A Summer Weekend in Asheville

Asheville, NC is one of my absolute favorite cities! Lucky for me, it is about a two hour drive from my house and we get to go there often. It’s beautiful anytime of year, each season for different reasons. We spent a summer weekend catching up with our friends and relaxing, and it was just perfect. We tried lots of new to us spots on this trip! Here’s a few highlights:

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  • This Airbnb could not have been better for two couples. There is a downstairs studio apartment and an upstairs studio apartment each with their own separate entrance. The house is conveniently located, while still feel very secluded. We had no issues getting an Uber to pick us up and it was just a short ride to everything we wanted to see. Bonus – it is pet friendly too.
  • We started our weekend with dinner and drinks at Wicked Weed Brewing. I’ve visited lots of the breweries in town on many different trips, and I think overall the beer at Wicked Weed is probably my favorite. They have so many choices, and unusual things you won’t find anywhere else.
  • We randomly happened upon Ben’s Tune Up. In all my trips to Asheville I have never heard anyone mention this place, but it is a seriously cool spot. From the outside, you may not even notice the place at all, but they have live music, a neat outdoor area, and a full bar menu (and apparently food too, but we didn’t try anything).
  • We tried out a hiking spot that we found in a guidebook in the Airbnb. Finding the trail was hilarious. After turning down random roads for twenty or so minutes, passing a tractor convention, and using the four wheel drive to cross a stream we finally arrived at the parking lot. BUT there were no signs for the trail. We saw a girl on a bike find her brother who she had lost on the trail for an hour or so, and still we headed off into the woods. It was very beautiful and quite the adventure and I’m happy to report that we did all make it back in one piece.
  • Our first trip to Sierra Nevada. It is huge and there were SO MANY people. There is a lot space so everyone was kind of spread out, making it not feel that crowded. That being said, I’m honestly not sure if I would go back. They do have some beer options that you can’t get in stores, there was an outdoor food area where we ate a great hot dog, there is a pretty garden area that you can walk through and live music outside so it’s definitely a fun spot, but for me it’s so far out of town that it’s probably not worth the hassle.
  • One of my very favorite things to do in Asheville is to go to the Grove Park Inn for cocktails. The view from the back porch is the absolute best view in town any time of year in my opinion. We had some wine and watched the sun go down over the Blue Ridge Mountains, and I can’t think of much better. 
  • We tubed down the French Broad River for the first time. We went with Zen Tubing from their Midtown location. This was the perfect relaxing activity for a hot summer day. You float by several breweries and restaurants; we thought it would be easier to get out and check them out than it was. We ended up just staying on the river and snacking on what we had packed in our cooler and we loved our day on the river so much. 
  •  Luella’s Bar-B-Que was SO good! We all ate until we were completely stuffed, forgetting that we had a dinner reservation in just a couple hours. The wings there were some of the best I’ve ever eaten!
  • For me no trip to Asheville is complete without a meal at Curate. A pitcher of sangria made table side and a table full of tapas, YUM. Try the cured hams if you go!
  • We also tried Wedge Brewing Co for the first time. The highlight of this was that they serve Ginger’s Revenge Beer. So delicious and the perfect summer drink after a weekend of over eating! 
  • The last stop of the weekend before heading home was at Biscuit Head. I LOVE this place. There is usually a long line to get in, but going on a Monday morning really cut back on the wait. If you’re wondering if the wait will be worth it…it will! A gravy sampler and a jelly buffet, what could be wrong? SO GOOD!

