Travis (my husband) and I are back home from our lovely vacation to Asheville, North Carolina. We hiked, we shopped, we drank, we toured, but most importantly… we ate! I think each of us came away from this vacation about 10 pounds heavier but it was totally worth it! We love to go out to eat and experience the ambiance of different restaurants. We currently live in a smallish town that generally consists of chain restaurants with only one or two local spots mixed in. So, traveling to Asheville with their seemingly countless local eateries was such a treat!
I thought it would be fun to take you through our experience in Asheville with a post about the restaurants we went to. Because let’s get real, whose vacation doesn’t revolve around where they are going to eat next… no one… just us… that’s okay.
5:00 am wake up call then on the road to Asheville (my husband likes to get a ridiculously early start on trips…I don’t know). We drove and it took us about 7 hours to get to Asheville from our town in Mississippi. One audiobook, one small hangry argument, and several bathroom stops later – we arrived at our Airbnb.
What was the first thing we did you ask? Found food of course. We walked from our Airbnb to a nearby pizza place called All Souls Pizza. Although I found the pizza to be just okay (I am picky about crust), I loved their outdoor patio and the smoked nectarine cheesecake we had for dessert was heavenly!
Thoroughly stuffed we decided to walk it off with a little shopping at the Biltmore Park Town Square. We had to visit the REI as my husband is deprived of one where we live. After several hours of walking around and spending way too much money already, Travis announces he is hungry again (oh my gosh, we are such fatties… and I mean that in a very loving way haha). So, we stopped in Luella’s Bar-B-Que to have dinner number two.
As someone who has only experienced the sweet style barbeque, the barbeque at Luella’s Bar-B-Que was so vinegary… and I loved it! I really wasn’t hungry when we went in so my intention was to just pick a little off of Travis’s plate, but it was so delicious I could not stop reaching for more (to Travis’s annoyance, haha). All in all, a successful first day.
Breakfast is one of my favorite meals to eat out probably because we don’t get to do it very often. We had breakfast at Homegrown for our first morning in Asheville. The epitome of a local restaurant – it serves locally sourced ingredients and has that eclectic, mismatched coffee mugs vibe that makes me feel at home.
After a stop at Wholefoods and Trader Joe’s to pick up a couple of breakfast items and snacks to have at the Airbnb, we made our way to Carrier Park for Travis to join in on an ultimate frisbee pick up game. I sat under a tree and did a little work as the game of ultimate frisbee is needing a little more hand-eye coordination then my skill set has to offer.
We went to dinner that night at Table. We were just walking around the downtown area and decided to stop in here. If you are looking for a romantic, classy atmosphere with daily changing menu options, this is the restaurant for you.
Coffee… has a more beautiful word ever been uttered? I think not. On our way to the botanical gardens, we first stopped at Trade and Lore for some coffee. We both got their lavender vanilla cardamom latte and it was delicious. The lavender was not overpowering – just a hint which I appreciated because honestly, lavender coffee doesn’t sound that appealing to me. Trade and Lore had a very cool, relaxed dimly lit atmosphere that I liked so much we went back again another day to hang out and read for a while.
Walking through the Asheville Botanical Gardens on a cool morning with a warm latte in hand was soul-satisfying.
After the botanical gardens, we decided to go hiking. We love to hike, we got engaged while hiking at Dismals Canyon. The trail we went to was called Mouse Creek Falls. About a mile and a half into the hike, there is a swimming hole, Midnight Hole, with some big rocks you can jump off of. The water was absolutely FREEZING, but I got in about waist deep. There were quite a few people hanging out in the water and both kids and adults jumping from the rocks into the water.
Another half a mile up the trail is where we found the waterfall. There wasn’t anyone else around the waterfall and it was so tranquil and lovely. It was a fairly easy trail – only requiring a little climb down into Midnight Hole. A beautiful hike!
PADDLEBOARDING! This was what I was most excited to do in Asheville as I mentioned in my Travel Anxiety post that you can read by clicking the button below. I had found this four-hour paddleboarding guided tour when I was researching for the trip and I could not wait to do it. It was incredible (even though I fell in…but just one time)! I have wanted to try paddleboarding for a long time and I am so so happy and grateful to have gotten to scratch paddleboarding off of my bucket list this trip. I would definitely recommend this to everyone!
After our paddleboarding excursion (and a stop at the Airbnb to change out of my wet clothes, haha), we went for lunch at Tupelo Honey Cafe. This place was sooo good! I had their version of eggs benedict, replacing the traditional English muffing with a homemade biscuit (d-r-o-o-l w-o-r-t-h-y). The decor and set up was really cute and the food was absolutely delicious. This was my second favorite meal of the whole trip. I wish I had gotten a picture of this deliciousness before I demolished it, but I just couldn’t wait!
We spent the whole day exploring the Biltmore Estate and the surrounding village and gardens. The Biltmore Estate is the largest privately-owned home in the United States. It is definitely worth checking out and taking the audio tour for all of the information behind each room. This house is massive! It’s like Downton Abbey on steroids. If you like the show Downton Abbey, you will really enjoy visiting the Biltmore Estate.
We had dinner at Cedric’s Tavern in the Biltmore Estate village, Antler Hill. I had Sheppard’s pie and it was the most delicious Sheppard’s pie I have ever had! This was my hands-down favorite meal of the entire trip! I had a mental debate with myself while eating to either eat it all now my full stomach be damned or slow down and save some for leftovers to prolong the enjoyment of this savory masterpiece.
Our last day in Asheville, so sad. We had to end the trip on a sweet note and stop into Old Europe Pastries for a little dessert. I’ve got to be honest there coffee was not that great and Travis did not really care for the chocolate cake dessert he got – too rich. But. I ordered an eclair and it was delectable. What can I say, I know how to order dessert. It was a cute, little shop downtown with a couple of tables outside for some great people-watching!
We woke up early the next morning to head home to our two waiting pups. I had a great time in Asheville. I had so much fun checking out the Biltmore Estate and finally getting to try paddleboarding! There are so many places to explore and restaurants to try in Asheville! I hope you enjoyed reading about our trip to Asheville, North Carolina. Until next time – I can’t wait to see where we will go next!