Courtesy Asheville CVB
36 Montford Ave.
Asheville, NC 28801
Kudos: Omni Grove Park Inn and the Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville have been ranked top in the resort and hotel categories by Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers Choice poll. Last year, Fodor’s named Asheville a Best Destination for Fall Foliage. The city became America’s first Green Dining Destination in November 2012. Outside magazine named Asheville among America’s best river towns. Asheville’s reign as Beer City USA continues. In 2012 the city tied with Grand Rapids, Mich., in Examiner.com’s online poll.
What’s new: Craft beer makers, Sierra Nevada and New Belgium, will build breweries in Asheville. Blue Kudzu, which makes sake, opened in September in the River Arts District. The Grove Park Inn completed $25 million in improvements in time for its 100th anniversary this year. The U.S. Cellular Center has shifted its box office and created a new entrance. Downtown Asheville has gotten edgier with the arrival of an Aloft hotel on Biltmore Avenue and a Hotel Indigo near the convention bureau’s offices.
Location: Asheville is in western North Carolina, two hours west of Charlotte, N.C.; two hours southeast of Knoxville, Tenn.; 2.5 hours north of Columbia, S.C.; and 3.5 hours northeast of Atlanta.
Getting there: Asheville Regional Airport is the largest airport in western North Carolina and is served by four major carriers with flights to nine hubs. Interstates 40 and 26 intersect on Asheville’s edge.