November Trip to Asheville NC
When I booked this trip to Asheville, NC, I literally said a prayer that the fall colors would still be at their peak when we arrived. My prayer was answered--the first week of November was breathtaking. It's the little things. ;)
We arrived on a Tuesday and our Airbnb and host Joel were my favorites to date. He's an Asheville native and sent a hefty local scoop (100 recs of everything from doughnuts to the best hikes to which rooftop bars had city or mountain views--WITH DIRECTIONS) and he made our stay so much richer. Here's a list of the places we tried (and the ones we'll try next time!)
Asheville is known as Foodtopia, and it lives up to its name. We weren't in a fine dining mood this trip (ya girl lived in leggings half the time) so we enjoyed the casual stuff and gorged on Trader Joe's at the Airbnb in front of the fireplace as one does.
Mëhfil's: We grabbed a late dinner here the night we arrived. Sitting in the window watching the downtown streets of Asheville was a magical way to start the trip. The food and atmosphere were 10/10.
Farm Burger: Best burger I've ever had, possibly. Farm-to-table, communal style dining, grass-fed beef, and a great atmosphere.
Itto's Ramen: We grabbed a quick bite here before seeing a movie because I was craving ramen. The atmosphere was cozy and fun.
Cúrate -- a hip Spanish eatery in a 1927 bus depot.
Bouchon -- french comfort food we'll try next time!
Green Sage Cafe for breakfast (allergen-friendly options!)
French Broad Chocolate Lounge -- didn't get to run in here but looked divine!
Trader Joe's, Fresh Market, and Whole Foods are all within a 5-minute radius of each other and 10 minutes from downtown, which is convenient if you're the PJs-and-late-night-snacks-at-the-Airbnb type too!
Fox and Beaux is a local jeweler with unique pieces made in-house. I found my 25th birthday gift here!
The Spice and Tea Exchange
Malaprop's Books and Café
The Basilica of St. Lawrence -- designed and built by Rafael Guastavino, who contributed to the Biltmore and designed Grand Central Station and Carnegie Hall. It boasts the largest free-standing dome in North America and gorgeous stained glass imported from Munich Germany, among other things. Visiting hours are from 3-5 PM.
Chimney Rock: Thanks to a local shop owner, we took the scenic route through Bat Cave and the entire drive felt like we had stepped into a painting. It was a misty rainy day so tourism was low and it gave the views more mystique. We opted for the elevator since it was raining, and the walk through the tunnel and the kind elevator operator/ranger (who read a 4-inch-thick antique tome in between elevator rides) felt magical.
We walked past multiple art galleries and the art museum -- so many things I want to go back and experience!
Our biggest takeaway: book a house tour at least 2 weeks prior, and arrive early! We arrived when the gates opened and were able to enjoy the sunrise on the house before the crowds. Our tour wasn't until 10:30, and I recommend grabbing coffee and a bite at the Bake Shop, located to the right of the house in the Stable courtyard. That way, you're near restrooms and conveniently situated to get in line for your tour on time.
Grab lunch from the Courtyard Market or Stable Cafe
Winery: You receive a complimentary wine tasting of Biltmore wines with your ticket purchase and complete day-of reservations via QR code. Very easy and enjoyable, and they have charcuterie!
The Bistro: We had reservations here but ended up too tired by the end of the day, so we canceled and opted for a cozy night in. Be sure to make any restaurant reservations here, at the Pub, or the other Antler Village restaurants at least 2 weeks in advance!
Old Europe Pastries: After dinner, we walked a block to this quaint pastry shop and grabbed a London Fog for me, a latte for Daniel, tiramisu, and other goodies.
Trade & Lore Coffee: The honey lavender latte was one of the best I've had. The location was picturesque and I was able to buy the bird's nest fern on our table--it's such a great keepsake.
Summit Coffee: This one was in the River Arts District, and was a VIBE. I didn't love their dirty chai but Daniel's mocha latte was good.
High Five Coffee: A local favorite--most people in this shop were working or meeting someone.
Bomba: This one was sadly closed on Wednesday when we walked past, but it's across the street from the Art Museum and came highly recommended.
Rowan Coffee: Didn't get to try it but their architecture was cool!
Dobra Tea downtown (so sad we ran out of time to go here!)
Gravelo Bicycles & Coffee AND Pennycup Coffee: Both of these were 3 minutes from our Airbnb. Didn't try them but the exterior of Gravelo gave me fond memories of Velocity Bike and Bean in Kentucky!
We're big fans of experiences over stuff, and I can safely say my 25th birthday getaway with my darlin' was exactly what I needed. Comment below if you'd enjoy exploring Asheville!