The Hubby and I just got back from a long weekend in the mountains! It was so peaceful and absolutely beautiful! The more weekend trips we take close to home the more I'm reminded that you don't have to go far to find breathtaking scenery! :D In this travel guide, I'm going to share all the things we did on our little getaway! Please feel free to send me your recommendations that I didnt mention here!
WHERE WE STAYED:
We rented a little cabin about 30 min south of Asheville. It was a great price for the area and had everything we needed! The cabin had a fireplace and wood available for use! We made a fire most nights we were there. We stopped at a local grocery store and grabbed some hot cocoa to make the evenings extra cozy. The only thing I wasn't fond of was that the cabin didn't have any curtains or blinds on the windows! I was totally freaked out! lol! I think I've watched WAY too many scary movies! haha! We ended up putting a blanket over the bedroom window and I felt much better! :P
The 30 min drive to town wasn't bad at all because it was such a scenic drive. (and I totally just did my make up in the car to save time in the morning! haha!) The Airbnb listing says you don't need 4WD to get up to the cabin unless there is snow/ice, but we were both glad that we took our SUV. The roads up to the cabin were steep in some areas, had switchbacks and part of it was paved and some was a dirt road but we didn't have any issues!
If you sign up with my Airbnb link you can save up to $65 off of your stay in Asheville! The coupon even works on the exact cabin we stayed in! :D
Here's my referral link to save up to $65 off:
Direct link to the cabin we stayed in:
*The perfect cozy evening!
*View from the loft in our cabin
WHERE WE ATE:
We had a late breakfast at Tupelo Honey on our first day in Asheville and it was really good! Soo many of you recommended this place when I asked for recommendations. I loved the modern atmosphere. We sat out on the patio and had a little mountain view. They serve brunch all day which is what we were in the mood for. They also have lunch and dinner menu options. My hubby got the "old skool" breakfast bowl and I got the traditional breakfast. The potato cracklins were delicious and you HAVE to order a side of the sweet potato pancakes! OH MY WORDDD... they were SO GOOD!
Our waiter at Tupelo Honey said that Ultra Coffeebar is his fave coffee shop in town so we decided to stop by after breakfast. It's a tiny little coffee shop in the Arts District. We parked in the free Arts District parking lot and then walked over to Ultra Coffeebar. I ordered a yummy iced cinnamon vanilla latte and my hubby got a hazelnut one.
We drank our coffee and sat down in the nice little outside area for a bit and then decided to walk around the shops and studios in the Arts District! There are some really cool artist's studios there! We really loved looking around The Lift Studios! The artist's work is super unique and cool! We had fun trying to guess what animal was in each painting. The artist, Daniel, was really friendly and even gave us a bunch of recommendations for places to eat and things to see!
Buxton Hall BBQ:
Daniel, the artist at The Lift Studios recommended this place so we decided to check it out. When we were there they were only taking walkup/online orders for pickup. They were not allowing anyone to dine in. When you go, I would check google maps. They tend to be pretty accurate on what dining options are available. We ordered our food inside at the counter and then took it back to our cabin. Their service was really fast! We both got the pulled pork meal and it was really good! We especially LOVED their mashed potatoes.
*Early Girl Eatery:
This place was our TOP FAVE of the whole trip! It was SO YUMMY!! I love that they are farm to table and big on sourcing locally. They have indoor and outdoor seating. We sat at a table right by the front window and I enjoyed watching all the people walking by with their dogs! :D You HAVE to get the biscuit french toast!! IT'S TO DIE FOR!!! I let my hubby try a bite and he even said it was his fave meal of our whole trip despite only getting one bite! Haha! We also ordered their coffee and it was really good too!
*You HAVE to order the Biscuit French Toast
After you eat brunch at Early Girl Eatery, walk over to Flora! It’s the cutest plant shop! I picked up this Heart Hoya while I was there. There’s also a cool little book store next door that my hubby got a couple of used books at.
*Heart Hoya I picked up at Flora plant shop
The Moose Cafe:
If you only go to one place on this list it HAS to be here.. well and Early Girl Eatery! Several of yall recommended this place when I asked for recommendations on Instagram! SO GOOD!! WOW. The food, the service, and the atmosphere were amazing!! When we were there it was online order only. I ordered some doughnuts and coffee online on my phone and then we waited outside for our name to be called. We took everything to go since we were heading back home.
