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Asheville, NC Skyline

Asheville has been recognized for its splendors by dozens of magazines, Web sites and publications in recent years. Accolades range from the designation by Frommer's as one of a dozen top travel destinations in the world to recognition for the Asheville area arts community, outdoor adventures, cuisine, organic and vegetarian eats, and much more.

Asheville Art Deco

2011

2010

  • TripAdvisor.com: Asheville was named #1 place to view fall foilage in 2010. (September 2010)
  • White House Statement: During President Obama’s spring vacation in Asheville, White House spokeswoman Moira Mack issued the following statement, “The president first visited the Asheville area during the campaign, and he liked it so much that he vowed to take his family there. The president and first lady are planning to spend a quiet weekend enjoying some of the many things this beautiful part of the country has to offer.” (April 2010)
  • Online Poll Posted on Examiner.com: Asheville holds onto its title as Beer City USA. (May 2010)
  • AmericanStyle.com: Asheville was ranked the number one small city (population under 100,000) for the arts in their annual “Top 25 Arts Destinations” reader’s poll. (May 2010)
  • Livability.com: Ranked Asheville one of their 10 most surprisingly vibrant food cities. (April 2010)
  • Sherman's Travel: Named Asheville as one of its top 10 spring getaways. (March 2010)
  • Golf Magazine: The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa’s Donald Ross designed golf course was honored as a new gold medal winner in the 12th edition of their Premier Resorts ranking. More than 6,000 readers cast votes on Golf.com to determine the winners. (March 2010)
  • TopRetirements.com: Asheville was rated number one in TopRetirement.com’s list of the most popular retirement towns for 2010. (February 2010)
  • RateBeer.com: This craft beer aficionado Web site named several Asheville area restaurants, breweries and craft beer stores in their annual RateBeer Best 2010. (January 2010)
    • Bruisin’ Ales – Number three best beer retailer worldwide
    • The Thirsty Monk – Number 41 Beer Bar
    • Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria – Number 27 Beer Restaurant
    • Mellow Mushroom – Number 41 Beer Restaurant
    • Highland Brewing – Number 26 Brewery to Visit
    • Wedge Brewery – Number 43 Brewpub
  • Southern Living: In the magazine’s “Best of the South Travel Awards,” Asheville’s Little Pigs BBQ placed second in the best barbecue in North Carolina category. (January 2010)
  • Points North: The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa made Point’s North list of the editorial staff’s top 10 favorite resorts in the Southeast and the Caribbean isles. (January 2010)
  • Travel+Leisure: Asheville’s Inn on Biltmore Estate and Richmond Hill Inn were named in the magazine’s "500 Best Hotels" list. (January 2010)

2009

  • Byways: Named Asheville as one of the magazine's "Top 50 North American Group Tour Destinations of 2010." (December 2009)
  • Sherman’s Travel: The online travel resource, Sherman’s Travel, named the Blue Ridge Parkway in their list of “Top 10 Value Destinations for 2010.” (December 2009)
  • U.S. News & World Report: Named Asheville as one of “America's Best Affordable Places to Retire.” (September 28, 2009)
  • USA Today’s Road Warrior Panel: A panel of 1,000+ travelers who voluntarily provide travel information for USA Today named Asheville as one of their top cities for business trips. Asheville got high marks from the panel for its “great arts and music scene; a community mix of mountain folk, bohemians, business people and highly educated locals; wonderful outdoors lifestyle and fly-fishing; and organic Caribbean-Cuban-Mexican-Jamaican food at Salsa Mexican Caribbean Restaurant.” (August 12, 2009)
  • HuffingtonPost.com: Named Asheville as one of its “Top 10 Undiscovered Local Food Cities.” (August 2009)
  • Imbibe Magazine’s Internet Poll: Asheville took first place with over 55% of the votes as “Best Craft Beer City in America.” (July 2009)
  • DogFriendly.com: Released its “Top 10 Dog-Friendly Resort Regions” in the U.S. and named Asheville as one of the best vacation spots to visit with your dog. (June 23, 2009)
  • Online Poll Posted on Examiner.com: Asheville won the East Coast title for “Beer City U.S.A.” in an online poll posted by founder of the American Homebrewers Association Charlie Papazian on Examiner.com. (May 2009)
  • AmericanStyle: For the second year, Asheville held the number two spot in the small cities category (population under 100,000) in the annual “Top 25 Arts Destinations” reader’s poll. (April 2009)
  • Forbes.com: In their 11th annual ranking of the “Best Places for Business and Careers,” Asheville ranked as #6 in the top metro areas category. (March 25, 2009)
  • D.K. Shifflet & Associates: This leading travel and tourism research company ranked Asheville as a top 10 value destination for couples in search of romance on its list of cities with the best value for the money. Asheville came in third place, beating out Nashville, San Diego, San Francisco, Myrtle Beach and Las Vegas. (February 2009)
  • Southern Living: Announced their “Best of the South Readers’ Choice Awards” and readers of the magazine recognized these Asheville favorites:
    • Best Breakfast or Brunch Restaurant – Moose Café (Placed #9 out of 10)
    • Southern Favorite Restaurants – Moose Café (Placed #10 out of 10)
    • Best Splurge Restaurants – The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa (Placed #3 out of 10)
    • Best Scenic View – Grandfather Mountain (Placed #2 out of 10) and Chimney Rock Park (Placed #3 out of 10)
    • Best Public Gardens – Biltmore Gardens (Placed #3 out of 10)
    • Best Southern City – Asheville (Placed #8 out of 10)
    • Best Hotel – The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa (Placed #1 out of 10) and the Inn on Biltmore Estate (Placed #8 out of 10)(January 2009)

