This summer we traveled to Asheville for a second time and fell in love with it even more. If you haven’t been, Asheville is a city on the western side of North Carolina and located in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Asheville is known for its history, breathtaking mountain landscape, being home to the Biltmore Estate, and for their booming art district. It’s a great place for a couple’s get away or for the whole family. I wanted to share some of my recommendations and you’ll want to save this post if Asheville is in your future travel plans.
Since I’m a foodie, let’s start with some resturants you need to check out first.
- White Duck Taco Shop known for its eclectic, ever-changing delish taco combinations, a great patio, and sometimes live music. This is a must.
- Chestnut Creative cockails, yummy cuisine and don’t forget their desserts – which are made fresh in house!
- Tupelo Honey Want some real down home southern flare. This is your spot!
- Cúrate Tapas and authentic Spanish cuisine. People love this spot so much that they now ship some of their stapes nationwide!
- Sunny Point Cafe We loved this place for breakfast but they serve lunch and dinner and it is also a local favorite.
- Any restuarant located on the Biltmore Estate, I highly recommend too.
Speaking of the Biltmore Estate, if you are in Asheville this is a non-negoatiable. The Biltmore is magical and a must see. From their website: Once the luxurious family home of George and Edith Vanderbilt, it is a marvel of elegance and charm and as magnificent today as it was more than a century ago. Faithfully preserved and filled with original furnishings and masterpieces of art, no other residence in America offers a more authentic and inspiring view of Gilded Age life while suggesting that the Vanderbilts and their guests are still at home.
You can tour the estate gardens and the Biltomore Village for free. They do offer tours of the house and there are some eateries and shops in the old stables of the estate to visit as well. They have a winery on site along with several lodging acommodations. We like to stay at The Inn at Biltmore due to the incredible views of the 8,000 acre estate and the mountians, but any choice is great. There are hiking trails, biking trails, carriage rides, horseback riding and a wildlife tour and discovery activity for kids. In Antler Village they have live music and fun activites all around the village for adults and families. Check their event calandar for more.
If you’re looking for outdoor adventures, here are some recommendations:
Lake Lure. Lake Lure is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Make it a beach day where you can rent jet skis, water sport equiptment, or you can walk along the flower gardens or go fishing.
Chimney Rock. Located in Chimney Rock State Park, Chimney Rock is a large granite outcropping located on the summit of Chimney Rock Village. If you want the best views in all of North Carloina you have to check out “the Rock”. There are stairs to climb to get to the top (my 5 year old made it to the top by himself), but there is an elevator as well. There’s a great eatery at the top to enjoy a nice beverage while looking out into the mountain views.
Sliding rock. If you want a fun unique thing to do, especially with kids, check out Sliding Rock. North Carolina’s natural waterslide. sliding down a 60-foot all-natural water slide in the heart of gorgeous Pisgah National Forest. Good for all ages, but I recommend being able to swim as you slide into an 8 foot deep pool of water. The water temperature during summer season is 50-60 degrees so it’s definetly a rush! There are some fun adventure parks near by with ziplining, tree climbing, and more, if you want to continue the adventures.
Fred W. Symmes Chapel (Pretty Place). If you are up for an hour drive from Asheville to the border of South Carolina you’re in for a real treat. Pretty Place sits at the end of the road and is one of the buildings of a YMCA camp, yet vistors from all over come to check out these amazing views. Religious or not, this is without a doubt – a pretty place.