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Mary Mar 13th, 2002 02:28 PM

Boulder, CO vs. Asheville, NC
I'm planning a trip to either Boulder or Asheville this summer. I want to see the mountains and get a feel for what it would be like to live there. Since I've been in a Chicago suburb all my life, I have no idea what to expect. I would love to hear the pros and cons of visiting, and even living, in these cities. <BR>I'm a stay-at-home-mom and my husband works in computer support. We love old victorian houses, lots of mature trees, shopping at malls, and health clubs. Please give me your opinion. Thanks!<BR>

Kristin Mar 13th, 2002 03:36 PM

Well, I have never been to Asheville, but I have lived in both Chicago and Boulder, and I would highly recommend Boulder as a beautiful town (in a completely different way from Chicago) with good shopping, great restaurants, pretty neighborhoods and breath-taking scenery. I don't think the mountains you'd see in NC could even compare to the Rockies, altho I'm sure they're lovely as well. But Boulder is a great town - I think you'd love it.

Beth Mar 13th, 2002 03:36 PM

Mary, I'm curious as to why you picked Asheville, since it's a little-known city. I'm from there originally but haven't lived there in many years. I've never been to Boulder, but I'm guessing Asheville is much smaller. The mountains in western NC are awesome and if you're into the outdoors, there's plenty of hiking and camping. The city itself is very charming, very quaint, and there are now quite a few good restaurants and interesting shops. Unfortunately, Asheville is severely lacking decent malls. There are two major ones, but neither have particularly upscale shops, although they did recently add a Banana Republic. Maybe it's just a matter of whether you prefer the Rockies or the Blue Ridge mountains. They're so vastly different. Hope this helps somewhat.

Maureen Mar 13th, 2002 03:39 PM

Mary,<BR><BR>Was in Asheville 2 years ago with husband and 4 kids and quite frankly besides, the Biltmore Estate, there is not much to do in the town. Except for the Grove Park Inn, it is very overrated. The surrounding mountains and Skyline Drive are beautiful though. I have been to Boulder and like this area 100% better. There is plenty to do with it being a college town. You are very close to Estes Park and the Rocky Mountain National Park which is just incredible - you won't find anything as majestic in Asheville and surrounding areas. Make sure you check out Grand Lake in Colorado. Just a beautiful area!

mae Mar 13th, 2002 03:47 PM

Anothr vote for Boulder. It's a great city with very laid back people. It's very pretty & the surrounding area is gorgreous. Boulder is in the foothills of the Rockies. Lots of outdoors things to do with minimal travel from<BR> Boulder. Ate at a great Morracan restraunt. Very cutting edge, think you will like the area

Mary Mar 13th, 2002 07:18 PM

Beth - The reason I picked Asheville is because I kept hearing about how beautiful it is. Plus, it's been listed in some of the "places rated" and "best places to live" books/articles.

North Carolinian Mar 14th, 2002 09:19 AM

I second everyone's recommendation for Boulder. Asheville is a great weekend getaway spot for people who live fairly close, but I wouldn't travel from Chicago to visit.

Alien Mar 14th, 2002 11:51 AM

Boulder is a freakazoid country full of panhandlers, hippies, druggies and college students. Quite frankly, it is an embarassment to the rest of the state. Asheville, on the other hand, is genteel, full of old-southern charm and runs at a much slower place. However, the Rockies are much more beautiful than the smokies and I would recommend you travel around and stay in several different places to get a feel for what it's like to live here. I've been to both places, I live in Colorado, and I would recommend Asheville over Boulder if that's your only choice to make.

Dawn Mar 14th, 2002 12:18 PM

Don't listen to the alien. I lived in Colorado for several years and if I moved back I would go to Boulder. <BR><BR>I am sure the alien is just one of those crazy conservatives who lives someplace like Colorado Springs.

xxx Mar 14th, 2002 12:21 PM

If you're considering a move to Boulder you may want to do some research on the cost of living there, as the average home price hovers around $500,000. That's average. Don't know what the cost is in Asheville.

sam Mar 14th, 2002 02:46 PM

Sorry, but I have to agree with Alien....we stopped in Boulder for one day last summer. I was with my husband and two children and was extremely disappointed with the amount of beggars and lunatics loitering everywhere. We were in a bagel shop, and at the table on one side of us was a man sucking on a pacifier and on the other side of us was a man screaming at my children why we would all be going to hell. We couldn't go to the bathroom without getting a key from the store manager...we were informed it was to keep the homeless from washing in the bathrooms. When we went outside to finish eating our bagels, we found toothbrushes sticking out of flower pots....I will never go back.....beautiful city, but such a shame!

