ASHEVILLE

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This last weekend, my husband and I went on our last final little "babymoon" getaway before our son arrives! I celebrated 33 weeks, and we have the next few weekends booked, so it seemed like the perfect time to go on a little trip (safely) before our handsome newest addition joins our family earthside.

Well, y'all, we had an incredible time! There's so much to see and do in this lovely little town, and I'm really glad we took the time to come out and visit.

Anyways, I thought I would share a few of our personal favorite places we visited over the weekend, along with an entire list of places that I was recommend through friends and lovely Instagram folk!

Personally, we did a little bit of everything. 

Due to the fact that I'm nearly 8 months pregnant, I definitely didn't get to do everything on my list (only slight exaggeration if I was earlier in my pregnancy, I would want to attempt to visit everything on the recommended lists at the end of this post). However, we found that a slower pace was a lovely way to see a lot of little things, all of which were quite lovely!

So here's what we did:

Friday afternoon we checked into our AirBnB (here's the link to where we stayed, as a lot of people have asked me for it). I will say that it wasn't my favorite place to stay ever, but it was super affordable, close to town, and the gardens were stunning.  

Anyways, after we checked into our airbnb, we headed downtown to explore a bit. Y'all, I din't realize but Asheville is pretty HUGE! It has a very large, very walkable downtown with more restaurants and shops then you could realistic visit even over an entire weekend. I was amazed!

We went in and out a few places - my favorite being a store called Moonlight Makers. It was a screenprinting company (surprise surprise) that has a TON of pun-ny shirts. Daniel kept reading them aloud and it absolutely cracked me up!!! We ended up purchasing a tea towel that says, "Give me a quiche, baby!" with a cute little quiche drawing. It just made my heart smile!

After that, we made a b-line for one of the coffee shops I was most excited about... Trade & Lore! This shop was adorable and Daniel and I split a Vanilla, Rose and Cardamom latte - SO good! Would 10/10 recommend that you stop there. The aesthetics and atmosphere of the coffee shop is also a 10, and in a really cute part of downtown, too. 

Daniel snapped a few photos of me (to which I instantly posted on Insta) and then speaking of Instagram... We met a fellow Instagrammer/customer (and her precious hubby) for dinner at Farm Burger. They were so adorable! We enjoyed a lovely dinner together and then headed down to the Biltmore. Julie (@japulie) had a pass to get us onto the grounds, and we enjoyed an evening of walking around! We didn't get to go up to the Biltmore due to a concert series that was going on that you needed separate tickets for - but I will say walking around peaked my interest enough to want to go back for a proper visit one day!

After our exploring the property, we headed back into town for ice cream and chatting a bit before calling it a night.

The next day (Saturday) we woke up to a lovely, homemade breakfast by our AirBnb hosts (one of the perks to staying there). The weather was so lovely (truly felt like fall) and so we enjoyed sitting out on the back porch and enjoying the sounds of the creek moving down the mountain and nature running its course. Definitely one of my fave ways to start any day!

After breakfast, we pulled ourselves together and went up north to downtown Weaverville to pick up a sandwich lunch to take with us for a short hike in DuPont Forest! The little cafe was called "Well Bred Cafe" and it was definitely adorable. Downtown Weaverville, though small, was a super cute town and would have been fun to explore a bit more! 

We took our lunches to Hooker Falls in DuPont Forest, where we went for a short hike and found a cute bench to eat our food and listen to the beautiful sounds of a waterfall just behind us. It was a super easy hike (like maybe a quarter mile) to the waterfalls from the parking lot, and I may or may not have taken a dip in the water... It was so refreshing!

After that, we hiked partway to Triple Falls. My feet were super swollen (for the first time in this pregnancy, thankfully) but that meant I couldn't hike in my chacos and was instead trying to hike in some sandals from Target... Not quite the same.

So we called it square, and decided that we'd head back into town.

