Asheville tops Lonely Planet’s “Best in the U.S.” 2017

Jim Lauderdale - Asheville July 4th Celebration

Press Release from Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau:

Travel media company Lonely Planet is pleased to announce its annual list of the top 10 most exciting places to go in the United States in the year ahead.

Lonely Planet’s travel experts scoured the states this year to choose Best in the US 2017 (, 10 destinations poised to shine next year, whether they’re up-and-coming, overlooked or offer new, inviting reasons to visit in 2017.

This year, Lonely Planet named the charming enclave of Asheville, North Carolina as the #1 destination in the US to visit in 2017. The vibrant small city is known for its welcoming, creative spirit and eclectic architecture. Its thriving artistic community and booming food and drink scene – all surrounded by spectacular natural beauty – is putting it firmly on the map.

Following in second place is Western Washington, where iconic landscapes made their way into popular consciousness in Twin Peaks, the television drama making a comeback in 2017. In third place is heartland hub Lincoln, Nebraska, hosting festivals throughout the year to celebrate its 150th anniversary. Other notable or surprising places that made the list include the southern desert area of California (#4), Texas’ relatively unknown wine country (#8) and a picture-perfect strip of Florida coast (#10).

“Lonely Planet’s Best in the US 2017 are the places we recommend travelers go next year,” said Lonely Planet magazine managing editor Rebecca Warren. “This year’s list is incredibly diverse, spanning from coast to coast, giving a panoramic tour of America. Whether travelers want to escape to the mountains, get transported back in time or relax by the beach, these are the destinations to be excited about. Some of them are on the public’s radar, while others are recently emerging, and they all offer compelling reasons to visit in 2017.”

Now in its 7th edition, Lonely Planet’s Best in the US is a highly anticipated list of cities, regions and states worth traveling to in the year ahead, selected and ranked by Lonely Planet’s US destination editors, writers and travel community. The list is available online at, featuring a video and a chance to win a weekend away for two in #1 Asheville, plus accompanying articles on each destination.


Lonely Planet’s Best in the US 2017:

1. Asheville, North Carolina – Appalachia’s most surprising city

·        River Arts District features over 200 artists

·        Nicknamed “Beer City USA”

·        World renowned dining scene

2. Western Washington – David Lynch fans, take note

·        Filming locales made famous by Twin Peaks, making a comeback in 2017

·        New farm-to-table dining and microbrewing emerging in Seattle and San Juan Islands

3. Lincoln, Nebraska – Hip and happening in the heartland

·        150th anniversary parades, parties and festivals

·        College vibe, bike trails, breweries, music, art walks and farmers’ markets

·        One of the largest refugee resettlement areas; cultural diversity

4. California’s Low Desert – The LA getaway meets a new generation

·        New wave of cool headed to Palm Springs and beyond (maybe even The Obamas!)

·        View of Coachella Valley via world’s largest aerial tramway

·        Otherworldly landscapes (Joshua Tree, Salton Sea) and quirky curiosities (Salvation Mountain)

5. Montana’s Flathead Valley – Big sky, big mountains, big bears

·        One of the largest wilderness areas in the contiguous states

·        Gateway to Glacier National Park and Canadian border

·        Whitefish welcomes hikers, bikers and après-skiers

6. Atlanta, Georgia – The airport epicenter is flying high in 2017

·        New state-of-the-art stadiums and first Major League Soccer team

·        Introducing The BeltLine, the answer to New York’s High Line

·        World-class art scene and up-and-coming neighborhoods like East Atlanta

7. Adirondack Mountains – New York’s best views after Manhattan

·        42 peaks over 4000ft

·        New Wild Walk is an elevated trail above the treetops

·        Larger than Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Canyon and Great Smokies combined

8. Texas Hill Country wine region – The best wine country you’ve never heard of

·     Over 70 wineries in Texas and dozens in Hill Country

·     Wide variety of tasting rooms along Wine Road 290 make for an epic road trip

·     10th Dripping with Taste Wine & Food Festival and 45th annual Kerrville Folk Festival

9. Denver, Colorado – The “Mile-High City” has never been more fun

·        More than just a gateway to the Rocky Mountains

·        New Ski Train in 2017 takes skiers and boarders straight to the slopes

·        Microbreweries, music and (legal) marijuana

10. Florida’s Emerald Coast – The “Redneck Riviera” no more

·        100-mile stretch of sugar-fine sand and beachfront towns

·        Frequented by the rich and famous, and still affordable

·        The Truman Show town of Seaside is an eco-friendly, 80-acre dream

Lonely Planet’s Best in the US 2017 goes beyond the locations featured in its annual Best in Travel 2017 which names the best places to visit all over the globe, featuring Canada (#1 country), Coastal Georgia, Los Angeles and Portland.


About Emma Grace Moon
I am currently a senior at Asheville High School and an intern for the Mountain Xpress! I am originally from New Mexico but have been raised in Asheville for majority of my life. I hope to take a gap year after high school and later go to college in the US or the UK.

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