Visit Asheville, North Carolina

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Visit Asheville, North Carolina

Monday, June 15, 2020

The view of the Blue Ridge Mountains on the grounds of the Biltmore is spectacular.


Asheville, North Carolina is a unique town nestled into the Blue Ridge Mountains.  While some may be quick to label this town as "too touristy", I think this is a snap judgment and doesn't really speak to the charm and possibilities to explore here.   

Visit Asheville, North Carolina


We visited the Biltmore 22 years ago on our honeymoon.  This time, we returned with one more!


Asheville is a beautiful community with four true seasons and is a nature lovers paradise.  The area supports small, local businesses.  The small-town feel of mom and pop dining and activity options make this community a favorite for many travelers.  Before going to Asheville, do a little research and map out your trip based on your personal interests and all it has to offer.  There are so many great options here, that I find something new each time we visit.  And, I always leave wanting more!  Today, I'm recommending some of the high points from our recent trip in March.

Where to Eat and Drink

Asheville has a number of breweries.  There is no shortage of spots to hang out and grab a drink.  From IPA's to funky sours, there is a drink for every palate.  We have visited Urban Orchard on a previous visit.  They offer a variety of ciders and as well as small plates at its West location. 

New Belgium Brewing Company is a great spot for a sunny afternoon or fair-weather evening!

The outdoor spaces at New Belgium are inviting and encourage visitors to stay a while.

Enjoy views of the French Broad River while you are there.

Most recently, we settled into a sunny afternoon at New Belgium Brewing Company.  While the lines can be long, the wait is worth it.  Crowds and lines don't bother the staff.  They are friendly and helpful no matter how packed they are.  Visitors can enjoy beer flights that include IPAs, sours, and more.  For guests seeking a non-alcoholic option, sip on fruited seltzer water.  You aren't limited to flights.  You can grab libations to go as well as a single drink.  While New Belgium doesn't serve food, there is typically a food truck or similar service on the grounds.  We snacked on boiled peanuts and pretzels with mustard.  Outdoor spaces offer a large fire pit, picnic tables, Adirondack chairs facing the water and cornhole.  Bring your dog or children to lounge on the lawn or take a walk along the French Broad River.  

The pretzel we had at New Belgium was served with Lusty Monk mustard that my husband and both loved.  It is spicy and crisp pairing perfectly with the sours and beers served at the brewery.  I recommend picking up a jar or two of this while in Asheville.  You can also order online. 

Craig enjoyed his specialty biscuit.

I had the curry bacon and a plain biscuit with some of their jams.  Don't judge me for the amount of jam.  I couldn't help it!


Mornings are an excellent time to catch a breakfast out.  Biscuit Head is a local favorite.  We have visited twice and enjoyed both times.  They sell creative biscuit sandwiches like a mimosa fried chicken biscuit with sriracha slaw.  However, if the culinary concoctions that are pre-constructed seem over the top, make your own creation.  Biscuit Head offers bacon of the day.  I ordered the bacon of the day with a plain biscuit.  That day's offering was honey curry bacon.  They even offer gravy flights.  There is a variety of beautiful jams and jellies that you can use to dress up your biscuit.  The lines are long and typically move quickly.  The biscuits are tender and large.  Everything we had was flavorful and filling.  Don't leave Asheville without stopping in here for breakfast.  You can certainly share it with a friend.  The portions are large enough!

What to do

A trip to the Biltmore Estate may seem like the most touristy thing that you can do while in Asheville.  By some accounts, it is.  However, there are more things to enjoy on the grounds of the Biltmore besides the home itself.  We took a short hike on one of the trails followed by a picnic lunch beside the water.  Visitors can also enjoy Antler Hill Village where there is a petting zoo and large play area for children.  The grounds have lots of bike paths and trails with stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and well-manicured landscapes.  Plus, guests can visit the winery while on the grounds.  You could easily spend the day at the Biltmore taking in all of the activities.  Because there is so much to do there, don't rush your visit and take a look at all of the different activities and locations throughout the property to take full advantage of your time there.

Our short hike from our picnic spot to the Biltmore gave nice views.

The walk into the winery was lovely and cool.

There were lots of chickens and other animals at the Antler Village.

Our day at the Biltmore was low key and lots of fun for everyone.


If a trip to the Biltmore seems over the top, use All Trails to locate a nearby hiking trail.  You could take your bike and enjoy a ride along the French Broad River.  River floats and kayaking are also popular outdoor activities.  

The West North Carolina Nature Center provides plenty of outdoor fun and native wild life.
 

There are well-equipped play areas for children.

Our son enjoyed building and playing as much as the animals.


The Nature Center is an educational and fun outdoor activity featuring local animals that have been recused or though similar circumstances.  There is a daily nature talk from one of the naturalists about the center's inhabitants.  We enjoyed learning more about bobcats on the day that we were there.  

Where to Stay

Asheville is such an eclectic town that it seems sad to waste this adventure on an ordinary stay.  We had originally thought about camping.  But, we didn't take our RV to Asheville.  However, we did scope out some local campgrounds for a trip at a later time.  Mama Gerties is about 20 minutes from Asheville.  While it is not far off of the interstate, the views are spectacular.  The sites at the very top offer private decks for some spots.  The campground was clean and well kept.  There are also tent sites and cabins for rent.  It is a Good Sam Campground, so members can receive a discount on their reservation. 

The view from Mamma Gerties was great even if it was overcast on the morning we took a look!

The upper-level camping spots have some shared decks rocking chairs.

Some spots have their own private deck with a swing, fire pit, and dining area.
Each upper-level spot comes with a picnic table, full hookups, fire pits, and plenty of space!

 
Some people, in online camping groups, stated that the drive to this campground is treacherous.  The drive from the interstate to the campground is steep but short.  It is well within reach for most drivers.  I would advise taking the drive slow and arrive during daylight hours.  Once at the campground, the roads to the camping spots are fine.  The spots at the lowest levels are closest together.  But the spots at the top are spacious and worth the extra money.  I would recommend making your reservation well in advance to secure a top-level spot with a private deck.

If you didn't want to tent camp or rent a cabin, the views alone would be worth renting an RV.  Look for a local RV rental through Outdoorsy.  You could arrange for the renter to deliver and set up the RV in some instances.  I personally think that camping could be one of the best options in this area just because of the natural beauty and different experience.  

Returning here the week of our anniversary was a treat for us!


There are lots of visitors to Asheville.  It is a popular tourist destination.  However, don't let this deter you from a beautiful and fun adventure there.  We have enjoyed spending time here, and we will be returning again I am sure.  Hopefully, next time we will take our RV and camp.

If you have visited Asheville, please feel free to comment on something you loved there or would recommend to others.  I have only shared a shortlist of things to enjoy and do while you are there.  There were a couple of things that my sister planned to do that we didn't have time to do.  And, that is okay.  We have something to look forward to on our next trip there.  

Until next time...

Thank you to New Belgium Brewing Company for providing photos for this post!

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