48 hours in Asheville.

October 29, 2018

bridal veil falls, dupont state forest.

We spent the first weekend in October gallivanting around Asheville, and the mini vacay couldn't have come at a better time. We were drawn there initially for J's best buddy's wedding, but you better believe we extended the trip a couple days to deep dive into a sampling of what the Paris of the South has to offer. If you haven't had the joy of unwinding in this glorious place, go already! It is teeming with art and culture, insanely beautiful views, and ohhhh man, the food. And for you Nashville folks, it's a little over a four-hour-drive due east, and more than manageable for a weekend escape.

Here's a little of what we'd suggest:

Get outside. Hike somewhere! We started the weekend by driving down to Dupont State Forest (roughly an hour south from downtown) for a long morning hike to Bridal Veil Falls, and High Falls. Full disclaimer: long stretches of the path to Bridal Veil Falls are not so much a hike as they are a long walk on a gravel road. We took the puppies with us and they absolutely loved it. Fun fact: High Falls was featured in The Hunger Games!

It was about six miles roundtrip, the area is exceptionally maintained and the incline is minimal. The terrain that got tricky was right at Bridal Veil Falls, which a bulk of is actually submerged, and therefore super slick. Wear shoes with some grip if you've got 'em, although hiking boots might be overkill for six miles of mostly flat land. That said, there were several teensy pools of water that the pups were more than happy to trot down into to cool off and sip on.

Check out this awesome resource for hike-planning, which offers maps, reviews, photos and everything in between.

Last year on a girls' trip, we hiked Catawba Falls (on the west side of Asheville) and it was all kinds of enchanting--misty waterfalls, tons of glorious greenery and tall, tall trees--one thing to note: while the sites say they're dog-friendly, I wouldn't recommend bringing pups along, as there can be a lot of variation in incline and hiking difficulty, especially depending on the weather preceding your trip.

There are countless areas to savor some nature (albeit most require a little bit of a drive outside of town)--and from what I've seen, they're all totally worth the time and navigating.

Next up: downtown exploring! Pounding that pavement! Downtown Asheville is quickly rising as a culinary hotspot in the southeast, and it's so easy to see why: each shiny eatery staggering the street is hipper than the next. It's also really concentrated and walkable--most of the bustling restaurants are situated on Market Street or Biltmore Avenue.

Okay. Time to discuss food. Something we noticed from the get-go is that Asheville is all about some tapas. Bougie small plates are all the rage. With that in mind, we tried a couple, Sovereign Remedies and Curate.

brunch at curate.

Both were pretty delicious, although admittedly, and as a shock to no one... pretty small portions. The space at Sovereign Remedies was so warmly eclectic in a way only Asheville could claim--upon entry, seemingly a hipster's paradise, complete with street corner prime real estate, walls of bright windows, and expansive bar offerings covering a wall, from waist-high to the ceiling--but as you weave your way throughout the narrow labyrinth of hallways upstairs, you can't help but warm up at the scores of simple houseplants tucked in unassuming shelf corners, and the charmingly mismatched chairs circling a hodge podge of small tables.

At Sovereign Remedies, we had the crispy pig ears, bone marrow tater tots and the bavette steak, with the tots being a standout favorite... but nothing was super earth-shattering.

The location at Curate was a little neater, a little sleeker and brighter--in a Spanish villa meets old downtown building kinda way. Lots of rustic influence, richly warm hues, and a wide range of comfy seating, including gorgeously detailed tables, and an impressively wide, inviting bar area. Both locations boast those dreamy tall ceilings that are indicative of old buildings rescued for the sake of a new crowd. Clearly, I was equally as drawn to the aesthetics as I was the menus.

At Curate, we had brunch -- the pisto manchego con huevo (fried egg over a potato puree with a smattering of insanely tasty roasted veggies) for me and he had the huevos estrallados (baked egg over chorizo and a bed of roasted peppers and onions).

Other places that remain on our list for the next trip are:

Cucina 24
Bull and Beggar
The Admiral
Nightbell (also a Katie Button restaurant--she is the brainchild behind Curate)
White Duck Taco Shop
Buxton Hall
Luella's BBQ
Smoky Park Supper Club

Also! We passed time between ceremony and reception at Pack's Tavern--a great bar downtown to take in a game (ahem, or in our case... to watch UT give OU the business).

Asheville has a strong brunch game too. We braved an early Saturday morning foray to Hole Doughnuts, rated Bon Appetit's 2016 best dessert--with very good reason. Their standard vanilla glazed was unreal.

toasted sesame and honey doughtnut at hole.

Other breakfast/brunch suggestions we read a lot about:

Vortex Doughtnuts
Biscuit Head
Over Easy
Early Girl Eatery

There are a ton of coffee shops tucked here and there, and we found Trade & Lore at the top of a lot of lists. To be honest, we skipped into the location while strolling through downtown, stood for 5-10 minutes with no movement in the line, and debated that we weren't really hankering for coffee badly enough to keep waiting on staff that didn't seem super concerned with serving their clientele.

Some sweet shops that you absolutely need to try out are Sunshine Sammies (outrageous ice cream sandwiches) and Kiliwin's -- a magical chocolatier. Get the turtles and chocolate covered oreos. We went to The Hop for ice cream and it was fairly underwhelming. French Broad Chocolate was also at the top of a lot of lists, but we didn't make it there. Next time!

kiliwin's goodness.

sunshine sammie situation.

Finally... the brews.

We spent ample time at Burial, Wicked Weed and Sierra Nevada--all very different breweries, all fabulous atmospheres. Sierra Nevada is a bit south of town, so plan accordingly. It's basically a compound near the airport--there's a full restaurant, gift shop and you can tour the space (we didn't). Wicked Weed and Burial are much more quaint--walkable to each other, downtown, and dog-friendly (I think most--if not all--of the breweries in Asheville love them some pups). Grab a flight, settle in and chat with a stranger.

sierra nevada boasts some good offerings.

stellar outdoor seating at burial.

Sidenote: when I went on my girls' trip, we also visited the Funkatorium (Wicked Weed) and Hi-Wire, which I also remember both being great.

One more thing worth noting--some of the coolest little haunts in Asheville are bookstores. Malaprops is a fantastic stop downtown, full of the latest and greatest, along with lots of quirky gifts too. There's a coffee bar off to the side, and oh yeah--dog friendly too. I am over the moon that Asheville is such a pup-friendly locale!

One stop we didn't have time to make is the Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar. Literature and bubbles. No further explanation necessary.

In true hipster city form, Asheville has a ton of insta-worthy murals and artsy photo ops--lots of which are in the River Arts District.

As far as lodging goes, we chose to airbnb at a great cabin in the woods, just 15 minutes south of downtown, but if you've ever discussed Asheville in your life, you've heard of the Biltmore Estate (the wedding reception took place in one of the many, many buildings there and it was all kinds of magnificent). One more worth splurging on is the Grove Park Inn. Oh my gosh. Google it.

And if that's not enough for ya, feel free to check out my pinterest board for a little more inspiration!

 One final bit of advice, if I may...

 ...go with someone you absolutely love traveling with, because it makes sharing every ounce of the fun and beauty and deliciousness that much sweeter.

Up next: Austin and central Texas this week!

Post a Comment

leave me some feedback. be honest! and play nice.

Latest Instagrams

© M is for MOXIE.. Design by FCD.