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The Ultimate Guide to Moving to Asheville, NC


Nestled in the awe-inspiring Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, North Carolina plays host to some of the state’s finest outdoor landscapes, gardens, hiking venues, trails, and more. Its earth-to-table approach to local cuisine emphasizes a focus on natural, wellness-based eating, backed by the best produce that local farmers offer.

As the twelfth-most populous city in North Carolina, Asheville has maintained an 11.94 percent growth rate since 2010. It ranks among the top 15 cities in the United States according to Travel and Leisure Magazine, and fifth on AFAR’s list of the “Best Small Cities in the United States.”

In This Article:
  1. Cost of Living in Asheville
  2. Neighborhoods in Asheville
  3. Asheville Job Market
  4. Things to Do in Asheville
  5. Things to Know Before Moving to Asheville

1. Cost of Living in Asheville

Recognized as one of the more expensive housing and living options in North Carolina, Asheville certainly offers a quality of living worth the price tag. Still, monthly rent, healthcare, and utilities may rank above national averages. Consult the below details for even more information on Asheville-specific pricing for common expenses.

2. Neighborhoods in Asheville

No matter the Asheville neighborhood you choose to call home, you’ll find a wide variety of welcoming amenities in this North Carolina corner. Together with culinary opportunities, retail outlets, and thrill-inducing attractions, the below Asheville neighborhoods promise to offer a safe, comfortable atmosphere for you and your entire family.

  • Downtown Asheville represents an ideal location for any individual — especially young adults — looking to remain seconds away from all the action. While housing can be more expensive in the downtown district, you’ll also enjoy proximity to the arts, culture, food scene, shopping, tours, and breweries that call this area of Asheville home.
  • West Asheville is characterized by a relaxed vibe and thoroughly comfortable atmosphere, serving up comfort food that’s likely only a few minutes from your front door. You’ll also discover a variety of music-themed and music-minded venues, alongside urban art and an underground mural scene beginning to be found.
  • North Asheville represents more of a heavily-populated section of Asheville itself, decorated with suburban residences and a spattering of choice restaurants. Mid-century ranch architecture defines much of the local housing, where residents enjoy recreational opportunities like hiking and fishing within walking distance from more eccentric-style homes.
  • Biltmore Village — another subset of what many call “romantic Asheville” — houses more than 40 total shops and restaurants. Houses within Biltmore Village are only seconds away from one of the main entertainment centers of the city itself, home to custom-tailored jewelry, local art, seasonal celebrations, and the Asheville Folk Art Center.
  • Biltmore Park is home to a distinct variety of homes, boasting enviable proximity to the neighborhood’s main attraction: Biltmore Park Town Square. When you’re not exploring the dining, live entertainment, retail outlets, and events that characterize the town center, you can recede to an apartment community ideal for young professionals and their families.

3. Asheville Job Market

A wide variety of attractions and business ventures in Asheville mean an equally diverse job market. Defined by entertainment-minded job openings in the retail, food-and-beverage, and entertainment spaces, career opportunities in Asheville help residents of all pursuits and passions earn a substantial living.

Salaries in Asheville average $55,000 per year. Common occupations — and their associated income ranges — include:

  • Landscape architects — $52,500 to $87,500 per year
  • Speech-language pathologists — $51,000 to $81,500 per year
  • Computer programmers — $35,000 to $72,500 per year
  • Real estate brokers — $22,500 to $66,000 per year
  • Financial managers — $64,000 to $114,500 per year

Whether you’re looking to offer healthcare services, financial management or real estate services, there’s a rewarding career in Asheville, North Carolina waiting for you.

Reference the below details for more information on some of Asheville’s top employers and their associated salary ranges:

  • Buncombe County Public Schools (Education), $25,000 to $210,000
  • Mission Health System & Hospital (Healthcare), $25,000 to $150,000
  • The Biltmore Company (Agriculture), $20,000 to $91,000
  • University of North Carolina at Asheville (Higher education), $48,000 to $200,000
  • Kearfott Guidance & Navigation Corp. (Aerospace) $51,000 to $85,000



4. Things to Do in Asheville

There’s no shortage of activities worth your time in Asheville, North Carolina. From vintage eateries and the best farm-to-table restaurants to immersive hiking, biking, and walking trails, Asheville has something to offer every individual and family. From zipline tours and equestrian opportunities to the finest in local bars, consult the below attractions for specifics on only a fraction of what Asheville residents experience every day.

Outdoor Activities

One of the strengths of the Asheville area is its diverse number of outdoor activities:

  • The Adventure Center of Asheville is home to 77 individual aerial challenges, perfect for individuals of all ages looking for a unique blend of recreation and adventure. Walking, repelling, climbing and swinging across structures at the Adventure Center of Asheville means exploring more than 30 trees’ worth of aerial space, not to mention their zipline canopy adventure packages.
  • The Nantahala Outdoor Center takes outdoor exploration in Asheville to another level. From whitewater rafting opportunities to zipline adventures, the Nantahala Outdoor Center serves more than one million annual guests. Summer trips are currently available, whether you’re looking for a sunrise excursion or an immersive rafting experience.
  • Waterfalls in Asheville need to be seen to be fully believed. Waterfall tours can get you up close and personal with Rainbow Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and other must-see waterfall destinations, though many waterfalls are well-marked on trailheads and can be reached independently.
  • A wide variety of mountain hikes stretch across all of Asheville. Varying in trailhead difficulty, overall length, pet amenities, and landscape, mountain hikes in Asheville, North Carolina help to introduce you to the majesty that is the Blue Ridge mountains, one curve at a time.
  • Zipline tours in Asheville offer an expedited introduction to local treetops, giving residents and tourists alike a better understanding of the scope of the town’s natural landscape. Whether you’re interested in zipline tours through French Broad Adventures, Canopy Ridge Farm or one of the above attractions, you’re in for the aerial experience of a lifetime in Asheville.
  • The Tryon International Equestrian Center in Asheville represents one of the finest equestrian opportunities in the entire United States. Competitive horse riding, associated entertainment, live music, and a wide variety of educational opportunities make the Tryon International Equestrian Center worth your time in Asheville.

