...because home doesn't happen overnight.

asheville

Last year we took a family vacation that coincided with the kids’ short fall break. We enjoyed the slower pace of the off season so much that we decided to plan another trip for this fall. In the early stages of planning, we all agreed that being surrounded by nature and focusing on quiet family time were top priorities. We absolutely LOVED visiting Rosemary Beach last year (and will most definitely visit again) but we decided for this trip we wanted to experience a new (to us) place. We were also aiming for a shorter road trip to cut down on travel time and optimize R&R time. We’re headed to Asheville, North Carolina, later this month and can hardly wait!

asheville 1

We’re staying outside of Asheville to cut down on costs but plan to visit the city to eat, shop, wander and, let’s be honest, stalk houses. We’ll also be trick-or-treating in Asheville! The cabin we’re renting sits on a sizable plot with killer views and a creek for the kids to explore. If the weather cooperates, we’ll try to spend as much time as possible outside. We have a few ideas in mind but if you have any family-friendly recommendations for what to eat, see or do while we’re in the area, I’d love to hear them! We’re a family of foodies and enjoy being active outdoors, so anything along those lines is fair game. The suggestions you gave me for the 30A area last year were so helpful that I just had to ask this time around.

Thanks in advance! I promise to take a bunch of notes and pictures to share.

You can read more about last year’s family vacation here, here and here.

101 Comments

14.October.2015

We went to TN for our honeymoon in August and spent a day in Asheville and loved Tupelo Honey!

12 College Street
Asheville, NC 28801

If you’re looking for a cool coffee spot, check out High Five (I love how they do customer orders for the baristas, and their marketing is really cool). http://highfivecoffee.com/

We also really liked the Grove Arcade, also downtown — lots of shops. http://www.grovearcade.com/shopping-dining/

Enjoy!

reply )

replied on October 14th, 2015

Thanks for the recs and links Jillian!

reply )

replied on October 14th, 2015

Grove Aracade is nice and fun if they have the street vendors outside too!

Be sure to go to Mast General Store!

And Of course The Biltmore and Chimney Mountain are two great sites.

reply )

replied on October 16th, 2015

I second High Five for coffee. Got the Mayan latte – so good!

If you’re looking for a fun place to eat, check out Biscuit Head (www.biscuitheads.com). Worth ALL the calories consumed there haha

reply )

14.October.2015

Such a beautiful city! Check out Tupelo honey in downtown Asheville for a delicious and healthy spin on southern fare. Let me emphasize delicious. Also, my fathers pizza in downtown black mountain is a short drive away and so worth it.

reply )

14.October.2015

LOVE Asheville so much! You’ve got to go check out the Grove Park Inn! It’s gorgeous with killer views and lots of history! There’s a restaurant there called the Sunset Terrace that was super good, although pricey, at least at dinner time. But, you eat outdoors looking out over the mountains and the view is gorgeous–especially in the fall! It was worth the money to us and was a so relaxing and memorable!

http://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/asheville-grove-park/dining/sunset-terrace

In all the times I’ve been to Asheville, still haven’t gone to the Biltmore, although it’s on my bucket list! I’ve heard they even do wine tasting tours!

The last time we went to Asheville, my son was deep in the train phase and obsessed with tunnels, so we literally went back and forth through the tunnel over 25 times. Hahaha! He thought it was awesome, but I’m thinking you’ll find something more exciting to do than that! ;)

reply )

14.October.2015

You’re coming to my town! :) What a perfect time to visit, with the color of the changing leaves everywhere.

For family fun — WNC Nature Center has bears/wolves/big cats/otters/farm animals; Biltmore Estate has miles and miles of trails you can walk or ride bikes as well as a farm/petting zoo; DuPont Forest is fun with kids and a good hike with lots of waterfalls; maybe canoeing or kayaking down the French Broad River; exploring/hiking around the NC Arboretum; sitting in the hot tubs in Hot Springs; Grandfather Mountain is fun & an easy hike for kids, Craggy Gardens offers 360 degree views from the top (about a mile to the top). Maybe also the Colburn Science Museum or Asheville Art Museum (downtown) has a kid’s section called the art PLAYce and i think kids can paint/create their own pieces.

