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20 Towns Similar to Asheville, NC

Night time at Pack Square, Ashville, North Carolina.

If you have ever been to Asheville, the chances are very good that you found your way into at least one craft beer brewery, as there are over 30 breweries located in this town. Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, proximity to outdoor adventures, and a thriving arts scene makes Asheville a good place to enjoy a beer or two. Makes you wonder if there are towns similar to Asheville, NC?

20 Towns similar to Asheville, NC:

  • Portland, ME
  • Bend, OR
  • Boulder, CO
  • Kalamazoo, MI
  • Pensacola, FO
  • Burlington, VT
  • Greenville, SC
  • Rapid City, SD
  • Missoula, MT
  • Santa Fe, NM
  • Portland, OR
  • Lake Havasu City, AZ
  • Hendersonville, NC
  • Hood River, OR
  • La Crosse, WI
  • Sanoma, CA
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Geneva, IL
  • Duluth, MN
  • Golden, CO

No town is exactly like another, each town is unique, and that is why people explore different towns. A town can be similar to another through architecture, arts and craft offerings, similar outdoor experiences, and what it can offer a visitor to drink. Asheville is a beer city, and hopefully, the places listed come close to what you can experience from a beer tasting standpoint.

20 Towns Similar To Asheville, NC

Grove Arcade District, Ashville, North Carolina.

Asheville has beer to spare; this town is second on the list regarding breweries per capita in the US. Asheville was named Beer City in 2009 and has been sweeping competition aside whenever the terms “beer, best, and town” are in play. Travel Mag has dubbed Asheville the “Beervana East” and “The Portland of the East coast.”

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According to the Citizen-Times, Asheville’s breweries were responsible for the following numbers (end of 2019):

  • Second-largest manufacturing employer in Asheville.
  • Accounted for one-third of the $1.7 billion output of all the breweries across the state.
  • Tax revenues to the state, local, and federal governments totaled $115 million.
  • Earned $168 million associated with brewery activity jobs.

Visiting Asheville for a Beercation will expose you to hundreds of different beers, as the beermakers have a license to thrill and experiment, and they do. It’s not only beer that will take up your time, as there are lots of fun-filled activities in Asheville. There is much more to Asheville than meets the double-visioned eye.

The popularity of traveling for beer is on the rise. Hardened fans of IPAs, stouts, and lagers, are willing to travel to experience new innovations and flavors produced in the brewing world. After visiting Asheville, give the following beer towns a go.

1. Portland, Maine

Corner of Fore and Market streets, Portland, Maine.

Portland, Maine, has an estimated 18 breweries per 50,000 residents and has been home to incredible beer makers since breweries were still called microbreweries. In the northern end of town, you will find Geary Brewing Company, billed as New England’s first craft brewery. Along the waterfront, check out Rising Tide Brewing Company, which specializes in artisanal ales.

You can visit many breweries on a trip to Portland, each one unique offering something special. Plan a stop at Funtown Splashtown if you have children, or catch some Bluefin tuna in between gulps of craft beer.

Things To Do in Portland, Maine that does not include drinking beer.

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2. Bend, Oregon

Mirror Pond, Bend, Oregon.

The mountain town that’s got it all, from award-winning breweries, amazing food, and outdoor recreation that forms a unique combination with cosmopolitan sophistication. Talking about breweries, Bend has an estimated 16 breweries per 50,000 residents.  Bend, back in the day, was a logging town. Today, Bend is a Beer town- Lager, porter, IPA- with a brewery for every 4,500 people.

A good way to explore the beer on offer in Bend is through guided beer tours and annual beer celebrations. A great way to explore Bend is by bike, and besides awesome beer, Bend has a lot of awesome activities to keep everyone busy, young and old.

Things To Do in Bend that does not include drinking beer.

3. Boulder, Colorado

Pearl Street, Boulder, Colorado.

Boulder, CO, is a prime spot for visitors who love beer and beautiful landscapes like the Rocky Mountains. Boulder has an estimated 14 breweries per 50,000 residents. If your taste buds are more refined, you will be happy to know that Boulder has four distilleries, three wineries, and two cideries on top of the 22 breweries.

