As the fall season approaches, Asheville, North Carolina is climbing high on travelers’ lists looking for a long weekend away in the Blue Ridge mountains. With an abundance of breweries, great restaurants, and hikes, Asheville is the perfect destination for admiring the changing leaves and soaking in the crisp fall air.
Located a mile away from downtown Asheville, the Princess Anne Hotel is the perfect choice for an authentic Asheville stay, combining the charm of a bed and breakfast with the luxury and privacy of a hotel. With a shingle-style exterior dating back to the 1920s, a charming outdoor garden, a full complimentary breakfast each morning, a furnished side porch for relaxing and a variety of room/ suite options, it feels like a true home-away-from-home. On any given afternoon guests are found mingling around the property enjoying complimentary wine & hors d’oeuvres, often discussing their day’s adventures around Asheville.
Another option, for those looking for a short-term rental as opposed to a hotel, is the Wanderlust Lofts, based in the South Slope neighborhood of Downtown Asheville. With one-bedroom and two-bedroom options, all inclusive of luxury amenities such as complimentary bottles of wine, tea + coffee for the morning, a full kitchen with cooking supplies and more, it’s the perfect stay for a group of friends or a small family.
Head to Cúrate, a former 1927 bus depot and one of Asheville’s best restaurants, for tapas, cured meats, and an all-Spanish wine list. The pulpo a la gallega is one of their most popular and delicious dishes but i’d also suggest chistorra & chips josé’s way, spicy chorizo wrapped in a potato chip. Whoever said the perfect snack doesn’t exist hasn’t experienced these.
Looking for a more casual spot to enjoy a dinner out? Try All Souls Pizza and enjoy wood-fired pizza and appetizers incorporating the freshest veggies from their on-site garden. Sit outside on their outdoor patio, order a bottle of lambrusco and settle in for some heart-warming Italian cuisine.
Grove Park Inn
Take a relaxing afternoon, watch the leaves change and begin to drop from the most gorgeous landscape only a few miles from downtown Asheville, the porch of the Grove Park Inn. The ideal place for a pre-dinner Negroni, to relax and unwind after a long day of exploration.
If you are like me, a perfectly crafted cocktail is the best way to end the night. Try the Blackberry Shrub or Summer’s Eden from Sovereign Remedies for that crisp, refreshing post-dinner palate cleanser.
River Arts District
Venture to the River Arts District, a bustling, creative area of town right along the French Broad River. Envision former warehouses covered with murals by local artists, galleries, craft breweries, intimate music venues and locally-owned stores that support this community of artists. Start your walk around by popping into Summit Coffee to fuel up for the day. Try any of their creative blends or go with an old stand-by. Next, check out some galleries such as Curve Studios, Odyssey Gallery of Ceramic Arts, St. Claire Art Studio, Mark Bettis Gallery and more. Pop-up intro 12 Bones for lunch and some much-deserved BBQ before spending the afternoon Hi-Wire Brewing.
A relaxing mountain weekend is never complete without a spa treatment or two. Drive to Shoji Spa & Retreat, a Japanese-inspired spa ideal for disconnecting from the world and reconnecting to yourself and the surrounding nature. Try one of the salt hydrotherapy baths or Okubukai massages.
Pisgah National Forest
Lean into your newfound connection to nature with a 3-mile hike in Pisgah National Forest to see Catawba Falls, a 100-ft waterfall that’s beauty is only exacerbated by the reflection of the leaves and lush nature.
Finally, no trip to Asheville is complete without a trip to Biltmore Estate, a historic home and the largest privately owned estate in the United States. Built for George Vanderbilt between 1889 -1895, the home is over 178,000 square feet and is one of the most well-known Gilded Mansions in the country. Take yourself on a self-guided tour of the home, to learn about the history, artistry and architecture that transports you back in time to the Gilded Age.