Experienced travelers know the best place to eat in Chicago, the best hotel to stay at in New York, the best place to watch the sunset over the Rocky Mountains, the best beach on the East Coast — you get the picture. But what about moving somewhere new? This requires a different set of criteria. Vacation life is not real life. What makes a town not just nice to visit, as an outsider, but quintessentially livable?
When you’ve experienced the diversity of food, culture, entertainment and lifestyle of big cities, smaller towns can sometimes miss the mark, and big cities lack the connection to nature that so many people value. If you can choose to live anywhere, you have the means to be picky. Can you have it all? There are some small town/big culture areas that are worth a look. The West has Santa Fe, New Mexico; the North, Bozeman, Montana, and the South has Asheville, North Carolina. For our clients, Asheville and the surrounding areas fit the bill. Regardless of why and how they find their way to the area, they agree on three reasons Asheville is magnificent to call home.
1. Big, Outdoor Lifestyle 2. Inspiring Culture 3. Easy International Travel
Big, Outdoor Lifestyle — If you’ve lived in a big city, you know that trying to get to the country to relax can be exhausting. We long for wide open spaces to feel our freedom. How can you get your nature fix, and still feel inspired and nurtured by your community? Moving to a town that’s not too big, yet not too small is a great option. With a population of around 100,000 people, Asheville, NC is modestly sized yet has no shortage of stunning natural playgrounds. Within an hour, you can access the Appalachian Trail, Mount Mitchell, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the French Broad River. Local activities include hot air ballooning, fishing, hiking, camping, biking and whitewater rafting, to name just a few. Take in wildflowers, lush fields, panoramic views and majestic waterfalls. Be part of a community with a deep sense of reverence for nature. Bringing in a little of the outdoors to your Bluestone custom home is easy with bifold doors and operable glass wall systems like NanaWalls. You can see the potential for glass wall systems in the photo below. Click here to see photographs of the indoor/outdoor patio. When you work with a builder and architect who have experience with Ashville’s varied terrain, you can be sure your home celebrates nature as much as you do. Orient your home toward views with big, picture windows, or build a back porch on which to gather with friends to watch the stars dot the sky — this is just a start.
Inspiring Culture — Good food? Yes! Good people Yes! Good spirit? We say, YES. Though it may be self-proclaimed, Asheville asserts that it is The Beer Capital of the US. Sure, San Diego comes up first if you Google it, but don’t you love a town that just puts it out there? On a more serious note… Our clients are often art collectors, or artists themselves, which should be no surprise considering the handcrafted artistry built into every Bluestone home. To bask in Asheville’s art scene, our clients head downtown for the galleries, showrooms, and renowned arts centers and museums. They also browse the River Arts District (RAD) to hunt for antiques, or pop into working studios to see artists in their element. As client and artist, Jenn Bakalar says, “Asheville is a community of like-minded creatives, and you just feel that.” Downtown Asheville has an eclectic mix of architectural styles, including Art Deco (the S&W Cafeteria photograph at the top is a great example), Neoclassical, Romanesque Revival, Beaux Arts, Gothic and Spanish Renaissance, with buildings and monuments designed by famous names such as Richard Sharp Smith, Douglas D. Ellington and Rafael Guastavino. For more information about Asheville’s deeply cultured downtown and many architectural gems, check out RomanticAsheville.com.
And, of course, there’s the iconographic Biltmore Estate:
America’s largest private residence is set on impressive 8,000 acres. Built by George Vanderbilt between 1889 and 1895, George hand-selected Asheville for many of the same reasons our clients do. The Mountain Mansion is a staggering 175,000 square feet (four acres) with 33 bedrooms, 65 fireplaces and 43 bathrooms, built with almost 10 million pounds of limestone. Locals and visitors enjoy the estate’s stunning architecture and interiors, and beautiful gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. In 2018, the estate custodians partnered with glass artist, Dale Chihuly to fill the home and gardens with hand-blown glass installations. Dale is one of the best-known artists associated with the post–World War II studio crafts movement. That the Biltmore has the gravitas to attract one of the most iconic living American artists, is a tribute to its importance as a national treasure. Click here for more information about the Biltmore.
Easy International Travel — It can be tricky to find an enchanting place to live. It’s even harder to find one that’s close to an airport. Asheville’s Regional Airport offers daily flights to major cities across the country and is served by five large airlines. Business executives and those with family out of town can easily see the convenience factor. But what this also means is that it’s easy to travel afar, explore and take in what the world has to offer — and then bring all that richness back to Asheville. Our clients appreciate this, as they often draw inspiration from their adventures when weaving together the perfect design for their custom home.
Of course, we are biased — we love Asheville. There are a good number of cities that would be ideal for nesting in terms of offering access to nature, interesting culture and easy international travel. But, having a team of talented and cultured people who have lived all over the country and internationally, we think Asheville, NC should be at the top of your list. Here are some of our fans:
#1 Foodie City in the World” Global Traveler 2018
One of “Top 10 Music Cities in the U.S.” National Geographic Traveler 2018
One of “Top 15 Cities in the U.S.” Condé Nast Traveler 2018
“Most Artsy” and “Sudsiest” U.S. City National Geographic Traveler 2018
One of “Best Small Cities in U.S.” Condé Nast Traveler 2017
One of “Coolest Places to Go in 2018” Forbes 2017
One of “Top 15 Cities in U.S.” Travel & Leisure 2017
“Hippest City in the South” Fodor’s The Carolinas & Georgia 2017
If you are interested in building a custom home in or around Asheville, North Carolina, Bluestone Construction would be happy to help you make it reflect your love for nature, art and travel. Contact us to get the ball rolling.
One of the greatest thrills in life is to participate in the design and build of a home that is a reflection of your past accomplishments and a stage for your future. We look forward to working with you.
The Bluestone Construction Team