Asheville is located at the confluence of the Swannanoa River into the French Broad River, which continues all the way northwest through the Appalachian Mountains to Knoxville in Tennessee. Being in a very mountainous area, its weather tends to be somewhat irregular and unpredictable, though morning fog in the valley is quite common. Its climate has the typical hot and humid summers of the southeastern U.S, but the temperature difference is more appreciable in the winter, when Asheville almost always receives snow (and sometimes freezing rain) a few times each year.
The city is best known for the lavish Biltmore Estate, which attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. It is also extremely popular in the autumn when fall foliage peaks in October. The scenic Blue Ridge Parkway also runs through town and the estate. Biltmore Village is a section of the city adjacent to the estate, where workers stayed during its construction.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 107.0 km² (41.3 mi²). 106.0 km² (40.9 mi²) of it is land and 1.0 km² (0.4 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.94% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 68,889 people, 30,690 households, and 16,726 families residing in the city. The population density is 650.0/km² (1,683.4/mi²). There are 33,567 housing units at an average density of 316.7/km² (820.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 77.95% White, 17.61% African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.92% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.53% from other races, and 1.58% from two or more races. 3.76% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 30,690 households out of which 22.2% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.1% are married couples living together, 13.0% have a female householder with no husband present, and 45.5% are non-families. 36.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 13.8% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.14 and the average family size is 2.81.
In the city the population is spread out with 19.6% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 23.1% from 45 to 64, and 18.3% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 39 years. For every 100 females there are 87.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 83.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $32,772, and the median income for a family is $44,029. Males have a median income of $30,463 versus $23,488 for females. The per capita income for the city is $20,024. 15.5% of the population and 10.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 20.9% are under the age of 18 and 10.1% are 65 or older.