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What Is It Like Living in Asheville, NC? – From Locals

Learn why we love living in Asheville, NC. Have all of your questions answered about things to do, the best Asheville neighborhoods, WNC weather, and the pros and cons of moving to Asheville.

We moved to Asheville, North Carolina in 2019 and have never regretted that decision. It’s also no secret that we moved to Asheville on a whim.

With our weekend plans to Puerto Rico thwarted, we needed a backup plan. Why not visit Asheville? We both had never been but heard wonderful things.

What started as a whirlwind 3-day tour turned into the start of our move to Asheville in under two months. Who knew? Not us!

So, what pushed us over the edge to consider moving to Asheville? For one, we were New Englanders living in Florida, and Florida was just not for us.

Florida was hot, humid, and lacking in the culture we craved. We had lived in Central Florida for over 8 years. It was time for a change.

Two, we could both easily work in Asheville based on our jobs, and three, those gorgeous mountains.

Not to mention that we loved the foodie scene, endless hiking, craft beer, and mild seasons, including a vibrant fall.

Now that we’ve bought a house and have been living in Asheville for years, we receive a ton of emails asking us what it is like living in Asheville, NC.

Why move to North Carolina? What are the best neighborhoods in Asheville? What do we do for fun? Is Asheville expensive? What is the political climate like?

Most importantly, what are the pros and cons of living in Asheville? Ultimately, is Asheville a good place to live?

After answering these questions individually over and over again, we figured it was time for an article. Below find out why we love living in Asheville, NC along with our recommendations, advice, and personal experience.

We’ll hopefully make your decision about moving to Asheville a little easier and more informed. We frequently update this article. Let’s get started!

Read more about the best Asheville neighborhoods.

Moving To And Living In Asheville NC with picture of downtown Asheville and Grove Arcade at sunset
We love living in Asheville, NC, and we hope that this guide answers all of your questions about life in Asheville and North Carolina. Is Asheville, NC a good place to live? Is moving to Asheville right for you?

This post may contain affiliate links that earn us a commission at no extra cost to you.

FAQs About Living In Asheville, NC

Below are some of the most pressing questions that we receive in Uncorked Asheville’s inbox each week about living in and moving to Asheville.

Many of these questions include: Is Asheville, NC a good place to live? What is it like to live in Asheville? How about retiring in Asheville?

What is there to do, do you recommend a particular realtor, and how can we make friends? What are the best Asheville neighborhoods?

We will try to answer many of these questions about Asheville, NC living throughout this article. Then, we’ll share our top pros and cons of living in Asheville.

Please keep in mind that these are just our opinions and experiences. Yours may not be the same.

We are not journalists, and we are not realtors. We are also not a massive media site with employees.

Lastly, know that we do not have children and chose to buy a house before moving here.

We flew up one weekend to house hunt with an Asheville-based realtor and looked at 15+ houses in 2 days. We made an offer before leaving, and it was accepted.

We flew back up from Florida to close on our AVL house, and within months, we packed up and drove to our new Asheville home.

Our jobs remained the same with the relocation, and we were not first-time buyers. All of those elements factored into our moving to Asheville experience.

Why Move To Asheville, NC?

Due to the nature of our jobs, we have moved around quite a bit.

For me (Christine), I’ve lived in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Indonesia, Florida, and now North Carolina. My husband can add Virginia and New York.

I’m not going to lie: I love living in Asheville, NC, and of course, I enjoyed CT — where I was born and raised. I am a sucker for seasons, outdoor sports, and a mix of city and country life.

So, why would others consider moving to Asheville, North Carolina? Based on the emails I’ve received, people love the appeal of the mild climate, great outdoors, and hip and growing city.

There are craft breweries on every corner. If you have food preferences or intolerances, the delicious Asheville restaurants will easily cater to you without rolling their eyes or messing up your order.

I’m not sure we’ll ever eat at all of the cafes and restaurants.

Plus, Asheville welcomes everyone. There is a vibrant LGBTQ+ community. Black Lives Matter murals covered the downtown buildings during peaceful protests.

The city is filled with beautiful street art and history. Our neighbors are both young and old.

Don’t get me wrong: you will run into a grumpy local here and there or see a Confederate flag on your way to Ingles. This is rarer in Asheville than in Florida.

Plus, we have Biltmore Estate, an arts district, and a liberal city in a fairly purple-red state. Keep in mind that parts of Western North Carolina are extremely conservative. The larger cities run more liberal.

