Thursday, July 28, 2016

Asheville, NC | Travel Guide

Before our trip to Asheville, I scoured to find local guides or inside tips. Well those are few and far between so I thought I would share our favorites:


HOTEL
We stayed at the Omni Grove Park Inn and it was fabulous! The resort is huge but the history behind it is unbelievable. At least ten presidents have stayed there along with famous stars, athletes and authors. But, the views are the best part. I am a sucker for a good patio and this one did not disappoint.

My tip is to ask for a room in the historic part. While the bathrooms are TINY it is kinda cool staying in an 100+ year old piece of history. We enjoyed many beverages in the hotel which have a great view on the sunset terrace or grab a rocking chair by the President's Lounge in the Sammons Wing. You can look over the mountains and watch the golfers.


ACTIVITIES
We did what any tourist would do and tour the famous Biltmore estate. The home is, of course, gorgeous but it was HOT. The nationwide heat wave did not spare the mountains and it was pretty miserable. I felt a little woozy during one part of the tour due to no AC, no breeze and trekking up all those stairs. I recommend visiting in Spring/Fall.

That afternoon, we ventured to a newer part of the grounds for Aaron's clay shooting lesson. Given as part of his birthday gift, I thought it would a fun experience. All excursions take you to a gated part of the grounds where you can fish, shoot or offroad in the Land Rover experience. Aaron's instructor was so down-to-earth and I was pretty impressed by my man's shooting skills.

Another activity in Asheville is the breweries. I think the stat is they have more breweries per capita than any US city. Here are the few we visited:
  • New Belgium - This just opened and was my favorite. I like their beer and the tasting room was pretty impressive with a great view of the river.
  • Green Man - We didn't get a welcoming vibe here from the staff or location so left after a quick taste.
  • Wicked Weed Emporium - This place is known for their sour beers. They are beers that are transferred to a bourbon or wine barrel for a period of time. Not my favorite place but a cool experience. They also had some tasty apps for us to have a mid-afternoon snack.
  • Catawaba - This place was just okay but convenient for our trek around the Southern Slope area.

RESTAURANTS
The Admiral | Favorite place by far! Although, get reservations a few weeks in advance, as I booked three weeks out and there was only one slot left. This nondescript restaurant has its parking challenges but it is a must visit. We got the fried escargot (it was surprising delicious), scallops, curried fried chicken, brussels and dessert and they were all excellent.

Blackbird | Located right in the middle of everything, this place was packed. We got the ceviche, burger and seafood risotto. While all great, not my most memorable meal ever. I recommend grabbing an Uber if you go on the weekend because it was packed.

Corner Kitchen | Another must on reservations but a great little spot in Biltmore Village. We got the Turkey and Chicken sandwiches and both were excellent! From the menu, it looks like they also have a great brunch.

White Duck Taco Shop | A must on the itinerary, but go early! We arrived 10 minutes after opening and they were packed to the brim when we left. All the tacos we tried were amazing and the cheese dip was not too shabby on the cheese dip scale either.

We are not big breakfast people so skipped that but did eat a dinner at the Grove Park our first night. It was good but we had a wait a bit, so get reservations if you are planning to eat in one night.

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