2008

  • Yahoo! Real Estate: Asheville was named as one of the top ten places to live. (December 2008)
  • National Geographic Traveler: Asheville received honors in the magazine’s Fifth Annual Places Rated Survey. Asheville ranked in the top 50 globally and top 10 nationally. The city placed first among North Carolina destinations. (October 2008)
  • Forbes Traveler: Included Asheville Green Cottage in its list of top green hotels in America. (September 2008)
  • Travel+Leisure: Asheville’s Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa ranked number 13 in magazine’s list of Top 20 Hotel Spas. (August 2008)
  • Travel+Leisure: Asheville’s Inn on Biltmore Estate ranked number 36 in magazine’s list of Top 100 Hotels in the Continental U.S. and Canada. (August 2008)
  • Travel+Leisure: Asheville’s Richmond Hill Inn ranked number 9 in magazine’s list of Top 10 Hotels: $250 or Less. (August 2008)
  • AmericanStyle: Ranked Asheville number two in the small cities category (population under 100,000) in the annual “Top 25 Arts Destinations” reader’s poll. (June 2008)
  • Where to Retire Magazine: Honored Asheville as one of its “Eight Enriching Towns for Art and Music Lovers,” touting the many wonderful art studios, seasonal art walks and Bele Chere, the largest free outdoor music festival in the Southeast. (May/June 2008)
  • Rolling Stone: The Orange Peel music club was named one of America’s best rock music venues in its “Best of Rock” issue. (April 2008)
  • NuWire Investor: Named Asheville one of the top 10 places to buy vacation rental homes in the U.S. (March 2008)
  • Condé Nast Traveler: Announced its fourteenth annual Gold List and recognized the Inn on Biltmore Estate. For the Gold List, the magazine takes its 2007 Readers’ Choice Awards winners and delves deeper in the responses, rating hotels for their food, activities, service, rooms, design and location. (January 2008)
  • Country Home Magazine: Asheville was recognized as one of the top 25 green cities in America for their “2007 Best Green Places” rankings. (January 2008)
  • Southern Living: Announced their “Best of the South Readers’ Choice Awards” and readers of the magazine recognized these Asheville favorites:

