Beloved for its blend of art, adventure, dining and drink, Asheville has drawn savvy travelers from around the world for well over a century. So it’s no wonder that the city – and Western North Carolina as a whole – is regularly honored by national and international media outlets as one of the top vacation destinations in the United States and beyond.

In the past two years, Travel + Leisure has honored Asheville not once, but twice – both as one of its readers’ “15 Favorite Cities in the United States” and as one of “The 50 Best Places to Travel in 2023,” with the latter article placing it among international cities such as Cairo, Venice, Copenhagen and Madrid. USA Today said this is “one of 10 beautiful North American mountain destinations you need to see,” while Women’s Health highlighted it among “31 Romantic Getaways Around the World.” 

Art fans flock to Asheville for the inspired and to be inspired. BestLife hailed Asheville as one of “The 10 Best U.S. Cities to Visit for Art Lovers,” while Our State named it one of “11 Spots to See Incredible Outdoor Art” and National Geographic praised the city as brimming with talent. In fact, the arts scene is mentioned in articles commending Asheville for practically any reason, from how dog-friendly the city is to how convenient it is to travel here by air.

When Asheville was named “Beer City, USA” in an poll several years in a row, it placed our small mountain town in the spotlight for its sheer number of breweries: some folks say we have the highest number per capita in the country. What’s not up for debate is the fact that this is a place well regarded among those who love a good brew. The city consistently makes SmartAsset’s list of the “Best Cities for Beer Drinkers,” Paste said we’re a city small in stature, but absolutely awash in quality breweries,” and CNN named Asheville among “the 15 best beer cities around the world.” 

But the Asheville gastronomy scene is so much more than beer; this is one of Yelp’s top foodie cities, one of the “best foodie towns in America” according to the Chicago Tribune, and an “ultimate foodie dreamland,” per Yelp. The city’s culinary professionals are also regularly recognized by the James Beard Foundation, with 14 nominated by the esteemed organization since 2010 – and two restaurants taking home the Outstanding Restaurant and Outstanding Hospitality awards. 

Western North Carolina is also known for a cornucopia of season-specific riches. Parade and AARP listed the area as a top destination for fall colors due in part to the particularly long time that the trees burst forth with vivid hues compared to other areas. Yahoo calls this one of “The Most Charming Christmas Towns Across America,” while Conde Nast Traveler said it’s “easily one of the country’s best places to spend Christmas.” When the weather begins to warm and the days start to lengthen, look to Asheville as one of 21 “spectacular spring break road trips” (Readers Digest). Travel + Leisure also said this is one of the “15 Best Places to Travel in April.” The Washington Post highlighted Asheville as a particularly magnificent mountain town to visit in summer for its hiking, waterfalls, river excursions and more, and TravelPulse named it as one of “21 Great LGBTQ Summer Destinations.”

We could go on and on with the number of accolades that have been bestowed upon Western North Carolina. But we invite you to create your own superlatives and discover how you’d complete the sentence, “Asheville is the best place for _____________.”