Ashvegas 2016 Year in Review: Asheville scores food, music, tourism accoaldes


Asheville has picked up plenty of great national press over the years, with especially big notices rolling in the past few years. 2016 was not exception, as the list-writers continued to include Asheville. Beyond the tourism spotlight, Asheville food and music also picked up some great national exposure.

By far the biggest accolade arrived in early December when Lonely Planet named Asheville its top U.S. Destination for 2017. Here’s a few more, taken from a running list compiled by

-Readers of Condé Nast Traveler picked Asheville as #10 among “The Best Small Cities in the U.S,” and #7 among “The 2016 Friendliest Cities in the U.S.”

Travel + Leisure selected Asheville as #10 on its ranking of “The Best Cities in the U.S.”

THRILLIST named Asheville one of its “25 Best U.S. Cities to Spend a Weekend.”

Asheville restaurants continued to gain national notice. To name two biggies: Bon Apetit named Buxton Hall restaurant one of 50 Best New Restaurants in the U.S. named Asheville restaurant Local Provisions one of the 21 Best New Restaurants in America.

Asheville music also got some great national press when NPR’s World Cafe came to town. The Grey Eagle hosted World Cafe and a special February concert which featured The Honeycutters and the Jon Stickley Trio. But the World Cafe “Sense of Place” crew also visited with a host of other great local bands, including River Whyless, Steep Canyon Rangers, The Get Right Band and more. World Cafe Sense of Place: Asheville.