Boulder is also known as “America’s Foodiest Town,” and it’s a clever idea to enlist the help of a tour guide like Local Table Tours to guide you to the best places to eat and drink. Check out Boulder’s annual events to plan your visit around a popular event. Boulder hosts the Winter Craft Beer Festival in February, where the best breweries in the state come together to bring you the best beer in the country.

Things To Do in Boulder that does not include drinking beer.

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4. Kalamazoo, Michigan

Arcadia Creek fountain, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Kalamazoo is an awesome place to visit if you are a beer lover. Some claim that it’s the birthplace of the craft beer scene found in Michigan. Kalamazoo has an estimated 10 breweries per 50,000 residents, and one of their most famous is  Bell’s Brewery – maker of Oberon Ale and Two Hearted Ale.

Kalamazoo has a wide variety of activities and events which incorporates their famous craft beers into a fun exercise for the thirsty traveler:

Things To Do in Kalamazoo that does not include drinking beer.

5. Pensacola, Florida

Blue Wahoos Stadium, Pensacola, Florida.

Pensacola’s nickname is “The City of Five Flags” due to being ruled by the British, Spanish, French, Confederacy, and the US; today, it’s ruled by excellent breweries, historical museums, art galleries, and gorgeous beaches. If you are eager to find out the history of the places you visit, then a walking tour through Historic Pensacola Village should provide all the information you require.

Aviation is also big in Pensacola; all naval pilots train here, making this city Top Gun. Spread your wings and head off to the National Naval Aviation Museum before you head for some of the best craft beers you will ever have the pleasure of sipping found at these awesome breweries:

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Things To Do in Pensacola that does not include drinking beer.

6. Burlington, Vermont

Marketplace at Church street, Burlington, Vermont.

Burlington is Vermont’s largest city, beloved as an outdoor destination, flanked by the Adirondack Mountains on the one side and the beautiful Lake Champlain on the other. Expect natural beauty in abundance and townsfolk with a down-to-earth nature. There are also many in-town attractions, a thriving brew and food scene, and a youthful vibe of a college town.

Lake Champlain is the center of activity; take a bike ride on the Burlington Bike Path or take a trip to the Echo Lake Aquarium and Science Center with the kids. When it is time to drink a beer-or-two, book a guided tour on Sip of Burlington Brew Tour, which will transport you to the following wet spots:

Other breweries that are definitely worth having a beer at:

Things To Do in Burlington that do not include drinking beer.

7. Greenville, South Carolina

Downtown Greenville, South Carolina.

Set in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Greenville has been racking up the awards in the last two decades, accolades that confirm this town as an awesome holiday destination. Forbes rated Greenville as one of “The South’s Most Tasteful Small Towns” in 2020. Insider rated Greenville as one of “15 of the Most Underrated Travel Destinations of the Year” in 2019.

Previously, Greenville was recognized as the winner of the “Great American Main Street Award” due to a downtown area home to over 75 restaurants and 130 retail shops in one square mile section. Right, let’s talk beer. Here are some fun Food & Beverage Tours that you can undertake while your partner shops downtown:

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Things to Do in Greensville that do not include drinking beer.

8. Rapid City, South Dakota

Panoramic view of Rapid City, South Dakota.

Rapid City, the banana belt of South Dakota, gets less snow than Denver and more sun than Honolulu and Miami. Dubbed “The Gateway to the Black Hills” and the perfect starting point for visitors to explore the Black Hills, Badlands, Mount Rushmore, and the Crazy Horse Memorial, among other nearby attractions.

Kids will love the Reptile Gardens, Bear Country, Dinosaur Park, and Watiki Indoor Waterpark. For the beer lovers, visit any of the following breweries to quench your thirst:

Things To Do in Rapid City that does not include drinking beer.

9. Missoula, Montana

Sunset at Clark Fork River, Missoula, Montana.

Missoula is located in the fly-fishing Golden Triangle and is an excellent area to hunt elk, deer, moose, bear, and other game animals. This town caters to all-season visitors and offers a to-do list for whole families and the single traveler. Book a day trip, visit a museum, try surfing a river, or catch a live music show.

