Thanks to its gorgeous location in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the ongoing vision of innovative leaders and residents, Asheville today is rated one of the best Southern cities to live in. With a population of about 90,000 people, it’s the 12th most populous city in North Carolina. Drawn to its beauty and mountain air, George Vanderbilt built his 250-room French Chateau in Asheville from 1889–1895. The railroad attracted industry to the area, along with affluent people from all over the South. During the 1920s, businesses downtown expanded exponentially to meet the needs of the growing and now diverse population. But the Great Depression put the city’s dreams on hold. Although Asheville retained the highest per capita debt of any city in the country, its leaders repaid every cent by the 1970s. Then, a new generation of visionaries championed a revitalized city with a restored downtown, which resulted 30+ years later in this unique city. The Blue Ridge Parkway, hundreds of mountain trails, and the French Broad River enthrall hikers, cyclists, paddlers, and birdwatch-ers. Come explore the city’s many restaurants and craft breweries, craft and culture scene, shopping opportunities, festivals and music, and its Art Deco architecture and fascinating history. More than 100 photographs by Paul Franklin showcase Asheville’s multifaceted charm and vitality.
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About the Author
Deborah Morgenthal is a freelance writer and editor. As former Editorial Director at Lark Books, she wrote and edited dozens of books about craft and art. She was a contributing writer for Blue Ridge Parkway Vistas and Inspired: Life in Penland’s Resident Artist and Core Fellowship Programs. She has lived in Asheville, North Carolina since 1986 and can’t imagine living anywhere else. When she’s not out hiking the trails of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Deborah can be reached at email@example.com.
Paul Franklin has photographed, authored or co-authored more than 20 travel and destination books for numerous publishers, including Dorling Kindersley, Barnes and Noble, AAA publications, Voyageur Press. He has also contributed to several large-format travel anthologies, including National Geographic’s 500 Journeys of a Lifetime. His DK Eyewitness Travel Family Guide to Washington D.C. won the 2012 British Travel Press Award for Best New Travel Guidebook. Paul currently resides in a century-old farmhouse nestled in a small green valley just north of Asheville with his wife and partner Nancy, and a remarkably large, gentle Maine Coon cat named Zander. Paul can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.