For food — you’re in luck because we have close to 90 independent restaurants here. You can pretty much find any type of food you’d like and it will all be delicious. Vortex Doughnuts are delicious (and excellent coffee), Buxton Hall BBQ is fantastic, All Souls Pizza, Homegrown Cafe, Nine Mile (jamaican), Universal Joint (burgers/chicken/salads), Biscuithead, Mamacita’s (burritos/Mexican), White Duck Taco, The Hop (ice cream)….I could go on and on. If you have specific types of food, let me know and I’ll give you some suggestions. (Tupelo Honey is good, but the wait can be very long and they don’t take reservations. So maybe try their non-peak hours…) And yes, High Five is awesome (my neighborhood!) and they just opened a second location downtown.

And if you guys decide you want a date night, I can recommend some babysitters we have used for years. :)

reply )

replied on October 15th, 2015

Ah, thanks Jen! Don’t be surprised if you get an email from me regarding babysitters ;)

reply )

replied on October 15th, 2015

I also live in Asheville & would second most all of those recommendations (All Souls isn’t my favorite, and I still haven’t been to Homegrown)! Make sure if you go to Biscuit Head (my favorite for breakfast! and great, easy spot for kids) you go to the one in West Asheville (not the one near the hospital). The line can be long on the weekends so get there early, but it does move quickly. High Five might be my favorite coffee in town and the new downtown location is right next to Tops (an amazing shoe store). King Daddy’s is another good breakfast spot. I prefer all of these to Tupelo Honey (they have great biscuits, but I think the other spots offer a little more interesting items on their menus.)
I love the trails around Montreat too – also lots of good kid options.
And for trick or treating – definitely look into vermontavehalloween.com in West Asheville. They shut the streets down and it is BUSY. Maybe overwhelming when you don’t know the area but lots of cute bungalows to check out while you walk. And the current HGTV dream home is located right around the corner too!
So so many great things to do in town – walking around downtown, going on a hike, (Montreal, Craggy Gardens, etc. I would check the foliage report on Romantic Asheville before deciding which trail to hit up.) TONS of breweries to try (lots are very kid friendly if you are there during day light hours), Haywood Ave in West Asheville also has lots of cute little shops and great restaurants. Good luck planning your trip! Hope you love it as much as we all do.

reply )

14.October.2015

Tupelo Honey is definitely worth visiting. I spent about a month in Asheville a few years ago, and this was my favorite spot. I have their cookbook now and absolutely love everything in it! The Green Sage Café is also a cute little spot downtown for breakfast or light lunch.

Top natural attractions would include the Great Smokey Mountain National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway (and lots of excellent hiking trails adjacent to the Parkway), and Chimney Rock. The Biltmore Estate is very impressive, but huge and perhaps not thrilling for kids.

You should definitely find some time to wander around downtown Asheville – – the shops are full of jewelry and home furniture/décor from local artisans that is unique and beautiful.

I loved Asheville and hope you will too!

reply )

14.October.2015

I’ve been to this area twice now and LOVE it. Depending on which side of Asheville you are staying on I would recommend Pisgah national forest- sliding rock in particular. There are several great waterfalls along the way and lots of hiking. Brevard is the nearest city with a cute main street. We ate at a diner (don’t remember the name, but it is the only one on Main St)
http://www.romanticasheville.com/sliding_rock_north_carolina.htm

Transylvania county has great hiking/waterfalls, with trails easy enough to be kid friendly.

http://brevardnc.com/businesses/hunger-games-waterfall/

Have so much fun!!

reply )

14.October.2015

I second the Grove Arcade.

A nice hike off of the Blue Ridge Parkway is at Craggy Gardens. It isn’t too long or too difficult, but has amazing views at the top.

There is a cute little toy store called The Toy Box off of Merrimon Avenue that I loved to visit as a kid and was able to take my kids to a couple years ago.

The Biltmore Estate is very impressive, but can be very expensive. The town around Biltmore is really cute and has a lot of neat little shops.

Brevard is another little town not too far away that has a wonderful downtown area with lots of shops and places to eat.

Asheville is one of my most favorite places. Have a great trip!

reply )

14.October.2015

The Biltmore Estate!

reply )

14.October.2015

I second Tupelo Honey – they have a couple locations. The quaint downtown locale does not take reservations, so go early or late if you want to be there. The one south of town is much larger….

