1. Visit Biltmore Estate/Biltmore Village
This historical home should be on every Southerner’s bucket list. There are so many interesting facts surrounding this landmark; from the Vanderbilts’ themselves to the construction and the architecture of the house. Don’t miss the gardens especially in the spring and summer. Also located on the property is the Biltmore Winery which offers guided tours, a tasting room, and a large gift shop. After your tour of the house and grounds, head down to the main road to Biltmore Village where you can enjoy any number of local restaurants, have a cup of coffee and do a little shopping. Our favorite hotel in Asheville sits right on the corner and, everything in this area is accessible by foot. It has all the makings for a perfect and relaxing weekend in the Carolina mountains.
2. Eat Your Way Through Asheville on a Food Tour
One of my favorite things we did on one of our visits was a walking food tour called Eating Asheville. We stopped at about seven local eateries and tasted some fantastic selections of food and drink. I highly recommend booking one of their tours when visiting Asheville. You’ll get a great downtown experience, a nice history of the city, and a belly full of southern bites and libations.
3. Go For A Hike
When Miley Cyrus sang, “it’s all about the climb,” this definitely could apply to exploring the mountains of North Carolina on any one of its many hiking trails. Within an hour of Asheville city center, you will find access to these places where you can hike, rock climb, and get your fill of scenic views and incredible waterfalls. So, go out for a morning hike, and by the time you return, you’ll be ready for a refreshing liquid reward!!
Catawba Falls – 35-minute drive
Looking Glass Falls – 45-minute drive
Craggy Gardens – 40-minute drive
Mount Mitchell -1 hr drive
4. Brewery Hop
Asheville could be nicknamed the “Brewery Belt” of the South, as they house more breweries per capita than anywhere else in the U.S. You can tap into the beer scene on a small microbrewery level or visit some major beer suppliers like Belgium Brewery and Sierra Nevada. This city is serious about their food and beer, so you know they’ll steer you in the right direction when asked. You can take a Beer Tour of downtown microbreweries, much like the walking food tour mentioned above.
5. Stroll Through Battery Hill / Downtown Asheville
The walkable downtown area lends itself to a lovely shopping experience with all types of retail offerings, as well as some of the South’s best restaurants, all easily accessible. A great place to start your downtown shopping is the Battery Park Book Exchange. Have a cup of joe OR a glass of bubbly. We’ll start in the champagne bar and meet you in the books!
Right outside the Book Exchange be sure to take a leisurely stroll through the outdoor artists market where local artisans sell handmade items including jewelry, bags, candles, and many other interesting wares.
After that, head up the street to another bar…..no alcohol at this one, just honey. The good folks at Asheville Bee Charmer let you sample honey from all over the state. The Sourwood is my personal favorite.
Interested in learning more about where to Eat, Play and Stay in Asheville, NC? Visit the travel guide below for specific hotels, eateries, and destinations.