Asheville Weekend Guide guest post by Taryn Rosenberg
When I was little and I would have trouble sleeping, my mom used to tell me to close my eyes and picture something I was looking forward to. Visions of summer camp would fill my head and before I knew it, I was relaxed enough to go to sleep.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve turned to this coping skill during some grueling workweeks or long, dark, Chicago winters. I usually imagine myself on future vacations or enjoying visits with friends, but as I start day 39 in isolation, I relish the thought of small pleasures like going to a farmers market or even just going out to dinner. While all trips and visits had to be postponed due to COVID-19, I find myself clinging to these daydreams now more than ever. I’ve planned so many outings in my head these last few weeks and even if they don’t come to fruition, they bring me joy and hope during these scary and unprecedented times.
Apparently, and not surprisingly, I’m not alone in this. My friend reached out to me yesterday asking if I had any recommendations for a weekend getaway in Asheville. Like me, she is planning a future trip–even just hypothetically, to have something to look forward to. She and her husband both work in the healthcare field so they certainly deserve it! I had been meaning to write this guest blog post for months so now seems as good a time as any to share highlights from my trip.
If you’ve never been to Asheville, North Carolina, add it to your list! It makes for a lovely weekend getaway and the perfect place to daydream about visiting. My husband and I went almost exactly a year ago and while I don’t know if any or all of these restaurants and bars will recover from their temporary closures, I strongly recommend visiting and supporting them if they do!
There are so many good places to eat in Asheville!
For breakfast, we really enjoyed Biscuit Head. It was a really unique experience because the location we went to only had communal seating available (after we waited outside for 20+ minutes). The food was definitely worth the wait and even though we’re not usually that excited to dine with strangers, we had a great time! We chatted with everyone at our table and we all shared and passed around their variety of homemade jams and hot sauces. Who knows if we’ll ever go back to a time of sharing sauces let alone tables, but I’ve grown to appreciate it.
We also really enjoyed High Five Coffee and Vortex Donuts. We believe in donuts for breakfast but they had lots of other great options, too.
For dinner, we were obsessed with Chai Pani. It’s been almost a year and I’m still dreaming about this meal. We had to wait about 20-30 minutes outside to eat here (this was actually a common theme of the trip–many places are first-come, first-serve) but it was absolutely worth it. This is how they describe themselves on their website and I have to agree: “[Chai Pani] means innovative, fun, affordable and delicious Indian cuisine. We’d go so far as to say it’s “mindblasting.”
We had delicious cocktails and Spanish tapas at Cúrate downtown! Every small plate was basically licked clean.
We had so much fun at the Wicked Weed Brewery/Funkatorium! The Funkatorium was definitely aptly named. We spent a whole afternoon there because they were having some sort of carnival festival. We went to a few other breweries and distilleries nearby too; there were tons.
We went on a really easy and enjoyable hike/nature walk at Craggy Pinnacle. It was a little crowded but it was still a really nice way to spend the morning.
We hung out at the Malaprops Bookstore and Cafe for almost an hour. We particularly love hanging out at bookstores and this one was super cute.
We had a really nice couples massage at the Asheville Salt Cave. When we were done, we walked around the art fair that was happening downtown. It was a very relaxing day!
One evening we stumbled upon an adorable board game bar called Well Played. We love any bar with activities so this was definitely one of our favorite stops. My husband enjoyed the beer selection since it had a wide variety of beers from the local breweries. They had an endless amount of board games to choose from, too.
We left a full day open for a tour at the Biltmore Estate. If you’re not familiar, the Biltmore Mansion is a historic house built for the Vanderbilt family in the 1890’s (AKA the second best 90’s decade) and is the largest privately-owned house in the United States.
It was really hot that day, the un-airconditioned mansion was very crowded, and the self-guided tour was narrated by a man with a hilariously annoying voice. Needless to say, we left very cranky and very grateful for the wineries on the estate. We really enjoyed the tasting and had an amazing lunch at one of the restaurants on the grounds. The gardens were absolutely beautiful but it was sweltering that day so we didn’t appreciate it as much as we should have. It’s a must-see if you visit Asheville, though!
Lastly, we planned to go see live music one night at the Asheville Music Hall, but the band ended up canceling the show last minute. We didn’t really like the sound of the replacement artist and we were pretty tired so we scrapped the idea altogether. But there are tons of great places to see live music in Asheville if you’re up for it!
Those were some of the highlights from our trip–thanks for reading this Asheville weekend guide! If you have other recommendations for a weekend getaway to Asheville, feel free to comment them below.
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