12/30/2011 - Travel website names Asheville a top up-and-coming destination
by Jason Sandford - Asheville Citizen-Times
ASHEVILLE -- The popular travel website Trip Advisor has once again handed an accolade to the city, including it in a list of 15 up-and-coming destinations for travelers.
In a list of 15 "destinations on the rise," the site notes that Asheville's "blend of remote Appalachian charm and cosmopolitan sophistication seem perfectly natural." The site goes on to mention the mountain scenery and an array of cultural attractions.
"Thomas Wolfe, Carl Sandburg and O.Henry all once called Asheville home. The city has historically been a resort for the wealthy. But there's also a friendly, small-town atmosphere; the city has a way of making visitors feel right at home," the site's description of Asheville reads.
Other destinations on the list include Branson, Mo., Pigeon Forge, Tenn., Austin, Texas, and Scottsdale, Ariz.
LeeAnn Donnelly, a spokeswoman for the Biltmore Estate, said the impact of such a notice can be seen at the historic attraction as well as the streets of downtown.
"Asheville has recieved so much exposure, I think all you have to do is walk down the street and see how lively it is," Donnelly said.
At the estate, the November-December Christmas season has been strong, Donnelly said. The estate gets about 1 million visitors a year, with about 300,000 of them visiting during those two months, she said.
"We've had a great Christmas, with this week typically being one of the busiest for us," she said.
The latest Trip Advisor mention comes after the site included Asheville on a list of top food and wine destinations in the U.S earlier this year.
The television show "Good Morning America" named Asheville one of the 10 most beautiful places in the U.S. And earlier this week, the travel website Zagat.com included Asheville's Firestorm Cafe in a list of the 10 "coolest independent coffee shops" in the U.S.
Trip Advisor's 15 destinations on the rise
1. Nashville, Tenn.
2. Austin, Texas
3. Fort Myers, Fla.
4. Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
5. Pensacola, Fla.
6. Louisville, Ky.
7. Branson, Mo.
8. Scottsdale, Ariz.
9. Saint Augustine, Fla.
10. Charleston, S.C.
11. Albuquerque, N.M.
12. Wildwood, N.J.
13. Asheville, N.C.
14. Park City, Utah
15. Santa Cruz, Calif.