just saying "Asheville, North Carolina" brings back a flood of memories and not all I want to remember. my best friend was able to convince me that taking this trip would be fun and seeing the Dressing Downton collection at the Biltmore Estate would be well worth the unwanted memories. turns out, she was right. 

this past weekend Jas, my best friend and i traveled up the mountain. we stayed for 3 days and 2 nights and walked almost every minute. we chose some of the best reviewed restaurants, strolled through eclectic galleries and bought items from adorable shops; we had a blast. 

Day 1: Tupelo, Catching Up + City Roaming

we arrived in the city famished and chose to eat delicious apps from Tupelo Honey Cafe. we each ordered an app to split and loved every bite! Jas tried some of the local beers and was impressed. we left with full tummies and big grins. we walked back to the hotel right before the rain, napped and then walked to Doc Chey's for dinner. we met a dear friend and her fiance for dinner and spent the evening catching up before parting to wander the city some more. something i never realized as I was growing up was just how wild the city becomes at night; we walked past people dancing, playing drums and causing spectacles in Pritchard Park. it was unlike anything i had really seen before. it was like peter pan had let the lost boys lose. we kept walking and was able to tour through some interesting art galleries. Asheville is full of artists and naturally galleries as well. i couldn't help but leave with a couple pieces ready to hang in our apartment from Horse and Hero. 

 

Day 2: Brunch, Shopping Downtown + Life-of-Senic Past Tour

we started our second day by eating the most delicious brunch at Over Easy Cafe; my strawberry pancakes had basil whipped cream! i was a happy camper to say the least. from there we browsed some great shopping including the Chevron Trading PostDuncan & York, Minx and the Carolina Cigar Company just to name a few. we stopped for a quick nap in the afternoon, adventured to the Tobacco Barn for some thrifting, made our way to the Chocolate Fetish for truffles then took a short drive towards Weaverville. driving to Weaverville must be ingrained in my memory because even though it has been 7+ years i remembered each road to get to my old house.  it was fun taking them around and introducing them to the pre-PTC-Round2 me. on the way home we stopped at Moe's Original BBQ. barbecue hit the spot after a long day! 

Day 3: Biltmore Estate

i think my legs are still sore from the amount of walking we did at the Biltmore Estate. we toured the house to truly see the gardens and Dressing Downton collection. to me, without the gardens and gowns, the house is really only good to tour once. I am not saying don't go, its just not something I feel compelled to see every time we visit. its best when there is something happening (i.e., Christmas trees, sprint tulips, costumes, etc) at the Estate that way you have more to view. the architecture and craftsmanship of the estate is truly breathtaking, but after going up, then back down, then around you almost are too tired to notice any of the details. 

during this trip we also visited the winery and had unlimited tastings of their delicious wines. after the right number of tastes (one of each I would say) we left the estate with 3 bottles and a dip mix. 

overall, this trip was a huge success. what's not to love about a city with great art, lots of food and plenty to do. for more specific details about our dining experiences, yelp reviews will be up later this week.

after this trip i realized that i have a couple tips for how to have the best experience  which i have shared below. i would love your feedback too! what's your favorite part of the city, places to eat or things to do? share them below in the comments section.

Tourist Tips:

  1. STAY at the Asheville Renaissance Hotel in downtown. they take care of their guests, the rooms are huge and the beds are amazingly comfortable. plus you can walk anywhere downtown and you're less than 15 mins from Biltmore Village, the Riverside Arts district and Weaverville
  2. EAT at all the places we went to! and 12 Bones BBQ and Wicked Weed and... well eat as many places as you can. the food is really good in Asheville. 
  3. SHOP downtown at Minx, Horse and Hero and Duncan & York. those were definitely my top three after going in so many stores I lost count. Minx has adorable clothes and jewelry, Horse and Hero had a great variation in art pieces at all different prices and Duncan & York had perfect items for gifts. 
  4. SHOP Porter and Prince in Biltmore Village. Well Bred is a great cafe for a shopping break and be sure to go to Catawba for the beer. 
  5. VISIT the Biltmore Estate if you haven't ever been; it's about $50 per person to view the gardens, walk through the house and attend the wine tastings. try to visit when there are other attractions and wear comfy shoes! and buy the wine.
  6. HIKE at Graveyard Fields. its along the Blue Ridge Parkway and definitely worth the drive. 

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