide swimming pools, tennis courts, and a Nature Center with a variety of animals native to this region. Asheville has 21 summer playgrounds, eight neighborhood recreation centers, and two senior citizens' centers. The Asheville Racquet Club, located next door to Deerfield, is home to numerous senior tennis groups. Two public golf courses and three country clubs provide superior play ten months a year. Two great national forests offer fishing, hiking trails, and rock climbing. The North Carolina Arboretum and the Botanical Gardens at Asheville offer tranquil settings to experience nature’s beauty and abundance. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway give the area both unlimited recreational opportunities and scenic splendor.

Enjoy one of the nation’s top destinations.  To learn more, visit