 

 

 

 

 

#WanderlustWednesday

Southport, North Carolina

#happyplacebythesea #intracoastalwaterway #hurricaneflorence

Hurricane Florence has devastated the entire eastern part of North Carolina. While there is significant damage to the area, we think our beloved happy place has been mostly spared. Bridges and roads in to town are flooded out, so we won’t know for sure until we are able to visit. In the wake of Hurricane Florence here’s what you can do to help:

  • The Carolina Panthers have teamed up with Visit North Carolina and Discover South Carolina to show their support with these #Careolinas shirts with all proceeds benefiting relief efforts
  • The Shop Forward released Carolina Strong shirts with all proceeds benefiting relief efforts
  • Help The Red Cross. Find a blood drive near you here. Make a donation to the Red Cross recovery efforts here. Sign up to be a Red Cross volunteer in NC or SC here.
  • Support the Salvation Army’s Hurricane Florence relief efforts
  • Donate to the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund here or by texting FLORENCE to 20222.
  • Register with the state of North Carolina to be a volunteer. They are urging people not to self deploy to the area, instead register and let them know how you can help so your skills can be best used. Check here for other volunteer opportunities in North Carolina.
  • The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina supports some of the hardest hit areas. Give to their efforts here.
  • The Diaper Bank of North Carolina is in need of supplies. You can donate to them here or purchase items from their Amazon wish list.
  • Check this article for a few other organizations you may consider helping, and some important reminders to think about before you donate to any unfamiliar groups.
  • Remember while many people are in need of material items, water, medicine, and non perishable food, cash donations can help ensure that organizations are able to purchase those items which are in the highest demand. They can also be purchased locally which can help to stimulate the local economy. Only donate material items to those organizations which are specifically requesting you do so.
  • To find the latest on power outages, road conditions, and storm cleanup in North Carolina.

Friday Favorites -My Southeast Wish List

When I have approximately two million things to do and no time to get them all done, I like to further delay everything by creating more lists. One of my favorite list to make is places I want to go.

Living in the southeast is great because there are so many beautiful places to see that are just a short drive away. I’ve never actually been to any of these places, they’re just tops on my list of weekend adventures.

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Blackberry Farm

Walland, Tennessee

Located about 30 minutes south of Knoxville, TN in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. This place looks absolutely stunning. They host the VIP’s of Nashville’s country music scene quite often; Maren Morris was there earlier this summer. It is well known for it’s food and wine selection and they have a huge variety of activities to chose from as well. The views of the Smoky Mountains and the relaxing atmosphere don’t look to bad either.

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The Greenbrier

White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

Known as America’s Resort, the Greenbrier opened in 1778 and has hosted 27 of the country’s 45 presidents. The history at the resort is reason enough to visit. There is a Bunker at the hotel that was once a Cold War fallout shelter, and a top secret relocation place for members of Congress. Tours of the Bunker are available to guest. The spa and long list of available activities look great too!

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Old Edwards Inn and Spa

Highlands, North Carolina

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Old Edwards Inn is known for its amazing spa. I would love to spend a weekend checking out the town of Highlands and enjoying some relaxation time at the spa. They have a beautiful golf course if that’s your thing. I can imagine it’s beautiful here anytime of year, but how pretty would it be in fall to see the leaves changing in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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Westglow Resort and Spa

Blowing Rock, North Carolina

I love to visit Blowing Rock. The town is so cute, and easy to walk to lots of good restaurants and shops. Westglow is located right outside of town. The spa here looks phenomenal. If you follow country music, Eric Church and his wife were married here. It doesn’t hurt that this is just over an hour drive from my house.

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Primland

Meadows of Dan, Virginia

Primland is a beautiful resort located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. You can stay in an actual luxury tree house, with stunning views of the mountains. I’m sensing a theme here, apparently I’m in need of a weekend away in the mountains to relax and unwind and enjoy some spa time! Yes, please.

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Mother Earth Motor Lodge

Kinston, North Carolina

I’ll finish with something completely different. Kinston, NC is not somewhere you usually think of when you think of a great weekend getaway. Now famous, Chef Vivian Howard opened the Chef and the Farmer in 2006 and since then Kinston has seen a huge revitalization. Mother Earth Motor Lodge is a step back in time to Kinston’s glory days. Mother Earth Brewing (the hotels sister company) is just a few blocks away. How fun would it be to stay here and eat at the Chef & the Farmer and check out the town.

How lucky am I that all of these trips are just a short drive from my house? It’s funny to me that almost all of these are in the mountains, as I’m typically a sand and saltwater girl! Now to get the time and money to go check them all off the list! What destinations top your list of local places you’d like to see?