Goodness, where do I begin? Growing up in North Carolina, it feels I spent half of my life in Asheville. I even attended college just 20 minutes outside Asheville, in a town called Brevard. It’s a cute, quaint little town that is definitely worth a visit in it’s own right, but it’s big sister, Asheville is where the fun REALLY is! As the East Coast craft beer capitol of the country, there are breweries on literally, every street corner. There are also delicious spots to grab food, art stores to browse through and craft fairs and festivals almost on a weekly basis, or so it seems.
If on the “alcohol train” began lightly at Asheville Yacht Club (there is a $1 membership fee to get in, even though it’s not an actual brewery so be prepared) where the red and black décor makes you feel it may be Halloween all year, and grab a Miami Mule on Tap (or if you’re feeling frisky, try a Monkey’s Paw) then walk next door to Jack of the Wood (original home of Green Man Beer!) and grab Pub Fries and their famous Shepherd’s Pie.
From there walk down the hill to Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company for some pizza. You can’t go wrong with any kind of topping at this place, and when the weather is nice, there is a great patio and outdoor seating area available. It is also kid friendly if you have little ones in tow.
Biltmore Outlets is a wonderful and fun way to spend the day with plenty of shops to choose from and a food court with plenty of food options as well. Just a few stores included are Bath and Body Works, Express, Dillard’s Outlet, Ghirardelli chocolatier, several jewelry stores, and there is a plethora of sporting goods stores as well. There are kids clothing stores, shoe stores and several specialty spots that make it a great outing for the family.
If you’re tired from shopping and brewery hopping, you can always check out one of the hundred + waterfalls in the Asheville area, or take a short drive up a couple exits from the outlets to the massive Sierra Nevada brewery and outdoor adventure area. This is truly a place for the entire family. There is an outdoor amphitheater, food trucks, fire pits and chairs set up all over, volleyball nets (depending on the time of year) and plenty of food options as well as all the beer choices.
Wicked Weed is another fun stop in downtown Asheville and if you’re a fan of sour beers, it’s going to be your favorite stop of the day! They have a fun vibe and it is a laid back atmosphere, and the people who work there are always super friendly. Fun Fact: My husband and I went here the day after our wedding and ended up chatting with another couple who had ALSO gotten married the day before.
Hands Down, our favorite spot that we always make sure to hit up when in Asheville is Ben’s Tune Up – it looks like a little convenient store in the front, but you continue walking through and end up in a huge outdoor “junkyard” with jenga, checkers and other games. There are little tables set up throughout, a cute bar and stage area. The whole thing is just super fun.
A CANNOT MISS Stop for the million dollar views is the Grove Park Inn and the Biltmore House. Both have housed several Presidents and famous dignitaries and are beautiful, romantic spots where the views are unparalleled. If you are able to visit at Christmas, it is a spectacular sight but any time of year is special, at both of these places.