We’re back from a fun-filled four days in Asheville, NC with Brian’s parents. I loved it there. It’s such a special little city filled with great art, culture, restaurants, history and dripping with southern charm. It’s also a picturesque city nestled between the Blue Ridge and Smoky mountains, which are both breathtaking. We arrived just as all the leaves were changing and it finally made it feel like it was fall. I even got to wear scarves and boots!
My top 5 in Asheville, NC
1- The Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar
The Battery Park Book Exchange was my favorite stop in Asheville- It’s part vintage book store and part champagne and wine bar. Brilliant idea huh?! Who doesn’t want to cozy up with a glass of champagne and a book? It was a cold and rainy afternoon when we popped in to the place which made the whole experience even cozier. We wandered the rows and rows of vintage books getting lost in the pages. Brian found a first edition “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote which he snatched up to bring home with us. After we sat on old leather couches and drank rose champagne while watching the city buzz around us. If I lived in Asheville, NC I would be at this place every weekend.
2. 12 Bones BBQ
Our first stop when we arrived in Asheville (before even checking into our hotel) was lunch at the BBQ spot 12 Bones. The last time I ate a plate full of BBQ was when I was in Memphis, TN at Blue’s City Cafe. I thought that experience would be impossible to beat but to my surprise 12 Bones did! The restaurant is located in a funky little building on the side of train tracks in the River Arts District.When we pulled up there was already a huge line of people waiting to get in at noon on a Friday. A very good sign in my mind. After waiting for twenty minutes we finally made it to the front of the line to order. I went with the half rack of ribs with a side of smoked potato salad and coleslaw. OMG. The smoked potato salad was ammmmazing. Seriously if you’re ever in Asheville and like to eat meat it’s a must.
3. The Biltmore Tour
The Biltmore is mind-blowing to see in person. It is the largest privately owned home in the United States, at 175,000 square feet and featuring 250 rooms. Let those numbers sink in…crazy huh? It was built-in 1889 by George Washington Vanderbilt and is one of the most prominent examples of the Gilded Age. It’s pure decadence. Strangely enough I enjoyed the tour of the servant quarters the best. It is composed of living quarters and various work rooms. I couldn’t get over how many different rooms there was- a pastry kitchen, a butcher room, a room to hold pots and arrange flowers. The laundry room actually made me heart skip a beat. Have I told you how much I love doing laundry? Well, this room was pure laundry heaven. The only room I hated in the whole house was the cave like indoor pool area because it provoked me to feel claustrophobic and panicky. Brian said he’s never seen somebody book it out of a room quicker than I did in that moment.
4. The Blue Ridge Parkway drive
After the tour of The Biltmore we headed out to drive the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s a 469 miles connecting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Clearly we did not drive the whole 469 miles in an afternoon but we did drive 80 miles of it and it was stunning. The usually green hills were covered in spots of yellow and red.
5. The Grove Park Inn
The first night in Asheville we went to dinner (yes we somehow managed to eat dinner after a huge BBQ lunch) at The Grove Park Inn. It is the funniest looking hotel nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. From the front it looks like something out of a horror film. Built with huge granite boulders that stick out and a funny curved roof. It felt so heavy and dark from the outside. But when you walk in you enter a huge fancy room and you’re met with the most beautiful view of the mountains.