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Why Live In Asheville?

Along those lines, why would anyone live in Asheville over another growing city like Nashville, Knoxville, Austin, Greenville, or Dallas?

We would advise visiting the places you are comparing and spending as much time there as possible. Get a feel for the culture, the people, and what you personally value most.

Some places will have more traffic, fewer jobs, a higher cost of living, and different things to do for fun.

For us, we had some expected as well as oddball musts. We wanted a two-story home with a basement (Florida, remember…).

Because I have ulcerative colitis and my husband has Celiac’s, we wanted a town that respected food intolerances; we love eating out every week. I also needed a strong GI office close by.

After living in such a flat state filled with suffocating heat and humidity, we hoped to see light snow again — but not CT blizzard-level.

We also didn’t want to drive 1 to 2-hours to get somewhere like the dentist.

We love the outdoors and craved spending our autumns and summers exploring the waterfalls and swimming holes. We won’t lie, though; we questioned if we could live 4+ hours from the beach.

Plus, we desired a city with a diverse population.

We found all of this in Asheville, along with endless things to do. This sounds cheesy, but we just knew in our hearts that Asheville, NC living felt right for us.

Is Everyone A Hippie? Who Lives In Asheville?

If you aren’t at Trader Joe’s battling the crowds on a Friday night, you probably voted for Trump and hate polar bears. We are kidding.

Whole Foods and The Fresh Market are right there, too, over on Merrimon Ave.

But no, not everyone is an *awesome* hippie or even young, a digital nomad, a liberal, or a retiree. Truth bomb, though: For 2021-2022, U.S. News ranked Asheville as the 14th best place to retire.

We do have a lot of golf courses and country clubs…

Asheville has quite a bit of diversity with a metro population estimated to grow to almost half a million by 2025.

And yes, people both love and hate — really hate that fact — and argue fiercely about it on FB threads. The United States Census Bureau also reported that the median age in Asheville is 39.

Plus, we have the University of North Carolina Asheville — a liberal arts college — responsible for about 3,600 young adults. We early voted on this beautiful campus in 2020.

Yes; North Carolina has early voting. We are a state to watch during elections.

At different times of the year, you will see an influx of tourists and snowbirds. Does this get to be a bit much? You bet.

But, tourists help the local businesses thrive — myself and this site included. Locals know the off-seasons and adjust accordingly.

You can read more Asheville, NC demographic information from the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Census.

What About The Homeless Community Members?

One of the most asked questions we receive in our inbox is about Asheville’s homeless community. Yes; Asheville has a growing unsheltered population.

Watching a video of a driver trying to run over a homeless man and his cat — merely because they were homeless — was one of the most horrific things we’ve seen.

Beloved Asheville is a non-profit organization that works with people in need of shelter and supplies as well as challenges that people face.

The city has been trying to resolve housing issues and be more supportive of unsheltered camps. Some of these camps have issues with crime and drug use — and are removed.

It’s an ongoing dialogue and nationwide crisis.

You may also see people asking for money at heavily trafficked intersections. Fights may break out.

In downtown Asheville, you will find people — not all homeless — asking for food and money as well.

Save This Moving To Asheville Guide For Later

Living In Asheville NC Pinterest Pin with city of Asheville, North Carolina buildings and sun over purple mountains
Thinking about moving to Asheville, NC? Save our living in Asheville guide for later to make a better-informed decision.

Are The Locals Friendly?

Which always brings us to the uncomfortable question: Are the locals friendly toward newbies living in Asheville, NC? Do they want us there? Is there visible tension?

Lately, our inbox is flooded with specific questions about Californians and Floridians moving to Asheville, NC — there are a ton of us in our well-established, older neighborhood.

Technically, Tom and I are what North Carolinians call “halfbacks” since we lived in New England and Florida first.

We had always heard that locals resented the influx of people moving in, the overdevelopment, gentrification, and, rightfully so, the increased traffic.

There will always be heated debates over housing and congestion. Fall foliage tourist season is also out-of-this-world busy.

We have never met anyone face-to-face who has expressed any concern for having us here. Luckily, new friends embraced us with open arms and booze — transplants and locals, alike.

Asheville is full of transplants, and we made friends here easily.

We purchased a home in an established neighborhood — a ’90s home that needs major updating (popcorn ceilings, GAH).

