Wonderful, warm, welcoming Asheville continues to pick up more than its fair share of press and accolades. Frommer’s travel guidebook kindly declared our city amongst its best places to visit in 2015 – then Ms. Frommer went and spoiled it somewhat by suggesting that the uber-chic RAD (River Arts District) had been ‘sketchy’ until the New Belgium “brewery” saved it. The cheek! The RAD may have been many things but sketchy certainly wasn’t one of them, and we can hardly ascribe its revitalization to the brewery, which is still under construction across the river from the RAD. Some Ashevillians, creative and on-point as ever, were seen the very next day sporting T-Shirts bearing the legend, “Still sketchy after all those beers!”
The high levels of happiness attributed to the town, its citizens and visitors, continues to be a running theme in the media. In his book ‘The Geography of Bliss’, Eric Weiner famously described Asheville as the happiest place in America. Except he didn’t. What he actually said was that it was a place where people go because they think they will be happy. Nevertheless, he conceded that it was a very nice place, and in 2013 The University of Vermont established, via no doubt rigorous academic methodologies, that Asheville is at the very least the happiest city on the East Coast. Subsequently, in October 2014, a National Geographic publication entitled ‘World’s Best Cities’ saw fit to include Asheville in its roll-call of fame.
More prosaically Asheville has recently garnered praise as one of the 14 best start-up cities in the US. Mike Rangel, a local pioneer of the craft-brewing industry, says, “It’s a BYOJ city, as in ‘bring your own job’. People may move here for college or because it’s naturally beautiful and reasonably inexpensive. But they stay for the chance to make a living exactly how they want to.” 2015 has also seen Elle Decor describe us as the third coziest city in the US (behind Portland and Santa Barbara, if you’re curious) and Conde Nast Traveller once again list us amongst its top beer cities.
Eclectic, multifaceted, attention-grabbing town that Asheville is, we fully anticipate further multifarious recognition.