Biltmore is awesome and worth the money. You can also do a walking tour downtown (self-guided) which is easy with kids and takes you by some great little boutiques.

We love Asheville. LOVE. Enjoy!

reply )

14.October.2015

Our family (3 generations) greatly enjoyed the Carl Sandburg Home/Farm just outside Asheville. http://www.nps.gov/carl/index.htm

reply )

14.October.2015

Tupelo Honey Cafe, J. Crew store in Arden, NC attached to distribution center— crazy good prices! Curate, Limones, and LaZoom comedy/bus tour!!!

reply )

14.October.2015

Love AVL!

Food:
Over Easy Cafe or Sunny Pointe for breakfast
All Souls Pizza
White Duck Taco

reply )

14.October.2015

i love asheville SO MUCH and often fantasize about moving there. haven’t been since i had a kid, though, so not 100% sure on the kid-friendly-ness of my previous itineraries. i do agree with some of the others that the biltmore might be kinda boring for young kids. so, to add to the above suggestions –
– the river arts district is pretty cool and fun to wander around. also woolworth gallery.
– oddfellows antiques was good for us. there’s a bunch of antique stores in this big old warehouse area. last time we were there, we found some awesome mid-c chairs for much, much less than we’d pay in dc.
– the downtown area is really cute to walk around and has neat little shops.
– last time we were there, we went to dinner at nine mile (jamaican somebody recommended above). had to wait for a bit, but the residential neighborhood it’s in was so nice and we had a nice walk after dinner looking at houses and dreaming about moving there :)
– hiking and the blue ridge parkway is fun. we liked checking out the waterfalls.
– malaprops bookstore is really nice and may be good for kids who like to read.
– my food recommendations may not line up with your preferences. i’m a vegetarian, so asheville is like paradise to me. there are vegetarian restaurants galore and most places have a really solid, creative vegetarian option (or two!) on the menu. also all the local, farm-fresh emphasis makes me happy. yay, hippies :) tupelo honey, the laughing seed, plant, and early girl have been some of my favorites. also enjoyed white duck taco, nine mile, and mellow mushroom (i know it’s a chain, but i have a fondness for it from my college days).
– this is probably so cheesy, but i remember being fascinated by seeing people joining random drum circles on the streets when i was younger. i’m pretty sure my toddler would love it!

reply )

14.October.2015

Yay! Welcome to Asheville! I will back up Jen on her recommendations – I too, am from Asheville and live downtown in Montford (the historic district). If you are able, I recommend trick-or-treating on Montford Ave. It is super-fun! The houses are kinda creepy at dusk any way so lots of people park at the Chamber of Commerce and walk the street every year – A hot spot for Asheville on Halloween. My kids are too old to dress up anymore so I usually just dress up my dog (this year she’s going as “Dog Marley”) and go check out the costumes.

Cool eats you kinda need to check out in the area:
Sierra Nevada Brewery (Taproom Restaurant)
Nine Mile Restaurant
White Duck Taco
The Bywater
Asheville Brew-n-View ($3 movies and pizza!)
King Daddy’s Chicken & Waffles (West Asheville)
River Arts District – general area is very neat near downtown.
LaZoom comedy Bus Tour (Sounds stupid but trust me, it’s awesome)

reply )

14.October.2015

Biltmore Estate hand down! Food there if I remember correctly was a bit pricey but if you are in to houses. They have a winery [I know not family friendly] and a huge garden that is really neat to walk through.

Here is a fun link to movies filmed at Biltmore Estate.http://www.biltmore.com/media/newsarticle/movies-filmed-at-biltmore

Also, a lot of the crafsman and women who work on the estate live in the area. It’s almost a living museum.

reply )

14.October.2015

I love Asheville! Check out Marshall, NC, it’s a tiny mountain town about 20 minutes north of Asheville that has an insanely active arts community. There are lots of little shops and delicious restaurants and it’s just adorable. Check out Good Stuff to eat, and the Marshall High Studios http://marshallhighstudios.com/

reply )

replied on October 14th, 2015

Also I’m going to be ornery and say blah to Biltmore Estate. Traffic getting into it on the weekends is terrible, and its pricey. If you like beer, Wicked Weed brewery is fun with a great view as well.

