Category Archives: Love of Travel

11/02/17

Asheville Adventuring Guide

Some of the most common questions I get are, “What should I do while I am in Asheville, NC?” “Where should I stay?” “Where should we eat?” “What can we not miss?”

It’s no secret that I absolutely LOVE Asheville, NC. I would go there just about every single weekend that I was allowed to, and this time of year is my absolute favorite time to go!

The leaves have all changed. There is a snap in the air. It’s a few degrees cooler than Atlanta, which is always a plus in my book, and the Biltmore House has started dressing itself up for Christmas. And I can tell you from experience, it is just perfectly magical. But, the Biltmore House and grounds is just the start of all there is to do and see and experience in Asheville. It is such an eclectic little city that is full of little adventures, hidden treasures, great shopping, and even better food!

Here are some of my picks for “Can’t Miss Asheville.”

First things first though, you will need someplace to stay, so here are a few of my picks for great hotel accommodations and locations.

Where to Stay 

Asheville has no shortages of places to stay and have all the major, household names in both luxury and more budget-friendly lodging such as Courtyard Marriott, Holiday Inn, Best Western, and even Double Tree. And those are all well and good and I would certainly recommend a few of them, but wanted to take some time to highlight a few more unconventional places to stay that are more local and just a tad more special!

The Omni Grove Park Inn 

Omni Grove Park exterior during holidays

There’s a reason this historic place is consistently at the top of the list for Places to Stay in Asheville, it’s absolutely stunning!

Beautiful grounds, fabulous in-resort dining, golf, tennis, spa, even private tours throughout. So much history here.

*Tip: Ask to stay in the Historical Main Inn section, in one of the Traditional Rooms, when booking to get the full experience!

The Windsor Boutique Hotel 

A quaint and eclectic boutique hotel located in the very heart of downtown steps away from just about everything- the Windsor Hotel simply cannot be beat!

Image result for the windsor boutique hotel

Image result for the windsor boutique hotel

Every room is decorated individually expressing different tastes and styles, and I love that.

*Tip: Be sure to check out Desirant, the ultra-chic store directly attached to the lobby of The Windsor for great finds in fashion apparel, jewelry, art, and stylish home decor. You can visit Desirant even if you are not staying at the Windsor. It’s a fabulous store!

Posh Boutique Hotel 

Posh Boutique Hotel is incredibly unique and a special find in Asheville. Located directly in Biltmore Village, a great retail and restaurants hub across the street from Biltmore’s main entrance, it boasts upscale condo-style (2 bedroom, 2 bath) vacation rentals in a historic building built in 1929.

Image result for posh boutique hotel asheville, nc

Image result for posh boutique hotel asheville, nc

While maybe not for an individual or a couples stay, I think this is ideal for girl’s getaway weekends, Bachelorette weekends, or even for a few different families who want to stay together.

Just lovely!

But, perhaps my favorite place to stay in Asheville? Home Away! 

I love the adventure of staying in someone’s garage apartment, attic, loft, or condominium and have enjoyed staying even in local neighborhoods of Asheville such as charming Hendersonville or Black Mountain. And you can book exactly according to your personal needs, size, parking, location, etc.

Just read the reviews, book, and you’re off!

Where to Eat 

Asheville is such a foodie town, and has high & low cuisine, specialty restaurants, and even food trucks.

For Breakfast… 

HoleDoughnuts.jpg

*Tip: If dining at The Early Girl, be sure to order the pancakes- they are the best I have ever had! And the flavors change almost daily.

For Lunch…

  • Early Girl Eatery has a great lunch too! Try the Broccoli Cheddar Hushpuppies with apple butter or the Fried Chicken with creamy Herb Gravy. So delish!
  • White Duck Taco Shop (leave it to me to find the best tacos in town)
  • 12 Bones Smokehouse – a local legend!
  • All Souls Pizza for a great slice! The Country Ham & Egg pizza (pictured below) is so unusual and completely delicious!

 

Image result for all souls pizza

  • Farm Burger for organic, grass-fed All-American classic burgers. I am particularly fond of No 4- the Chicken Burger with smoked Gouda, sherry date BBQ sauce, kale coleslaw, and crispy fried onion straws. Yum!

For Dinner… 

  • Bouchon for classic, old-fashioned French cuisine. Cannot miss the Steak Frites! And, I love the atmosphere here. Plus, your meal comes with delicious herbed Pomme Frites (french fries) delivered to you in a cone with Garlic Aoili.

Image result for bouchon asheville

But, my all time favorite place to eat in Asheville has got to be…

Cu’rate Bar de Tapas 

Image result for curate asheville

Image result for curate asheville

Cu’rate Tapas Bar is a celebration in Spanish cuisine! “From jamón Ibérico to croquetas, patatas bravas, and crema catalana, Cúrate brings the essence of Spain to downtown Asheville… one plate at a time.” 

And that’s what I love about tapas- small plates, the fellowship, the sharing! Such a fun and unique dining experience. Cu’rate has me returning again and again!

*Tip: Plus, if you are like me, and have food allergies or food sensitivities, they have a wide array of Gluten free, Lactose free, Tree-nut free, and Vegan offerings.

For Desserts or Sweets… 

The best place in the Western North Carolina mountains to indulge your sweet tooth is the French Broad Chocolate Lounge. Try the Vegan Chocolate Olive Oil Cake or the Gluten Free Flourless Chocolate Torte. Or maybe a Liquid Truffle is more your speed! Whatever you decide, I always get a Cold Sipping Chocolate, made with organic coconut milk and bean to bar chocolate. It’s like the most delicious dairy free milkshake ever created!

*Tip: Bring home little boxes of truffles for family and friends (or even for yourself too)! Some of my favorite truffle flavors? Strawberry Balsamic, Orange Olive Oil & Fennel, The Buddha, Lemongrass + Ginger, and Hibiscus Grapefruit Caramel. Read all the truffle flavors + ingredients list here. Try them all! I have never regretted any of their truffles.

Where to Shop 

Image result for gardener's cottage asheville

What to Do

  • Tour Biltmore Estate,Gardens, and Winery
  • For the adventurous tourist, why not take a Segway tour? Mom and I did this last year and had an absolute blast!

*Tip: Check out the Specialty Tours at Biltmore Estate- they have behind the scenes tours that show you the servant’s quarters and how the Biltmore would run seamlessly with all their guests. Or maybe an Architecture tour where you get to experience some of Biltmore’s more interesting features and it’s the only tour that allows you to step out on the balconies. Can’t beat those views!

So, there you have it! My Can’t Miss, Why I love Asheville list! Hoping it inspired a weekend getaway very, very soon!

Happy trails!

xoxo…

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10/29/17

Wine Country

Wine Country.

My heart has hurt for this region of the country and its beautiful, hard-working people these last few weeks.

It has caused me deep sadness to see their fields and their life’s work go up in smoke. Quite literally. SO many affected. So much industry effected. So many livelihoods lost. And years of toil and struggle.

Honestly, some of the more beautiful lands and some of the very nicest people were those we encountered in the Wine Country, both in California as well as in Oregon.

And I hope this post and these pictures give you a small glimpse into their lives, their beauty, and ultimately, into their hearts.

This land certainly made its way into ours.

Continued prayers for Wine Country- Where love and selfless deeds are thicker than the fires and the smoke that have been raging…

XOXO…

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