2007

  • Conde Nast Traveler: The Inn on Biltmore Estate was recognized in Conde Nast Traveler's readers’ choice awards as one of the top 100 best hotels in the world. (November 2007)
  • Outside Magazine: Asheville ranked as “Best Southern Town” in its “Best Towns In America” story. In each region of the country, the magazine selected the best town with a population of fewer than 100,000 people and the best city with a population of more than 100,000 people. Winners are all “smart, progressive burgs with gorgeous wilderness playgrounds,”places that “have realistic housing and job markets,” according to the magazine. (August 2007)
  • TopRetirements.com: Asheville made the list as number one in topretirements.com's “Top 10 Most Popular Retirement Towns.” (August 2007)
  • AmericanStyle Magazine: Ranked Asheville number five in the small cities and towns category (population under 100,000) in the annual “Top 25 Arts Destinations” reader’s poll. (June 2007)
  • Cities Ranked & Rated: This sourcebook for anyone looking to find the best place to live ranked Asheville as number seven among their analysis of more than 400 metro areas in the U.S. and Canada. Asheville was ranked on the following criteria: economy and jobs, cost of living, climate, education, health and healthcare, crime, transportation, leisure, arts and culture, and overall quality of life. (May 2007)
  • Relocate-America.com: Asheville rated number one in the Web site’s annual ranking of the most popular places to live for 2007. (April 2007)
  • America’s 100 Best Places to Retire: This guide to today’s top retirement towns included Asheville as one of the best cities or towns for modern retirees. (April 2007)
  • VirtualTourist.com: Asheville is featured as one of the “Top 10 Up-and-Coming Travel Destinations” announced by VirtualTourist. (March 2007)
  • American Institute of Architects: Named Biltmore Estate on its list of Top 10 Architectural Wonders based on a public poll. Biltmore Estate is ranked among the Empire State Building, White House, Golden Gate Bridge and Chrysler Building on this prestigious list issued by the AIA.
  • Condé Nast Traveler: Announced its thirteenth annual Gold List and among those recognized are Inn on Biltmore Estate and Richmond Hill Inn. For the Gold List, the magazine takes its 2006 Readers’ Choice Awards winners and delves deeper in the responses, rating hotels for their food, activities, service, rooms, design and location. (January 2007)
  • Southern Living: Announced their Best of the South Readers’ Choice Awardsand readers of the magazine recognized these Asheville favorites:
    • Resort/Hotel – The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa
    • Mountain Destination – Asheville
    • Scenic Drive – Blue Ridge Parkway
    • Public Gardens – Biltmore Estate
    • Country Inn/ Bed & Breakfast – The Red Rock Inn, Black Mountain(January 2007)

2006

  • Frommer’s: Named Asheville one of twelve top travel destinations for 2007. (November 21, 2006)
  • Conde Nast Traveler: Named the Inn on Biltmore Estate in its “2006 Gold List: The World’s Best Places to Stay.” (January 2006)
  • Southern Living: In the 2006 Reader’s Choice Awards, Asheville took first place in the best mountain destination category. The Blue Ridge Parkway also ranked first in the scenic drive category and the Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa won the best resort / hotel top spot. (February 2006)
  • GoVeg.com: Asheville voted first as “America’s Best Vegetarian-Friendly Small City.” (March 2006)
  • Men’s Journal: Named Asheville one of the 50 best places to live in the “Singles Scene” category. (April 2006)
  • Forbes: In its annual ranking of “Best Places for Business and Careers,” Asheville ranked #24. (May 4, 2006)
  • Kiplinger’s Personal Finance: The magazine combed the country for cities that embody a reasonable cost of living coupled with a great quality of life. Asheville ranked seventh in the “50 Smart Cities” list. (May 8, 2006)
  • AmericanStyle Magazine: Ranked Asheville second in the small cities and towns category (population under 100,000) in the ninth annual “Top 25 Arts Destinations” reader’s poll. (June 2006)
  • Southern Accents: Asheville was ranked first in the favorite mountain getaway and third in the favorite golf and spa destination in the Southern Accents Reader Travel Awards. (May/June 2006)
  • Cottage Living: Asheville’s Albermarle Park neighborhood was chosen by Cottage Living magazine as one of the "Top Ten Cottage Communities in the U.S." (June 20, 2006)
  • Blue Ridge Outdoors: Saw Asheville as a Southern town leading the Green Revolution and named Asheville one of the greenest towns in the south. (July 2006)
  • Outside Magazine: Asheville rated the number one whitewater town in the country. (August 2006)
  • Designated Preserve America Community by First Lady Laura Bush: Asheville’s communities and neighborhoods were designated as preserving and using their heritage resources for community economic, educational, and cultural benefit and development. (October 2006)

     

