LOCATION: Mountains of North Carolina in the United States
CURRENCY: US Dollar
PEAK TOURIST SEASON: Summer months (June through August) and Fall (September through November)
RESTAURANTS: Curate, Benne on Eagle, Red Stag Grill at the Bohemian, Edison at the Grove Park Inn, Rhubarb (currently closed for Covid), Limones Restaurant, Sunny Point Cafe, French Broad Chocolate (desserts)
BREWERIES: Green Man, Wicked Weed, Wicked Weed Funkatorium, Asheville Brewing Company, New Belgium, Bhramari Brewing Company, Sierra Nevada
Located in the mountains of North Carolina, Asheville is a city overflowing with good food, craft beer and beautiful mountain views. The eclectic city is the perfect weekend getway! Make sure to book your stay at the historic Grove Park Inn. Built in 1913, the resort is easily recognizable by the unique stone facade and has been the stomping grounds of preseidents and celebrities for decades.
To start your first full day, head 45 minutes south to DuPont State Forest to enjoy the fresh air of this beautiful state park. We opted to do the High Falls Trail, around 3 miles total. This trail/area seemed to be the biggest bang for your buck with two waterfalls located along the trail: High Falls and Triple Falls. If you are looking for a longer hike, Bridal Falls is further up the trail as well.
Download the All Trails app for helpful information on parking, trail heads and other hiking options. This is a great app for information on hiking not only in North Carolina but across the US.
After your morning outdoors, head back into Asheville and spend the rest of the afternoon exploring downtown. The city is overflowing with fun breweries, restaurants and entertainment.
The food scene has exploded in Asheville! Farm to table seems to be more common than not. Expect fresh, healthy and unique flavors to be the underlining food theme. Noteworthy restaurants in downtown Asheville include Curate, Benne on Eagle, Rhubarb (currently closed for COVID), Hemingway’s Cuba and Limones Restaurant. French Broad Chocolates and Double D’s Desserts (a converted red double decker bus) are great options to satisfy your sweet tooth after a tasty meal.
Grab a craft beer at one of the many downtown breweries. Noteworthy breweries located downtown include: Wicked Weed, Wicked Weed Funkatorium, Green Man, Asheville Brewing Company and Bhramari Brewing Company. There is always a brew tour to consider which will take you on a bus around the city visiting different breweries! (Sierra Nevada and New Belgium are also popular breweries in Asheville but neither are located in downtown.)
If beer is not your thing, Antidote is located right next door to Funkatorium on the “brewery block” and is a great spot for a craft cocktail. We love a place that sticks to a theme and Antidote nails the turn-of-the-century vibe with the decor and architecture. Try the gin, it is brewed in house!
Due to COVID, masks are required and restaurants and breweries are limiting capacity. You will need to make a reservation or put your name on a list to secure a table.
Head over to the Biltmore Estate for your second full day. Due to COVID, you must buy tickets for a specific time slot to tour the home as they are limiting visitors inside; however, you can be on the grounds at any time for the day you have purchased tickets. Masks are also required in the house, on the tram transfers and in the shops.
The largest private home in America, the Biltmore was constructed by George Vanderbilt as his family’s residence and completed in 1895. With over 178,000 square feet and 43 bathrooms, the house is still decorated with original or period specific décor and furniture.
The house consists of very unique rooms including a winter garden, two story library, a grand banquet hall, an indoor swimming pool, gym and bowling alley.
The tour of the house will take you around an hour to complete. Special private tours are also available for purchase where you can tour additional areas of the house including the servant quarters, rooftop and secret passage ways.
Touring the home is not the only thing to do on the property. With over 8,000 acres, there are multiple gardens and hiking trails to explore near and around the main house. Give yourself several hours to walk the property and gardens around the house. Make sure to explore the shops in the carriage house as well.
But wait there’s more, Antler Hill Village has more shopping and restaurants and there is also a hotel and a winery all on property!
After a fun filled day at the Biltmore, head back to the Grove Park Inn to watch the sunset and enjoy drinks on the sunset terrace. What a perfect view! Enjoy your evening at the Grove Park by having dinner at the Edison and a nightcap by the massive stone fireplace in the hotel lobby. Live music is offered most evenings.
If you have extra time, schedule time at the Grove Park Inn Spa. The renowned subterranean spa offers 43,000 square feet of peace and quiet with numerous mineral pools surrounded by cavernous rock walls, arches and tunnels. It’s as picturesque as it is relaxing.