Thinking of moving to Asheville, North Carolina?
I have lived in Asheville for over 6 years and have been pleasantly surprised by this progressive and artsy city.
Nestled between the Appalachian Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is best known for outdoor recreation, hospitality, artistic residents and a robust music scene.
The charming town offers all the perks of a big city (tons of restaurants, breweries, music venues, etc.) while still maintaining the coveted small-town feel. No wonder 91,000 people call this city home.
Curious about everyday life in this enchanting place, I was asked to share my personal list of pros and cons of living in Asheville based on first-hand experience.
As you read, please remember that this is my personal list and not everyone feels this way about life in Asheville.
Regardless, I hope you find it useful, let's get started right away.
Observation:This post is part ofLocal Life Series, where locals offer honest insight into life in a given city through comprehensive lists of pros and cons. If you'd like to contact the author directly with any questions, please do so in the comments below and our team will make sure you reach the right person.
Perks of Living in Asheville
#1. access to nature
Do you love adventure? If so, you'll love living in Asheville, where access to nature and an abundance of outdoor recreation are hard to beat.
This mountain town is surrounded on all sides by the stunning Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains, and the hiking opportunities are endless - not to mention biking and fishing opportunities.
If you are a nature lover, you will never get bored. Most weekends start with a long walk before ending with brunch, what better than that!
#two. Mild climate all year round
One of my favorite things about living in Asheville is the mild climate. With average winter temperatures of 50°, you can say goodbye to the freezing winter months.
Summers in Asheville are warm, but due to the city's higher elevation, they are not as humid or hot as cities further east and south. Average summer temperatures are around 85°.
Saying all that, you canYes reallyEnjoy everyday life in Asheville as the weather is mild so you don't have to worry about that (think Chicago winters).
Of course, climate change is changing temperatures, and it's not clear where average temperatures will end up 10 years from now. But now the temperatures are wonderful.
#3. A lively musical dinner
One thing that surprised me the most before moving to Asheville was how robust the city's music scene is - so much so that the city is considered respectableone of the ten best music cities in the country.
You can catch a live show pretty much every weekend, and it's not uncommon to see lines leaving venues and wrapping around the block.
The city's lively music scene is virtually impossible to escape, even if you don't go to concerts. Downtown Asheville is filled with talented street performers on virtually every block.
So whether you're an avid music fan or just enjoy the sound of live music while strolling downtown, you're going to love living in Asheville.
#4. the breweries
Did you know that Asheville is consistently ranked as one of the top beer cities in America? At least not until we moved to Asheville.
So imagine my surprise when I learned that there are 30 breweries in the metro area- asecond largest brewery per capitaon your Earth.
I can attest that Asheville breweries live up to the hype. Some of the beers I had blew me away, some even better and more memorable than the beers I've had in larger cities.
I recommend checking out Asheville Brewing Co., Burial Beer Co. and Lookout Brewery.
#5. Friendly sense of community
The south is known for its hospitality and North Carolina is no exception. It's not uncommon to walk into a coffee shop and be greeted by name or asked about the weekend.
As the city has less than 100,000 inhabitants, you will run into the same people from time to time, and over time, people will want to get to know you.
I'll be honest, the friendly sense of community took a little getting used to at first, as I've mostly lived in big cities, where it was unusual to be greeted by name.
However, once I got used to the difference, this is one of my favorite perks of living in Asheville.
#6. Proximity to everything you need
As mentioned earlier, living in Asheville means you have access to amenities normally reserved for larger cities. You're never far from a grocery store, a popular brunch spot, great coffee, a music hall or a hospital.
The city was planned in such a way that you can reach everything you need without too much effort. Don't get me wrong, I can't imagine living in Asheville without a car, but getting where I need to is easy.
#7. Asheville is a foodie's paradise
When most people think of food towns, I doubt this town comes to mind, but let me just say that the food scene is one of the biggest perks of living in Asheville!
Asheville residents pride themselves on local and seasonal cuisine. The city is home to amazing restaurants offering everything from cheap eats to memorable meals to celebrate.
It's also worth noting that Asheville's brunch scene is very lively. You can expect a wait of up to an hour on weekends, but start your morning at the Early Girl Eatery and you'll see what all the fuss is about.
#8th. The relaxed and quirky atmosphere
Asheville has a very laid back vibe because people are rarely in a hurry. In addition, the city also has a peculiar atmosphere, which is evident by the numerousKeep Asheville Weirdmemories you will see.
You'll quickly learn that living in Asheville means living in a vibrant city full of unique personalities such as artists, foodies and coffee/brewery enthusiasts. This mix of fun personalities creates a very intriguing and at the same time cold atmosphere.
