Too Much to Choose From: Searching for Inspiration in Asheville

Asheville is an Appalachian Shangri-La. This year-round resort town, tucked between the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains, draws a funky mix of New Agers, fleece-clad mountain bikers, antiques lovers and old-time farmers. And what's there not to like? Charming yet surprisingly cosmopolitan for a town of about 73,000, Asheville has a Southern appeal all its own. There are lazy cafes and buzzing bistros, Art Deco skyscrapers and arcades reminiscent of Paris, kayaking and biodiesel cooperatives and one of the world's largest private homes — the Biltmore Estate, a French Renaissance-style mansion with 250 rooms. No wonder so many locals first started out as tourists. -- New York Times “Freak … [Read more...]

Asheville Showcase: Inviting the Tourist Behind the Counter

In September of 2007, I became one of the then approximately 73,000 citizens of the city of Asheville, North Carolina. That year Asheville was able to claim numerous honors such as "Best Southern Town" (Outside magazine, Aug. '07), one of the "Top 10 Up-and-Coming Travel Destinations" (, March '07), and was one of the "Top 25 Arts Destinations" (American Style magazine, June '07). From these and other accolades, a prospective move to the area might imply that employment should be a promise, relaxation nearly enforced, and that general malice was at least several mountain villas away. Today in 2011, the population has added about 10,000 more residents and keeps accruing … [Read more...]