Asheville, NC’s nicknames and the history behind them

Photo via @wncphototours

Many of Asheville’s nicknames are well known, but what’s less understood is how these nicknames actually came about. Here’s a look at how Asheville came to be known by its monikers + why they stuck. 

“The Land of the Sky” 

Adopted from the title of the novel, “The Land of the Sky: Adventures in Mountain By-Ways,”written by Frances Christine Fisher Tiernan under the pen name Christian Reid, this frequently used nickname aptly describes the region’s stunning biodiversity and its endless scenic vistas

“Beer City, USA” 

Asheville was first named Beer City USA in 2009, and with multiple annual beer festivals, brewery tours, and more breweries per capita than anywhere else in the country, it’s no wonder. Oh, and the fact that our breweries regularly win awards doesn’t hurt either. 

“The Paris of the South” 

With world class art, food, and architecture, Asheville shares some commonalities with the City of Lights. But it’s the Vanderbilt family that’s frequently credited with laying the groundwork for this eventual nickname by building the majestic Biltmore Estate, America’s largest private home, right here in the mountains. 

“Dog City, USA” 

While it’s long been recognized as a dog-friendly destination, it wasn’t until the launch of the country’s first dedicated canine welcome center in 2017 that our city began being recognized as Dog City, USA. Here, you’ll find a doggy potty area, water fountains, free goody bags, doggie ice cream, and a list of dog-friendly attractions + restaurants.

“The San Francisco of the East”

Asheville + hippies go together like peanut butter and jelly. And similar to San Fran, the city is full of hip folks as well as an ever-growing young entrepreneurial population. We also have a thriving creative community, as evidenced by our food and arts scenes.