We work, eat, and spend our time and money in Asheville, giving back to local businesses and the economy.

However, we do receive negative, anonymous comments on this post. It’s much easier to troll behind a keyboard at 2 AM with a few drinks under your belt.

There is also an online trolling trend where older transplants feel like they had the right to move to Asheville, NC, years ago but now the “the city is full” and no one else can.

Many appreciate the tourism that allows the businesses to grow while having such an eclectic and even international gaggle of residents.

True to most cities, there is growth and change — for the good and bad.

The city wouldn’t be what it is today without so many people moving to Asheville. Asheville’s economy thrives off tourism.

What Is The Real Estate Market Like In Asheville?

When we first thought about living in Asheville, NC, we had no idea where we should look.

Due to work, we only had one weekend to figure it out. The real estate market in Asheville is hot. Homes move quickly.

In fact, we were touring a home when another realtor started yelling at ours because she jumped our time slot to put in an offer on the house for her clients.

We didn’t want the house but we had never seen anything quite like it.

Our realtor warned us that we only had a few days to make buying decisions, and she was right: houses we toured that weekend were off of the market by Monday morning.

We had 4 amazing houses that we loved out of the 15+ we looked at. Luckily, we got our first choice — sans bidding war — and for a price that was fair for Asheville.

Overall, we had many options with little stress.

Please remember that we don’t have kids — school districts didn’t matter to us — and we never considered renting.

The 2022 Asheville housing market is predicted to be just as competitive, and of course, this demand is driving up housing costs.

Be prepared to buy a pricy fixer-upper if you want a prime location.

How Do You Choose An Asheville Realtor?

Choosing a realtor in Asheville is tough. Some are pushy and clearly out for their bottom line.

Even because of this moving to Asheville post, many have reached out and asked to “work together,” which sounds nice until they aggressively harass you.

We liked our realtor and the practice. They found us what we needed, in the time that we needed it.

If you drop us an email — hello (at) uncorkedasheville (dot) com — we’ll be more than happy to recommend them.

We will not share their info below in the comments for the sake of their privacy and ours.

What Are The Best Neighborhoods In Asheville?

Where should you consider living in Asheville? Is Asheville, NC a good place to live, or should you look outside of the city?

First, don’t miss our complete guide to Asheville neighborhoods. Here, we talk in-depth about living in Asheville (the city proper).

This includes Asheville areas like Montford, West Asheville, South Asheville, North Asheville, and the River Arts District.

Each place to live in Asheville has different restaurants, breweries, and vibes.

Some areas are more expensive than others. Others have newer condos.

A few Asheville neighborhoods are within walking distance of shops and restaurants. Others, you will need a car.

When we were moving to Asheville (proper), we looked at North, West, and East Asheville along with Biltmore Forest and Village.

We did not look at Asheville’s Historic Montford District or the Grove Park area of North AVL because our budget was lower than those gorgeous beasts.

You will find $1 to 5 million+ houses in Asheville. We have historic homes, fixer-uppers, new builds, condos, and everything in between.

What Are The Best Suburbs In Asheville, NC?

As for the Asheville suburbs, Fletcher, Fairview, and Arden have great houses for slightly less. The ones we toured tended to be more up-to-date, and you got more bang for your buck.

Those towns are under a 15-minute drive into the downtown area.

You may also want to look at gorgeous Black Mountain, quiet Weaverville, or Brevard. Read more about the best towns and cities surrounding Asheville.

Hendersonville, which we love, is a great option, but it’s about 45-minutes away from parts of Asheville with the costs of living and crowds slowly increasing.

Hendersonville is equally famous for its breweries, apple orchards, and wineries. If you are thinking about retiring in Asheville, Hendersonville is a great place to check out.

If you work in downtown Asheville, the commute from Asheville’s suburbs, though, won’t be great.

Traffic on I-26 — which is always under construction — can be a nightmare. However, it’s not I-4 Florida bad.

Is Living In Asheville, NC Expensive?

According to the U.S. Census from July 2021 (estimates), the median house in Asheville costs $270,400.

People are asking a lot for their non-updated homes and getting asking price or over because of the demand. The Census also notes the median income in Asheville, NC is around $50,000.

We know people who rent both houses and apartments. It’s doable, and it’s not CT.

When people complain about how pricey it is in Asheville, I think about my CT nonprofit salary, renting, and taxes.

