How to Experience the Perfect Weekend in Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville is a city filled with history, adventure, iconic landmarks, great food and breath taking mountain views. I had high hopes for Asheville, and I’m pleased to say that it exceeded my expectations. I encourage you to make the trip to Asheville and discover for yourself all there is to see and do. However, before you book your flight, read this post to help in planning a memorable vacation.
Where we Stayed
We decided to rent a cabin in Asheville, as opposed to staying in a hotel. We found our cabin through Evolve Vacation Rental. The cabin was perfect for our visit to Asheville as it’s nestled within the woods, offering privacy, yet close to major attractions and Downtown Asheville. The cabin had everything we needed and I would recommend to anyone with a group or family. Staying here really makes you feel like a local.
What to Do
The Biltmore Estate has been on my bucket list of things I’ve wanted to see for quite sometime now. Located just a 10 minute drive from our cabin and downtown Asheville, The Biltmore Estate is the number one attraction in town. The Biltmore Estate is a private estate on more than 7,000 acres of land. To put that in perspective, you have to drive 3 miles from the entrance to the main house, Biltmore house, and from there an additional 5 miles to reach Antler Hill Village.
TIP: A car is essential for visiting the Biltmore Estate. Uber is not permitted to drop people off on the grounds, so if you take an Uber you will not be allowed past the gate even with your tickets. Fortunately, we had a car, otherwise you could pay $15 for their shuttle service.
Biltmore House, the main house on the estate, is a Châteauesque-style mansion that was built by George Washington Vanderbilt II between 1889 and 1895 and is the largest privately owned house in the United States. The Biltmore House is still owned by George Vanderbilt’s descendants, it stands today as one of the most prominent remaining examples of the Gilded Age. A tour of the Biltmore House is included in your ticket and I would say takes approximately 1.5-2 hours. Realistically, you will most likely spend the entire day at the Biltmore Estate as you explore the house, grounds, grab a bite to eat and visit the winery.
The Biltmore Estate Winery is not a place to be missed if you’re a wine lover, like myself. Following a tour of the house and grounds we were ready for a glass of wine and headed to Antler Hill Village. A selection of more than a dozen red and white wines are available as part of the free wine tasting. You are offered 5 to 6 of these selections, but they did not hesitate to allow us to try more for no additional charge. Pour sizes were generous and they have multiple wines available that can only be purchased at the estate. I ended up purchasing two bottles of my favorites: The Antler Hill Syrah and Biltmore Estate Limited Release Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc de Noir. Keep in mind if you buy bottles of wine at the winery, you can drink them at the Inn at Biltmore’s restaurant, The Dining Room, without an additional fee.
Premium wine tastings are also available and include wines with slightly higher price points. I would recommend splurging and trying some additional wines. The premium tasting section allows you to be served at a table, and even order olives, chocolate, or a cheese plate to accompany your selections.
TIP: Book Premium wine tastings in advance.
3. Visit some Breweries
There are more than 185 breweries and brewpubs in North Carolina – more than any other Southern state. As you can imagine, trying some local brews is a must! Asheville offers an array of beers. While on our trip we visited 3 local breweries.
Great brewery to have some local beers. They also have a full service bar, which is pretty awesome if there is anyone in your group that doesn’t care for beer. If you get hungry after a few drinks, no worries, they have a food menu, which has great choices that pair well with a brew! Don’t forget to check out the downstairs area of the brewery, it has a really cool atmosphere.
Burial offers an impressive selection of beers. If you aren’t a beer lover, they also serve wine. This place is smaller with an eclectic atmosphere. Order the Donut Beer.
Green Man is a classic brewery with delicious beer and a laid back atmosphere. It’s a really fun spot as they provide a variety of different board games to keep you entertained.
Whether you are an outdoorsy type of person or not, hiking in Asheville is a popular recreational activity. Hiking is a great way to experience Asheville’s scenic views. Asheville offers many different trails depending on your what you’re looking to explore. Incredible mountain views are the payoff, but to earn them you’ll have to put your skills to the test with obstacles. Hikes can be lengthy and may require you to climb high elevation levels. If you’re looking for a walk on the wild side then this is something you will be interested in.
Where to Eat
If you are looking for a unique dining experience then this is your spot! Curate is a tapas style Spanish restaurant, which is one of the top rated restaurants in Asheville. Having been to Spain, I can say that this menu is very authentic. I suggest sharing to get a taste several items on the menu. Book reservations in advance!
We stumbled upon Chestnut for Brunch and we were pleasantly surprised. Great menu, friendly staff and wonderful service. We sat in the front of the restaurant by a big window, which was lovely as it was snowing on this particular day. Great view!
Don’t judge a book by it’s cover! The Admiral may not look so appealing from the outside, but on the inside it’s a whole different story. Amazing menu that is executed perfectly! Don’t wait until the last minute to make reservations. The Admiral books weeks in advance.
Hope this guide helps you in planning your visit to Asheville!
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