reply )

14.October.2015

I used to live in Asheville years ago and have missed its vibe ever since. Make sure to stop in Black mountain, NC, tiny town close by. Scenes from The Last of the Mohicans were filmed there. Stunning! You and your family will love the area.

reply )

14.October.2015

I was born and raised in Asheville and it’s a wonderful town (and there are lots of wonderful smaller towns nearby too)! I haven’t lived there in about 15 years, since I left for college, but we go back to visit our families every couple of months. There are a ton of great restaurants, so I’m sure you’ll have no problem finding some good options.
As much as I hate to say it (because it’s so pricey and can be a bit hyped up), Biltmore House is quite a sight to see. It’s expensive, but if you can swing it, I’d say it’s worth it. The house is pretty incredible, but the grounds are even more fun to explore. And like someone else mentioned above, the town of Biltmore is also pretty and nice for strolling.
A fun way to see the city would be on a LaZoom comedy tour. It looks and sounds cheesy, but it really is a lot of fun. I’ve only been on the haunted tour at night and that is NOT suitable for children (not scary, but adult humor), but I’ve heard that the day time tours are very family friendly.
I second the comments about Craggy Gardens as a good hiking option for kids. Also, Graveyard fields, if I remember correctly, would be a fairly easy hike.
I’d highly recommend the arboretum. It’s right off the parkway and it’s really a beautiful place. They have hiking trails, beautiful gardens, exhibits, and of course beautiful views.
If you want to wander around a beautiful old neighborhood, drive up to The Grove Park Inn. You can wander around the grounds once you’re there, but the surrounding houses are old and beautiful. There are many breath taking old neighborhoods in this part of town.
Hope you have fun! I think you’re going to love Asheville, but I do think some of the surrounding towns would be worth your time too.

reply )

14.October.2015

I’m from NC and have spent a lot of time in Asheville. You must MUST go to tupelo honey – there are a few locations but the downtown location is maybe the best (but also the busiest). My favorite item is no longer on the menu (it hasn’t been for several years) but you really can’t go wrong, and they bring you biscuits instead of a bread basket.

If you’re looking for a date night type place, Cúrate has great Tapas.

Wicked Weed is great food and a very popular brewery, but also family friendly. In general, there are just a ton of great spots for eating/drinking/shopping downtown, and it’s a small enough downtown you can park on the borders of it and just walk everywhere.

There’s a TON of great hiking, anywhere in or around the Blue Ridge Parkway (which is also just a really nice drive). I agree with the other reviewer re: Craggy Gardens.

I say skip the typical tourist stops (Grove Park Inn, Biltmore, etc.) and do more exploring on your own. I would plan to take a long drive on the Parkway, do a few hikes from there, and spend at least one afternoon/evening exploring and eating downtown.

Enjoy! The weather should be beautiful!

reply )

replied on October 14th, 2015

p.s. I’ve heard this several times that the Montford neighborhood is THE place to go for Halloween and trick-or-treating. They really go all out and it’s very family friendly and fun.

reply )

replied on October 14th, 2015

A better place for trick or treating is Vermont Ave in West Asheville. They block off the street to traffic and it’s a huge block party for all ages.

reply )

replied on October 14th, 2015

Vermont Ave is amazing, but parking can be tricky. I recommend parking at the Ingles grocery store or the church across the street and walking a few blocks.

14.October.2015

You may already be a follower, but just in case, you should check out lilblueboo.com. She is in Bryson City, which is about an hour from Asheville I think. She’s detailed different hikes and activities in the area. It looks amazing! I would love to visit with our boys.

reply )

replied on October 15th, 2015

We have visited Bryson City twice! Love it there. I will have to check out her site. Thanks for the rec.

reply )

14.October.2015

Tupelo Honey (easier to get in at the South Asheville one), Biscuit Head, WALK, Early Girl Cafe, Luella’s BBQ. The Biltmore of course. You can spend a day investigating the entire property.

reply )

