With downtowns all across the nation embracing a more laid-back, authentic feel, it’s easy for so many to claim to have become undeniably “cool.” But what makes a town the number one, absolute coolest of them all? Apparently, it comes down to location, location, location. Asheville, North Carolina, America’s newest coolest little town, is nestled at the base of the Blue Mountains and rests just inside the Appalachian Mountain Range. This perfect position makes Asheville cooler (literally) than surrounding areas during the summer and more moderate during winter. Enclosed in the wilderness on all sides, Asheville is utterly breathtaking, no matter how you look at it. The town has been a tourist destination since the end of the Revolutionary War: folks looking for cooler summers and something to see (like the Grove Arcade Arboretum) have long found fun and relaxation in this beautiful and quaint hamlet. With its gorgeous weather year-round and majestic surrounding nature teeming with life, it’s no wonder that so many for so long have found respite and reprieve in what is now the “coolest” town in America.
From the Mountains to Downtown
The wealth of things to do in Asheville is undeniably cool. From hiking, biking, kayaking, white-water rafting, to archery, zip lining, mountaineering or even heli-hiking: if you can dream it, and it takes place amongst gorgeous and majestic mountains, Asheville can make it happen for you. Asheville is also distinctly family-friendly: the downtown, with its hip and chic vibe, is no less welcoming to your 5-year-old than to your 81-year-old grandmother and fun for everyone in between. Shopping, dining, and entertainment venues in this quiet town are anything but uptight and offer unique kid-friendly options for everyone in the family (for example, Asheville Brewing Company retains an adjoining pizza place and movie theater at one of its main tasting rooms). Cool? We think so.
Craft Breweries to Authentic Restaurants
But modern-day “cool” is an evolving concept, and Asheville has had to follow suit to retain its title. Downtown Asheville has come alive in the past few years with a host of quirky and cool craft breweries, meaderies, cider works, gastropubs and other various bars and restaurants that offer delectable food and drink without any pomp or presumption: just authenticity in a good-time atmosphere. Archery shops, antique stores, and craft boutiques further the image of Asheville as charming and cheeky. Visitors from far and wide love to spend whole days strolling the neighborhoods downtown, window-shopping and sampling home-brewed IPAs as they gaze up at the majestic mountainsides nearby. It’s an effortless cool that only Asheville can truly provide.
Relaxing Culture That Everyone Seems to Love
What’s more? The culture in Asheville is charming. A historic Southern culture that you might expect in Georgia or Alabama is perfectly preserved here. Though neighboring towns have all slowly given in to the rush of modern society, Asheville has retained its roots as a laid-back and relaxed, family-friendly village. Here, one experiences a culture that perfectly expresses modern values of authenticity, openness, and integrity, along with older values of respectfulness, modesty in accomplishments and a slower-paced lifestyle. The friendly face that you’re chatting up at the bar might be a CEO or a world-renowned athlete, but folks from Asheville tend not to wear their egos on their sleeves; just their sincerity and spirit. So if you’re looking to find a place that’s welcoming and comfortable, naturally exquisite, and fun and quirky for adults and kids alike, you might just want to find yourself in the “coolest” town in the nation. Welcome to Asheville.
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