2005

  • Organic Style: Asheville was ranked seventh in a listing of the 10 Greatest Escapes in America. (July/August 2005).
  • Vegetarian Times: Asheville named one of 10 small towns in the article, “The 20 greenest spots in the country.”
  • Southern Living: Readers voted Asheville the First Place winner in the “Mountain Destination” Category.
  • AmericanStyle Magazine: Readers voted Asheville eighth in a poll of the Top 25 Arts Destinations, up from tenth in the 2004 poll.
  • RelocateAmerica.com: Named Asheville ninth in “America’s Top 100 Places to Live in 2005.” The nominated towns were compared against education, crime, employment and housing data for the past year.
  • Men’s Journal: Western North Carolina attractions, Asheville's Early Girl Eatery and The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa listed in its "12 Months of Adventure" expert's guide to the perfect trip in 2005. (February 2005)
  • Conde Nast Traveler: Named the Inn on Biltmore Estate to its 2005 Gold List: The World's Best Places to Stay. The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa was named to the 2005 Gold List Reserve.
  • Pinnacle Living Magazine: Asheville rated one of the top 25 townsin the Southern mountains for relocation, second homes and retirement. (2005)

     

2004

  • Mountain Bike Magazine: Pisgah Forest voted one of the best trails for mountain biking. (October 2004)
  • USA Weekend Magazine: Asheville named one of five “Cities that are Special.” (July 2004)
  • National Geographic Adventure: Asheville listed as one of the “10 Great Adventure Towns.” (September 2004)
  • Men’s Journal: Asheville ranked as one of “The 10 Best Fall Mountain Bike Rides” in North America. (September 2004)
  • Southern Living Magazine: Asheville chosen as one of the top mountain destinations in the Southeast in a Reader’s Choice poll. (April 2004)
  • RelocateAmerica.com: Asheville came in fifth in “America’s Top 100 Places to Live in 2004.” The nominated towns were compared against education, crime, employment and housing data for the past year.
  • Where to Retire Magazine: Named Asheville one of eight great college towns. (May/June 2004)
  • AmericanStyle Magazine: Readers voted Asheville #10 in a poll of the Top 25 Arts Destinations, up from #18 in the previous year's poll.
  • Men’s Journal: Nantahala Outdoor Center -- "the Harvard of paddling instruction" -- named one of the 100 Best Trips on the Planet. (April 2004)
  • Cities Ranked and Rated: Named Asheville the #8 rated city in America to live in 2004. Determined by a number of essential factors, including economy and jobs, cost of living, climate, education, health and health care, crime, transportation, leisure, and arts and crafts. Presented by Frommer’s Travel Guides. (March 30, 2004)
  • Travel and Leisure: Named The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa as one of the top 500 greatest hotels in the world. (January 2004)
  • Travel and Leisure: Named The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa as one of the top resort spas in the world. (2004)

     

2003

  • Where to Retire Magazine: Asheville selected as one of eight great walking towns. (12/15/2003)
  • MSN Money: Named Asheville one of the top 10 towns for a second-home investment. (2003)
  • MSN: Asheville named one of the top five “Best Places to Retire.” (2003)
  • AmericanStyle Magazine: Readers voted Asheville #18 in a poll of the Top 25 Arts Destinations. (2003)
  • Travel and Leisure: Named Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa as one the world's best golf resorts in a reader survey. (2003)
  • Blue Ridge Country Magazine: In the 15th Anniversary edition, Asheville was ranked in the top three in “Best Mountain Town,” "Best Couples Getaway,” “Best Festival,” for Bele Chere, “Best Retirement Town,” “Best Weekend Getaway,” and “Best Shopping Overall.” (August 2003)
  • Southern Living Magazine: Asheville chosen by a Reader’s Choice poll as one of the top mountain destinations and weekend getaways in the Southeast. (May 2003)
  • Mountain Bike Action: Named Asheville one of the 10 best mountain bike towns. (May 2003)
  • National Geographic Adventure: In their Best of Adventure 2003 Issue, Asheville was named one of the top mountain biking destinations in the Southeast. Asheville “is fast becoming the Boulder of the Southeast – with better riding.”
  • AARP Magazine: Asheville selected as one of the Top 15 Best Places to Reinvent Your Life. (May-June 2003)
  • Parents Magazine: In the round-up of "editors' picks," Asheville is listed among of the top destinations for family travel. (April 2003)

