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There is one undeniable fact when it comes to western North Carolina: The views are breathtaking. Visitors from around the world flock to the Blue Ridge Parkway to glimpse changing leaves in the fall and the bloom of nature in the spring. Outdoor activities include hiking, whitewater rafting, wildlife viewing or sipping on local wine, craft beer and cider. Asheville, with its art galleries, restaurants and breweries, regularly ranks among the world’s most intriguing cities, according to travel publications.


BIGGEST COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

  • Western Carolina University, Cullowhee
  • UNC Asheville
  • Appalachian State University, Boone
  • Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College

ATTRACTIONS

  • Biltmore Estate, Asheville
  • Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Nantahala Outdoor Center, Bryson City
  • Tryon International Equestrian Center, Mill Spring
  • Sliding Rock, Transylvania County
  • North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville
  • Grandfather Mountain, Linville
  • Chimney Rock State Park, Chimney Rock
  • Linville Caverns, Marion
  • Cherokee Cultural Attractions, Cherokee
  • Tweetsie Railroad, Blowing Rock

EVENTS

  • Blowing Rock WinterFest, January
  • MerleFest, Wilkesboro, April
  • Lake Eden Arts Festival, Asheville-Black Mountain, May and October
  • An Appalachian Summer Festival, Boone, June-August
  • Folkmoot USA, Black Mountain, July
  • Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, Linville, July
  • Chow Chow culinary festival, Asheville, September
  • Autumn at Oz, Beech Mountain, September
  • N.C. Apple Festival, Hendersonville, September
  • Brushy Mountain Apple Festival, North Wilkesboro, October
  • Leaf Festival, Black Mountain, October
  • Woolly Worm Festival, Banner Elk, October

INDUSTRIES

  • Aerospace and defense
  • Furniture
  • Beer
  • Data centers
  • Tourism
  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Christmas trees

COUNTIES

Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey

REGION FOCUS

Community Close Up: Western NC
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