Located in western North Carolina, there are few accolades that Asheville hasn’t earned. It’s been lauded as a New Age Mecca, The Happiest City for Women, one of the Best Places to Reinvent Your Life, and Beer City USA. Despite constant growth, the city manages to maintain the laid back hippie style that puts it toward the top of best places to live lists year after year. The “Land of Sky” is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains at convergence of the Swannanoa River and the French Broad River. The Biltmore Village and Grove Park in are popular attractions for architecture connoisseurs, although like most of the city, they’re also filled with trendy boutiques, local eateries and artisans. Small breweries dominate the downtown scene. As the site of the first event termed a “Folk Festival,” Ashville has a thriving music scene that’s celebrated with many annual festivals, concerts featuring top artists, multiple downtown bars, and plenty of local street performers. Many universities dot Asheville and the surrounding area. Even with their continued growth, students should have no trouble finding housing.
The city can be divided into basic quadrants of North, South, East, and West.
The North side of town includes multiple historic neighborhoods, including Grove Park. UNC Asheville is also in the north near Norwood Park, around which students can find a fair number of student friendly housing complexes. Near proximity to Merrimon Avenue and I-26 offers easy access to other parts of the city, while green space and walkability make this one of the most desirable areas of town to live in.
West Ashville sits just across the river from downtown and offers plenty of art, culture, and originality. Haywood Road is the main shopping area, and the River Arts Distict here is one of the main local attractions. Housing options stretch all along the major highways for art enthusiasts who still need to commute to campus.
East Asheville is among the most family friendly neighborhood groups town. It’s close proximity to Black Mountain and Swannanoa make it a great choice for students of colleges on the outskirts of town.
Finally, South Asheville is known for Biltmore Village and Park, and also for its growing urbanity in recent years. Although peppered with modern developments, this neighborhood is also laced by the Blue Ridge Parkway, centered around Lake Julian, and known for the green space of Biltmore Park.