Asheville, North Carolina, is the county seat of Buncombe County; considered the largest city in western North Carolina, it boasts a population of more than eighty-three thousand people, and is the eleventh-largest city in North Carolina. Initially colonized by the Spanish and purportedly "discovered" sometime in the mid-sixteenth century by the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. Initially an open hunting ground for European settlers and colonizers until the mid-nineteenth century, it was not until the late eighteenth century that Asheville became a town in its own right (its founding is attributed to the now near-mythical Colonel Samuel Davidson, who was among the first "true" settlers of the area).
Asheville is a town rich in period history, despite having very little participation in the Civil War. Because of the relatively quiet nature of the town and only very few instances of outright battle during the Civil War, the majority of periodic buildings founded during those times remain largely intact to this day. Asheville is an excellent place to saturate you in period history, as it is among the most well preserved with regards to historical architecture and settings throughout the United States.
Asheville is a relatively popular tourist destination, which caters to a wide array of different individuals from all walks of life (it's sometimes referred to as a New Age Mecca, or a Freak Capital city). If you’re a nature-lover, Asheville boasts (among many settings) the Blue Ridge Parkway, the North Carolina Arboretum, and the Craggy Gardens. These venues are known not only for their verdant foliage and breathtaking flora, but also for their intrinsic historicity -- with walkways, parks, and buildings that date back to the earliest foundations of the city.
Asheville is also home to a number of other interesting sights; the most well known is the United States National Climatic Data Center or NCDC, which is the world’s largest archive of weather data. Asheville is also home to the Biltmore Estate, a sprawling historic house that represents the best of Asheville’s period architecture. The city is also home to the Asheville Fine Arts Theater, the Altamont Theatre, and the Asheville Community Theater, which boasts performances on both a local and grand scale sure to scintillate tourists and residents alike.
If you’re looking for places to crash or hostels in Asheville, you'll be in for an experience unlike any other, as the very historic sites of the city also offer board, lodging, and their own brand of homespun hospitality. Asheville is an excellent place for a laid-back nightlife and great grub served nearly anywhere around the city.
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