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The following items are excerpted from recent articles in the Asheville Citizen-Times.

“ASHEVILLE NEAR TOP OF BEST SMALL TOWNS LIST….John Boyle for the Asheville Citizen Times.

Asheville has had no shortage of tourist s in recent years, and a recent US News & World Report story about the “Best Small Towns to Visit in the USA” is likely to boost those numbers even more.  Asheville claimed the number 3 spot on the list, just behind Sonoma, CA and Breckenridge, CO.

Last year, the Asheville area had nearly 11 million visitors, and the US News & World Report ranking captures many of the reasons why...’Quaint Mountain Town.  Hipster Haven.  Beer City USA.  Outdoorsman’s Retreat.  College town.  Bluegrass Home.  Culinary Destination.  Try as you might, it’s impossible to give Asheville just one label.

The story describes the city as “an unexpected gem, where a vibrant arts scene intertwines with Southern traditions and beautiful scenery.  It’s safe to say, no matter what your interests, Asheville has something to offer you.  While history buffs get lost on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate, epicureans can sample from a smorgasbord and test their taste buds at one of the city’s many breweries.”

It further touts the River Arts District as a destination for “culture hounds,” and it suggests adventure seekers can “go full throttle hiking, biking, zip lining or whitewater rafting in one of the numerous parks and forests.  Asheville meshes together these personalities to make something uniquely its own, with an identity that is always changing, but somehow stays true to its roots,” it reads.

The magazine chose cities from places with a population of “fewer than 100,000 that offer plenty of restaurants and attractions, plus have a unique character all their own.”

BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY REPAIR TO BEGIN JULY 12…Karen Chavez for the Asheivlle Citizen-Times.

Traffic on the Blue Ridge Parkway will need to slow down a bit starting July 12 as a road repair project gets underway.  The repairs will be to dangerous ruts in several places along the edge of the parkway.  Work will continue through the end of August from Milepost 383 at US 70 to Milepost 389 at US 25/Hendersonville Road.  Work along the Asheville corridor will take place 8:30 am – 4pm.  Monday through Friday.  This area will have a single-lane closure on the two-lane road so visitors may experience some delays…

Landscape architects designed the Parkway in the 1930s with earthen and sod shoulders top enhance the scenic experience.  Over time, impacts from heavy use and road side parking have created some road edge locations with ruts as deep as 12 inches, according to a release from the parkway.  These ruts create a safety issue for parkway visitors, as well as resource damage and erosion issues.  During the project, road engineers will reshape and stabilize the road shoulders and provide for grass regrowth restoring the historic design intent.  “We will close one lane after moist of the morning traffic and stop by 4pm so people enjoying an afternoon on the parkway shouldn’t be as impacted.”

Both lanes will be open on the weekends. For updates, visit www.nps.gov/blri, the real time road map site at www.nps.gov/maps/blri/road-closures/, any parkway visitor center, and by following parkway social media sites with the  handle @BlueRidgeNPS.”


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