Having lived in Asheville, NC for a number of years, I can say with confidence that this city is nestled in one of the most beautiful places that America has to offer. Located in the heart of the Appalachian mountains, Asheville, NC offers modern city conveniences, outdoor adventures, arts, music and so much more. With a plethora of fun for the whole family, Asheville is by far one of the best places to visit while planning your next vacation.

Great Smoky Mountains

The top destination in Asheville, the great Smoky Mountains. Autumn colors on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, North CaThese beauties offer a level of tree coverage and foliage unlike any that I have seen before. If you are an avid leaf peeper, then traveling along the mountain ridges during the fall is to die for. With so many different indigenous trees your color palate will explode with variety. Combined with the summer hiking trails, national parks, and endless possibilities, the Smoky Mountains has it all. The main byway for traveling these majestic beauties is the Blue Ridge Parkway. The parkway offers a wide range of access points to allow you to plan for a short trip, to full day of winding back and forth through the mountains.

Arts District a.k.a. The River Arts District

Another wonderful treat is the great variety of local artists that Asheville has to offer. ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA - JUNE 21: Asheville Art Museum June 2The River Arts District was an old mill and factory sector of the city that has been rebuilt and re-purposed for local artists to set up shop, rent studio spaces, and sell their work. If you are a fan of the finer things in life, then some of the best pottery and glass blowing artist in the city call the River Arts District their home. With more than 200 artists working out of this post-industrial mecca, you are bound to find a style and genre of art to take home and treasure.

The Biltmore

If you are looking to live on the glamorous side of life and want to know how a billionaire from the railroad empire lived a life of luxury, the Vanderbilt’ Biltmore Estate is the perfect destination for you. 3/22/2011 Asheville, NC - Biltmore HouseWith over 250 rooms to explore, this French Renaissance Chateau has been attracting tourist’s year around. With so many great ways to explore this historical monument, you are bound to find a full day’s worth of fun. The Biltmore offers guided tours, fine dining, outdoor activities and much more.

Horseback Riding

Coming from Texas, and having a little bit of experience riding a horse, I thought this next suggestion would be perfect. Finding a tour guide that can take you through the back hills of the Appalachian Mountains is by far one of the best ways to get out and explore nature and see the natural beauty of the land. One thing to keep in mind when planning your next horse adventure is that Asheville is not a flat region. Mysterious forestWith this being said, be sure you have a little experience riding a horse as the steep inclines and declines can pose to be a bit of a challenge as well as a physical dilemma. However, if you can muster up the courage, then finding a great horse trail is definitely the way to go.

Asheville was a beautiful and always welcoming place, and while some find it harder to live in the area, there is no doubt that visiting is fun, easy, and a wonderful experience that you will always treasure and remember. So next time you are looking for a great place to vacation, don’t point your compass to the outer banks, or fancy islands, instead, take a look at the heart of America and visit the Great Smoky Mountains.