It’s probably no surprise to you that Asheville has become a top travel destination. It’s perfectly located on the East coast, a short flight from the Capitol or New York, and a pleasant few hour drive from states like Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. The climate is mild, which means no matter when you go, you’re sure to have a great time. More than anything, Asheville’s unique, laid-back, artsy mountain culture makes it an interesting place to visit, and a wonderful place to call home.
Today, more and more people are moving to and vacationing in Asheville because of its welcoming feel. The only problem is, with so many restaurants, places to shop, and things to explore, it can be tough to narrow down exactly what you want to do when you’re in town! That’s why we’ve created this blog post––our version of a perfect weekend in Asheville. All you’ve got to do is book a place to stay and we’ve got your weekend trip all planned:
Take Friday to explore what Asheville has to offer in a leisurely fashion. Make it to your hotel or bed & breakfast, settle in, and then hit the town. We recommend you just take a stroll downtown. There are a variety of boutiques, breweries, and bookstores to check out, not to mention all kinds of galleries and coffee shops. Friday afternoon is the perfect time to get a lay of the land and check out some of the beautiful downtown features, like Pack Square Park, that make Asheville so unique.
Once you’ve explored the town to your heart’s content, it’s time to grab a bite to eat, and maybe a drink to go with it! If you’re looking for something adventurous, try Curaté, one of Asheville’s most highly recommended spots for Spanish tapas. Order a pitcher of sangria and get a few plates to share––everything’s good here. If you’ve got a more traditional palette, then The Admiral is the spot for you. A local favorite tucked away in a historical brick building, The Admiral serves up classic American dishes with an upscale twist. Whichever restaurant you choose, be sure to make a reservation as they’re both popular spots, especially on the weekends.
Get an early start on Saturday with breakfast at Tupelo Honey Café. Their weekend brunch menu is truly something to behold, with all sorts of classic Southern dishes, as well as some that you might not have heard of before. Our favorite? The Shoo Mercy Sweet Potato pancakes, which come with fried chicken, bacon, eggs, grilled apples and fresh blueberries: a plate you might want to share. They’ve also got lighter options, like delicious avo toast, to satisfy any breakfast-eater.
River Arts District
After breakfast, head to the River Arts District to check out some of the art that Asheville is so famous for. This district is made up of a variety of old industrial buildings, now full of art galleries and studios with a revolving door of local artists. Watch some artists work, and check out the finished product in the studios of others. This picturesque area is set right on the river, making it the perfect spot to spend the day. If you get hungry, there are all sorts of little spots to stop for lunch, or you can bring sandwiches and enjoy them along the riverside.
Asheville is littered with a variety of independent coffee shops, each with their own unique flair and signature house blend. Make sure to check out a few while you’re in town, but if you’re dragging after a long day at the art galleries, we especially recommend Double D’s Coffee and Desserts. Here, coffee and housemade Italian sodas are served in a vintage double-decker bus––the type you’d see on the streets of London. It’s a quirky little stop offering a variety of local flavors, from their baked goods to their special coffee blends.
Night on the Town
You can’t beat Saturday night for a bit of brewery-hopping, and Asheville is certainly the place to do it. The town is home to some of the oldest craft breweries in the nation, and in fact, claims to be the birthplace of the craft beer revolution. To check out some of these renowned brewpubs, you’ll want to head to the South Slope district. There, you’ll find some of Asheville’s finest, like Twin Leaf, Funkatorium, Catawba Brewing, and Hi-Wire. The best part is that all the breweries on the South Slope are within walking distance of each other.
If you get hungry exploring the breweries, then Buxton Hall Barbecue is the place to go to soak up a bit of those suds. They’ve received top-notch reviews from all kinds of magazines and food bloggers, and were rated the #9 best new restaurant of 2016 by Bon Appetit. Buxton Hall is known for their whole-hog East Carolina BBQ, but their fried chicken and desserts are another well-kept local secret. It’s also located in the South Slope, so you won’t have to go far to find it.
Wake up slow
After a night on the town, you may want to take Sunday morning a little easy, which is why we’ve suggested you hit up the West North Carolina Farmer’s Market whenever you get out of bed. No matter the season, you’ll find stand after stand overflowing with baked goods, bright fruits and vegetables, and even some local crafts. Load up here with your favorite picnic fare, and jump in the car for the rest of your Sunday adventure.
Picnic in the Mountains
From the farmers’ market, you’ll take a bit of a Sunday drive through the gorgeous North Carolina mountains until you get to Max Patch, a bald mountaintop just south of Asheville. Bring your picnic with you as you hike the easy trail to the top. If you take the direct trail, it’s a bit more than a half-mile to the clearing at the top of the mountain. When you reach the summit, you’ll be greeted by spectacular 360º panoramic views of the Blue Ridge mountains surrounding you. Max Patch is a bald, which means there are no trees or vegetation to obscure your view of the other mountains around you. The wide, meadowy clearing also makes it the perfect place to enjoy your picnic and soak up every last bit of the mountains you can before you turn to go home.
Not up for a hike? Check out nearby town, Black Mountain.
If hiking isn’t your thing, consider spending a portion of your last day in NC in Black Mountain. A picturesque destination just minutes from downtown Asheville, Black Mountain was voted America’s prettiest small town to vacation in by TripAdvisor in 2016. Take a stroll through the downtown area, stopping at some of their upscale art galleries, Appalachian style craft stores, and numerous boutiques. If you’re feeling a Sunday brunch, Louise’s Kitchen is the place to stop. For a more laid-back casual bite to eat, you can’t beat any of the pizza places on the main drag. The mountain drive from Asheville to Black Mountain is a beautiful one, and will give you plenty to look at on your way out of town.
Where to stay?
If you’re not sure where to stay during your trip to Asheville, we’ve got a few suggestions. Make sure to book your room well in advance, however, because hotels in the area fill up quickly, especially during the summer.
There’s nowhere more quintessentially Asheville to stay than the great Biltmore Estate. Perhaps Asheville’s biggest claim to fame, this massive estate was built by the Vanderbilts way back when the country was just getting its start, and its expansive grounds and gardens remain standing today. You can book a room in the Biltmore for a beautiful, cultured experience. Here, you’ll certainly feel pampered and catered to, and you’ll want to make sure you check out the winery on Biltmore grounds––it’s one of the best rated in the country.
One of Asheville’s top-rated hotels, the Omni Park Grove Inn is certainly a place to stay in luxury. You’ll love their spacious rooms with all the amenities you want, and you’ll appreciate the long list of extras offered to the Inn’s guests. Not only does the Inn feature a top-rated spa, but it’s also home to an 18 hole golf course, an indoor pool, 6 tennis courts, 5 restaurants, 3 bars and a café. You certainly won’t have time to be bored when you stay at Omni Park Grove Inn.
If you’re looking for a unique vacation experience, we always recommend checking out local Airbnbs. These bed and breakfasts offer prime locations and unique living accommodations, from upscale treehouse homes to quaint Victorians right downtown. For a beautiful, affordable spot to stay downtown, we love Dragonfly Cottage with host Laura. It’s within walking distance to the River Arts District, downtown, and all sorts of other unique Asheville attractions.
If you’ve visited Asheville and found it’s the sort of place you might want to call home, then check out High Hickory. A peaceful mountain community, our homes are built with sustainability in mind. We’re located in the mountains just outside of Asheville, a short 10-minute drive to downtown. When you live at High Hickory, you’ll get the peace and quiet of mountain living, with the bustle of Asheville life just minutes away. For more information about our community, or to view High Hickory site plans, give our office a call at 866-936-5263 or contact us online today!