Some places need no introduction.
There are some U.S. vacation destinations like New York or Orlando that are recognized worldwide and attract millions of visitors every year with minimal effort.
And there are some destinations that grow so rapidly in popularity that they become trending cities you’ve never heard of.
Asheville is a great example of this.
Here’s why this city is one of the trendiest destinations in the U.S. right now:
Huge Visitor Numbers
Asheville is a beautiful city in the heart of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
When Asheville decided to market itself as a tourist destination, they went hard.
By 2018, a whopping 31% of American adults had seen an Explore Ashville advert. More than 12 million people visit Asheville a year as a result.
The whole city feels like it’s been designed to cater to these visitors. It has a funky and eclectic downtown area with more than 30 modern art galleries, excellent farm-to-fork restaurants, and a lively live music scene.
And with the scenery of the mountains as the backdrop, not only are the views incredible the place is like a playground for travelers looking for outdoor adventures.
Often, overtourism can ruin a city but Asheville is a great example of a destination where huge visitor numbers are seen as a perk, not a drawback. They have helped the city to thrive.
Asheville is best known for being a great place to explore the Great Outdoors.
The list of outdoor pursuits you can enjoy here is near-endless. Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway, hike the Appalachian trail, and explore waterfalls.
Try your hand at biking, hiking, tubing, kayaking, ziplining, or whitewater rafting.
Asheville is also home to the Biltmore estate, which is the largest home in America. Other historical attractions in the area include the Omni Grove Park Inn and Thomas Wolfe’s home.
Beer City USA
Asheville is often referred to as the ‘Napa Valley of Beer’, and it has been named Best Beer City USA. This is a title it first earned in 2009 and has kept for every year since!
If you’re a fan of beer, then you’ll be spoilt for choice here because you can try hundreds of locally produced brews from more than 50 western North Carolina mountain breweries.
There are so many breweries in downtown Asheville that you can explore many of them on foot by taking the famous South Slope Brewing District walking tour.
Of particular note is Highland Brewing, which is the oldest brewery in Asheville and produces more than 50,000 barrels of beer every year.
As a result of all these breweries and beer options Asheville also has a thriving nightlife scene which means it’s a great place to party after a long day of outdoor pursuits.
You may not visit Asheville for the architecture alone, but it’s well worth taking time out to appreciate the architecture of the city.
Many of its original buildings still stand. Visit the Montford neighborhood to admire some of the city’s largest Victorian homes. Explore the Basilica of St. Lawrence, which boasts the largest unsupported dome in North America.
Fans of more modern architecture should visit the sloped Grove Arcade, where there are some great examples of Art Deco structures.
The architecture in Asheville is so diverse that there are a range of architectural walking tours you can book to explore the city from a whole new perspective.
A Year-Round Destination
Asheville is a year-round destination. It is most popular from March to May and September to early November when temperatures range between the 50s and mid-70s, which is ideal for outdoor adventures.
People travel during these periods to explore the spring blossoms and the fall foliage.
In the heat of the summer, you can beat the heat by swimming in the cool water of the French Broad River. This is also a popular location for kayaking and other water sports.
Summer is also concert and festival season in Asheville. The biggest of these is the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival.
Although winter is considered low season in the city, November to January is still a great time to visit Asheville especially if you like to ski. Asheville looks beautiful dusted with snow.
The city also hosts plenty of fun, festive events if you’re looking for a holiday travel destination.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com