If you're planning on moving to Asheville, I'd suggest strolling downtown on a Friday night to experience the drum circle.
The drum circle is an organized event where people beat drums while others sway along to the music. It's weird, interesting, and downright weird - something you won't want to miss.
#9. the wine region
One of my favorite ways to spend a lazy weekend afternoon is to visit a winery. Fortunately, there are more than a dozen wineries within an hour's drive of Asheville, not to mention the most visited winery in the country -The Biltmore.
The wineries near Asheville are not to be scoffed at either! I am often impressed by the abundance of delicious options and concoctions.
Fun fact: The Biltmore is the largest house in America, a tour is very important. I suggest getting the annual membership if you are planning to move to Asheville as you will definitely benefit!
Disadvantages of Moving to Asheville NC
#1. High housing costs
Let's talk about the shock of buying a home in Asheville because it's real. Like most people, I assumed that buying a home in the south would be affordable, especially compared to the west.
Boy, was I wrong. The median home price is $365,000, which may not seem high to people used to seeing half a million home starters, but it's almost19% increasesince last year!
For reasons unknown to me, housing prices in Asheville are constantly increasing and are not necessarily affordable given the average annual salary.
Which brings me to my next point...
#two. small town wages
One of the biggest disadvantages of living in Asheville is the lack of high-paying job opportunities.
Before moving to Asheville, I scoured the internet for jobs but couldn't find any that would justify the move, especially given the disproportionate cost of housing.
Fortunately, I landed a remote job that offered me the opportunity to move to Asheville without compromising pay and I plan to enjoy life in Asheville until the opportunity stops.
So if you are in a similar situation and can work remotely, I would recommend moving to Asheville as the quality of life is hard to beat. However, if you want to apply for jobs in Asheville, prepare for disappointment.
Based on my research, the median salary is currently $40,000 to $55,000.
#3. The airport leaves a lot to be desired.
Asheville Airport only offers a few direct destinations and leaves a lot to be desired.
Unless you're flying to a handful of larger cities in neighboring states (like Florida), a stopover is pretty much guaranteed - with exceptions to Washington DC, Atlanta, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York.
Every time I take a flight to the west coast, I know that a 2+ hour layover in Atlanta is inevitable, which is a bear.
Of course, the fact that we have an airport is a luxury that has not escaped me. But I travel frequently for work and having to rely on the Asheville Regional Airport is one of the biggest disadvantages of living in Asheville.
On my first visit, before deciding to move to Asheville, I was surprised by the city's homeless population.
I was meeting friends at a local brewery and couldn't help but notice the large crowds of homeless people gathered in city parks after dark.
Mind you, I didn't feel threatened, but I wouldn't have been comfortable with my wife walking downtown alone at night.
And yes, I know that homelessness is not unique to Asheville. Honestly, the number of homeless people is much lower than in other cities I've lived in, but it's still worth mentioning.
#5. the growing pains
As with most wonder cities, the secret is out. There are 90,000 people lucky enough to call Asheville home, and recent interest in the city has brought its share of growing pains.
As you can imagine, not everyone is thrilled when new people move in because it raises house prices and increases traffic congestion.
I've never felt unwanted since moving to Asheville, but I've heard conversations from locals complaining about new people. It's unavoidable and it happens everywhere, so take it with a grain of salt, I certainly do.
#6. Public transportation
The good news is that Asheville has public transportation, the bad news is that it leaves a lot to be desired.
Having a bus is better than none, but on Sundays it doesn't run and on Saturdays the journeys are reduced. In short, using public transportation while living in Asheville generally doubles your travel time.
I moved to Asheville with my car and I can't imagine giving it up because the city is too big to walk (outside downtown).
Moving to Asheville (post summary)
In summary, these are the pros and cons of living in Asheville, North Carolina.
- access to nature
- Mild climate all year round
- A cena musical
- the breweries
- Friendly sense of community
- Proximity to everything you need
- The city has a laid-back vibe.
- Asheville is a foodie's paradise
- the wine region
- High housing costs
- small town wages
- Not the best airport
- the homeless
- the growing pains
- Public transportation
And there you have it, my friends - a brief summary of my brother's personal list of the pros and cons of living in Asheville.
Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or anything to add to the post!
