America's top 'destination you need to see' is only three hours away

8:34 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017 Holiday Guide
Courtesy of ExploreAsheville.com/For the AJC
Asheville is notably a funky mountain town just a few hours' drive from Atlanta, worth exploring whether you're a newbie or not.

Three hours away from Atlanta sits the mountain paradise of Asheville, North Carolina, a city that recently earned top honors as America's best place to see in 2017 by the world's largest travel guide publisher, Lonely Planet.

Travel experts from the popular company scoured the country to choose their top picks, a list of 10 destinations worthy of visiting in 2017.

2017 sees one of the USA’s most eclectic and innovative small cities step firmly into the national spotlight. Asheville welcomes everyone with open arms and has been quietly emerging as a haven for creative spirits for decades. More than 200 artists showcase their wares in the River Arts District and the astonishing number of craft beers and spirits produced locally pair nicely with the food served up by the city’s numerous James Beard-nominated chefs. The French Broad River offers a respite from the modern world, whether you want to float, paddle, or kayak away from civilization and the verdant background for all of these delights, the Blue Ridge Mountains, are just waiting to be explored.

At No. 2 is Western Washington, followed by Lincoln, Nebraska. Atlanta, Georgia ranks No. 6 on the list.

1. Asheville, North Carolina

2. Western Washington

3. Lincoln, Nebraska

4. California's Low Desert

5. Montana's Flathead Valley

6. Atlanta, Georgia

7. The Adirondacks, New York

8. Texas Hill Country's wine region

9. Denver, Colorado

10. Florida's Emerald Coast

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