Things to do: Asheville, NC
Every year, we have celebrated Casey's birthday (August 23) in a different city. From Portland, Oregon to Clemson, South Carolina to Little Rock, Arkansas and the list goes on and on...
At first it was just coincidence due to our line of work, but now we've started to make it somewhat of a tradition. In 2013, we had a small break in between tours so we picked up a rental, tossed our bags in the back and drove to Asheville, North Carolina and Charleston, South Carolina (two of just a handful of major cities we had not been to yet) to celebrate the big 2-9!
We were in Atlanta so the drive was reasonable, but even if you're coming from the Chicagoland area it's only about a 10-hour drive (day trip).
We'll save Charleston for a different date, because I'm dedicating this post solely to the "Land of the Sky." I fell head over heels for this charming city and I can honestly say if there was a bigger job market or a position waiting for me, I'd live here in a heartbeat.
With all that said, if you're looking for a roadtrip, daydreaming of warmer weather or just looking to pass some time on this "Throwback Thursday"...here are some great things to do in Asheville, North Carolina:
Asheville Tourists: Catch a game at McCormick Field and watch the Colorado Rockies' Class A Affiliate, the Tourists. They once had an unforgettable and absolutely awesome logo featuring a bear in stereotypical tourist attire (camera, suitcase, Hawaiian shirt) but they have since changed it to an out-of-this-world
ugly outerspace, commercial logo. Anyway, Asheville is an emerging beer city and there is no shortage of craft brews at this ballpark. Plus, there's not a bad seat in the house and you get every bang for your buck. We sat behind homeplate for $11. Tickets range from as low as $7 up to $30 for a clubhouse suite. Perfect for any night, any age, and really...anyone!
Whitewater Rafting with Blue Heron: Great company, run by super friendly people, fantastic photos are taken the entire whitewater rafting trip with an option to purchase the pics (after viewing them) for a fairly decent price at the end. The views were gorgeous, the guides were well-informed, the rapids were legit and we stopped midway through the trip to jump off a tall rock into the French Broad River (Casey overcame his fear of heights on this one, and it was amazing). Plus, in an area where the water was rather calm we were able to get out of the raft and take a dip for a short bit. It was SO MUCH FUN! Obviously, wear a swimsuit, sunscreen and bring a change of clothes. Book a trip by visiting Blue Heron's official website.
Local Shops: Check out all the cute local shops, restaurants and bars in Asheville. I scored these adorable bicycle earrings from Ten Thousand Villages at a store near Tupelo Honey Cafe (shop while you wait for a table).
Favorite Places to Eat
Tupelo Honey Cafe: One word: biscuits. THC's homemade biscuits are to die for and they are served to everyone no matter what you order. Just check out their rave reviews on Yelp!.
Whatever you choose from their menu, I really don't think you can go wrong at this popular spot. Everything is absolutely DELICIOUS.
Early Girl Eatery: A scrumptious farm-to-table hotspot primarily for breakfast but they also serve sandwiches, soup, salads, etc. This place is perfect for folks who are either vegan or vegetarian, however Casey is neither of those and he was still able to easily find something to suit his fancy. Once again, friendly staff and mouthwatering dishes.
|Tupelo Honey Cafe|
|Early Girl Eatery|
Biltmore Estate: We did not go to the Biltmore Estate, nor did we have the desire to do so...but if this is your jam definitely check it out while you're in Asheville OR follow in my friend Taylor's footsteps and run the Asheville Marathon (held at the estate) to see 26.2 miles of the glamorous grounds.
Coffee: Start your day off right with a cup of joe from Double D's Coffee & Desserts. A coffee shop in a double decker bus, need I say more? Tip: Free wi-fi.
Blue Ridge Parkway: Camp. Hike. Run. Walk. Drive. JUST GO. So beautiful and definitely worth the trip. We suggest traveling to milepost 422 and hike to the top of the Devil's Courthouse (elevation: 5,720) for a 360-panoramic view in which visitors can catch a glimpse of Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina.
Asheville Brews Cruise: The best for last; the Asheville Brews Cruise. Hop aboard this special beer bus equipped with a smile for a tour of three different Asheville breweries. Worth the money, the ride and all the good times. If you're just looking to stop at one brewery instead of taking a cruise, we suggest visiting Highland Brewing Company. Tip: This tour does not stop for food. Be sure to eat and fill up your tummy beforehand.
To book with Asheville Brews Cruise, click here. Brews Cruise, Inc. also offers tours in Atlanta, Denver, Charleston and Charlotte.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO ASHEVILLE?
IF SO, ANY OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS?
FAVORITE COFFEE SHOP IN THE COUNTRY? GO.