Until next time,
Are people in Asheville friendly? ›
Living in a "big small town" means that people in Asheville tend to be welcoming and friendly. That means you'll experience a strong sense of community in Asheville. With under 100,000 residents, getting to know your neighbors and enjoying some warm Southern hospitality is easy.Where do most retirees live in Asheville NC? ›
Walk-to-Town Areas like Black Mountain, Weaverville, and Biltmore Park have become incredibly popular in recent years, especially when the home is within walking distance to a town center. Amenity-filled communities like Biltmore Lake.Why is everyone moving to Asheville? ›
Climate haven: More people moving to Asheville to escape more severe climate change impact. ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) — When it comes to climate, the mountains have always been an attractive place to live. Now -- even more so -- as climate change makes severe weather events even worse elsewhere.Are there mosquitoes in Asheville NC? ›
The risk for mosquito activity is high. Consider an EPA-registered repellent to deter mosquito bites.What are winters like in Asheville NC? ›
Winter: Asheville is protected by the surrounding mountains, so we seldom have a major snowfall in the city. Highs usually run in the 40s and 50s. January, February, and March are great months to visit since these are the slowest months for visitors coming to our area.Is Asheville NC good for retirees? ›
Located at an elevation of just above 2,000 feet, Asheville is the perfect place to retire if you're looking to escape winter blizzards and scorching hot summers. The fact that Asheville does experience all four seasons makes it possible to enjoy all types of outdoor activities, from water to snow sports.Does Asheville have a homeless problem? ›
As a resident or business owner in Asheville, you've probably seen one of the 527 people living unsheltered in Asheville (2021 Point-in-Time count). They are members of our community who have needs that are not being met, and in most instances, there isn't a quick fix for their complex needs.Is Asheville nice in the winter? ›
Winter in Asheville, N.C.
Brisk waterfall hikes, cozy mountain cabins and a sizzling city arts scene make for one of the best vacation spots in the U.S. With an independent spirit, vibrant culture and a booming music scene, Asheville is one of the best places to go in the winter months for entertainment. If...
Crime perceptions are also shaped by more homeless people in and around downtown. Asheville saw a 21% increase in the homeless, or unhoused population, in 2022 over 2021, leading to the belief by some residents and visitors that downtown has become dangerous.Does Asheville have a crime problem? ›
Asheville's growth in violent crime is nearly double that of the national average and ranks among the highest in North Carolina, where violent crime has increased 13% statewide.
What salary do you need to live in Asheville? ›
The median household income in Asheville is $53,621, according to the US Census Bureau. State-wise, North Carolina is No. 39 in the country for median income at ~$56,642 per household. The overall cost of living in Asheville is higher than the national average.What is the coldest month in Asheville NC? ›
January. January is the coldest month in Asheville with an average low of 27 degrees Fahrenheit and a high of just 44 degrees Fahrenheit.Is Asheville NC muggy? ›
Asheville has wide seasonal variation in humidity. The most humid time is from June until September. However, extreme humidity only occurs an average of 15% of the time during these months. July is the most humid month, which has a 58% chance of extreme humidity).Is Asheville NC racially diverse? ›
The 5 largest ethnic groups in Asheville, NC are White (Non-Hispanic) (77.7%), Black or African American (Non-Hispanic) (11.1%), White (Hispanic) (4.92%), Two+ (Non-Hispanic) (2.1%), and Asian (Non-Hispanic) (1.49%).Why do people love Asheville? ›
Life in Asheville, NC is all about those picturesque mountains. We love driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is a two-lane, 45mph road filled with scenic overlooks, waterfalls, and endless hiking trails.Is Asheville Lgbtq friendly? ›
Stroll around downtown to peruse more than 30 art galleries, or head to the River Arts District to see more than 150 artists at work in their studios. You can even take a class! Get Married: Asheville is a gay wedding destination offering a beautiful mountain backdrop and a lively mountain town for the festivities.Are snakes a problem in Asheville NC? ›
Even if you don't live in a wooded area, you will likely see snakes in Asheville. There are venomous varieties in the area, but they don't represent most of the snake population. Rattlesnakes can sometimes be seen, but usually announce their presence with their signature rattle and coil behavior.Are ticks a problem in Asheville NC? ›
Ticks can be found in North Carolina year-round, but they are most prevalent from late spring to early fall. NC tick season typically ends in September, though ticks can still be found in late fall.Does Asheville have ticks? ›
Ticks spread a number of serious diseases, making them a serious danger to both people and pets in the Asheville area.Is Asheville Very humid? ›
Asheville resides in a climate known as a “subtropical climate,” meaning it experiences relatively high humidity during the summer months, and nice, mild winters.
