Aug 28, 2015

Travel With Me: Asheville, NC

Location: Asheville, North Carolina

I don't think there's a place I love more than western North Carolina. Sure, I love vacations and love the locations we go to. Western North Carolina, however, is home to me. It's where my heart is even when I'm not there. And I love sharing my heart with y'all through these travel guides, and maybe it'll inspire you to make a trip and fall in love as well.

A few weeks ago, I dedicated an entire post to our dinner at the Grove Park Inn, and this week I thought I'd share the entire city of Asheville with you. These are my tried and true favorites, but I highly recommend jumping on the historic trolley tours, discovering the city, and finding your own favorites as well. There are so many places to eat, to see and things to do—for all tastes. These are just what fit my taste.

Where to Eat:

Dobra Tea
78 N Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
As soon as you walk into this cool, hipster style tea house, the homemade chai spices immediately hit you—leaving you intoxicated and never wanting to leave. My mom and sister are huge fans of the bubble tea. My sister gets the matcha green tea and my mom gets plain sweet tea. The vibe of the tea house is inviting, and chill. Take your laptop or a good book and post up for an afternoon.

Sunset Terrace
290 Macon Ave, Asheville, NC 28804
I know I covered this a few weeks ago (which you can read about here), so I won't go into much more detail. Just know I love this restaurant and think it's great for special celebrations. We were there to celebrate summer and two birthdays. I overheard a few tables around us, and they were there celebrating anniversaries.

Double D's
41 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
This kitchy, little, double decker coffee shop is exactly what Asheville is all about. Outside the box, fun, and nothing you've ever seen before. Coffee is served on the first floor of the bus and there is seating upstairs as well as a few tables outside. It's fun during rainstorms to sit upstairs and just watch it rain as you enjoy a latte.

Grove Arcade, 1 Page Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Be still my heart! The pizza and white sangria at Carmel's are my favorite. I can't get past them to try anything else on the menu. This restaurant sits on one corner of the Grove Arcade, and has a ton of tables outside as well as inside. It's simply one of the best.

True Confections
Grove Arcade, 1 Page Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
This is another great place to grab coffee or a quick sweet treat. I love their iced chai lattes, but their sweets are to die for!

Where to Shop:

55 Haywood St, Asheville, NC 28801
I am a total book lover, and the bookstore makes my heart skip a beat. I could get lost in the aisles for hours (and have). Malaprop's is a local bookstore, and has found a way to make it work. They have author appearances and signings all the time. Definitely check their calendar for author events. Plus, they always have a table of recently signed copies for sale. I'm always at that table looking for my favorite author's newest release with their signature.

Duncan & York
33 N. Lexington Ave. Asheville, North Carolina 28801
I don't remember how I found out about this store, but I know it was through Facebook somehow. Instantly, I added to my "must see" list during our last trip and it didn't disappoint. Think Anthropologie, but as a locally owned store and without all the clothes. That's the best way to describe it, but it doesn't even do the store justice. We probably spent about an hour just wandering the store before reluctantly walking to the counter to checkout.

Nest Organics
51 N Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Just down the street from Duncan & York, this store focuses on organic products. There's makeup, bedding, journals, children's toys, clothes. They honestly have a bit of everything.

Mast General Store
15 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
I have been enamored with this store since I was a little girl. Back then, I was more enamored with the large candy barrels filled to the brim with all my favorite candies, and the old-fashioned coke bottle dispenser. Drinking coke out of a glass bottle—does it get any better? Now, I'm enamored with all the southern accoutrements and houseware items. They have a great selection of clothing, t-shirts, hiking gear, camping equipment, and of course the candy barrels still exist.

Biltmore Village
10 Brook St, Asheville, NC 28803
Biltmore Village is another shopping district in Asheville, and sits right outside the Biltmore Estate. We love shopping at the Lululemon here because the girls are the sweetest, and they tend to have different items than the stores carry here in Florida. There are also a few restaurants and some other cute shops in this area.

What to Do:

French Broad Chocolate
10 S Pack Square, Asheville, NC 28801
Chocolate. Need I say more? French Broad recently moved to their new location at Pack Square and it's heaven. They have everything you can imagine and then some. This is another great place to sit down, rest your feet from all the walking, and just chill for a bit.

Historic Trolley Tour
36 Montford Ave, Asheville, NC 28801 (Picks Up at Visitor's Center)
Honestly, we love the trolley. It's a great way to get around the city and hear about the history as well. The tour guides are locals, and are a wealth of knowledge on all things Asheville and surrounding areas. Want a restaurant recommendation? Ask the tour guide. Want to know the favorite local brewery? Ask the tour guide. If you stay on for the full ride, I want to say it's about 2 hours. They take you through all the different neighborhoods, have drop off and pick up locations—including the Grove Park Inn.
Basilica St. Lawrence
97 Haywood St, Asheville, NC 28801
I'm not Catholic, but I love peeking into the basilica when their not in mass. The inside is gorgeous and the grounds are amazing.

Biltmore Estate
1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803
This sprawling estate of beauty requires a full day to itself. There is a bakery for a light breakfast and coffee, so I highly recommend getting there early. Take your time walking through the home, make your way down to the garden and conservatory, walk around the reflecting pools, sit on a bench and soak in the fresh air. There's also horse back riding, kayaking, hiking trails, and restaurants to enjoy. Plus, there is a winery on-site with a free winery tour and tastings.

Sunset at Grove Park Inn
290 Macon Ave, Asheville, NC 28804
There is nothing like a sunset on the terrace at the Grove Park Inn. You don't need to go up for dinner or rent a room to take in the view. Simply drive up, pay the parking (I think the first two hours are free) and grab a drink before taking in the sunset. You won't regret it.

A few websites to check out when planning your trip are: Romantic Asheville and Explore Asheville.

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