Plus, it depends if you have an established job. Some people move to Asheville in the blind: no home, no work, no plan… That’s cool, too. We prefer to know our budget and look around.

If you don’t have these luxuries of already having work lined up or the chance to find housing beforehand, you can still find a mix of Asheville housing options with an open mind.

How Do You Get Around In Asheville?

While Asheville has public transportation — a bus system — most people get around by car.

If you live and work outside of the city, we’d say it’s fairly essential that you have a car. Most of America is like this, though.

We always half-heartedly joke that the older city structure is not prepared for our big SUVs.

Some of the streets are incredibly tiny with thin lanes, the parking spots are impossibly small, and those hills get us. The potholes are for real.

People drive pretty terribly here too — it’s not MA or Jersey, but it’s close. We will get trolled for that truth bomb.

Add in a parking lot, and drivers love to speed and weave. Plus, the tourists do some wild maneuvers in the fall over those dang leaves and when they are lost.

You will use your parking (emergency) brake in Asheville. Hills are plentiful. In the winter, snow and ice make twisty roads difficult to navigate.

When you head downtown, you will have to pay for parking, whether in a pay lot, at a meter, or in a parking garage. Parking is fairly priced, though.

In tourist season and on weekends, spots fill up quickly, but usually, we find something without having too much road rage. You just need to know where to go and where not to go.

What Is The Weather In Asheville and North Carolina Like? How Are The Seasons?

Asheville, NC is a great place to live if you are looking for all four seasons with moderate weather. The milder climate largely factored into us moving to Asheville.

On the downside, Asheville grows extremely foggy. Our mornings are much darker. It’s the mountains, which have unpredictable and angsty weather.

Snow & Winter Living In Asheville, NC

Some winters, we see snow flurries as early as October — they are beautiful. Our cats were mesmerized by their first snow.

We usually don’t have snow stick for more than a few hours but it can. Occasionally, you will see more snow, especially in the higher elevations.

Schools and roads will close. Parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway will shut down.

In 2020, we had a rare white Christmas. In 2022, Asheville saw about 9 inches of snow in one evening.

The snowfall and ice were not a big deal to us, but many of our neighbors don’t own shovels. It took the city a while to clear roads, and establishments stayed closed or delayed for 2-3 days.

We don’t usually lose power since our wires are underground.

It also grows frosty and icy in the winter. While we have had a few nights drop into the 20s, the 30s to 50s are our usual Asheville winter weather.

Read more about Asheville’s winter activities, and check out Asheville at Christmas. Nothing beats Christmas in the mountains.

The Omni Grove Park Inn hosts a Gingerbread House Competition, there are endless light displays, and Candlelight Christmas Evenings at Biltmore are magical.

Spring & Summer

The spring and fall in Asheville are pretty mild. Compared to Florida, it still rains here a lot. We feel the gloom of less sun.

Summer in Asheville may hit the high 90s, but again, it’s not Florida. For us, the North Carolina weather is a mix of New England meets Florida.

Asheville Fall

For Asheville, NC living, autumn is by far the best season. It’s also peak tourist season.

The fall in the mountains and along the Blue Ridge Parkway compete with the glow of our New England home.

Our Asheville fall bucket list is filled with hiking, orchards, pumpkin picking, and seasonal drinks.

The season is filled with outdoor festivals.

What Can You Do For Fun In Asheville?

Living in Asheville, NC means that we are never bored. You can always check out our main page with things to do, including waterfalls, hikes, and shopping.

We enjoy Shakespeare in the Park, all of the parks and gardens, delicious wine bars, historic sites and museums, and breathtaking rooftop bars.

We are annual passholders to Biltmore and members of The NC Arboretum.

When not visiting Biltmore House, we go for their great exhibitions. One year, Biltmore showcased Downton Abbey period clothing, and in 2021-2022, they hosted Van Gogh Alive.

Not to mention the 22-miles of trails, Biltmore Winery, and dining. Biltmore also hosts concerts and seasonal events.

Of course, we eat out a lot and love hitting up the boozy scene. Yes, there are breweries, dive bars, and places to sip craft cocktails like the Grove Park Inn and Cultivated Cocktails.

You have Sierra Nevada and New Belgium as bigger names. Many breweries have live music on the weekends.

Hiking in the gorgeous mountains is a must, and DuPont State Forest — home to The Hunger Games waterfalls — is nearby.

We love the Blue Ridge Parkway and all of its picnic spots and mixed-level hiking trails.