Missoula has an estimated 8 breweries per 50,000 residents, so that you won’t have any problem finding an establishment with awesome craft beers, brewing establishment like the following:

Things To Do in Missoula that do not include drinking beer.

10. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Sante Fe is known as a city like no other, hence the nickname “The City Different,” contrasting between an ancient native culture mixed with modern art, legendary cuisine, and thirst-quenching drinks served all year round.

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Set in the unspoiled beauty of 7,000-foot Rocky Mountains vistas, it’s a must for people that want to experience a different culture and have fun while exploring it. There are many road trips for lovers of outdoor experiences that you can book to explore nearby Indian ruins and traditional pueblos.

Family activities are also catered for, and people who appreciate art are encouraged to visit the Museum of International Folk Art to view over 100,000 art displays from all over the world. Sante Fe will keep everyone busy, especially the beer enthusiasts, so if drinking beer is your way to relax during a holiday, visit the following breweries:

Things to Do in Santa Fe that do not include drinking beer.

11. Portland, Oregon

Portland alleys, Oregon.

Portland, Oregon, is a major port situated in the Willamette Valley in the Pacific Northwest and has a thriving arts and culture scene. Proximity to numerous outdoor adventures and other family-friendly activities makes Portland a good holiday destination.

Portland has an endless supply of breweries for the beer connoisseur, with over 70 breweries, many of which offer innovative concoctions that can only be tasted in Portland. It’s easy to plan your whole trip around the city’s frequent beer festivals, so make sure to have a look at this beer-centric events calendar.

Breweries that warrant a beer or six include:

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12. Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Aerial view of Lake Havasu, Arizona.

Lake Havasu was originally an area that Mohave Native Americans, Spaniards, and mountain men trekked through, on route to somewhere else. That was until a dam was built in this desert land, and the military started to use it as a resting place.

Throw in a man with a vision, Robert McCulloh, who made a town here, bought the original London Bridge from England, turning a young city into a major tourist attraction. The fact that a man could bring such a grand monument from another continent inspired many to visit and relocate to participate in the American Dream.

The best time to visit is during the prime months on Lake Havasu, when all sorts of water activities occur, like professional fishing tournaments, Jet Ski finals (International), boat regattas, and the Chillin ‘N Swilling Beer Festival.  If you enjoy consuming some beer on holiday, here are a few breweries that might interest you:

Things To Do in Lake Havasu that do not include drinking beer.

13. Hendersonville, North Carolina

Hendersonville main street, North Carolina.

Hendersonville is located 22 miles from Asheville and also has a range of outdoor activities to keep everyone busy, a wide selection of dining options, a bustling art scene, and offers a pet-friendly atmosphere for the whole family to enjoy. Hendersonville is known for its beautiful scenery, gentle climate, and friendly people.

And just like its neighbor Asheville, Hendersonville offers beer lovers the Cheers Trail and a variety of breweries:

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Things To Do in Hendersonville that do not include drinking beer.

14. Hood River, Oregon

Sunrise at Columbia River Gorge, taken from Hood River, Oregon.

Hood River is a port on the Columbia River and a regular go-to destination for windsurfers and kiteboarders, foodies, and outdoor activity-loving families. Located at the panoramic crossroads of the Cascade Mountain range and the Columbia River Gorge, the town is full of scenic hiking trails, mountain biking trails, wineries, and breweries.

Public consumption of alcohol on sidewalks and parks is unrestricted (the only city in Oregon that allows this.) Relaxing with a beer anywhere has never been easier. The following places will provide you with a variety of beer choices:

Things To Do in Hood River that does not include drinking beer.

15. La Crosse, Wisconsin

Beautiful sunset at La Crosse, Wisconsin.

When making your way to this region, you will have to partake in what is commonly known as the most picturesque drive in America, driving on the Wisconsin Great River Road. This scenic road trip will eventually lead you to the culture and historically rich La Crosse.

Here you will find arts and crafts, festivals, and an awesome to-do list of signature sights and attractions of the La Crosse region.  There are awesome ways to do that for people who like getting physical when exploring a region: Hiking, biking, and paddling.

