Spring is one of my favorite times to visit Asheville (second only to leaf season) and fortunately for Charlestonians it really is a nice, short drive. I often think of Asheville as Charleston’s sister-city to the West because of the laid back vibe, friendly locals, beautiful backdrop, and lengthy list of extraordinary places to eat and drink. My husband and I try to make it to Asheville twice a year, we even went there on our honeymoon – yes, we love it that much.
After many visits, I’ve compiled a list of must-sees, must-eats, and must-drinks. Oh, and one not-so-fun-fact to make note of: happy hour does not exist in North Carolina. Shameful isn’t it? They have a law that precludes them from discounting any alcoholic beverage for a period of time less than one full business day so if a joint says they have happy hour, expect discounts on food only.
The Grand Bohemian – no it’s not downtown but it is AMAZING and they will drive you, in a swanky SUV, anywhere you want to go. The restaurant is fantastic, the staff is superb, the accommodations are top notch, and the price is right! It’s in the heart of Biltmore Village which has a decent amount of boutiques should you require immediate hangover retail therapy.
The Grove Park Inn Spa – holy schnikeys. I don’t know how many millions of dollars were spent building this small town of pools and waterfalls but damn, it’s impressive. We first discovered it when a friend gave us each a day pass as a wedding gift. We literally spent all day there. We swam, we soaked, we sweated, we ate, we drank champagne, we shriveled up like raisins.
Richmond Hill – it’s a disc golf course that Spence and a friend enjoyed playing while I tagged along for the exercise. It’s a fantastic hike – lots of shade and plenty of hills.
Mobilia – If you’re into furniture and home design, you’ve got to stop by this super cool store in the downtown shopping district – sophisticated, clean, modern, European-style things await you!
Food & Drink:
Sunny Point Café – family owned and farm-to-table style it is hands down the best breakfast we’ve ever had. Everyone who works there is a bubbly, happy hippie – I love that place. You must try the huevos rancheros. You just must.
Early Girl Eatery – an adorable café in downtown Asheville that highlights local vendors and southern comfort food. Breakfast is served all day! And so are drinks. Because you can’t drink all day unless you start first thing in the morning.
Bull & Beggar – they call it European inspired Appalachian cuisine – all I know is that we went on a Monday night at 9pm and there was a 45 minute wait to be seated. It also happened to be $6 burger night – GREAT burger. Also not to be missed: the lobster roll, morels & peas, any of their tartares, and perhaps the best bartender ever witnessed in action.
Limones – Mexican & Californian cuisine – home of my favorite Mojito, a very impressive margarita list, famous lobster nachos, and an unbelievably good ceviche sampler.
Sierra Nevada Taprooom – I don’t drink beer and I was really impressed with this place. They poured a LOT of money into this new East Coast brewery and it is more than worth the tour.
Because sometimes you just need a little webucation in your life. You’re welcome.