14.October.2015

Agreed with those who said Tupelo Honey is a tasty place to eat. Their brunch is fab! Also, the Blueridge Parkway alone is just gorgeous and there is much hiking to be done. When we went to Asheville from Ohio (used to live in Cbus!), we went through parts of East Tennessee at night. If you can avoid that, do! It is so windy and dark (no lights up in those mountains on the road) and it was pretty scary. I’d recommend trying to arrive before dark if you can help it. Have fun–Asheville and that area of NC are gorgeous!

reply )

14.October.2015

Asheville is the favorite destination for me and my husband. We go every chance we can – and we live 3 hours from there. The restaurants and downtown are our favorite. Our very favorite is the Corner Kitchen. It’s one of those unexpected delights, and I can’t say enough about it!

Have fun!

reply )

14.October.2015

Check out Dupont State Forest and Brevard area waterfalls. There are lots of very impressive waterfalls with relatively short hikes.

reply )

14.October.2015

i haven’t made it there yet, but we have friends who rave about Farm & Sparrow bakery that’s somewhere just outside of Asheville.

reply )

14.October.2015

We went to Asheville with friends and then returned a few months later to pick up our puppy. Asheville was a lot of fun, great restaurants, shops, and the Biltmore, of course. It wasn’t cheap, but not expensive, either. But do be careful with the drive- don’t plan to arrive at night. Those mountain roads ( and I am talking I-40, are very curvy and steep. Not so bad on a sunny day, but I would not want to do them at night or in bad weather. Have a great time!

reply )

14.October.2015

I just moved to Asheville 6 months ago and it is a great town! We purchased a bit of a fixer upper in West Asheville (the real estate is just booming, so hard to even buy a place), but we are loving it. I would suggest Sunny Point Cafe in West Asheville. The menu doesn’t look that unique, but everything is always insanely delicious, and they have a variety of options. After dinner or lunch take a stroll around the neighborhood. You could go up Brucemount circle (cute road with some pretty houses) or take a walk down Haywood rd. toward The Hop (Ice cream). There is also a cute little park called Malvern Hills Park (with tennis courts) with lots of neighborhood surrounding it that is fun to walk around and look at houses. The neighborhood of West Asheville is charming and residential and modest (I am partial to north of Haywood Rd since that is where I live). It’s just a nice place to take a neighborhood walk and think about what you would do with all the houses if you owned them! That all pertains to West Asheville, but it’s also pretty cool to drive around the Grove Park area. The houses are pretty crazy. Obviously I love window shopping for houses. Enjoy!

reply )

14.October.2015

Biltmore! Honestly I think all of the kids would like it. The fact that it’s gigantic, has an indoor swimming pool, huge curving stair cases, towers, a Halloween basement, etc, will keep them wowed. You won’t be able to spend all day inside with the kids but going through with them for an hour or so would be neat for them. I went as a kid and loved it, and love it as an adult. I think they do horse back riding there too. Love Ashville! Such a beautiful place.

reply )

14.October.2015

Can’t remember the name but a great home store is at 34 battery park ave. Carries lots of Canvas Home brand!

reply )

replied on October 15th, 2015

Just saw Canvas Home sourced in a magazine and loved it! I will have to check it out.

reply )

14.October.2015

You will love Asheville! Such a fun foodie and arty town. Early Girl Eatery is a must for a home Breakfast. Mela has the best Indian Food. At lunch they have the most incredible buffet. My daughter loved th double decker bus that serves treats inside. Also 12 Bones, Plant, Tupalo Honey…
We love the Grove Park Inn. I could go on and on about it. I blogged about my last two trips to Asheville:

http://designologyinteriors.blogspot.com/2015/01/asheville-for-new-years.html

http://designologyinteriors.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2014-04-22T19:43:00-07:00&max-results=7&start=14&by-date=false

reply )

14.October.2015

I agree on Tupelo Honey, so good! Also, walk through the Grove Park. It has the most amazing architecture and great views, and so much history. The staff will take you on a tour of a room. And it’s free!

reply )