Does Asheville get hurricanes? ›
“At times, the city of Asheville may be exposed to hazards which have the potential for disrupting the community, causing damage and creating casualties. Natural hazards include hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and severe storms.Does it rain a lot in Asheville NC? ›
According to data that I have, the average amount of rainfall for Asheville is 45.57 inches annually.Are taxes high in Asheville? ›
The 7% sales tax rate in Asheville consists of 4.75% North Carolina state sales tax and 2.25% Buncombe County sales tax. There is no applicable city tax or special tax.Is Asheville NC a party town? ›
Asheville loves to party, as illustrated by the scores of great pubs, beer gardens, wine bars and upscale cocktail lounges dotting the city.Is it a good time to buy a house in Asheville NC? ›
In Asheville, North Carolina, and the surrounding area, there are a variety of investment properties and income-producing types of real estate. Asheville is a seller's housing market, which means prices are trending higher and homes are selling faster. The pandemic has supercharged an already hot real estate market.Who is the largest employer in Asheville North Carolina? ›
The Biltmore and Omni Hotels are the largest employers, followed by 1,400+ other hotels, restaurants, and small businesses.What food is Asheville known for? ›
Asheville has long been known for its vegetarian and green scene, and perhaps few places are better than Plant for trying vegetables and fruits. Plant is vegan, 90 percent organic, often local and mostly gluten-free, with almost everything made from scratch (without an animal product in the house).Is Asheville full of hippies? ›
If you've been to Asheville, you get it. Flanked by the mountains and filled with a community of hippies and hipsters, this North Carolina town is all about culture, local food, art, yoga, music, nature, and beer -- the good stuff in life.Does Asheville get natural disasters? ›
Does Asheville have risk? There are 4,043 properties in Asheville that have greater than a 26% chance of being severely affected by flooding over the next 30 years.Is Asheville overcrowded? ›
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) — It could be the most common thing heard in the streets -- Asheville has become too expensive and too crowded. That growth is now spilling over into smaller neighboring communities as well. It's an issue affecting people across the mountains, impacting everyday life.
Does Asheville get hot? ›
Asheville's Temperate Weather Surprises Many Visitors
The Blue Ridge Mountain region experiences four distinct seasons. In the winter, annual snowfall accumulation is never more than 11" and the hottest day rarely exceeds 90°F. The warmest month of the year is July, while winter hits its peak in January.
Even with its mountain locale, summer can get hot in Asheville. Daytime temperatures climb into the low to mid-80s and the region sees higher levels of humidity during the summer months compared to the rest of the year.What is the rainiest month in Asheville NC? ›
The driest month in Asheville is October with 3.17 inches of precipitation, and with 4.59 inches March is the wettest month.Are there a lot of bears in Asheville? ›
Black bears are known to reside in and around the city, and sometimes they stumble into the heavily human-populated areas of downtown. “It's not uncommon to see a bear in downtown Asheville,” said Ashley Hobbs, assistant black bear and furbearers biologist for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.What industry is Asheville known for? ›
Companies Leading Asheville's Growth
With industries ranging from healthcare, science and technology, arts & culture, tourism and more, our economy is strong, thanks to a diverse company base.
#1 Best Places to Live in Asheville Area.
Float on an inner tube, picnic in the shade, or just catch some rays at this beach in the mountains. Enjoy the Water Works with water slides and other soaking-wet fun.Is rent expensive in Asheville? ›
Rent Prices. As of December 31, 2022, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Asheville, NC is $1,538. This is a 19% increase compared to the previous year.Is Asheville expensive? ›
Asheville's housing expenses are 6% higher than the national average and the utility prices are 9% higher than the national average. Transportation expenses like bus fares and gas prices are 1% lower than the national average. Asheville has grocery prices that are 2% lower than the national average.Do you need a car to live in Asheville NC? ›
Exploring the small downtown on foot is easy and no car is needed. But if you plan to visit the mountains and forests or venture to attractions beyond downtown, including the Biltmore Estate, you'll need your own set of wheels.
Will house prices go down in Asheville NC? ›
According to Zillow's forecast (ZHVI), Asheville metro home values will rise by 13.7% by the end of April 2023.At what age do you stop paying taxes in North Carolina? ›
Short Description: Under this program, taxes for each year are limited to a percentage of the qualifying owner's income. A qualifying owner must either be at least 65 years of age or be totally and permanently disabled.Does NC tax Social Security? ›
Social Security income in North Carolina is not taxed. However, withdrawals from retirement accounts are fully taxed. Additionally, pension incomes are fully taxed.Do seniors pay property taxes in North Carolina? ›
North Carolina state law allows property tax relief for low-income seniors and disabled homeowners, as well as disabled veterans or their unmarried surviving spouse.