6/30/2008 - Asheville's Charms Create Alluring Real Estate
Asheville, N.C., has no ski resort. No ocean, either. Other than that, it's hard to think of anything the city and its surroundings are lacking. The appeals are so numerous that tourism is the No. 1 employer. Even the minor league baseball team, with its charming downtown ballpark, is named the Tourists.
Basically created by the ultra-wealthy Vanderbilt family, Asheville is steeped in history and tradition, yet effortlessly mixes old with new. The old is represented by Biltmore Village and the Biltmore, the largest private home in the United States and a popular attraction offering guided tours. The new is a number of residential developments surrounding the city, mixing themes such as wellness, boating and golf. Even the golf offerings span the ages: Four courses are by the renowned classic designer, Donald Ross, and construction is underway on the first U.S. design by Tiger Woods. The downtown showcases classic facades and preserved architecture, while the past decade has seen a renaissance with an influx of cafes, art galleries, shops and restaurants. The cultural scene is enhanced by a University of North Carolina campus.
Despite the city's charms, escape to the surrounding protected wilderness is an ever-present lure.