We noticed that on our way was the town of Hendersonville, which a lot of people recommended stopping by. This was one of our favorite little spots of the weekend! The town was *super* adorable and had a calm, quaint charm to it. Definitely glad we stopped by and enjoyed a leisurely store walking around. 

One of the stores that I was recommended and we enjoyed walking around was Mast General Store! It had a lot of old school candy, treat and other fun treasures that we enjoyed perusing through. 

 

After Hendersonville, we went back to downtown Asheville, thinking we wanted to walk around and explore a bit more for the evening. We grabbed a taco dinner at Mamacitas (super delicious - I recommend the pork taco) and then went to French Broad Chocolate Co for dessert (coffee ice cream, which we split). 

Again, we were planning to walk around downtown a bit more... But it was SOOO crowded! I expected Saturday evening to have a bit more of a crowd because it was the weekend, but it felt excessively crowded and we didn't feel like fighting the crowds (or the state they were in) so we headed back to our AirBnb for an early evening.

And I'm so glad we did! We sat outside on the front porch and watched the most miraculous sunset go to sleep over the mountains... Truly such an awe inspiring thing to watch. We played cards and went to sleep early - enjoying the luxury of sleep and a relaxed and flexible schedule that won't be common for too much longer ;)

Oh, I can't believe I almost forgot to mention - just outside of downtown we stopped at basically my new favorite store in the entire world... A shop that sells plants on one side, and coffee on the other. I MEAN WHAT?!

The plant side was called Forage and the coffee side was called Flora. Both were adorable, and I basically would have moved in and spent all my money, had I thought I could have the plants survive in my car through the summer humidity for another day and a half.

Since I wasn't able to make that a reality, I instead walked dreamily around the store and wished I could have something like this one day. Maybe it'll happen.

The next morning, we had breakfast with our AirBnb folk, packed up and said our goodbyes. Then we went back towards downtown Asheville for some coffee - because while our hosts made a delicious breakfast, the coffee was definitely not what dreams were made of.

And let me tell you - I'm glad I skipped on the waterdown coffee at the Airbnb, because we found a coffee shop that has easily one of the best lattes I've ever had in my life! The coffee shop is called High Five Coffee, and we ordered a carmel and cinnamon latte... Literally, it basically tasted like what I imagine a latte in heaven would taste like. 

In fact, it was SO good we went back inside and ordered a second latte, only decaf, so I could enjoy it. What amazed me is that the decaf latte tasted almost exactly like the regular cafe latte! So much so, I asked repeatedly if Daniel (and the barista) were sure it was truly decaf. I never got the headache I get from too much caffiene (read: anytime I have more than 8 ounces) so it was decaf.

Literally... SOOOO STINKIN' GOOD!

Also, we went to the location on the river, and got to enjoy slowly sipping on our coffee together, listening and watching nature around the river, and talk about anything and everything. If we were locals, this would definitely become a weekly ritual for us. 

After coffee (we spent quite a few hours just sitting by the river, sipping our coffee) we were both starved and decided to check out Juicy Lucy on a whim - and it ended up being one of our favorite food spots from the whole weekend! The burgers were absolutely incredible, and definitely hit the spot for us both. 

After that, we debated doing a little more exploring around town.. But settled on heading home for an early night with lots of pup cuddles. We ended up getting invited over for dinner with friends (the ones who were watching Jace for us, so we still got lots of Jace snuggles), which was an even better way to end this lovely weekend!

Overall, we had a really great time and definitely want to come back to explore some more!

Anyways, that's how our weekend went - but for those that are interested, I wanted to share a HUGE list of all the places that people recommended to me to visit for food, shopping and exploring. 

So if you're looking for a one-stop-shop on all the best places (or so I've been told) of Asheville, here you go! Also adding in our few favorite spots that weren't already on the list.

Top Places To Visit in Asheville

So here were the top places that I was recommended, across the board:

* Means that multiple people recommended this spot!

