Asheville made another top ten list April 9, but this one's not going to please the local chamber of commerce.
Huffington Post columnist David Landsel features Asheville in his list of the world's "10 Terribly Overrated Destinations." He calls the city a "physically and emotionally fragmented mountain town full of people who seem really annoyed by everything" and "a bottlenecked blot on a lovely landscape, seething with urban stressites searching fruitlessly for somewhere to park their Georgia-plated Hummers."
Other areas on the list include Austin, Texas; the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Buenos Aires and Colorado.
Here's what he writes about Asheville:
The traffic can be atrocious, the main attraction is the soulless estate of yet another Vanderbilt, those famous hotels are sadly average and overpriced, the food is just fine. The worst bit, though: Asheville today is the furthest thing from relaxing. A Hamptons with no beach, it has become a bottlenecked blot on a lovely landscape, seething with urban stressites searching fruitlessly for somewhere to park their Georgia-plated Hummers. …
You probably came for the mountains. So go to them. Start with magnificent Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi, running an impressive 6,684 feet above sea level. Next, hop back on the Blue Ridge Parkway — which runs straight past Asheville — and head down to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of the very few places in this country where sitting in a ridiculous traffic jam is worth your time and trouble.
— Jake Frankel can be reached at 251-1333, ext. 115, or firstname.lastname@example.org.