Asheville, North Carolina is a bustling, eclectic city in the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina. It lies on what was once Cherokee land, and prospered after the American Civil War when the railroads and textile mills brought jobs and money.
The mountain climate and natural beauty attracted wealthy families, including George Washington Vanderbilt II, whose Biltmore Estate is still the largest private estate in the US, at a stunning 178,926 square feet. Construction of Biltmore attracted talented artists and craftsmen from Europe, and their handiwork appears on buildings and monuments around the city.
Asheville has a reputation as an artsy “hippie” town, and street musicians perform individually and in groups around the downtown streets. It hosts a wealth of craft breweries and fine restaurants.
Because the city was hit hard and recovered very slowly from the Great Depression, much of its wonderful old architecture is well-preserved and unaltered.
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