We’ve lived in Asheville for almost 30 years. Unlike many people who just move to a town without any connections, we’ve had many strong connections through work, school, sports, etc. Asheville has a lot going for it, but it is not some liberal paradise like many make it out to be. It is far more liberal than most of NC, but there are lots of kinds of people here. It is mostly white, but it’s getting more diverse. Now to qualify this, we do not live in the city limits. We live 15 min from downtown out in the county. Our neighborhood is quiet, peaceful, virtually crime free. I can reach most of the stores most of you use within 10 or 15 min, including target, Whole Foods, grocery store, etc. Traffic is getting worse because everyone is moving to Asheville. Jobs are scarce. Professional, senior level positions I mean. Service industry, tourism, and light manufacturing are big, as is the community hospital mentioned by previous reviewer. Mission hospital did indeed stand up to the largest insurer in NC to insure profitability for the hospital. Yes it was painful for the many people who use BCBS of NC. But the reviewer gave only one perspective, failing to note how large and profitable BCBS of Nc is, and they refused to negotiate without dictating the terms. One of these was no rate increase for the hospital for several years. So yes, we have an exceptionally well managed hospital, with all the failures and successes of most modern facilities. It rates high, and is the largest employer in our region. It is in the process of being sold to HCA for over 1 billion. It is one of the better jobs in town, so lots of jobs for RNs, MDs and PAs. If you are a new age healer, or massage therapist, you may starve. There’s 25 for every 100 residents :) And therapists too. Some poor lady in previous post could not find a good therapist, but this town is loaded with them, in old historic homes converted to offices on S French Broad, Chestnut, etc. Housing is rediculous here. This is the other good work opportunity. My friends have done very well buying real estate over past decades for rentals. AirBNB whole house letting is forbidden in parts of the city, but out in the county it is a popular way to supplement the marginal incomes common in AVL. Tourism is big time, with 40% increase in hotel rooms from 2014 to 2019 (permitted). It really is challenging going downtown during the summer. We avoid it for most part but it’s not that difficult to find parking. We have excellent restaurants. If you can’t find places to eat here then you are unique. Plenty of unique people....As far as crime, the statistics don’t really reflect the reality for most people living or moving here. Most crime is poor on poor, domestic violence, drugs, and some other property crimes. Just like anywhere, your neighbors can really shade your experience. Racism is no more an issue here than other places. But all it takes is a few chance interactions and it is easy to conclude that a place is racist. Or anti Lesbian. Um that’s just silly. There are so many lesbians in this town. I guess some go to church. So? I think I reflect the typical Asheville resident in saying, “who cares?” I remember 20 years ago a new employee from another state came, and had a bumper sticker that said, “nobody knows I’m gay”. I wanted to cross it out and write “nobody cares I’m gay”. I guess the pride thing isn’t so big here because people are less preoccupied with that movement specifically? They’re just gay and preoccupied with raising families, soccer, beer, gardening, festivals, kayaking, mtn biking, shopping, eating. You know, living. But hey, different strokes. I know all kinds of backwards judging Babptist and even they don’t pay much attention to lesbians. Gay men have it far worse in that respect. So my gay men friends tell me. Several of my kids friends have gay parents. My kids don’t blink an eye at that. Meanwhile their cousins in Atlanta have 13 yo transgender kids on their swim teams. Wearing a one piece one year and a Speedo the next. This is just the world we live in, not the city. My kids love it here. They attended Asheville High which is 40% black. We purposely transferred out of the county district to Asheville High because of diversity, academic programs, and athletics. Our kids did very well there, peers went to Ivy leagues, or other top tier regional schools. One of mine finished undergrad in 3 years, by in large due to all the AP courses ar Asheville High. Off to med school in Aug. the other is in biz school in Raleigh. Visiting or moving to a town can create impressions based on random interactions. I exoerimced this traveling, when I return to a beautiful place in Asia or wherever, it’s not like the last time. Maybe it sucks. Sometimes it’s just a couple of interactions, or our own attitudes that form our impressions. All that said, I want to move away for a while. I’ve spent a good part of recent years out of the country, and I tire of Asheville for reasons that are irrelevant to those of you relocating here. But there’s nearly a quarter million people in this county now, and growth has really accelerated. We love our quiet corner out here, our crisp, clean well water, land for garden, moderate weather. But it is the south, and areas surrounding Asheville are Appalachia. There is a distinct culture and rich history in these mountains, but most of the reviewers here have likely barely scratched that surface. Just hoping to offer a more balanced view of Asheville, or the greater area. Most of us live out in the county and I can go weeks or months at times without going downtown. The traffic is getting worse, but people are far more courteous and less aggressive drivers than found in Atlanta, Raleigh, DC, Chicago, etc.
