Saturday, November 24, 2007

Altitude affects attitude

Asheville, NC is such an odd city -- what I mean is that it's really an odd mix of things: It's Southern -- and yet it also seems Californian. It's earthy and rugged, and yet cosmopolitan and refined. It's a tourist town, but not overdone or gimmicky. It's an old town, but still very hip. You'll see a mix of people as you walk down the (patchoiuli-scented) sidewalks -- business people, street performers, tourists and college kids. Asheville is a great place to take visitors who love to shop and eat -- who love art galleries and antiques, brew pubs and live music, the Biltmore and the Blue Ridge. Here are my favorite places in Asheville (so far)...

1. Biltmore Estate (see Thursday's post)
2. Grove Park Inn (see tomorrow's post)
3. Salsa's (Mexican Caribbean restaurant downtown by the square). Honorable mentions...The Mellow Mushroom, Doc Chey's Noodle House, and the Barbecue Inn. It's really unfair to even begin to mention restaurants, there are dozens of great locally-owned establishments.
4. 16 Patton and the Blue Spiral (art galleries -- again there are many others)
5. Grove Arcade and Kress Emporium (Both housing many interesting shops)
6. St. Lawrence Basilica (beautiful Catholic Church with amazing architecture)
7. Mast General Store -- something for everyone.

If you've got a favorite place to visit in Asheville, post a comment and let us know! Here and here are the best guides to Asheville I've found.

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