Earlier this year we received a lot of fall wedding invites from people near and dear to us. Of course, we didn’t want to miss any of them but we had a bit of a scheduling issue with two important ones — Chandler’s best friend from high school was getting married on Saturday evening in Asheville NC and his cousin was getting married the following afternoon in Ohio. It took a 3:30AM wake up and many connecting flights but we did it. We got to see both weddings and spend a few days prior in Asheville.
We’d never been to Asheville before so we definitely wanted to do a mix of “local” things and “touristy” things :) Here is a run down of where we ate, visited, and hiked while we were in Asheville, NC.
We arrived at 7:30am and made our way to our adorable cottage I found on VRBO. We typically find perfect spots on AirBnB but this time had to get creative and check out other platforms. As you can imagine, Asheville is a popular spot to visit in October (hello changing leaves!!)
Regardless, our cottage was perfect for us, a short drive to everything, and brand spanking new. If you’re interested in checking it out I’ll leave a link at the bottom of this post :)
Once we settled in our top priority was coffee (per usual). After a quick Yelp search and a recollection of research I’d already done, I knew Penny Cup coffee was the spot for us. We made our way over to the River Arts District to check it out.
This is a cool part of Asheville thats full of artists, cool shops, galleries, murals, and more. We visited Penny Cup a few times and really liked their vibe. This location isn’t very big but if you “accidentally” go when they are roasting coffee beans you won’t regret it ;)
After coffee comes brunch. Another quick search pointed us to Biscuit Head — a charming and hip biscuit shop? with several location around town. It was delicious and they even had GF options. I got the Pulled Pork Biscuit and Chandler got the Cajun Benedict.
After brunch we went back to the cottage for a bit so I could hop on a client call. After my call we grabbed some tickets online and headed toward Biltmore Estate (it’s apparently a little cheaper to buy tickets online ahead of time?)
The Biltmore is…ummm….breathtaking. Like, every inch of that place is incredible. Instead of describing it all for you, here are some pics <3
After we toured the estate we had a free wine tasting at their winery. Who knew they had a winery?! This was news to me! We got to try all sorts of wines and ended up buying a bottle. The winery was the cherry on top of the visit.
So if you know us, you’ll know we’re taco snobs. We don’t like just any tacos — we like. as we call them, boujee tacos. For reference, Migo in Louisville is the standard we like to uphold (LOL, but seriously!)
We heard a few reco’s for White Duck Taco Shop so we had to see what the hype was. After the Biltmore we went to the White Duck Taco Shop in the river arts district. It’s in an old… shipping container of sorts? I’m not really sure, but you can’t miss it!
Coffee shop #2 was High Five Coffee. We wanted to check out a new area of town while we got some work done and this ended up being a great location (13 Rankin Ave location) to hang for a bit and then walk around and check things out. The only picture I took here was the big high-five hand on the wall... so here you go…
If you’re not sensing a trend… pay attention — next is brunch:
In addition to our taco and coffee standards, we prefer local farm-to-table food above all else. Tupelo Honey fit the bill, and then some. This place was AMAZING!
I got a spinach salad and fried chicken. The chicken mainly so I could dip it in their spicy honey. There were not regrets at all. We also had the crispy brusells sprouts, and they brought us little biscuits to start.
Next up, Nature.
Catawba Falls was one of the top places on my list after doing some research before this trip. It looks gorgeous in photos on the internet so I reallyyyy wanted to see it.
But, it had been raining A LOT, so we got this instead (LOL!)
Still gorgeous, just a lot more water.
It was an easy walk up to the falls and definitely accessible to the leisurely hiker :)
After our nature adventure we hit up Dobra Tea House, which is easily one of the loveliest spots I’ve ever been to. They have 100’s of teas and you get a little bell to ring when you’re ready to order. I didn’t take any pictures here but grabbed one from their website:
And last but not least, after we went home for a bit to relax, we checked out The Funkatorium (Wicked Weed Brewing’s sour beer tap room). They has live music playing and we ordered lots of sour beer and food. BTW - they have sour beer flights, which I was pumped about! To prove it, here is a mediocre pic of my sour flight:
Day three started with Vortex doughnuts and coffee — mainly because doughnuts! I don’t really eat doughnuts at home, but as soon as I land in another city I crave them. Like big, sugary, delicious handcrafted doughnuts, with all of the chocolate. So we decided to fuel ourselves with coffee and doughnuts before going on hike #2.
Behold! The s’mores doughnut:
After we fueled up on donuts we drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway toward Graveyard Falls (upper falls). This hike was full of surprises, crystal clear water, and the most gorgeous waterfall at the top. Seriously - go all the way up.
Later that night we went to Bar Taco for dinner and then Lexington Ave Brewing for a pre-wedding get-together.
We spent our final morning at Penny Cup Coffee and exploring downtown Asheville. Considering we had a rental car it was a little tricky trying to find a place to park. *We eventually found a parking garage but definitely note that parking was bit of a challenge in busier areas of town.
We had brunch downtown at Chestnut and it honestly wasn’t a great experience. So, unfortunately I don’t recommend Chestnut, but every other place listed above was AMAZING!
That evening we headed to The Omni Grove Park Inn for the wedding we were in town for and danced the night away.
Overall, we loved our time in Asheville and will definitely be going back.
Every time I go somewhere new I take notes and try to share those, so here are some things to keep in mind when traveling to Asheville for the first time (and you know, just traveling in general):
get a rental car so you can cruise along the Blue Ridge Parkway and check out all of the trails near Asheville.
book lodging early. I’m not sure if it was because October is a popular time of the year to visit but I had a rather hard time finding a place last minute that fit our needs. We honestly never book early so I didn't think I’d be a problem, but alas you just never know :) If you’re visiting place during their busy season, book early!
download the app All Trails and research which trails you might want to check out ahead of time. You can make lists and save the ones you like in the app and it makes the whole “finding where to hike” thing a lot easier once you’re there.
Expect to always have cell service (this goes for anywhere when hiking!)
go to Chestnut for brunch (LOL!) Or do, and maybe you’ll have a better experience than us ;)
skip the Biltmore (if you’ve never been) - it’s totally worth it!
What are your favorite things to do in Asheville? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll add them to my list for next time :)
Where we stayed: VRBO Cottage
Coffee, Tea & Doughnuts:
PennyCup Coffee Co. (362 Depot Street River Arts District)
High Five Coffee (13 Rankin Ave.)
Dobrá Tea (707 Haywood Rd)
Breweries we went to:
Where we went:
Hiking & Nature: