Live the Dream STAT: Visitors still flocking to High Country
August 25, 2011, 7:59am
13.6% - Increase in spending by tourists and visitors to Ashe County last year, compared to the year prior. All but two North Carolina reported such increases, with Ashe County's growth the largest in the three-county High Country area.
Tourism means a lot to the High Country. The attractions made for visitors are near year-round amenities for residents. During the summer there's Tweetsie Railroad and easy walks to the top of Grandfather Mountain. In the winter there's plenty of skiing opportunities. In between are festivals of all types, including art, dance, music and simple down-home fun.
Ashe County is home to Christmas in July, the Blue Ridge Brutal 100, a fiddler's convention, the New River, outdoor concerts, Mount Jefferson and several other annual happenings.
Tourism spending was also up in Watauga (5.9%) and Avery (5.6%) counties. All three counties together create a great getaway a lucky few also call home.