Helping you discover Asheville, NC with a breakdown of what to do, where to eat, and where to stay!
It’s about time I got this recap on the blog! I traveled to Asheville, NC at the end of August and absolutely loved it. It kind of reminded me of a smaller Austin – very hipster, great food scene, an emphasis on local, and also some fun outdoor things to do as well.
My family had this trip planned for awhile and I wasn’t planning on going. Micheal and I had so much travel coming up and it wasn’t really in the budget. When they offered to buy my plane ticket 2 weeks before, I couldn’t really pass it up. I met them there and we enjoyed a few days there. Unfortunately Michael couldn’t miss work though and he wasn’t able to come.
Here is everything that we did!
Where to Stay
My aunt rented a cute Airbnb that was 10 minutes from downtown. It was right along the Blue Ridge and pretty much and everything we needed – kitchen, deck, grill, a pretty view, and beds to sleep in. The house was decorated with a bunch of fun artwork too that was cool to check out.
I’m sure there might be better places to stay in town, but this suited us perfectly.
What to Do
Hiking! Asheville is right along the Blue Ridge Mountains and there is plenty of hiking to do. There are trails that are all different lengths and elevations that would be good for anyone. And the views are amazing!! I really want to go back in the fall when the tress are alive with colors.
Asheville also isn’t far from the Smoky Mountains. We headed to Tennessee one day to day to hike Mt. Cammerer. If hiking is your thing, I definitely recommend it! The hike was about 5.5 miles up and the view is amazing. We took a different trail back down and ended up hiking around 15 miles! I’ve never hiked like that before, but now I know why so many people love it.
Shopping downtown – we walked around downtown and they have a bunch of cute shops ranging from artwork, clothing, house decor, and even a skate shop. I picked up a few spices to bring home to make something delicious.
The Biltmore Estate – a large private estate that is châteauesque-style mansion. Unfortunately the kids of the trip went hiking in Tennessee the day my parents and aunt went to check it out, but I heard it was amazing. I’m hoping to go back one day and see it.
Breweries – there are a bunch of breweries in and around downtown. We didn’t have the chance to check any out (we needed more time), but it’s another reason I want to go back and bring Michael this time.
What to Eat
And now the most important part. The food! What kind of trip would it be without trying some local spots and enjoying what the city has to offer.
The first night we hit up Rhubarb and this was probably my favorite meal of the trip! Rhubarb is a contemporary farm-to-table American style restaurant that focuses on using local ingredients and showcasing food in it’s simplicity.
We enjoyed a bunch of delicious items – fried hominy, Chinese eggplant, lobster mushrooms, lamb ribs, pork belly, whole roasted trout, steak, shrimp, some desserts, and probably a few things I am forgetting. Everything was so creative and the flavor combinations where things you wouldn’t think of doing, but it just worked. I highly recommend if you are in Asheville.
For breakfast one morning we tried out Biscuit Head. It’s a breakfast and lunch cafe known for homemade biscuits, homemade jams and are committed to local food. I’m not a huge biscuits and gravy fan, but really enjoyed this place. I spilt one with my mom with poached eggs, tomatoes, kale, and roasted red peppers and it was really good. The biscuit was delicious as well. Everyone else really liked their biscuits too. They also had some fun sides too. My favorite part was probably the jam bar though – they had just about every jam you can think of for you biscuit. I even saw a cheeto jam!
Another night for dinner we tried out Posana. It has a similar concept to Rhubarb with it featuring contemporary American cuisine and focusing on local and seasonal ingredients. I will admit I like Rhubarb better, but this is still a great choice. We enjoyed gnocchi (amazing!), buffalo tartare, salads, grilled lamb, steak, fish, and pomme frites.
Before we headed out we checked out Farm Burger. I love a good burger and some sweet potato fries and enjoyed this place. They use local grass fed beef, fresh and local ingredients, and also have a vegan, chicken, and pork burgers as well. I choose one of the house creations but they also have a build-your-own section too.
Finally I can’t forget our favorite dessert spot, French Broad Chocolates. The funny thing is, my mom got to talking to the owner and found out she used to live right near the town we grew up in. What a small world!
We enjoyed everything from hot chocolate, s’mores cakes, flourless chocolate cake, cookies, caramels, macaroons, and probably some more things I can’t remember. Definitely not paleo, but I think they had some gluten free and maybe vegan treats. Either way, it was totally worth it and I highly recommend.
We barely skimmed the surface of all the good restaurants though. I had a few more of my list, there was just not enough time!
Overall I really loved Asheville! The town was so cute and laid-back but with plenty to do. As soon as I left I was already thinking about going back. I know Michael would love it as well, so I hope to plan a trip with him next time. Let me know if you have been or if it’s on your list of places to visit!