The River Arts District is home to local art shops, urban street art, breweries, RAD restaurants, and a winery.

Take an Asheville day trip to Mount Mitchell, Grandfather Mountain, Charlotte, or Bryson City.

Basically, we sum up our Asheville living as hike, eat, drink, repeat. We try hard to maintain an Asheville Events Calendar — but there is so much.

Read More: Top Hiking Trails | Stunning Waterfalls | Mountain Biking

What Are The Pros and Cons Of Living In Asheville, NC?

What Are The Cons of Living In Asheville?

The Airport

The regional airport is great, but we are used to MCO and direct international flights to Dubai, Reykjavik, and Dublin. We travel a lot so AVL adds time and layovers.

A plus: Allegiant is one of the major domestic airlines that flies out of AVL and is a low fare carrier. Delta, American, and United are the legacies that fly out of AVL, too.

You can drive to Charlotte, but you’ll still find yourself with an extra leg — and sometimes it’s cheaper to fly out of AVL.

Newark is also one of our newer international options, but you have to fly there first. We have friends that drive to Atlanta too.

The Traffic & Congestion

I-26 always seems to be under construction. Sometimes traffic can be horrific. There are a ton of trucks at the craziest hours of the day.

During rush hours and prime times, the roads get congested and parking can be harder.

You’ll witness horrific accidents.

Tourist Season(s)

We love that visitors add a vibe to Asheville and put money into the city. We both work in the travel industry — we cannot complain. But, tourism does clog up the highways and cause swarms downtown.

Overall, we just know to make reservations in advance, go out on “off” nights or times, and avoid certain areas at particular times.

The Grove Park Inn in December is like Disney on Christmas Day. The BRP in the fall is sheer chaos on weekends.

Gentrification

As with many cities, with everyone moving to Asheville, many areas have been seeing gentrification for years.

While gentrification leads to increased property rates, commercial development, and improved economic opportunity for some, this also harms another part of the population.

Older residents looking for new homes in the city might not be able to afford another house. There is also a rise in homelessness and crime.

Crime In Asheville

Is Asheville a safe place to live?

Generally, reports say that yes, Asheville is a safe place to live. You can peruse all of the independent sites online that gather Asheville crime data. CrimeGrade is one example.

We also follow the Asheville Police Department on Facebook for local and recent information.

The city struggles with drugs, panhandling, and violent and property crimes, which have increased over the last few years.

We were having dinner in North Asheville when the bank across the street was robbed. The police ran into our restaurant looking for the armed robber.

One of the grocery store workers was attacked mid-morning in the parking lot, and bullet casings were found mid-afternoon where we get sushi.

We do not feel unsafe. However, we also don’t stay out late and use common sense.

Lock your doors, don’t leave valuables in the car, and walking around under the influence at 2 AM in a neighborhood known for incidents is probably not the best idea.

Many homes have alarm systems and camera doorbells.

What Are The Pros of Living In Asheville, NC?

Culture

We appreciate the culture and diversity in Asheville. Could it be better? You bet.

However, you can enjoy art museums, learn about the history of Biltmore, and eat and drink locally. Asheville is full of coffee shops for working and catching up with friends.

The community is educated, active, and engaged. We have fabulous local bookstores and libraries. There is a thriving artist and music scene.

Take workshops to learn a new skill or hobby. Attend a lecture. Enjoy a variety of cuisines at a restaurant or festival.

Take up golfing and do studio yoga.

Unique Cuisine For Everyone

Asheville living is perfect if you are looking for a plethora of vegetarian and vegan restaurants. Think Plant and Laughing Seed along with food trucks like The Smokin’ Onion and The Trashy Vegan.

We even host a VeganFest — it’s delicious.

As mentioned above, Tom has Celiac Disease, and his gluten-free options are pretty endless. Posana has a dedicated gluten-free kitchen, and BimBeriBon is a gluten-free bakery.

Plus, Asheville has every type of cuisine imaginable: Thai food, Indian cuisine, sushi restaurants, that famous North Carolina BBQ.

There are also restaurants for all price points for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dessert, and special occasions.

Things To Do

As mentioned above, there are tons of things to do in Asheville for everyone. We barely scraped the surface. Find hiking, live music, art, educational lectures, food, theater…you name it!

Asheville is also great for families and perfect for couples looking for romantic things to do.

