Disclosure: I partnered with Asheville, NC Tourism Board on this article and they kindly provided lodging for the review. I am a professional travel and food writer that receives compensation from the companies whose products I review. Affiliates in this article support this site at no cost to you.
I have been exploring cities with driving distance of Tennessee one three-day weekend at a time. I called up my blogging boo Takenya of Kenya Rae who leaves in Charlotte and we decided to spend 3 days in Asheville working on our blogs and exploring the culinary scene in Asheville.
The location can’t be beaten. It’s central to pretty much everything downtown. The building first got its start as a high-end department store but has since been converted into a boutique hotel with rooms ranging in size from 475 – 1,200 square feet. The outstanding service begins as soon as you arrive with complimentary valet and champagne at check-in. Check Prices Here!
1 Battery Park Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
0.3 miles to the city center (2 mins)
There’s an 18 hole championship course a short putt away, three indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a huge spa (43,000 square feet!) and even a sports complex where guests can play racquetball or participate in yoga and aerobics. The Grove Park Inn has the best seats in town to watch the sunset as the backdrop of Blue Ridge Mountains. Check Prices Here!
90 Macon Avenue, Asheville, NC 28804
1.8 miles to the city center (8 mins)
If you’ve watched Downton Abbey and felt yourself longing for something similar, look no further than the Biltmore Inn. The Biltmore Estate is one of Asheville’s main attractions. It sits on 8,000 acres and you can enjoy everything from wine tasting, shopping, tours of the mansion, spa treatments and Segway tours. Check Prices Here!
1 Lodge Street, Asheville, NC 28803
2.5 miles to the city center (7 mins)
The Windsor Boutique Hotel features unique and eclectic art from local artists. The hotel is in the heart of downtown Asheville and makes exploring the city easy breezy. You can walk right out of the hotel and be within walking distance of the best restaurants and shopping without worrying about parking or traffic. Check Prices Here!
36 Broadway, Asheville, NC 28801
900 feet to the city center (2 mins)
The Inn is located in the Historic District of Montford, a half mile from downtown. In addition to easy access to downtown, it’s only 2.5 miles from the Biltmore Estate entrance. A three-course breakfast is served every morning from 8:30-9:30 am and tea is served every day from 5-6 pm. All of the rooms except for one have working fireplaces and there is a turndown service at night as well. Check Prices Here!
288 Montford Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801
1.6 miles to the city center (6 mins)
Where To Eat For Your Ultimate Weekend In Asheville
1. Edison Craft Ales + Kitchen
Asheville, NC 28804
Asheville’s prettiest terrace is Edison — 2,000-plus square feet of it, overlooking the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains. Edison Craft Ales + Kitchen is located in the Omni Grove Park Inn. The resort’s new executive chef Josh Thomsen recently updated the menu to include pork collar with salsa verde, red peas and chicharron, a hot brown made with a braised turkey leg and green tomato, and an atypical tomato pie with grilled eggplant. He couldn’t forget North Carolina Beer!
Asheville, NC 28801
Chef Katie Button’s acclaimed tapas restaurant has doubled in size thanks to a spring expansion that added a traditional jamón counter, a seated bar with tapped vermouth. Pan de cristal con tomate on house-made toast points and a table de jamónes will have you returning for a second visit the very next day. I suggest calling and reserving reservations in the dining room and make sure you order the honey-drizzled fried eggplant, traditional tortilla española, or a whole Sunburst Farm mountain trout topped with parsley and hazelnut piccata.
3. Little Jumbo
Asheville, NC 28801
Asheville’s cocktail scene is as diverse as their culinary scene. Little Jumbo, a stand-alone cocktail bar just outside the Montford neighborhood. The cocktail bar offers a list of 20 house cocktails which ensures drinks can be promptly replicated and will taste delicious each and every time.
A white port aperitif is absolutely delish and The Manhattan Service For Two should definitely be on your order list. The bar has a small 10-item menu with savory seasonal apps like house-made salt and pepper chips and avocado and almond salad.
