Asheville, North Carolina, is the echo of the Hippie shout of the 60s. Everywhere you look, hand bills urge residents to keep it local: local art, local food. The residents support their own. There are eighteen craft breweries in the area. It’s really, really hard to get a bad beer here (unless you order a Bud). The city is a mecca for artists, writers, beer aficionados and nature lovers. Did I mention the dozens and dozens of hiking trails in the surrounding mountains?
Deena and I were downtown looking at the menu of Farm Burger, whose speciality is local, grassfed beef burgers. I’m sure they were fantastic, but a waiter from next door convinced us to eat at Salsa’s. We enjoyed a squash quesadilla, made with their own winter squash, and other local ingredients. The restaurant has its own farm and makes dishes and hot sauces from their organic produce, printing the menu daily. This is one fine model for the rest of the country to follow. In Asheville, they’ve taken to heart “Think Globally, Act Locally.”
The creativity of the art in Asheville puts the gallery walks we used to do in South Florida to shame. Everywhere you look, artists here are pushing the envelope. American Style Magazine has listed this city in the Top 25 Small Cities For Art.
The city is full of history, with the area counting 1000 residents before 1800. Ideally located in a gap through the Appalachian Mountains, the area was on the trade and travel routes of an expanding United States. It boomed in the roaring 20s. Deena and I enjoyed the Asheville Urban Trail, a marked walk-about in the downtown area with plaques pointing out the various historical features. The city is very conscious of their history and architecture and has preserved it where possible.