We’ve traveled over to Tennessee for day and weekend trips to places like Clarksville (5.5 hrs), Nashville (4.5 hrs), Dollywood (2 hrs), and Knoxville (2 hrs).

We’ve been meaning to get out to the beach to see places like Hilton Head and revisit Charleston, too.

The Mountains

Lastly, we love living in Asheville for those stunning mountain sunsets.

George Vanderbilt built his retreat here and put Asheville on the map because he thought the mountains were healing and peaceful. He was so right.

If you are visiting to scope out Asheville living, here are a few of our hotel recommendations:

Aloft – Downtown Asheville  – Located in the heart of downtown Asheville, the Aloft hotel is newly renovated — as of 2020. Vibrant local murals, updated rooms, and sprawling public areas greet visitors. They even have a rooftop pool overlooking the mountains.

Hampton Inn And Suites Asheville Biltmore Area  – Although this hotel is on busy Brevard Road – NC-191 – across from the Asheville Outlets, it’s one of our favorites before living in Asheville. Clean, updated, and in the middle of everything, you can access downtown, Biltmore, and the Blue Ridge Parkway fairly quickly. Plus, you can grab a quick breakfast with tons of food options nearby, especially if you want a hiking lunch for the road. We are obsessed with grinders at the nearby Apollo Flame Bistro. It’s a dive, but it’s our dive.

1898 Waverly Inn Bed and Breakfast — While house hunting and before officially moving to Asheville, we stayed at this sweet B&B in Hendersonville, NC (35-40 mins from Asheville closer to DuPont State Forest). We loved their social happy hour and friendly hosts. Say hi to Mike for us! You can walk into downtown Hendersonville, and don’t miss Umi Sushi. Hendersonville is its own hip little town.

Omni Grove Park Inn – Did you know that F. Scott Fitzgerald stayed at the Omni Grove Park Inn? We love the Grove Park Inn for its delicious restaurants, events, and out-of-this-world sunsets. Go for the history and cocktails. For romantic AVL restaurants, Edison and Sunset Terrace are great picks.

The Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate or The Inn On Biltmore Estate – For fancy Asheville, NC living, don’t miss a stay at Biltmore to see how the Vanderbilts wined and dined. Biltmore is America’s largest home filled with history, gardens, restaurants, and hiking trails.

See our Top Places To Stay in Asheville.

Don’t miss out on these Asheville properties on Booking.com, too.

Still Considering Moving To Asheville, NC? Save This Post For Later

Pros and cons of living in Asheville, NC Pinterest pin with Blue Ridge Parkway and downtown Asheville cityscape at sunset
Are you or someone you know thinking about moving to Asheville, NC? Save our FAQs about living in Asheville, NC for later on Pinterest.

What Did We Miss About Moving & Living In Asheville, NC?

We have tried our best to answer the questions we get from our readers, and we hope these FAQs help you evaluate if Asheville, NC is a good place to live for you.

You may have a completely different experience living in Asheville, but we wanted to share ours to help guide you.

We love living in Asheville, NC — and we say this often. Moving to Asheville was the perfect choice for our family, and we have no regrets.

Do you have any more questions about what it is like living in Asheville or North Carolina? Did we miss anything that you want to know? Let us know in the comments.

Where Should You Head Next?

If you are planning a quick trip, check out this short Asheville itinerary.

Favorite Asheville Hikes As Locals
Best Waterfalls Near Asheville
Ultimate Guide Of Things To Do In Asheville, NC
Best Restaurants In Asheville
Asheville’s Famous Breweries

Asheville By Season

Fall In Asheville
Winter In Asheville

Areas In & Around Asheville

Best Neighborhoods In Asheville
Asheville’s Prettiest Neighborhood: Montford
River Arts District Guide
Montford Guide
North Asheville Neighborhood Guide