La Crosse offers a unique brewery tour to its beer-loving visitors in the famous  Coulee Region Craft Beverage Trail that incorporates the local breweries and stops at eight neighboring towns breweries.  The drinkable bucket list is what they call it.

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Things To Do in La Crosse that do not include drinking beer.

16. Sonoma, California

Fountain Front of Sonoma City Hall, California.

Asheville is the beer city, Somana is the wine valley. Both can make many a visitor see double and call for an Uber. Sonoma, one of the principal cities of California’s Wine Country, is a very popular tourist destination (barrels and barrels of wine everywhere.) Noted events in this region include the Sonoma International Film Festival.

Arts and gallery visits can be successfully combined with Sonoma County Wine Tours. Don’t forget to explore the other action attractions, including Sonoma’s historic town plaza. Oh, Sonoma does offer beer as well. Pop into one of these breweries/distilleries if wine is not your thing.

Things To Do in Sonoma County that does include drinking beer.

17. Grand Rapids, Michigan

Aerial view of Grand River Rapids, Michigan.

Expedia refers to this city as “Super Cool,” which is spot-on! From world-class attractions like the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park -the world’s best sculpture park-, and the internationally renowned Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids caters to the art lover.

Grand Rapids is a good holiday destination no matter the season and offers a wide variety of outdoor recreation to visitors, as well as a crafty beer scene. When it’s time for a cold one, head off to these institutions:

Things To Do in Grand Rapids that do not include drinking beer.

18. Geneva, Illinois

Fox River bridge, Geneva, Illinois.

One of the most cultured and beautiful cities globally, Geneva combines all the splendors of nature with its rich history through architectural elements found in the city. History buffs regularly visit the Geneva History Museum, while outdoor lovers explore the Fabyan Forest Preserve that leads to the Fabyan Windmill.

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Another popular attraction is the downtown French market and the variety of breweries on offer:

Things To Do in Geneva that do not include drinking beer.

19. Duluth, Minnesota

Seaport City, Duluth, Minnesota.

Duluth is a port city found in the State of Minnesota. Besides ships coming in and out of the city, so do visitors, as Duluth offers year-round events, especially fun-filled winter activities. Children love Duluth Children’s Museum, where the art of play is the aim of the day. Make sure to take them to see the  “Tour of Lights” in Bentleyville and see the wonder in their eyes.

Duluth caters to every visitor’s interest, whether through music festivals, arts and crafts, outdoor activities, museums, or specialized trips. There are also some good spots to enjoy a cold one, spots like these:

Things To Do in Duluth that do not include drinking beer.

20. Golden, Colorado

Entrance to Golden, Colorado.

You will find Golden along the Clear Creek of the Front Range of the magical Rocky Mountains. The town was founded during Pike’s Peak Gold Rush in 1859. World-class outdoor recreation awaits the visitor: Kayaking, sup, tubing, and rafting.

Visitors like spending a relaxed afternoon on Clear Creek Trail & Water Park, sitting in old trains in the Colorado Railroad Museum, or taking a drive up Lookout Mountain and visiting Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave.

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Beer sommeliers are usually very excited to visit the world’s largest single-site brewery, the  Coors Brewery. Seeing that beer is sometimes referred to as golden nectar, here are a few places to visit in Golden if you are looking for nectar with a punch:

Things To Do in Golden that do not include drinking beer.

Conclusion

Focusing on towns with a similar brewery profile as Asheville ensures that people who love holidays and beer are catered for when deciding to visit any towns on the list above. A well-crafted beer goes down swimmingly when combined with a holiday vibe.

Here’s to making memories in different towns, drinking awesome beer.

References:

Citizen-times.com – Asheville makes TravelMag’s top 20 ‘Best Beer Towns in the US’ list

Tripadvisor.com – A cheaper alternative to Asheville

Listalternatives.com – Alternatives To Asheville Nc​

Travelmag.com – THE 20 BEST BEER TOWNS IN THE UNITED STATES

Exploreashville.com – Home Page

Visitbend.com – Home Page

Bouldercoloradousa.com – Home Page

Oregonlive.com – Portland 8th in U.S. for breweries per capita. The ‘other’ Portland is No. 1

Visitpensacola.com – LOCAL BREWS

Experiencegr.com – Home Page