Asheville Travel Guide
Last year, when a bunch of my high school friends and I were turning 30, we decided we needed to take a girls trip to soften the blow of exiting our twenties and continuing to move further into adulthood. We ultimately decided on Asheville, NC, because we had heard wonderful things about the city!
What To Do
We’re a fairly outdoorsy bunch, so we knew we needed to do some hiking while we were out there. Our group went hiking at Pisgah National Forest: Catawba Falls, and the views did not disappoint! The hike was only a couple of miles to the falls, and wasn’t too intense, so people of all hiking abilities would likely be able to manage it.
We also decided to rent a few tubes and float down the river in the summer sunshine. Other than a little snafu that involved us falling off our tubes once (we opted to forgo the paddles and use our hands, which I would recommend doing differently) it was a relaxing experience. The floats can all tie together, so if you have a big group, all of you can travel down the river together and hang out. We saw some people with coolers of drinks in their floats, which was an excellent idea.
Where to Eat
Upon arriving in Asheville, we were famished and wanted something quick and delicious to eat before we started our vacation. Taco Billy was the perfect solution. They offer a variety of affordable, tasty, breakfast and lunch tacos with a variety of meat (and veggie!) options. The vibe in Asheville is very relaxed, and Taco Billy was an introduction to that as we sat outside and enjoyed their food.
We wanted to do one fancier dinner out to celebrate all of our birthdays, and so we headed to The Marketplace in downtown Asheville. The service was excellent and the food was delectable. They offer a number of small plates to share, as well as larger entrees. The location can’t be beat as it is close by to lots of shops and bars for before and after dinner exploring.
Where to Drink:
Top of the Monk
After doing some searching for a happy hour option, we decided on Top of the Monk, an adorable cocktail bar with a rooftop patio overlooking the sunset and mountains. If the views and the cocktails weren’t enough to entice you to visit, each drink you order comes with a key that unlocks a snack box of your choosing.
New Belgium Brewing
This Asheville post couldn’t conclude without mentioning the city’s numerous breweries. While there are many to choose from, we ended up visiting New Belgium Brewing, which has a great indoor and outdoor space. They are also dog and kid friendly. We took advantage of their wooden table seating to hang out, drink beer flights, and play games. Asheville was a wonderful spot to take a girls trip, or for anyone looking for outdoor adventures as well as delicious food and drinks.
Sierra Nevada Brewery
A short drive outside town is another brewery that is well worth a visit: Sierra Nevada. The brewery is huge: there's a large outdoor space with bonfires, adriondack chairs, and play equipment for children, there's a large open space upstairs where people can play cornhole or enjoy views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the deck, and there's the downstairs restaurant with lots of delicious brewery favorites like pretzels with beer cheese dip - yum!
Heather Slugaski is a clinical social worker living and working in North Carolina. You can follow Heather on Twitter @heatherlynnsw.