Every year, sometime around Valentine’s Day, I take a trip to Asheville, North Carolina. I keep thinking that we will run out of things to do since the city itself isn’t that big but it hasn’t happened yet!
Asheville is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, in Western North Carolina. The city itself is located in a tiny valley surrounded by breathtaking mountains. The air is clean, the people are down to earth, friendly and diverse and there is a million things to do.
Asheville is known for having the largest (maybe in the US?) concentration of craft breweries in the United States, home to Wicked Weed Brewing, Highland Brewing Company, Hi-Wire Brewing, Asheville Brewing, the Funkatorium and many more. The city is also known for the Biltmore House, the Blue Ridge Parkway, various spa and wellness retreats, a local arts and crafts scene and as a romantic retreat for many in the Southeast. Many people all over the Southeast drive to Asheville because it is typically only a 3-5 hour drive depending on where you are coming from.
This city is one of my favorites on the East Coast and has a lot of special meaning to me. Did I mention the city is also dog-friendly and extremely well-educated? The MOST welcoming, kind and lovely people.
I have a few favorite spots after going to Asheville for many years (four or five now?) and I’m sharing them below:
Bouchon: My favorite French Restaurant on the East Coast. Amazing wine selections. Reservations aren’t accepted so be prepared for a slight wait.
Cucina 24: Made-to-order Italian. Great ambiance.
White Duck Taco Shop: Tacos in every style imaginable.
Top of The Monk: Classic and elegant cocktail bar with a unique twist. Be prepared to wait in line.
Yacht Club: Tiki Dive Bar where you can order an entire pitcher of tater tots. What’s not to like?
Battery Park Book Exchange: This place is a dream. It’s known for serving BOTH coffee and champagne cocktails. I love this place more than words can say.
Blue Ridge Parkway (pick any hiking trail)
South Slope Breweries
Any of the local shops
Orange Peel – Gorgeous event venue for music, comedy, etc.
The Haen Gallery – Classic art gallery downtown
If you want to sample a lot of craft beer culture in Asheville, I recommend getting a flight and splitting it with someone else at each stop.
Wicked Weed Brewing – Favorite Beer: Pernicious and Lunatic Blonde
Highland Brewing Company (not on the South Slope, in a different location you may have to drive to)
Funkatorium – Interesting collection of sour beers
Asheville Brewing – Beer + Pizza
Hi-Wire Brewing – Circus themed brewery