Please read this review in its entirety. My family and I have lived in Asheville for a number of years as transplants from Charlotte. There are a lot of good things we enjoy about Asheville NC: the scenery, the weather, the canine community and the alternative health scene. However, over the past 4 years, this town has become a nightmare to call home. There are constant reminders or racism. Townspeople ride around with Confederate Flags offending anyone that is in view of their vehicles. They park their racist vehicles anywhere that will allow them when they go to work with their flags blazing i.e a Tire and Car repair shop on Sweeten Creek Road near Biltmore, Hardees also at the Biltmore. The police force and government overall have hints of racist inequality. There practically is no middle class as the housing is unbelievably over-priced. The population is becoming increasingly stratified as either retired upper class or poor native. The job market is a bust as the city tries to survive, not thrive, off of a seasonal vacation market. The economic debacle is a contributor to increasing crime. The only Hospital in town had stopped accepting insurance because the Administration wanted more money from one of the main insurance carriers. Eventually, they caved and started to accept insurance that the majority of the residents maintain. This was a severe inconvenience for people who supported the town Hospital for years. Two festivals no longer are supported in the community which made the town extremely vibrant in the Spring and Fall. I do not know what has happened to Asheville. But our family maybe, indeed seeing our last days here. If you are considering vacationing or relocating to Asheville or even visiting, I would think twice. The picturesque beauty is definitely fading.
I have lived in this beautiful city for over 30 years. Born in memorial hospital in the biltmore area. Room 357. I read these reviews of people who move here being displeased with their experience in our beautiful city. I say farewell transplants and I so hope you find a home of your own that suits your hearts desires. Transplants have driven up the cost of real estate and are chipping away at what made our city what it is and thus so desirable. Come visit. See some cool things, meet great people, drink a lot of great beer, check out some of the most beautiful mountains you will ever see, dine at our amazing restaurants, cruise by the biltmore estate, drink some wine, enjoy our laid back accepting nature and then go home.I have no intentions to be mean. Just a thought. Many locals are so annoyed with tourists because they are ruining the city. Taking parking. Litering in our beautiful streets and judging our people. I say be a tourist and then go back to your cozy suburb. It works out!!!! I hear Hendersonville is great, you should go there instead ;)
We wanted to move to the mountains from Florida, so we picked Asheville almost twelve years ago since it had a regional airport and the Biltmore Estate. We have found the city to be dirty, extremely liberal, abusive to conservative citizens and rude to visitors. Sadly, the "outside" stories are always about the Biltmore, but the Biltmore is only one small aspect of Asheville. Most of the city is overtaken by the "welcomed" homeless which are really millenials that don't want to work but would rather be taken care of by the city. The local leadership and subsequent followers are very liberal, so if you are not in their pack, they would prefer you leave. So, we will be leaving as the city reminds me so much of Sodom and Gomorrah. They won't miss us, since we are Christian conservatives and we are everything the Asheville leadership choose to treat with disdain. Asheville truly is a city of vulgarity and hate. Very sad, pretty mountains but ugly at the core, no heart!!!
I lived in Asheville, North Carolina for 3 and a half years. Terrible place. Overpriced, racism, close-mindedness, uneducated people, over abundance of homeless people, dirty environment, poor hygiene and terrible economy.
Have lived in area for 12 years. Yes, there are some excellent restaurants, but that's about it. Horribly inflated and poorly built housing. Zoning nonexistent or ludicrous. Be prepared to find an auto junkyard directly across from your development driveway, beat up trailers with jacked up rusting pick ups next to your "country estate."There are now 150 "halfway houses" installed in needier areas that bring in income for the owners, and "recovering" drug addicts from all over the country. Beggars in downtown and a general seediness round it out. What's not to love?
This place is deceptive and if you move here alone as a single woman in her 40's from a more sophisticated place with various types of industry and people of all types, this place can get depressing fast. It rains a lot and is grey and dumpy looking most of the winter. So if you have SAD, don't let anyone here tell you there are mosty sunny days with blue skies. Not true. Sun shines only 58% of the time statistically.
Many of the people here seem either vacant and depressed or totally into their own little world and there are lots of little worlds to be in here. But if you are a more worldly person who likes more variety, this place is not it. People here often smell bad, don't comb their hair, dress in dirty clothing and it just gets depressing. This contrasted by the few rich older people that come here from mostly New York and Florida and the vegan, crunchy types from anywhere as well. I am not a fashion snob by any means, but the weird mix of culture here is pretty surreal. Plenty of hippies, gay people, rednecks, and older people but not enough vibrant single people of various ages. Seems cliquish and strange as well. Every other person smokes and that's really depressing to look at after a while, let alone smell, even with your car windows rolled down.
This is not as progressive of a place as I thought - not at all. And there's a lot of congestion and accidents all the time on the roads. I'm tired of looking at badly kept dreadlocks, nose piercings, and ear plugs, besides. It's revolting after a while. Get on Facebook WAX group and you can see the mentality of the lot of the people who live here, including hipsters.
