Best Places to Live

Asheville, NC

Population: 86,789
LIV
SCORE
654
iStock/J. Michael Jones

With a population just under 100,000, Asheville provides a lot of bang for your buck. Known primarily for its love of beer and good food, Asheville is the world’s only Foodtopian Society and has an unparalleled foodie scene. The city is also located in the Blue Ridge Mountains and is home to the world-famous Biltmore Estate and stunning Omni Grove Park Inn.   

Because Asheville is such a foodie destination with amazing parks and an endless array of things to do, the city scored high in the amenities category. Several colleges and universities, like University of North Carolina - Asheville, are located in the city which adds to its creative culture and offers residents high-quality education options close to home.

Local Obsession: Beer. Boasting more breweries per capita than any other U.S. city, Asheville sure does appreciate a good brew.

Climate Described in 6 Words or Less: It’s comfortable all year long!

Top Industries: Healthcare, social services, education and manufacturing are all key players.

Local Dream Job: Curator at the Asheville Pinball Museum, which is home to more than 30 vintage pinball tables and 20 classic video arcade games to admire — no quarters needed!

Quintessential Meal: Try any of the tacos from White Duck Taco Shop  — trust us, you can’t go wrong.

Favorite Weekend Activity: Watching the makers at Lexington Glassworks do their thing and grab a pint of local beer, served in a hand-blown creation.

After-Work Meetup Spot: Grab a ‘Through the Looking Glass’ at the Montford’s rooftop bar.

Best Brewery: It’s impossible to pick just one, but favorites include the Asheville Brewing Company, New Belgium Brewing Company and Green Man Brewery.

Beloved Bookstore: Malaprop’s Bookstore & Cafe is the quintessential hometown bookstore. The locally-owned, independent bookstore opened in 1984 and has served the Asheville community with a carefully curated selection and literary events ever since.

Free Way to Have Fun: Pack a picnic and explore Craggy Gardens, just past Milepost 364 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, home to the most spectacular floral display along the corridor.

Hidden Gem: Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar is the perfect union of books and bubbly. Guests can take a look through a huge selection of used books, enjoy live music and sip champagne all the while.

- Cara Sanders

Read More:

Why Asheville is One of the Top 100 Best Places to Live in America

8 Reasons to Move to Asheville, NC Right Now

The Best Places to Live in North Carolina

Moving to North Carolina? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

“I love living in Asheville for the mountains and community. Since the day we moved here two years ago, everyone has been nothing short of welcoming!”

- Kirby Wolf, blogger at Fashion by Day

Asheville, NC Ranking Data

Civic
60
Demographics
56
Economy
68
Education
66
Health
56
Housing
68
Infrastructure
72