Asheville is a relatively small town (about 800,000*), but it has a vibrant downtown life with lots of people strolling about and quite a few restaurants and shops. Lots of arts and craftspeople live here. We took a trolley tour that wound through different neighborhoods and deposited us at Grove Park Inn where we had lunch. At an elevation of 2,100 ft., it sits up high and looks down on the city of Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mts. beyond. We had a delicious lunch on the terrace with a wonderful view and a cool breeze. It's very grand and imposing; Scott Fitzgerald used to stay here when he came to visit Zelda in the sanitorium. They also boast that they have the best spa in the world, but we didn't get to verify that (sadly). *Bill tells me this number should be 80,000; 800,000 would be a BIG town. Who knew?
After lunch, we rejoined the trolley tour and saw a lot of things downtown for which I have photos but absolutely no memory of the names of things. You have to take notes and snap pictures at the same time, I guess.
We liked Asheville and found it very accessible and friendly. You could easily spend a week or so in this area and find plenty to do.