Leicester, North Carolina:
An agricultural community expanding with newer luxury home neighborhoods northwest of Asheville.
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Leicester is an unincorporated Buncombe County town northwest of Asheville. With about 12,500 residents, the community has grown vociferously over the past decade. This traditionally agricultural region is quickly transforming into a coveted high-end home market. New residents and luxury homebuilders are taking advantage of the crisp mountain air, the uncongested, expansive lay of the land, and the sweeping views.
A bit further from the city center, Leicester certainly isn’t isolated by any means.
Leicester Highway connects directly to Patton Avenue, which has its own commercial core and empties into downtown, I-26, or the city beltway – I-240.
Heading the other direction, Patton leads to I-40 towards Knoxville or the spunky cultural microcosm of West Asheville via Haywood Road.
Residents enjoy the sprawling solitude of Leicester and easy access to the Smokies, Hot Springs, and ski slopes in Maggie Valley. In about half that time, they can come into West Asheville to sample one of Asheville’s many microbrews or take a walk along the river in Carrier Park.
The battle over pronunciation of this community wages indefinitely, with locals and visitors haggling over syllables like prices at a flea market. Both “Lester” and “Lee-sester” will get you funny looks somewhere, but ultimately bring you back to the rolling hills and glens of the same beautiful spot.