Places to Eat - Breakfast

  • Biscuit Head *
  • Vortex Donuts *
  • Hole Donuts
  • OWL Bakery
  • Sunny Point Cafe
  • Early Girl
  • Homegrown

Places to Eat - Lunch/Dinner

  • Tupelo Honey Restaurant *
  • White Duck Taco Shop *
  • Universal Joint *
  • Farm Burger *
  • Juicy Lucy's Burgers
  • Bull and Beggar
  • Mamacita's (tacos) *
  • All Souls Pizza
  • Taco Billy
  • Standard Pizza 
  • The Vault
  • 12 Bones Smokehouse  * 
  • Green Safe Cafe
  • Sunny Point Cafe
  • Early Gray Eatery
  • Bone and Broth
  • Scarlet Bee
  • Asheville Brewing Co
  • Nine Mile
  • Rocky's Hot Chicken Shack
  • Twisted Laurel 
  • 12 Bones
  • Posana Restaurant
  • Curate
  • Gypsy Queen Cuisine
  • Plant 
  • Corner Kitchen
  • Nine Mile

Coffee Shops & Dessert

  • Trade and Lore *
  • Double D's 
  • High Five Coffee *
  • French Broad Chocolate Shop *
  • The Hop Ice Cream Cafe
  • Izzy's Coffee Den
  • Farm and Sparrow Bakery 
  • City Bakery
  • Forage (coffee shop with plant shop)

Shopping

  • Flora (plant shop with coffee shop)
  • Malaprops Bookstore
  • Battery Park Book Exchange and Champaign 
  • Mast General Store *
  • Moonlight Makers
  • Asheville Bee Charmer (free honey tasting)
  • Honeypot
  • Horse and Hero
  • Antique shopping in Hendersonville 
  • Flea for Y'all (outdoor antique on Sunday)
  • The arts district
  • Spice and Tea Exchange

    Other Things To Do

    • Visit the Biltmore Estate
    • Drum circle at Pritchard Park (Friday evenings)
    • Farmers Market on Saturdays 
    • Tube float the French Board River
    • Asheville Pinball museum
    • Botanical Gardens of Asheville (free)
    • North Carolina Arboretum
    • Drive through the Blue Ridge Parkway (great walk near the viaduct)
    • Montfork Park Players (free Shakespear plays)
    • Visit the Omni Grove Park Inn
    • Visit Hunger Games Distirct 12 (4272 Henry River Road, Hildebran, NC)
    • Take a drive up Town Mountain (near Grove Park Inn)

    Hikes/Nature

    • Max Patch
    • Blue Ridge Parkway
    • Dupont State Forest *
    • Pisgah National Forest *
    • Craggy Gardens Overlook
    • Swannanoa River Trail
    • Henry River Mill Village
    • Eastatoe Falls
    • Ashville Urban Trail
    • Chimney Rock
    • Sliding Rock

    Best Swimming Holes and Waterfalls

    • Sliding Rock (Pisgah National Forest)
    • Elk River Falls (Pisgah National Forest)
    • Upper Creek Falls (Pisgah National)
    • Hidden Falls (Pisgah National)
    • Looking Glass Falls* (Pisgah)
    • Whaleback Swimming hole (Pisgah)
    • Skinny Dip Falls (Blue Ridge Prkway)
    • Deep Creek Tubing (rent a tube and floating)
    • Hooker Falls (DuPont)
    • Hidden Lakes (DuPont)
    • Lake Lure (Hickory Nut Gorge)
    • Nantahala River Jump Off Rock
    • Lake Glenville 
    • Beach at Lake James
    • Green River Tubing (Saluda)
    • Wildcat Lake (Banner Elk)
    • River Tubing (French Broad River) *
    • Silver run Falls (Nantahala)
    • Lake Santeetlah (Nantahala)
    • Schoolhouse Falls (Natahala)
    • Bust Your Butt Falls

    Other Towns to Visit

    • Hendersonville (great antique shopping)
    • Weaverville (cute downtown)
    • Waynesville

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