Inspiration, peace, and beauty
ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA
Asheville is rich in history but willing to be a little edgy. The Asheville Urban Trail highlights the downtown’s well-preserved architecture, plus awe-inspiring sites like the Basilica of St. Lawrence. You’ll also discover public parks with contemporary murals, 30+ trendy art galleries, live-music venues for every taste, and dozens of unique restaurants and micro-breweries. Asheville offers community festivals, destination spas, and numerous area hiking trails, kayaking streams, and bridal paths for a complete wellness lifestyle.
Autumn is Asheville’s ideal season when the days are comfortably warm, but the evening air is crisp. The region’s forests are aglow with fall colors, best appreciated along the Blue Ridge Parkway, in the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park, or at the iconic Biltmore Estate with its 250-room castle, spectacular gardens, and vineyards ready for the harvest.
HENDERSONVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA
Surrounded by apple orchards and highland wineries, Hendersonville has its own style. The historic downtown area offers free Wi-Fi for self-guided tours along the Heritage Trail and the Bearfootin’ Public Art Walk, shopping in antique stores and craft galleries, and finding the perfect farm-fresh restaurant. You can also catch a show at the State Theater of North Carolina and tour the Carl Sandburg Home Historic Site in the neighboring town of Flat Rock.
Knoxville is East Tennessee’s largest city and commercial center, home to corporate headquarters, new start-up companies in the city’s Technology Corridor, and the main campus of the University of Tennessee. Host of the 1982 World’s Fair with its signature Sunsphere observation tower, cultural highlights include the McClung Museum of Natural History, Knoxville Museum of Art, Emporium Center galleries, and Bijou Theatre performances. Downtown Market Square features community festivals and sidewalk cafes, while the revitalized Old City district is where you’ll find boutique shops, restaurants with international cuisine, and lively nightlife venues.
Two additional sites add to this Tennessee mountain town’s unique character: The Knoxville Botanical Gardens & Arboretum offers 47 acres with seasonal blooms, a Dogwood Nature Trail, and a Butterfly Meadow, while Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness is a 1,000-acre recreational destination with historic riverside sites, 50+ miles of hiking/biking paths, an expansive nature center and ziplines through the forest canopy.
Located atop Tennessee’s beautiful Cumberland Plateau, Crossville is a natural gateway to nearby outdoor recreations that include a dozen championship golf courses and lakeside trails at Cumberland Mountain State Park. You can also sample vintage wines. At the same time, downtown Crosssville features local-history museums, the Antique Vintage Mall for shopping, and the Cumberland County Playhouse for the performing arts. There’s even an authentic Irish pub and a 24-lane bowling alley where visitors are welcomed as new friends.
PARK CITY, UTAH
Park City is Utah’s historic silver-mining town in the Wasatch Mountains that’s home to world-class ski resorts and hosts the Sundance Film Festival during the snow season. For the balance of the year, it’s a delightfully casual vacation destination with area outdoor recreations that include spectacular hiking trails and fly fishing in cool mountain streams.
In the picturesque San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado, Durango features a historic downtown area with trendy restaurants, galleries, and music clubs. Nearby attractions include ski slopes, hot-spring spas, whitewater-rafting rivers, wilderness hiking and biking trails, and the famous ancient cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park.
Montrose is a Colorado mountain town on the western slope of the Rockies that’s the gateway to stunning sights in Black Canyon National Park, water sports in Curecanti National Recreation Area, and hiking trails in Uncompahgre National Forest. In-town highlights include unique heritage museums, acclaimed local breweries, and a drive-in movie theater that features classic films.
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO
New Mexico’s largest city is Albuquerque, which features the gracefully revitalized Old Town district with its cultural museums, historic churches, manicured gardens, and sidewalk cafes. Among the best area attractions are Petroglyph National Monument and Wildlife West Nature Park, while a prime time to visit is during the International Balloon Fiesta every October.
Reposted from an article in Ideal-LIVING Magazine, 2023 Summer Issue – Best Places to Live