14.October.2015

Looks like you’re getting a lot of good suggestions. The Biltmore, of course, although with small kids it may be cost prohibitive because the lines can be long and I don’t know many kids who want to appreciate old stuff. But the outdoor spaces are great too and the “food court” has lots of yummy treats. My favorite part was visiting the basement where the servants lived. We had a lovely dessert on the double decker cafe downtown. My kids are older so we did teenage girl things but you’ll love it. It’s a fun, laid-back town. My friend owns The Travelling Yogini yoga tours so if you’re up for a yoga tour or Bend and Brew (not really kid-friendly, sorry) she usually does them at one of the local breweries in Saturdays. Have fun!!

reply )

14.October.2015

Oh my gosh! So excited you are coming here. I’m a travel nurse full time RVing with my husband- been a long time reader of ya! We are here and loving it. If you check my page I have a post about TN… Not sure if you would have a sitter at all but we did a half day caving excursion and it was so amazing. Def an older kid activity but it was such an unforgettable experience I wanted to share!

Love this area. Hope you enjoy.

reply )

14.October.2015

Cool! My boyfriend and I are vacationing there for a couple of days next month! Looking forward to reading others’ suggestions (and of course reading about your trip when you get back).

reply )

14.October.2015

I grew up in Asheville! My family and I now live in Wilmington, NC but my parents are still living in Asheville. Just visited there about a month ago with my family for my 20th high school reunion. Check out Craggy Gardens — highly recommend this place for hiking – great for little kids (mine are 8 and 10 and they LOVED it!) and beautiful views at the end of the hiking trail. The drive to the hiking place on the Blue Ridge Parkway is breathtaking.

Laughing Seed is my all time favorite vegan restaurant, it is near Tupelo Honey in downtown. I agree to avoid the touristy place.. also 12 Bones is a great place to eat if you like ribs! As for halloween, unfortunately my parents’ house sits on top of a mountain so we almost never get trick’n’treaters. Feel free to email me if you want more suggestions.

reply )

14.October.2015

I live in black mountain just outside Asheville. I wonder what area u are staying to see what would be most convenient… For sure black !ountain is cute. We have a great downtown area. Our friends own a great restaurant, Fresh. It is wood fired pizzas,etc. (there is also a Fresh in west Asheville in the river arrest district)

right next to black mountain is Montreat. It has some great hiking. lookout trail is a shortish hike with a great view. I used to take groups of 4-5 year olds even up this trail when I was a camp counselor in montreat. There is a great creek for rock hopping with the kids too in montreat.

I work in Biltmore Village which is the area in Asheville right outside Bilmore estate. It is cute, a bit touristy. There is a great bakery, well bred, and a great restaurant, The Corner Kitchen. Obama ate at corner kitchen on one of visits here! Speaking of Obama, he also ate at another fantastic restaurant, 12 Bones. Great barbecue. And it is in (one of its locations) in the river arts ditrict in west Asheville that has lots of artist studios. One our friends even have one across from 12 bones…Curve studios ( Kyle carpenter pottery). If u love good food and some good pottery, well it is worth taking a look.

Near Biltmore village is one of my favorite stores, the screen door. Well u are a “Housie” like me and it has great artsy, antiquity, found stuff. Also the Tobacco Barn is great for more shopping for housie cool stuff. That is also relatively near the Village.

Downtown is crazy theses days for me! Lots of tourist action… But it is cool and worth for tourists like yourself. The chocolate lounge is popular place for sweets! I personally love Ultimate Ice Cream, which they serve there I believe too.

I f u drive a bit out of town, I think Linville Caverns is cool. They are caverns/ caves that u can tour. The kids might like that! Of course u can do the obligatory Mt Mitchell “hike”. It is the tallest peak east of the Mississippi. It is not really a hike, just a walk really.

Well there is my two cents! Hope u have fun here…. I am the thankful I get to call this place home!

reply )

replied on October 14th, 2015

oh I second the Lazoom tours. People rave about them. Super creative. I keep wanting to do it as a local even….

reply )

15.October.2015

Everyone recommends Biltmore, and for good reason. Tickets are pricey, but kids 17 and under are free! The winery “tour” is meh (it’s only worth doing if you want samples, and they have house made grape juice for kids that is seriously good), but the petting farm by the winery is cute. The Western NC Nature Center is a lot of fun, and pretty cheap. We are seriously considering buying a season pass.

