Asheville, North Carolina

You're back on the city track, but Asheville eases you in with those Blue Ridge panoramas and an earthy vibe (vegan and organic practitioners, rejoice).

Follow the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Folk Art Center, headquarters of the Southern Highland Craft Guild (and the requisite craft shop and exhibition galleries), illuminating the guild's traditional to contemporary takes on the Southern Appalachian aesthetic. 

Stop by Grovewood Gallery, where craftspeople apply the aesthetic to garden art and furniture, wrought simply and finely by hand. 

Finally, the Asheville Art Museum has an outstanding collection that showcases the best of 20th- and 21st-century American art and the cultural heritage and contemporary art of Western North Carolina.