Other Areas You Might Want To Move To In Western North Carolina

Black Mountain Guide
Hendersonville Guide
Weaverville Guide

Tim

Thursday 15th of September 2022

I was born here in 1971. Lived here my entire life. My family for settled in this region in 1770. I've been trying to find a way to get out of Asheville since I was a little boy. If you're interested in a multicultural, multilingual society, museums, meeting people with similar interests, etc. Asheville offers none of that. Everyone I grew up with and their families have long since moved away. The cost of living here sucks, salaries even in professional settings such as a college professor, sucks bad. If they pass a $15 an hour minimum wage that will be what I made as a full-time college professor. As it is if you're not interested in hiking, which I did every weekend of my life growing up so been there done that a thousand times, biking, or going to breweries because that's pretty much the only thing we have anymore which is not part of the original culture here anyway, then you're just not going to have a very good time here. Plus, I know a lot of people say that it is a liberal city, which I suppose it is compared to what's around it. However, if you compare Asheville being a liberal and open-minded city to other cities on the world stage, it would be considered very conservative here. In the 90s and early 2000s we had somewhere around six different gay bars in the area. Only one remains. Basically, they were taken over by straight people when it became cool to hang out and gay bars in the late 90s early 2000s and it got to the point where lgbtq people were no longer comfortable going to our own places. Kind of hard to feel comfortable when you're being gay bashed inside a gay bar. It's extremely gentrified here wages are extremely low compared to a national average. They will tell you that the average salary in Asheville is around $50,000 a year. I have never known anyone who made anywhere near that amount of money even in White collar jobs, so they must be very few and far between and they're lumping in the one or two millionaires in the area along with people who make minimum wage. Rent has skyrocketed. I rented an apartment in a nice area two bedrooms huge living room even bigger kitchen area. When I left for grad school in 2001 I was paying $480 a month for that apartment. When I returned to Asheville in 2005 that same apartment was already $1,200 a month. I shudder to think what the rent would be on that place in 2022.

In short, unless you're into hiking biking beer, ever increasing traffic, no decent public transportation and nothing even remotely adequate to describe as being multicultural. Then Asheville is the place for you. I'm still trying to figure out how to get out of here. But everywhere else is even more expensive than Asheville and I'm certainly don't want to move somewhere that's even more conservative than here.

AK

Thursday 7th of July 2022

Your article title is very misleading. The way it is worded, locals would be a big part of your article. It obviously isn't. You are mostly giving a one sided perspective of newer people or "transplants" Interview local citizens who actually made Asheville, Asheville. And furthermore the surrounding areas. And yes, North Carolina is full, especially Western North Carolina. So many people that were born here now have to leave because of the expense that the over influx of people have brought to the housing market. Not to mention the entire essence of Asheville is nothing like it was 30 years ago. It truly was the best then. Inclusive but moderate.

Marlo

Thursday 16th of June 2022

My youngest daughter will graduate high school next year and after reading your blog, I am having a very get up and go vibe. I am a liberal living in a small and very conservative town in Southern Utah (3000 population). The town of Parowan is beautiful, I love the summers but I am sick of the snow and cold winters. I am also sick of being surrounded by such conservative people (that includes my family) and would love to find another small town but with a liberal vibe. I have read through the comments and know that many of the locals don't want anymore move ins but that is just the way life goes. It is happening in small town as we speak and the locals don't like it here either. I work remotely so I can live anywhere. I am a 42 year old single woman. I know you are married obviously from your blog but my question to you is, have you witnessed any kind of a singles scene in Asheville? I haven't dated since the pandemic started but would like the option when I am in the mood to start again. I am quite introverted so I like social activities to kind of get me out there. Looking forward to reading more from you!

Christine

Saturday 18th of June 2022

Hey Marlo,

We were also sick of the harsh winters living in New England. We enjoy the mild mountain climate. We've only had to crack out the shovel a few times, and we don't own a snowblower.

Having lived here for years, we appreciate that although Asheville has a lot to do, it still maintains those small city vibes.

As a liberal pocket in more conservative - and quite frankly, Trump country - Western North Carolina, we are grateful for the liberal, democratic vibe (which is also a constant source of trolling on this particular article - haha).

We had many single friends when we moved here - all of whom started dating and met people fairly quickly. Asheville has lots of events, festivals, and relocators - so, I'd imagine the dating scene wouldn't be too hard?!

That's so exciting for your daughter. Best of luck!

Lou

Tuesday 14th of June 2022

I'll save you some time after that long winded article, unless you have a lot of money and can work from home, you will probably not be happy here. The roads are terrible, there are Trump flags and stickers and Confederate flags around nearly every corner once you get about 10 miles out of Asheville in any direction. Huge loud trucks driven by angry conservative men are everywhere, no affordable housing but a new hotel goes up every other month. The medical facilities are awful, mission hospital still not requiring vaccinations for their staff. I've been here over 6 years and in North Carolina for 30 and I've never been more unhappy. I cannot wait to leave.

