Asheville, North Carolina
A Broad Spectrum New Age Town
Ask just about any random person which town has the most metaphysical stuff going on East of the Mississippi and Asheville will be the first town mentioned. It is considered the new age center of the Southeast United States.
And it’s fitting.
The population is up to 85,000. It’s a full blown new age city, large enough to spread it’s vibe spreads into the smaller communities nearby. It’s starting to reach critical mass for new age alternatives. The number of vegan and vegetarian restaurants is rising to meet the demand. Yoga studios continue to thrive. Retreats around the area keep popping up. There are multiple psychics and energy healers, as well as schools for both. The verdant forests offer opportunities for pagans and hikers alike. Throw in a dose of alternative spirituality and a local liberal arts college and you’ve got almost anything you could want.
Comparison to Other Towns
All towns have different personalities, even those that rank high on the New Age scale. Geography plays a large role. The Asheville weather is moderate, but four seasons are evident and it’s surrounded by forests. In Encinitas, almost every day is a day for opening the windows and letting the breeze come through. And in Sedona, it’s dry and majestic and simply awe inspiring.
From a quick spirituality standpoint, here’s how we see three high energy towns.
Sedona: Focus on metaphysics, psychics and connection to the higher realms.
Encinitas: Surfing and yoga form the basis for the lifestyle and spirituality.
Asheville: Broad spectrum mix of everything new age, without one area dominating another.
Asheville is considered a mountain town. But coming from the West Coast, 2100 feet doesn’t feel mountainous. The air is still dense. The humidity is still high. There are big hills in the area and lots of woods, and it’s very pretty with a wonderful fall, but the old mountains of the East Coast don’t have the majesty of the mountains out west.
What we particularly like about Asheville is that it’s a liberal bastion in a conservative region. Like Boulder, and Austin, that combination creates an inherent balance which is lacking in cities such as San Francisco and Bartlesville, Oklahoma.