Parks and Attractions

Natural beauty comes easily to the Asheville area, as you’ll soon discover from any of the following local parks:

  • Blue Ridge Parkway drives offer a uniquely satisfying experience, whether it’s your first time or you’re an established Asheville resident. Locally renowned as “America's favorite drive,” Blue Ridge Parkway is typified by gentle winding through awe-inspiring landscapes, where roads are dotted on both sides with hiking, biking, fishing, and camping opportunities. 
  • Pisgah National Forest offers more than half a million acres of protected wilderness, primarily hardwood forests that stretch as far as the human eye can see. Since 1911, when the forest was created under the Weeks Act, Pisgah National Forest has hosted visitors eager to catch a glimpse of its waterfalls, trails, and sheer size.
  • The Omni Grove Park Inn offers residents and guests alike the opportunity for comfortable hospitality, perfect after an adventurous day exploring the outdoor attractions that only Asheville can offer. Traditional southern hospitality — characterized by a distinctive, elegant flair — means residents can take advantage of five-star hotel rooms, local cuisine, and an underground spa.
  • The Blue Ridge Mountains are impossible to undersell, whether you’re seeing them for the first time, or you’re returning for still another visit. Featuring a comprehensive portfolio of waterfalls, rock formations, natural forests, indigenous plant and animal species, and hiking venues, Asheville residents can easily lose themselves in this national treasure of a protected environment.
  • DuPont State Recreational Forest offers more than 12,000 protected acres ripe for exploration in Asheville, North Carolina, still more nature waiting to be explored by you and your entire family. Recreational opportunities abound within park borders, whether you’re interested in hiking, biking, fishing, camping or simply walking opportunities.

No matter where you’ve traveled, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a collection of parks that together challenge the sheer volume that the Asheville outdoors can offer.



Food and Drink

Sometimes lost among the praise earned by the Asheville parks, a vibrant food and drink scene helps to keep residents returning to local pubs, bars, restaurants, and assorted eateries. Reference the below dining options for some of the best vintage flavors you’ll find during your time in Asheville.

  • The Bull and Beggar offer upscale European cuisine, beloved by residents in Asheville for its adherence to traditional flavors. Menu items include their butter lettuce salad and dry-aged ribeye, which boast authentic flavors that drive home a truly upscale experience.
  • Storm Rhum Bar represents modern American cuisine at its best. Brunch, dinner, and bar options are typified by strong menu items that include grilled duck nachos, duck curry pita, a lamb burger, and their veggie hash bowl. Satisfied guests also rave about their drinks menu, featuring Mojito and Mai Tai options worth exploring.
  • Sovereign Remedies gives locally sourced Asheville cuisine a new face. Plate presentation is a huge part of culinary quality at Sovereign Remedies, backed by strong menu items that include crispy oyster mushrooms, house fries, chilled cucumber gazpacho, and a local favorite: locally-sourced, grass-fed beef tartare.
  • The Social Lounge offers visitors and Asheville residents the chance to sample an always-changing portfolio of rewarding cocktail options. The town’s original cocktail bar, The Social Lounge keeps drinks refined and flavorful, offering beverages like their blood orange old fashioned and “Aqua Fabulous” to pair with a papa fried pizza, eggplant parmesan, or grilled salmon salmoriglio.
  • Twisted Laurel Downtown Asheville offers bold Meditteranean flavors, from a downtown Asheville location that gives off serious upscale vibes. Handheld menu items like their bodega chop cheese and grilled trout BLT encourage hungry diners to dive in, at the same time that crispy Brussel sprouts offer refined flavors you can’t afford to miss.

5. Things to Know Before Moving to Asheville

Before moving to Asheville, North Carolina, there are a few things to know. Consult the below details for more information on the specifics of a town worth calling home:

  • Asheville’s seasonal climate will vary during the year and can reach temperatures near 100° Fahrenheit on, particularly warm days.
  • Many residents drive their own cars, though Asheville’s ART public transit does allow you to reach many of the city’s more popular destinations if you find yourself without a vehicle or other mode of transportation.
  • Costs of living can be more expensive in Asheville, especially when paying for attractions with tourism in mind.
  • Because snow is scarce in Asheville, the occasional snow-covered roads present a particular challenge for unfamiliar drivers.
  • Asheville is an absolute authority in the world of locally sourced produce, with many of the town’s most esteemed restaurants going the extra mile to ensure that ingredients come from local vendors whenever possible.
  • Not all restaurants and attractions are dog-friendly, though you’ll find that many public events and eateries alike welcome your well-behaved pets.
  • Depending on the time of year you’re looking to move, and the current housing market, real estate can be difficult to find in Asheville.

No matter where you’re moving to or from, the process itself can be a hassle. Fortunately, a wide variety of Asheville storage options can provide crucial flexibility during the moving process, helping you to prioritize possessions and protecting any items you want in secure, temperature-controlled rooms.

Local storage locations in Asheville include: 

Thanks to a variety of storage destinations in Asheville, you’ll be able to store any possessions of your choosing, for as long as you’d like, backed by security and protection guarantees that only SmartStop facilities can offer.

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