Jp

Sunday 12th of June 2022

Asheville is nothing like it used to be. I lived in Montford from 2007-2010, and IMO, that was the beginning of the end. I used to walk into town on a daily basis to hang out with friends at the local pub or restaurants. Then one after another, hotels were built, taking up valuable space that was meant for green space or local businesses. Asheville used to have a policy against non-local businesses, but then they allowed Starbucks in, and now the chains are all over the place. Locals just don’t hang out downtown anymore due to too many tourists and the vagrancy issue - instead they go to west Asheville, which comes the closest to what Asheville used to be like. What I find most ironic is how supposedly progressive the city is, yet look around you, there’s less diversity here than most other places. It’s primarily white, upper middle class, liberal and “progressive”. There’s little diversity of thought or diversity of culture. Road Traffic is horrendous, foot traffic on those beautiful mountain trails is horrendous. Asheville city govt is corrupt as well, because think about all the tax income and tourist income for the past 30 years, and yet, the roads suck, the sidewalks are crumbling and the public schools are bad, and the downtown crime and drug use scene is getting so bad, even the tourists are staying away. I visit Asheville a lot bc I have a sister who lives there, and they’ve done NOTHING to beautify or improve the city. I wouldn’t live here if you paid me. In fact we just decided NOT to move here even though my husband’s job is located in Asheville. Last week my husband watched a user inject something between his toes at Pritchard park. Full daylight, lots of people around, and no one does a thing.

JJ

Monday 4th of July 2022

@Jp, We are from here, as in father's family has been in the area for going on 400 years and mom's folks are EBCI (which means they have been here since known historical accounts of the continent). You are correct, Asheville is horrendous in regards to how many people moved here so quickly, bought houses and that in turn, drove out the artists. Mom was downtown, and we were approached by a lady from Palm Bay while at the Urban Orchard. The lady was nice enough and my mother, is usually very reserved with tourists, but mostly kind. When the lady asked about all the homeless problems, the trash and traffic issues - she made the mistake of asking my mother, "What caused these issues?"

I watched Mom pauch to think about it and she looked at the lady squarly and said simply;

"You caused it."

You could see the lady's expression draw a blank, she was unable to voice a reply and was truly 'speechless'. I am unsure if it was because Mom is an actual Cherokee and the lady did not want to offend her with a response, I do not know. But Mom was correct, however, to understand her reponse - you have to realize she was addressing the lady's cultural group; in this case, well heeled Floridians. She was not talking about the nice lady from Palm Bay.

I am unsure if people from other parts of the United States realize how much their presense here has destroyed the mountains, contributed to crime and even drove out the arts community away from the area since they can no longer afford to live the areas they created with so much beauty. They simply have no idea how much damage they have done to the mountains. JP, you are correct, we did not have a drug issue years ago. The problems steem from one DA that allowed the Zetas to move product through our communities. The extra drug money was what was used to make Asheville attractive. Now, the CJNG ( a violent Mexican drug outfit that has dumped tones of synthetic opium on the Cherokee Nation) has pretty much taken over Enka-Candler and the Sheriff will not allow the Feds to prosecute them. They have even found bodies dumped at the base of the mountain as 'tourists' blissfully make their way up the highway to the Parkway out of Candler. Candler is just as suberb of Asheville.

This the real Asheville, so yes JP, you are correct. Monford wen into decline around those same years you mentioned. I used to work out of that area.

With all of the money coming out of Florida, New York (the North Eastern states) and California, the drug demand from the Anglican community has caused more community drug issues. This is the gift that people from out of the area have brought us. They did not mean to do this - however, this is what has happened.

At the stomp on the mountain, (not the public one, but the one reserved for the old Cherokee and the Snowbird Clan), we pray for an economic downtown so great that the mountains, plants and the animals will have a chance to survive all of this - they did not ask for this - and I do not think that the sweet woman we met from Palm Bay meant to be part of the problem.

This place is Fly-trap - it has pretty mirrors and pretty things for you to see and do - however, like a Carnival that closes as night, what is left is just pain and poison.

So I would ask on behalf of all of us that are really 'from here', please stop moving here - you are unintentionally destroying the very thing you have come to love. We do not hate you, you just have to be aware of the issues. We appreciate everyone that would simply stay where they are and who tries to turn their own homes into a place they love - this is our home, please respect it.

You can always come to vist.

Otsaliheliga