A Few Great Reasons to Move to Asheville, NC

Asheville is a lively town that attracts people looking for a fun place to live, a 2nd home or simply great place to relocate or retire.

Gay men and lesbians will find many reasons to come to Asheville. The city prides itself on being a haven of eclectic and diverse views. Lesbians and gay men own many local businesses. A small sampling includes lesbian owned “Malaprops”, voted “Best Independent Bookstore in the Southeast,” along with “Tressa’s”, a widely acclaimed downtown Jazz & Blues bar, and “Edna’s,” a coffee shop owned by two men who roast their own coffee and bake their own pastries. John Cram, credited with launching the downtown renaissance in the late 1980’s and 90’s (along with Emoke B’Racz, Malaprop’s founder and owner) owns two of the best-known art galleries. There are many gay owned bars and dance clubs, B&Bs and businesses catering to lesbians and gay men.

The Blue Ridge Mountains Surrounding Asheville (as seen from my deck!)

The Blue Ridge Mountains Surrounding Asheville (as seen from my deck!) For those who love the outdoors, the oldest and most beautiful mountains in the world surround Asheville. The Blue Ridge Parkway is easily accessible and reaches elevation of 5,000 feet and above. You can run, hike, bike, walk, zip line, fish, ride rapids, see waterfalls, and even dine on the 193-mile section near Asheville. My favorite is to hike a one-mile trail to the Pisgah Inn Restaurant. The food is very good but the view is breathtaking (there is parking right in front for those who don’t need to walk the calories off before or after the meal.) I took my west coast visitors last summer and a bluegrass band playing in the background left us all feeling inspired and “one with the mountains.”

The Asheville area is so beautiful that Good Morning America featured Asheville as one of its Most Beautiful Places in America” in August 2011. And, in September 2012, Fodor named Asheville as a “Best Destination for Fall Foliage”.

Maybe you aren’t into outdoor adventure. Not to worry – Asheville has a lot to offer anyone who chooses to live here. It’s quite well known for being a “foodie” town. Livability.com ranked Asheville one of their “10 most surprisingly vibrant food cities” in 2010. The year before, the Huffington Post named Asheville as one of its “Top 10 Undiscovered Local Food Cities.”

Some of the top restaurants (although there are really too many to mention) are Tupelo Honey Café, Early Girl Eatery, 12 Bones Smokehouse (president Obama has eaten there twice), and Sunny Point in West Asheville. We have plenty of excellent Indian food, Thai, French, Mexican, etc. I think one reason Asheville is so well known for its food scene is because we have a very strong organization called “ASAP – Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. It helps create and expand local food markets that will preserve our agricultural heritage, give everyone access to fresh, healthy food, and keep our farmers farming. Almost all of Asheville’s best restaurants participate in Asheville’s strong “farm to fork” philosophy. In fact, several restaurants own and operated their own small farms. For example, the owners of Neo Cantina in Biltmore Village at much of their herbs and vegetables from Asheville’s Urban Farms, which they co-own.

With all these great farmers and restaurants working together, it’s no wonder that GoVeg.com voted Asheville first as “America’s Best Vegetarian-Friendly Small City in 2006. I read somewhere that about 2% of all Americans are vegetarian, but in Asheville, that number is around 10%. So, vegetarians, welcome!

With all that great food available, we must have some great beer, wine, and coffee to wash it down with. Stay tuned: I’ll give you the low down on that very soon! There are just so many great reasons to live in Asheville that I can’t write it in one blog. More to come!


Gwen Croft is a Realtor with Keller Williams Professionals in Asheville, NC. She moved to Asheville after 11 years in New York City. But, as a native of Chattanooga, TN she wanted to come back to the southern mountains and the laid back lifestyle. She chose Asheville because of it’s progressive values and beautiful setting.

Gwen specializes in residential real estate in Western North Carolina. She is a member of the KW Luxury Division and have Eco-Realtorand Short Sales/Foreclosure Certification.

Gwen has the experience and skills to help navigate you successfully through relocation and purchasing a home or land in WNC. She also has a background in marketing and advertising which is extremely valuable for selling your property.