Online travel guide RomanticAsheville.com celebrates its 12th anniversary this month with a fully re-designed Website. What started as a hobby by Mark File 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. More than 2,000 photographs showcase the beauty of the area. “I visit every place I feature, and I’m always carrying my camera,” File says. “I especially love the outdoors, so the hiking and waterfalls sections are the biggest – more than 100 pages.”
The guide grows organically based on reader interests. The most popular feature each year has been the fall color guide, highlighted with a week-by-week peak color forecast.
What’s next? “Every week I learn about something new in Western North Carolina,” File says. “I’ll never run out of finding things to see and do that I can share with readers.”