Charles Mar 14th, 2002 03:31 PM

Boulder is not a bad place, but it is no longer a cute little mountain town. It is an expensive suburb of Denver. Much nicer than Denver, but there are a lot of places better than boulder out there. Can't speak to asheville.

diane Mar 14th, 2002 03:48 PM

Vacation? Boulder, or maybe some other place in Colorado. I second the recommendation for Estes Park and the spectacular Rocky Mountain National Park. To live? I'd be more inclined to look into Asheville. Of course, if you're looking into a place to move to, there are many more factors than hiking and the mountains that must be considered.<BR><BR>Asheville has some marvelous-looking B&Bs in old Victorian houses--on a street with huge old trees, the kind where you can't get your arms around the trunk. We didn't stay there; we stayed at a motel out on the highway to save money. But we drove by to look, on our way to find Thomas Wolfe's gravesite. We enjoyed the Biltmore and took wonderful drives and one hike along the Blueridge. Southwest out of Asheville is less crowded and perhaps more beautiful than northeast. Of course, the mountains are very different from the Rockies, and if you've never seen the Rockies, you should go see them as soon as possible.

Alien Mar 14th, 2002 04:30 PM

Dawnhandy-sorry, not even close. I split my time between Denver and Summit County. And, I'm libertarian, or at least I would be if I were a human being and could register to vote. Shazzbut!

Worried Mar 14th, 2002 04:32 PM

Isn't anyone aware of the "new millennium hippies" who are now inhabiting Asheville? It has become a mecca for these people. Sure, it's a gorgeous little town, but it's something you should consider. Go to Boulder.

Mary Mar 14th, 2002 04:44 PM

Thanks for all the input. If I were to actually move to one of these places, I'd like to be in a small town outside of it. I just want to have all the stores, etc. within an hour of my house. <BR><BR>Are there any farms in the area? I'm just curious. I live down the street from a couple of farms and it's nice to see the cows now and then.

charles Mar 14th, 2002 05:14 PM

Mary<BR><BR>THere are no small towns outside of boulder - there are only endless ugly subdivisions. As for Asheville, from what I've heard once your in Asheville you're in a small town - its not exactly NYC.<BR><BR>There are a few cows on 6 outside boulder, in the conservation land and such. BUt it is suburbia.

Doug Weller Mar 17th, 2002 01:13 AM

I've been going to western North Carolina for over 50 years now. There's no place I love more than those mountains! The Rockies are nice and majestic and awesome, but still nothing compares with the Blue Ridge, the Black Mountains, etc.<BR>Asheville isn't NYC but it isn't a small town either. Sure, there are hippies there, but they add colour, not problems.<BR>The Farmer's Market in Asheville is absolutely great, don't miss it if you go there. And eat at the Moose Cafe adjacent to it. Shop at the Mast General Store.<BR>Asheville is rated as an excellent place to live.<BR>Good malls, great trees, can't comment on health clubs. Good food also.<BR><BR>DOug

carly Mar 17th, 2002 06:16 AM

Asheville is beautiful and being smaller, less tourist mobbed,more friendly,easier to drive around in,more unspoiled.I would not call a Banana Republic an "upscale store"..of course there may be a person on this planet that has not been to one in their own hometown and would be happy to shop there.It is an odd choice to make though..they are such different destinations.Better read up on them some more.

Frank Mar 17th, 2002 09:36 AM

I live in Asheville and have visited Boulder (taught in a summer program at the law school there). I think both are very interesting and are great places to visit. I prefer living where I do. Asheville has amazing diversity for a relatively small city in the South, plenty of good restaurants, interesting shops (I'm not a fan of big malls, so perhaps Boulder outscores Asheville here), and wonderful, accessible scenery. I say "accessible" because as spectacular as the Rockies are, I really like the system of scenic trails throughout the Pisgah National Forest around Asheville (we do a lot of hiking). Plus, Asheville really has no traffic problem at all. Whether there's enough to keep you busy may depend on your interests and the length of your stay. And yes, there are plenty of farms and cows around, including a herd next door to my place a few miles outside of town. I like calling it home.

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