(Little) Known Facts About Asheville

For a city with a small population of about 75,000, there is still a lot to learn about Asheville. I have lived in South Asheville for just over four years and I am always picking up interesting tidbits of information about this great city.

For example, Asheville has four nicknames. The two most commonly known are “Land of the Sky” and “Paris of the South.” But did you also know that Asheville has been called “San Francisco of the East” and “New Age Mecca?”  In addition, over the years, the city has picked up the following titles: “America’s New Freak Capital” (Rolling Stone Magazine), one of the “Best Places to Retire” (Money Magazine), “America’s Happiest City” (Self Magazine), and  “America’s Best Vegetarian-Friendly Small City” (PETA). All of these titles and nicknames demonstrate that Asheville has a lot to offer and that we are not just a city of hippies and street musicians.

Architecturally, Asheville has one of the largest collections of Art-Deco buildings in the country. Take one of the historic trolley tours around town and they do an admiral job of pointing out a good portion of these buildings and several architectural details that one might miss otherwise.

The climate around Asheville is considered moderate with normal highs in the summer in the upper 80s and normal lows in the winter in the upper 20s. Part of that is because the city is sandwiched in between the Blue Ridge Mountains (also called the Appalachian Mountains) to the north and east and the Great Smoky Mountains to the west. The 2009/2010 winter has been an anomaly with over a foot of snow and weeks of temperatures in the teens and 20s. I will be more than happy to see the end of this winter. Looking ahead to March, we should start seeing average temperatures from the mid-30s (lows) to upper 50s (highs).

March is also a great time to book a spring vacation because it is that transitional month when there are more activities and stores open, the flowers are starting to bloom, and prices at many places are still low (prime winter sale time). After Easter, you will start to see a jump in room, ticket, and activity rates. So when people ask, when is the best time to come, if you are looking for the best deals and the most bang for your buck, I suggest a March getaway.

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