You could easily fill up two days just walking around downtown, River Arts District, and West Asheville (my side of town!). In West Asheville there is free street parking, although it can be tricky to find. Parallel parking skills come in handy! Whist is an amazing, quirky stationery store near a darling floral shop, and the smell of King Daddy’s Chicken and Waffles in the air always makes my mouth water. (My first visit was the first time I had fried chicken in six years. Yay for gluten free options!)

I haven’t been yet this season, but the Arboretum is beautiful! It was designed by the same person who designed Biltmore’s grounds and Central Park (the man’s name escapes me). They also have a pretty impressive Bonsai collection, but most of them will be indoors by now. The main building will have traveling features from time to time that are always fun and educational.

If you want easy, little kid friendly hiking, DuPont State Forest is really nice. Trust your GPS to get you there, even if it feels like you are going out in the midde of nowhere.

Fair warning: if I see you I will be the awkward person who stares and halfway waves but will not approach, because I am fangirling too hard.

reply )

15.October.2015

You can’t go wrong with Asheville! Definitely try Farm Burger and French Broad Chocolate! :)

reply )

15.October.2015

OMG, I’m trying not to geek out, but I am a huge fan of your blog/style and Asheville is my hometown!

Not sure where on the outskirts of town you are staying to give you some lesser known recommendations, but downtown and in the West Asheville area here are my best recommendations.

Eat:
Rhubarb – farm to table type food, a little pricey, but phenomenal. They were rated one of (if not THE) top restaurants in Asheville within 6 months of opening!
Limones – mexi-cali cuisine, but fancy and the type of food that gives Asheville it’s rep for being a foodie town.
Wicked Weed Brewing – more kid friendly, great atmosphere and outdoor seating. Their burgers and cheese plate are awesome. It gets super crowded at night so try to go a little earlier if you want a seat.
Chai Pani – faster indian food. Great spot for lunch!
Universal Joint – in West Asheville, awesome smoked trout reuben (and I normally do not like reubens)
Sunny Point – I kind of think Tupelo Honey sucks, but you should probably eat there just because EVERYONE eats there when they go to Asheville – but Sunny Point is way better IMO. It’s also in West Asheville.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co – see below
Double Decker Bus – best coffee around, and you will get a good sighting of the local hippies :)
Jack of the Wood – mostly go for the beer and to people watch. They often have live music on the weekends.

Do:
1. Breweries – Definitely visit the new Sierra Nevada, it’s a little farther out but it’s like Disneyworld for adults and the food is incredible. My other favs are Wedge (River Arts District), Hi-Wire, Highlands, and Pisgah (located in Black Mountain)
2. Biltmore Estate – It’s expensive, but mostly worth it. I worked there in high school and it still impresses me.
3. Pritchard Park Drum Circle – every Friday evening starting around 5:00 (downtown)
4. Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway – it’s leaf season and you can’t beat it. There is also a restaurant on top of one of the ridges called the Pisgah Inn – the views there are breathtaking.

Shopping:
1. Appalachian Naturals – all natural soap and skin care (amongst other handmade crafts). I absolutely love their products (worked here during downtime in college and the owners are some of our very good friends).
2. L’Optique – if you’re in the market for some new glasses or sunglass, they are the top store in the area (and also friends of ours), they carry designer brands and have some awesome quirky options.

Have a wonderful trip. Asheville is just a one of a kind place. No matter what you do it will be a trip to remember!

Latest Post: Dinner At Ristorante L’Abside Amalfi & The Biggest Lemons I’ve Ever Seen ~ http://thebarnncblog.com

reply )

15.October.2015

I live in NC and my family visits Asheville every fall. Great place. If you are driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway (which you definitely should – hiking, picnic spots, etc), stop off at the NC Folk Art Center (http://www.southernhighlandguild.org/retail-shops/allanstand-craft-shop/). It is full of items made by local artisans including wooden bowls, pottery, textiles, jewelry, etc. Sometimes they have wood turning demonstrations. Really cool! I’ve never stayed or eaten at Grove Park Inn, but have been several times to have a glass of wine and sit in one of the rockers by the enormous fireplace or on the porch with the most incredible views! Have fun!

reply )

15.October.2015

The French Broad Chocolate Lounge is an absolute must! And Biscuitheads for breakfast.

reply )

