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:

  • Forbes included Asheville as the only US city on its list of 15 “Coolest Places To Go” in 2018 (December 2017)
  • Condé Nast Traveler named Asheville as one of “The Best Small Cities in the U.S. (October 2017)
  • Expedia listed Asheville as one of The 12 Best Music Towns in the Nation. (September 2017)
  • Asheville made Garden & Gun’s “The South’s Best Food Towns” list. (September 2017)
  • Asheville topped RewardExpert's "2017 Best American Foodie Towns" list for the South Atlantic region. (September 2017)
  • Southern Living selected Asheville as one of its "15 Southern Cities All Food Lovers Should Visit Now." (August 2017)
  • included Asheville in a round-up of the "20 Most Unique Cities to Visit in Your 20s." (July 2017)
  • Asheville was recognized as one of Travel + Leisure's "Top 15 Cities in the United States." (July 2017)
  • U.S. News & World Report named Asheville #3 on its "Best Small Towns to Visit in the USA" and #20 on its "Best Places to Visit in the USA" rankings. (June 2017)
  • Asheville's music scene was recognized by, making its "9 Best Destinations for Music Lovers" list (the only U.S. destination to do so). (June 2017)
  • placed Asheville among its “20 Best Summer Vacations in America to Fit Your Budget." (May 2017)
  • Asheville was featured on Expedia's Viewfinder blog as a "Top-Rated Vacation Destination in North America." (April 2017)
  •, a company of TripAdvisor, recognized Asheville on its list of "Six ‘Hidden Gem’ Spring Break Destinations to Explore in 2017." (March 2017)
  • Tasting Table picked Asheville for its round-up of "The 7 Under-the-Radar Cities You Must Visit This Year." (January 2017
  • Asheville was included on lists of "The 17 Best Places to Travel in 2017" by both Harper's Bazaar and Esquire. (January 2017)
  • Travel + Leisure selected Asheville as one of the "18 Best Cities in America for Solo Travelers." (January 2017)
  • AFAR ranked Asheville among its 16 U.S. destinations to explore now. (January 2017)
  • Asheville was named Lonely Planet's #1 "Best in the U.S. Destination for 2017." (December 2016)
  • included Asheville on its list of "Festive Favorites: The Top 15 Cities for Seasonal Brews." (November 2016)
  • Readers of Condé Nast Traveler picked Asheville as #10 among "The Best Small Cities in the U.S." (October 2016)
  • Asheville was among's "Most Beautiful Small Towns to Visit in the U.S." (August 2016)
  • Readers of Condé Nast Traveler again voted Asheville #7 among "The 2016 Friendliest Cities in the U.S." (August 2016)
  • In a poll conducted by American Craft Week, Asheville came in at #7 on a list of "America's Top 10 Towns for Craft Lovers." (July 2016)
  • Travel + Leisure selected Asheville as #10 on its ranking of "The Best Cities in the U.S." (July 2016)
  • Asheville was included as one of "10 Small Cities With World-Class Food Scenes" by THRILLIST. (June 2016)
  • Asheville topped the list of "The 12 Best Places to Retire in the U.S." by Condé Nast Traveler. (May 2016)
  • Asheville made Condé Nast Traveler's round-up of "Where to Find the Best Beer in the World." (April 2016)
  • Travel + Leisure featured Asheville at #11 on its list of "The Best Cities in North America." (February 2016)
  • U.S. News & World Report put Asheville on its round-up of the "Best Foodie Destinations in the USA." (February 2016)
  • Garden & Gun included The Grey Eagle on a round-up of "10 Must-See Southern Music Venues." (January 2016)
  • Readers of Condé Nast Traveler voted Asheville #3 among "The 30 Best Small Cities in America" and #7 among "The 2015 Friendliest Cities in the U.S." (August 2015)
  • Asheville was picked at #6 on's list of the "Top 10 Music Cities Other Than Nashville." (July 2015)
  • Travel + Leisure featured Asheville at #10 on its 2015 list of the "World's Best Cities" for the United States and Canada. (July 2015)
  • Asheville was one of six cities spotlighted by Business Jet Traveler as "Best U.S. Foodie Meccas." (June 2015)
  • Asheville is considered one of "The 11 Best Drinking Cities in America" by THRILLIST. (March 2015)
  • Matador Network selected Asheville for the number-one slot in its round-up of "The 20 Coolest Towns in the U.S." (February 2015)
  • Gear Patrol named Asheville one of its "25 Best Places to Travel in 2015." (January 2015)
  • Condé Nast Traveler included Asheville among its "America's Best Beer Cities" round-up. (January 2015)
  • Asheville is among Frommer's' "Best Places to Go in 2015." (December 2014)
  •'s Travel Blog chose taking a scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway as #1 on its list of "Seven Things You Absolutely Must Try in a National Park." (November 2014)
  • USA TODAY picked Asheville as one of the 10 best places to see "The Brightest Fall Foliage Around the USA." (November 2014)
  • Asheville was featured in a round-up by The Huffington Post on "The 13 Greatest Destination Food Towns in America." (October 2014)
  • A just-released National Geographic Travel book named Asheville one of the "World's Best Cities." (October 2014)
  •'s second-annual ranking of the 100 best small- to mid-sized cities in the U.S. included Asheville in the #12 slot. (September 2014)
  • USA TODAY selected Asheville as one of the top "Southern Literary Destinations." (August 2014)
  • In a bracket-style vote, Outside Magazine readers picked Asheville as one of this year's "Best Towns Ever." (August 2014)
  • Readers of Condé Nast Traveler voted Asheville #10 among the "2014 Friendliest Cities in the U.S." (August 2014)
  • Asheville was highlighted as one of "America's Five Best Beer Cities" by Wine Enthusiast. (July 2014)
  • Real Estate Scorecard recognized Asheville as the "Most Beautiful Place in America to Live and More." (July 2014)
  • placed Asheville at #4 on its "Top 10 Foodie Cities 2014" round-up. (June 2014)
  • Forbes Travel Guide Blog featured Asheville as one of its "Five Secret Foodie Cities." (January 2014)
  • National Geographic Travel identified Asheville as an "up-and-coming" city in its new book, "World's Best Cities: Celebrating 220 Great Destinations."
  • Forbes names Asheville as one of Top 25 Best Places to Retire in 2012 and 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