Our travel guide RomanticAsheville.com celebrates its 12th anniversary this month with a fully re-designed Website, just in time for the busy July 4th weekend. What started as a hobby by us in 2003 has grown into one of the most popular travel websites in North Carolina with 4.5 million visits during the last 12 months (more than double the year before).
The new Website features a fully responsive design for optimal viewing on the wide range of devices used for internet access, including desktops, tablets and phones. Other new features include photo galleries, a trip planner and a “my favorites” tool to build a custom itinerary.
While the original focus was mostly Asheville, the guide gradually expanded to include most of the mountains of North Carolina. For example, their Blue Ridge Parkway guide covers 193 miles from Cherokee to Grandfather Mountain. Plus, there are features on more than 25 small towns from Saluda to Beech Mountain to Bryson City, with plenty of things to do in between.
More than 2,000 photographs (by me, Mark File) showcase the beauty of the area. I visit every place I feature, and I’m always carrying my camera. I especially love the outdoors, so the hiking and waterfalls sections are the biggest – more than 100 pages.
Outdoor lovers will find guides to 60 waterfalls and 75 hikes near Asheville. Other information includes Biltmore, Great Smoky Mountains, restaurants, beer, lodging and much more.
The guide grows organically based on reader interests. The most popular feature each year is the fall color guide, highlighted with a week-by-week peak color forecast. All content is free for readers, since the Website is funded by advertising partners such as bed-and-breakfasts, hotels, cabin rentals and attractions.
What’s next? Every week I learn about something new in Western North Carolina. I’ll never run out of finding things to see and do that I can share with readers.
Go to www.RomanticAsheville.com to see the guide.