If you only go to one place on this list it HAS to be here...well and Early Girl Eatery! Several of yall recommended this place when I asked for recommendations on Instagram! SO GOOD!! WOW. The food, the service, and the atmosphere were amazing!! When we were there it was online order only. I ordered some doughnuts and coffee online on my phone and then we waited outside for our name to be called. We took everything to go since we were heading back home.
*Table outside of Hole Doughnuts with how to order and the doughnut flavors available.
*Toasted almond sesame cinnamon doughnut
The doughnuts were warm and insanely delicious. I’m craving one right now typing this out! We tried 3 different flavors- vanilla glaze, toasted almond sesame cinnamon, and cinnamon sugar. They were all really good but the vanilla glaze was my fave and my hubby liked the toasted almond sesame cinnamon the best! The coffee was delicious as well!
Note: When we were there they closed at 1 pm!
PLACES WE SAW:
There is SO much to see and do while you are in Asheville, which can feel overwhelming! I decided to keep our trip simple and only have a couple of places on my list. Most travel guides and reviews I read all said that the Biltmore Mansion is a must-see. I had originally planned for us to visit it, but when I saw that it was $80 per person it changed my mind and we decided not to go. Maybe around Christmas time, I would pay that much. I’ve never been so I’m not saying don’t go, I’m just saying we weren't down to pay that much money to walk around a cool mansion. Plus, I wanted this trip to be more on a budget and more about spending time in nature. :)
Blue Ridge Parkway (Northbound):
Driving the parkway is a MUST DO for scenic views and hiking! It’s FREE and it’s absolutely beautiful!! We drove the parkway on both of our full days in Asheville. On the first day, we stopped at the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitors Center and talked with one of the park rangers. She asked us some questions and then tailored her advice for us! It was perfect! She gave us a map and a one-page handout with specific information about different stops and trails! (They had one page if you are driving southbound and another for going northbound). These were really helpful! I'd suggest stopping to get them!
We drove up north the first day, about a 45 min drive from the visitors Center to Craggy Gardens. We stopped at the Folk Art Center along the way. It was neat to see all of the artwork and handiwork created by local artists. (My hubby is an art lover so this stop was more for him). When we got to Craggy Gardens we went on one of the little hikes that lead to a gazebo that had a pretty view.
*Hiking at Craggy Gardens
We hiked back to our car and then walked over closer to the Craggy Gardens Visitors Center and realized we had walked right past the most breathtaking view of our ENTIRE trip! Haha!
*view next to the Craggy Gardens Visitors Center
Blue Ridge Parkway (Southbound):
On our last full day in Asheville, we headed south on the Parkway from the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitors Center as the park ranger suggested. She suggested we drive to Mt. Pisgah, which was about a 3-hour round trip drive (depending on how many stops you make and if you do a hike) from the visitors center. We started on the parkway and then realized we only had half a tank of gas and were starting to feel a little hungry after shopping that morning. So we turned around and exited the parkway to get gas and grab some food! So, I’d suggest filling up your car before you drive the parkway! There are no gas stations.
There are several tunnels and tons of beautiful lookout points along the drive! Make sure you stop at Funnel Top View it's gorgeous!! The one page paper the park ranger gave us really useful for going southbound. It gave specific info about popular stops and the mile markers they were at.
*Funnel Top View
Along the way, we stopped at Graveyard Fields. We were told it had great hikes by that artist we met, Daniel. And the park ranger told us it was a popular stop along the parkway. We took the route to the lower falls and then decided to follow the trail to upper falls. In total, we did about 3 miles of hiking. The hike to upper falls was definitely more rugged and uphill. The trail was built up a lot though, they had several wood paths built up and trail markers. There were several muddy parts and we had to cross over a little creek hopping across rocks to get to the other side. I wouldn’t say that it was hard or super challenging by any means, but I definitely got winded and it felt like an actual hike rather than a walk in the woods.
*Lower Falls at Graveyard Fields
*Hiking to Upper Falls at Graveyard Fields
We weren't really on any sort of schedule which was a nice change for a little vacation. So usually after we ate breakfast somewhere or got coffee we would walk around the shops in the area! There are some really cute local shops- like the plant store and the bookstore I mentioned before.
* The Forage/Flora plant shop next to Early Girl Eatery where I bought the Heart Hoya!
*The bookstore right next door to the plant shop!
I had so much fun putting this together!! I hope you find this travel guide helpful!! I definitely want to go back to Asheville. We had so much fun and it was so beautiful! If you have more recommendations please drop them in the comments below or message me on Instagram!!