What to do in Asheville, NC

What to do in Asheville, NC

I just got back from my first trip to Asheville, NC and I am already planning my next. I am in awe of this town and I cannot wait to return. The locals were so warm and inviting, greeting us with genuine smiles and eager to offer recommendations of where to eat, drink and play. The town is wonderfully strange in all the best ways. Downtown is teeming with live music, local craft breweries, art galleries and farm-to-table dining. And the natural beauty surrounding the town filled me with an enormous sense of appreciation and gratitude for this amazing planet we live on.

My boyfriend and I were in Asheville celebrating our first anniversary. We stayed in a cabin, but it was so much more than that. We couldn’t have dreamt this place up if we tried. Not only was it completely secluded, hidden away atop a giant mountain, but it also came furnished with every amenity we could possibly think of. Three separate decks over-looked the mountains, one equipped with a hot-tub where we enjoyed watching the sunset on our last night. The fireplace kept us warm during those chilly mountain evenings (it dropped to about 18 degrees) and the nights were so dark we could see every star in the sky, including a couple of shooting stars! To walk out on the deck as the sun rose and hear nothing but the mountain breeze gave me chills that I can still feel as I write this. Our host, Brea, surpassed every expectation we had. I’ve already recommended her cabins to everyone I know. Here is her website, if you are interested- CabinInAsheville.com.

What to do in Asheville, NC- cabin
The Charmed Cottage

What to do in Asheville, NC- S'more

Water wheel in front yard

When we finally peeled ourselves away from the cabin, we kept busy by exploring the city of Asheville. Every restaurant we went to had us signing it’s praises. We are both vegetarians, so we were nervous there wouldn’t be much southern food we could enjoy. Boy, were we wrong! Not only did these restaurants offer locally grown, organic food, but they all had multiple vegetarian options to choose from. Fresh black bean burgers, soysauge breakfast scrambles, even a vegetarian Cuban sandwich! I almost cried when I saw it on the menu. Come to think of it, I may have actually cried. I grew up on Cuban sandwiches. Flaky Cuban bread pressed together with a filling of ham, pork, swiss cheese, mustard and pickles. Mmmmmmm. But since I’ve been vegetarian for the last six years, I haven’t found a way to re-create the dish. Well, Laughing Seed Cafe sure did! They replaced the ham and pork with perfectly prepared tempeh AND added a fresh black bean spread. Here’s a list of all of the restaurants and cafes we went to. I recommend ALL of them.

What to do in Asheville, NC- eat local
The Local Joint- Asheville, NC
What to do in Asheville, NC- overeasycafe
Over Easy Cafe- Asheville, NC

To compensate for all of the food we were consuming, we walked.  We walked up and down the hilly streets of Asheville and then ventured a bit further to walk up and down the mountains surrounding town. Downtown, we stumbled upon the River Arts District where we bought some beautiful handcrafted ceramic pieces by local artist JoAnna Carroll. We drove the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, stopping along the way to gawk at the views and hike a few trails. And on our last day, we found the energy to drive up to Chimney Rock and climb the 500+ steps to the top!

What to do in Asheville, NC- blue ridge parkway
Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway
What to do in Asheville, NC- river
Napping on the French Broad River
What to do in Asheville, NC- Chimney Rock
Climbing Chimney Rock

My favorite part of the trip might have been getting to see one of my favorite musicians play at a local bar. This was my seventh time seeing Zach Deputy and I am so happy I got to share it with my boyfriend. Zach is a one-man band and therefore puts on an incredible live performance. He creates all the sounds and beats live on stage and emits a pure joy that seeps into everyone in the audience.

What to do in Asheville, NC- ZDZach Deputy making magic on stage at The Grey Eagle- Asheville, NC

Have you been to Asheville, NC? What places would you recommend? If you have any questions or are looking for more suggestions, please feel free to comment below. Thanks, and happy travels!


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