3. Lobster Trap
Asheville, NC 28801
In 2005, the Lobster Trap restaurant opened its doors in historic downtown Asheville, N.C. Since then, it has become the seafood destination for locals and visitors whose passion for fresh Maine lobsters, domestic oysters, mussels, clams, crabs and fish (including the award-winning Sunburst trout) is exceeded only by that of owner Amy Beard and General Manager/Executive Chef Mike McCarty.
The Lobster Trap is all about seafood. Don’t look for chicken here. This is where fresh seafood is thoughtfully prepared in ways that honor its delicate flavors and textures. This is where fun, food and hospitality abound and where the oysters are always fresh.
What To Do For Your Asheville Weekend Getaway
1. Visit Biltmore Estate
Build in 1895 by the Vanderbilt family, the Biltmore is the largest privately owned estate in the United States and is situated on an 8,000-acre tract. Your admission lets you tour the estate and a few rooms in the house.
The estate embodies what Mark Twain had in mind when he dubbed the 1880-90s the Gilded Age: everything about its essence is an imitation of European royal residences with emphasis on appearance more than reality. You can look but not touch priceless tapestries, rich wood tapestries, and other fine china from the bygone era of yesteryear.
Touring the mansion will take approximately two hours at a minimum but I suggest blocking off at least five hours to see everything. The estate also has an on-site winery and you can also walk the estate gardens.
There’s a lot to see and a lot of walking so make sure you wear comfortable shoes.
2. Explore the Blue Ridge Parkway
The beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains cover most of western North Carolina, including Asheville. While they extend from Georgia to Pennsylvania, the highest peaks are found in Asheville, North Carolina. Mt. Mitchell is the highest summit east of the Mississippi River. Much of the Blue Ridge Mountains are protected by Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests.
The Blue Ridge is noted for having a blue tint, especially when seen from a distance. Trees release isoprene into the atmosphere to create the blue haze. There are thousands of miles of hiking trails and many spectacular waterfalls.
Even though the Blue Ridge Parkway stretches into Virginia, you can hop on right in Asheville and enjoy the views. There are several scenic overlooks to park and take pictures or hike a trail. Below are some of my favorite trails in the Blue Ridge Parkway:
- Craggy Gardens Trail
- Skinny Dip Falls Trail
- Linville Falls
- Mount Mitchell (the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi)
3. Outdoor Activities in Blue Ridge Parkway
There are plenty of activities to partake in after you take in the views of the Mountains. If you love adventure and outdoor activities try one of the following activities:
- Chase Waterfalls
- Bird Watching
- Mountain Biking
4. Explore Downtown Asheville
Downtown Asheville is full of shopping, restaurants, and breweries. If you like to walk around old-time general stores and look at items from the past make sure you check out Mast General Store to pick up souvenirs, clothing, and even hiking gear.
One of my favorite things about Asheville was watching and listening to the street musicians playing jazz. On Friday evenings make sure you visit the Drum Circle where you can drum and dance from 5 to 8 PM in Pritchard Park.
5. Visit the River Arts District
The River Arts District is a one mile stretch of old buildings that now serve as art studios. You can patronize local artist and purchase paintings, glass, ceramics, jewelry, and original art created by a local artist.
6. Take a Brewery Tour
Asheville currently holds the honor of having the most breweries per capita in the United States so if you are a beer lover Asheville is the place for you.
The Best Breweries in Asheville include:
You can visit each brewery individually or you take a multi-brewery tour.
6. Farmers Market
What else To Do In Asheville
The Best Time to Visit Asheville
Asheville has something to offer everyone all year-round, while I visited in the summer I can only imagine how beautiful Asheville is in fall as the foliage turns all different colors of orange, purple and yellow. Many tourist flocks to Ashville in the fall so click here to book your weekend getaway now.
Flying to Asheville
The best way to get to Asheville is to fly into Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) on the following airlines:
Driving to Asheville
Asheville can also be easily reached by car as Interstates 26 and 40 meet. The two largest metropolitan areas nearby are Charlotte, NC (2 hours), Atlanta, GA (3.5 hours), and Nashville (4.5 hours). If you are in search of a weekend getaway look no further than Asheville, NC!
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