Whew! It has been awhile! Between work, gardening, and wood working projects it has been a busy few weeks. Anyhow…we just returned from a refreshing long weekend in Asheville with some friends and goodness…Asheville is so wonderful!
In the beginning stages of planning our little adventure we decided that spring would be a great time to visit before it got too hot. It was about a 6 hour drive for us making it the perfect location for a long weekend trip. Once the dates were picked our next order of business was to decide what activities were important to all of us.
Of course the Biltmore Estate is a great choice for first-timers, but we had already visited the estate on a previous trip so we decided to skip it. Asheville is situated right in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains so hiking seemed like an obvious option for our group. Also, being self proclaimed low-level thrill seekers, we also wanted a bit of adventure so we decided to be on the look out for zipline tours. With all of those fun activities being mentioned, Asheville is also renowned to be the perfect town to simply experience by shopping and eating so we wanted to leave plenty of time for that.
There are tons of options for accommodations in and around the area but two stood out to us the most. If you are looking for bargain, Airbnb has TONS of options on every budget and is great if you are are traveling with another couple or as part of a family (this is the option we ended up going with). Another great option if you are looking for a little luxury is checking out Asheville Cottages. Even though we weren’t able to stay in one of these gorgeous cottages, Marshall (the owner) was extremely helpful and gave us tons of tips for some of the best restaurants and shops in the area.
With the accommodations booked and our activities picked, we were all ready to get started on our adventure! We drove down on a Friday evening after we all got off work and made it into our Airbnb by about midnight.
After eating a quick breakfast on our first morning, we set off for our ziplining adventure. We chose to use French Broad Rafting and we could not have been happier with the excursion! This is a smaller company that is family owned so we were excited to give them our business. Sitting at about 2.5 hours, this tour was awesome and our guides (Holly & Kate) were amazing!
After finishing up our “thrill-seeking” we headed back to the house we were staying in to eat lunch from the stock of food we brought down with us. Once we had a full stomach and a fresh set of clothes, we were ready to head into town for some exploration! Parking in downtown Asheville can be somewhat of an issue, especially on a Saturday evening so be prepared to drive around the block a few times until a spot opens up or be ready to walk several blocks. Once we were situated with parking, we were ready to discover downtown Asheville! It is full of books shops, fair trade stores, and specialty shops. We took full advantage of the champagne bar while browsing at the Battery Park Book Exchange, taste tested every type of honey imaginable at the Asheville Bee Charmer.
Once we maxed out the amount of bags we could carry, it was time for some refueling so we headed for Wicked Weed Brewery. If you like trying new beers, eating great food, and enjoying an exciting environment then definitely give this place a try!
Hiking was on the agenda for our second day so we wanted to be sure to start our day out with a full breakfast. Tupelo Honey Cafe came highly recommended by several people so we gave it a try. Locally sourced food and imaginative combinations are what makes this restaurant a “must visit”.
We ventured to DuPont State Forest for some waterfall hunting and we were not disappointed! The trails we did were very manageable and there were plenty of options to make your own trek through the forest based on your own hiking abilities.
After about 6 miles of hiking, we were ready to get back into town and consume all of the calories we had stockpiled throughout our active day. The hubs and I decided to branch out on our own for dinner and we settled on Curate, a local tapas bar. OH.MY.GOODNESS. I have to say that it was literally one of the best meals I have ever eaten. If you are looking for a bit of a splurge for a romantic or special occasion, this is THE place to do it. It was the perfect end to our day and a perfect way to end out the weekend before we had to head back home.
Asheville has so much to offer for just about every type of traveler and is definitely a place to return to time and time again…we are honestly considering another trip already 😉
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