Asheville, in North Carolina in the United States, is a city that combines fresh mountain air with a vibrant arts and foodie scene. With a city motto of 'Altitude affects Attitude', Asheville has more breweries per capita than any other city in the country and a farm-fresh food scene with its own culinary community, Foodtopia. You can explore white-water rivers, woodland and cascading waterfalls in the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests, or take a road trip along the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway, known as America's Favourite Scenic Drive.
Stop over for some Southern-style hospitality at an Asheville hostel in a 100-year-old house complete with traditional front porch, or sip on a beer on the back deck as you watch the sun set over a quiet neighbourhood. Asheville hostels with well-stocked kitchens help stave off hunger at any hour, while complimentary continental breakfasts will prepare you for a day’s hiking or biking. You'll be able to choose from private or dorm rooms, or you can even opt to camp by your very own campfire.
Downtown Asheville is the city’s beating heart, with more than 100 restaurants, cafés, museums and live music venues. Its eclectic mix of architecture and collection of locally owned shops showcase the city’s independent, artistic flair. The colourful River Arts District houses more than 200 studios, where you can browse original artworks, including ceramics and jewellery, and watch glassblowers at work. West Asheville’s restaurants serve modern twists on classic Southern comfort food like shrimp and grits (corn porridge), and fried green tomatoes.
Biltmore Estate is America’s largest home, with 250 rooms set in 8,000 acres of land, including forests, ponds and manicured gardens that you can explore on foot. You can also check out the Biltmore winery for a tasting. If beer is more your style, you can do a Brews Cruise or find a bar and try one of the 100 local beers, from IPAs to sours. Foodies can join a foraging expedition into the mountains and visit a farmers’ market for the best local produce.
The best way to get around Asheville is the iconic vintage trolley, which covers all the major city sights and has a narrated tour. Once you have your bearings, you might want to jump on a bike taxi or try the public bus system. Arriving at Asheville Regional Airport, you can catch a bus to downtown in about 45 minutes. The Greyhound bus station is a 30-minute walk or 10-minute bus trip from the city centre, while the ART bus station is 5 minutes from downtown.