There are some good things here for sure, but really if you come from out west where you can see a lot of sky, open views, including socially, you will be depressed by this area possibly. Don't expect to come here and have plenty of options for dating either, from what I've heard and seen just by looking around and getting involved in various meetup groups. I can't wait to go back out West!
This place has a creepy, Stephen King novel kind of a vibe and if you need a good doctor of the shrink variety, it makes it even worse. There are some awful doctors here, if you can even get in to see one...My depression problems, which were under control off meds before i moved here, quadrupled by the shock of it all and depressing scenery most of the year - dumpy buildings, small hills, and hikes that look like very other hike just about. And everyone wants you to love it here, which is weird in and of itself....It's a weird, surreal place culturally and I feel like I am trapped in some weird mountain nightmare....
I've lived in Asheville, NC for 30 years. This is where I was born and where I was raised. The beauty of the area doesn't make me want to leave. There are four distinct seasons in the area, and there are plenty of things to do no matter you age.
Although I have been there dozens of times, my favorite place to visit is the Biltmore Estate. The best time to go is in the winter. The entire estate is decorated for Christmas. More of the rooms are opened, and you can smell a pleasant blend of hot apple cider and cinnamon as soon as you walk in the door. Another reason I like the area is because of Mission Hospital. My father was in a car accident, and that was the first place we went. The care is extraordinary. The doctors and nurses are some of the best in the region for traumas.
I live in an older home, and that's the kind of houses you will usually see in Asheville. While there are new apartment buildings going up and new homes being built, I still enjoy the older homes with the large front porches. The rent isn't that expensive as a typical three-bedroom home is about $900 a month. The downtown area is simply charming. One of my favorite things to do is shop at some of the local stores and enjoy a nice lunch at one of the small cafes. The best way to enjoy lunch on a warm day is by sitting outside at a park so that you can see the scenery and the mountains in the distance.
Oh my god (if I believed in a god)! Where do I begin? My girlfriend and I moved (including our beautiful whippet) to Asheville about 6 months ago from Los Angeles, because we heard that this was one of the most liberal places to live not to mention affordable. Being the adventurous people we are, we packed our stuff and shipped it out East. When we saw Asheville in person, it was just as beautiful as we imagined, the beautiful mountains and even eatable vegan food in almost most of the restaurants downtown. But things took a turn when we started meeting the people. Everywhere we go, people just stare at you and I first I thought oh maybe it's because we don't look southern enough...But it kept getting worse. We have had more than five different occasions where we have been treated unfairly for being lesbians! Wait a second! Didn't all those blogs say this was a gay friendly town!? No. Every gay person I have met here goes to church, which doesn't make any sense to me. I have been yelled at for being called a feminist. There are NO decent gay bars, they are filled with rednecks with low IQ's that are looking for drugs. It's horrible and not to mention NO gay pride? What!? Even Salt Lake City has a gay pride. The lack of culture here is enough to make you want take trips up to NYC every month for a dose of real reality. It's white wash central up here and I'm white enough...I need some Asians, Indians, middle eastern or Jewish people for crying out loud. The food all taste white! There are maybe three solid restaurants that don't taste white made. People are sweet and nice alright here, to your face that is. It creeps me out when you can see someone just judging you, no speaks any truth here. And it makes my family uncomfortable. We were raised to be honest and this is not an honest town. We have made zero friends here and I have yet to have had a stimulating conversation. And the jealousy! If you work in the entertainment business like we do (film/tv and fashion) the women here are cruel to you. We've been beat up a little too much Asheville, your mountains are beautiful but the people need to learn about evolution. The old boys southern mentality is still alive and well here. Stay where you are if you are considering a move here...And one more thing, If you hate Starbucks as much as I do, that's all they have here..It's like the 90s all over again without the cool hair and music.
I've visited Asheville, NC many times over the years, and watched as its grown from a small mountain city into a well known center for creative people. Despite the many published reports that claim Asheville is one of the best places to live in the United States, it has both positives and negatives.
The positives for visitors are the wonderful landscape, the community, and of course, the massive Biltmore House, the home of the wealthy Vanderbilts and the largest private home built in the United States. The mansion and the surrounding grounds have been featured in many movies and has incredible history. It also has surrounding vineyards, gardens and dairies and is the focal point of the city.
The only real negative aspect of Asheville are the crime rates, as they are higher than average when compared to the rest of North Carolina. Having said that, I always feel safe in Asheville and most would agree that it is a safe city to live in.
The city of Asheville itself is mountainous, but the terrain is not as steep and treacherous as just a few miles farther East into the Appalachians. Still, the winters can be serious and not for the timid, and the cooler seasons last longer than in the flatlands. The city itself is charming and eclectic, and in recent years, artists and creative people have flocked to Asheville, making it one of the more interesting places to call home. However, the influx of outside people has caused real estate values to rise.