     

2002

  • Self Magazine: Named Asheville the Happiest City in the United States.
  • New York Times: Asheville made the Harris Poll list of “Most Desirable Places to Live". (September 2002).
  • Hemispheres: Asheville joined a select list of 70 of the world’s most visible and visited cities—the only in NC ever featured in the popular United Airlines magazine. The feature piece is titled, “Three Perfect Days in Asheville.” (September 2002)
  • USA Weekend: Blue Ridge Parkway listed as one of noted cyclist Greg LeMond’s best scenic routes to train. (August 2002)
  • USA Today ran two stories one week apart entitled, “Top 10 Literary Destinations” and “Historic towns that invite you to stroll.” (July 2002).
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation: Listed Asheville among its List of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations, describing it as “offering diverse natural, historic, and cultural experiences that preserve generations of the 'Appalachian tradition.'" (July 2002)
  • Men’s Journal: In the Best of Summer Issue, Asheville was listed as one of the Top 50 Hot Road Trips that “will make the greatest three months of your life.”
  • AmericanStyle Magazine: Readers voted Asheville as #13 in the list of the Top 25 Arts Destinations in America for “sharing a love for the arts and promoting cultural tourism.” (Summer 2002)
  • Bike Magazine: In nominating 2002’s premium places to live and ride, Asheville was ranked as one of America’s Top Five Best Mountain Biking Towns. (June 2002)
  • Where to Retire Magazine: Asheville listed as one of the Best Tax Heavens in the Country. (Spring 2002)
  • Book Magazine: Asheville ranked 3rd in the Top 10 Great Literary Trips in the nation. (May/June 2002)
  • USA Today: Ranked Gold Hill Cafe in Asheville one of "10 Great Places for Caffeine and Conversation." (March 2002)
  • Barron’s Online: Asheville listed as one of the Best Places to Retire. (March 2002)
  • Wallpaper Magazine Annual Round-Up Edition: Asheville ranked the #1 Urban Haven in the World—with benefits of rural life, urban sophistication and energy. (Jan./Feb. 2002)
  • Outside Magazine: Named Asheville one of the ten best outdoor towns.

     

2001

  • Southern Living Magazine: Asheville was chosen by Reader’s Choice poll as one of the top mountain destinations and weekend getaways in the Southeast. (Fall 2001)
  • National Geographic Traveler: Rated Biltmore Estate in Asheville as one of America’s Top 50 Places of a Lifetime. (October 2001)
  • MSN Home Advisor: Ranked Asheville among the Best Five Places to Retire.
  • Where to Retire Magazine: Asheville rated in Ten Great Towns for Retired Singles. (Summer 2001)
  • Employment Review: Asheville rated one of Ten Top Small Cities in America’s Best Places to Live and Work.
  • American Style Magazine: Asheville rated eighth of the top 25 arts destinations in the USA. (Summer 2001)
  • Whitewater Paddling Magazine: Rated Asheville a Top 10 Whitewater Town.
  • Canoe and Kayak Magazine: Asheville named one of the top 10 paddle towns. (April 2001)
  • FamilyFun Magazine: Asheville named one of the top five Southeast cities for family vacations.
  • Mountain Bike Magazine: Named Asheville one of the 10 best U.S. cities for mountain bikers. (June 2001)

     

2000

  • AmericanStyle Magazine: Asheville rated sixth of the top 25 arts destinations in the USA.
  • Modern Maturity Magazine: Ranked Asheville the #1 place to live in the small town category of 50 Most Alive Places to Live. (May-June 2000)
  • Money Magazine: Asheville ranked in the top five best places to retire. (July 2000)
  • Southern Living Magazine: Asheville was chosen in a Reader’s Choice poll as one of the top mountain destinations in the Southeast. (Fall 2000)
  • Expansion Management Magazine: Ranked Asheville 43rd in a Top 50 Hottest Cities list.
  • Rand McNally Places Rated Almanac: Ranked Asheville one of the best places to live in the United States among metropolitan areas smaller than 250,000 people, as well as one of the top five places to retire. (2000)

Compiled by the Asheville Chamber of Commerce and Explore Asheville a project of the tourism board.