15.October.2015

I wish I had seen these comments before my daughter and I went to Asheville on spring break this year! We had a fantastic time there, though, and echo several of the comments above, including Tupelo Honey (how can meat and three be that good, but it IS!) and Biltmore (plan a whole day there and go where the wind/kids take you – also look for buy ahead deals for tickets on Internet to save alot of money). We also spent an afternoon roaming around Grove Park Inn and then sat at one of the outdoor restaurants for fantastic views and appetizers to keep it inexpensive – as an architecture buff you’ve got to see, and kids will think its cool! The neighborhood around GPI is spectacular as well. We hiked Chimney Rock then went into the quaint Lake Lure area for lunch – really nice mountain day. And I don’t think anyone has mentioned The Hop ice cream – fabulous and fun! You are gonna have a blast! Can’t wait to see pictures and hear stories.

reply )

15.October.2015

YAY! I’m sooooo thankful for this! Asheville is at the top of my list for our next vacation so you will be saving me a TON of research! I will be stalking your blog & IG to find out all about the trip, your thoughts & recommendations. Have a wonderful time and THANK YOU!

reply )

15.October.2015

I hope it’s okay to just direct you to a few posts I did on our spring break trip to Asheville since I’m at work and shouldn’t be writing a novel! We had such a great visit – maybe our best non-beach vacation as a family yet. My girls were almost 6 and 12 when we went, and the things we did and places we ate were perfect – a perfect balance that kept everyone happy. I’d trick or treat in the Montford Historic District – I describe it a bit in one of the posts. And the Asheville Pinball Museum is a must visit – check when they are open before you visit because it’s only a few afternoons / evenings a week, but totally worth it. Cheap admission, and unlimited play on a huge range of machines set up like a pinball history museum.

http://www.thirdstoryies.com/2015/03/23/asheville-eat-sleep-play/

http://www.thirdstoryies.com/2015/03/22/hiking-near-asheville-graveyard-fields/

http://www.thirdstoryies.com/2015/03/21/tuesday-morning-in-the-garden-biltmore-edition/

Have fun – Asheville is really a great town, and it will be gorgeous in the fall.

reply )

replied on October 15th, 2015

Can’t wait to check these out! Thanks so much.

reply )

15.October.2015

I used to live in SC and we did day trips to Asheville all the time! Downtown is a treat with tons of cool shops and live street music…but you absolutely have to eat at The Early Girl Eatery (http://earlygirleatery.com/)! It’s so good. They serve breakfast all day and it’s the best breakfast I’ve ever had. (They have other things too if you’re not into breakfast.)

Hope you enjoy your trip!

reply )

15.October.2015

There is a small town just outside of Asheville called Weaverville. If you are looking for things off the beaten path they have this wonderful little pizza place called Blue Mountain Pizza that has live local music and the best Garlic Knots. It is such a quaint home town feel type place http://www.bluemountainpizza.com/ . There is another place that I ate breakfast at while I was there and picked up some fantastic bakery items to enjoy on my long trip back to Illinois. It is called Well Bred Bakery. I also did the usual Asheville things mentioned above and Tupelo Honey was fantastic but had a crazy long wait….like 2 hours…..but it was yummy! Enjoy!

reply )

replied on October 15th, 2015

BMP is a staple for our family!

reply )

15.October.2015

Kenilworth is a great area to go trick or treating in. Next time you come to visit, keep our vacation rentals in mind… http://www.CarolinaMornings.com.

reply )

15.October.2015

Hi Dana! Biscuit Head in Asheville for breakfast. You’re welcome. :)

reply )

15.October.2015

We got married in Asheville! It’s beautiful this time of year. Sunny Point for breakfast! Early Girl Eatery too. Mela for good Indian food and the gazillion breweries!

reply )

15.October.2015

We were just in the Asheville area a few weeks ago for a quick day trip. Our group really enjoyed the Mt. Pisgah trail (lots of steps, but the view at the top is amazing) and Skytop Orchard (a PYO apple place that also has some farm animals and the most delicious apple cider doughnut fresh from the fryer). I think those are both a bit outside the city, but maybe they’re close to where you’re staying! There’s also a J.Crew Warehouse store in Asheville that is super cheap and worth a gander.

reply )




This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.