Since both Matt and I are fully employed, we try to take advantage of every long weekend we have to travel. One of the places that has been on my list for a long time was Asheville, North Carolina. I’d been many years ago for a wedding and have family close-ish by in Greenville but I wanted to visit this small artsy town once more. Most importantly, to see the Biltmore Estate. Most of our trips are inspired by some photo I see – some beautiful place that I can’t get out of my head. While the weather could have been better, it was a great trip overall!
Creatures of habit, Matt and I tend to gravitate toward the same things. It’s Instagrammable backdrops for me and breweries for Matt. Add on some great restaurants and both of us are satisfied. Our visit to Asheville was true to form so if your interests are like ours, here are some tips on how to spend your time.
WHAT TO SEE:
If you love pretty picture stops as much as I do, this is probably why you’re reading this post. I did extensive research before our trip to find some of the coolest sights in this little hippie town! Here’s what I had on the list
- Biltmore Estate – I had seen a Pinterest photo years ago and put this gorgeous place on my list (first photo in this post). We tried to make it back last year but wedding season got a little in the way! We got to the Biltmore early Sunday morning and took a tour of their fashion inspired visit which I wrote about on Monday. Afterward, we tour the grounds. Every way we looked was stunning. Since it’s the end of winter, the flowers weren’t in bloom but we did find an amazing indoor garden which we spent a good 45 minutes wandering through. I would definitely love to go back in the spring! One tip: be warned that tickets are pretty expensive and there’s a discount if you buy in advance. So, plan to spend a day here to make the most of it!
- Pink Dog Creative (Depot Street) – this is the location of that colorful pink and blue wall below. It’s located in the arts district and there are a ton of cute restaurants and shops along this block. I just wanted to see the wall so we didn’t actually explore any but it was such a fun little strip. It’s worth a trip if you want an IG picture.
- Mural (Short Street Cakes) – this was the spot of another fun mural that I had wanted to see. I didn’t actually take a photo here but it would have been a cute spot!
- Downtown Asheville – we went into town a couple times just to walk around and see the town. It was exactly what you’d expect. Tons of interesting shops (including one with a selection of hot sauce – my favorite!) and a lot of great eateries.
WHAT TO EAT:
Everyone has to eat, right? Here are the list of restaurants we ate at or wanted to try.
- Curate – make a reservation well in advance! We didn’t think it would be that crowded. We were wrong. Very, very wrong. This place ended up being booked for the whole weekend.
- Plant – Matt always manages to find at least one really good vegan/vegetarian restaurant on each trip. He’s the best! The food here was awesome. We got the brussel sprouts (could have passed), the plantains (delicious), and the seitan chile con queso. So filling! Even if you’re a meat eater, this place is worth a stop!
- French Broad Chocolates – we didn’t even intend to stop into this spot but kind of happened upon it! It was right next to Green Man Brewery and they were advertising a chocolate tasting so we went in. It’s a really tiny spot but super cute! We sampled a few chocolates including a spicy one (again, my fave) and walked out with a few truffles to enjoy later!
- Antler Hill Winery – probably my favorite spot. We didn’t even intent to stay here but were delayed by lunch reservations so we grabbed a glass before eating. This was such a great ambiance and whatever Sauvignon Blanc I had was amazing. Definitely a place to stop by whether you’re waiting for lunch at Cedric’s Tavern.
WHERE TO DRINK:
This was Matt’s favorite part. Everyone always talks about all the micro breweries in Asheville and the scene did not disappoint. We spent a full day hanging out at the breweries and I volunteered to be Matt’s designated driver. I’m allergic to beer so it works out and I totally don’t mind. I just love seeing him get excited about going to a new brewery! He lives by the Untapped app so is always looking to try new beers. Every time he gets one, he tried to make me take a sip. I think he’s hoping that one day, I’ll magically start to like it. He’s wrong but I humor him nonetheless. Here were our top 3 breweries
- New Belgium – by far my personal favorite. Tons of space and a photo opp if wanted. There was also a food truck outside for a little bite to eat. There was a huge deck overlooking a river off the back. Overall, just a really great vibe going.
- Green Man Brewery – this was exactly what I expected when people described a hippie town. Stickers with provocative phrases covered the wall as well as scones of green… men. Aptly named brewery, I suppose. It was definitely a scene but it was a little small and a lot going on. It was great for one beer before we walked to the next place.
- Burial – this was the last stop on our self-guided tour. It was pretty relaxing and we got there just as the sun was setting. Matt really enjoyed his beer and dogs are welcome which made us both happy.
Overall, it was such a fun little place to spend the weekend. We didn’t get the chance to go hiking but I’ve heard there are some amazing trails around the area that I saw on Tripadvisor. If it was a little warmer, I think we would have been down though! Easy, relaxing, and interesting – we would definitely go back!