Yes, let’s talk about Asheville, North Carolina. Why, oh why, have I not been there before now?! This city was MADE for Hubs and I!! I can’t believe how close Asheville is to us and we had yet to visit!
I must let you know that Hubs and I have been talking about spending more time traveling around and seeing what this awesome world has to offer. All of my “vacations” as a kid were spent at the race track, and Hubs’ travels are just as minimal. Of course we are planning some bigger trips, like going out west, taking a cruise to Haiti and Jamaica, and of course the big one to Ireland, but we also want to visit some of the great places the southeast has to offer. Long weekends are great times to take little get-a-ways. We chose Asheville for two reasons: 1) It was a short 3 hour drive and 2) It is the most dog-friendly city in the south. Our original plans included taking the chocolate horse with us, but the hotel booked up and with the freezing cold weather it ended up being better that she stayed home.
Hubs and I headed out Friday after work and got to Biltmore Park in time for dinner. Biltmore Park turned out the be the cutest little mixed-use community and the perfect place to stay for a couple of days. The Hilton was our home-away-from-home for the weekend and we were more than satisfied with our stay. For the first night, we were happy to get in, find some yummy dinner, and get some rest. The Hickory Tavern Grill & Raw Bar has THE BEST Cedar Salmon that I have ever eaten….too bad it was Hubs’ dinner and I only got a bite.
We woke up bright and early Saturday morning to explore downtown Asheville. It was FREEZZING cold, and snowing so we did some shopping for hats and gloves, and then stopped in to have a yummy warm breakfast at Over Easy Cafe.
What I love best about Asheville is all the holistic and fresh foods. I had the most amazing egg croissant sandwich, and Hubs had huevos rancheros that was to-die-for!
After we warmed up a bit, we headed back to Biltmore Park to explore the shops. We spent some time at R.E.I. getting some snow boots, warm socks, and warm coats for our afternoon adventure. And of course I had to stop into Woof Gang Bakery to pick up some yummy treats for the girls.
Next we took the 45 minute drive up further into the mountains to Wolf Mountain Ski Park for a little snow tubing. This was so fun and made Hubs and I giggle like little kids again. The snow really starting coming down while we were tubing and it was such a blast! I will admit that after 2 hours of sliding down the snow in a tube, I was ready for a hot chocolate, and thanking Hubs for the snow-boot purchase earlier in the day.
We headed back to Biltmore Park, put on some warm clothes, and walked the few feet from the hotel front door to the movie theatre to enjoy “A Good Day to Die Hard”. I am digging the son that they are grooming to take on future Die Hard movies…he is a hunk! The next day was our only planned day. We were so excited to visit the famous Biltmore Mansion!
We took the audio tour to learn all the history about the Vanderbilt family and the history of the house itself. It is so amazing to think that this was the family home for a family of three!
After the inside tour, we took our time visiting the indoor gardens (aren’t the orchids just beautiful!?!), the outdoor grounds, and Antler Hill Village. Antler Hill was so much fun. We got to tour the old creamery (now turned winery) and got a quick guide on how they make wine here on the property. Then we got to have a great wine tasting and picked up a few bottles for our future project…shhh! We finished with an early dinner at Cedric’s Pub (named after the family’s favorite St. Bernard) and headed back to the hotel exhausted!
Oh I almost forgot about breakfast at the Tupelo Honey Café! OMG – Hubs’ Eggs Betty with Goat Cheese Grits and my Sweet Potato Pancake were the best food I have had in a long time!
Wow – we packed a lot into two days in Asheville, but we had one more day, and one more thing to do on our way out of town. Chimney Rock State Park was on Hubs wish list, so we headed out there and started climbing. The weather was perfect and the view was spectacular!
So I know it was a lot, but I just had to tell you all about Asheville. We had an absolute BLAST and can’t wait to go back. Hopefully we can go in the fall when the leaves are changing, stay in a bed and breakfast in town, and take the chocolate horse and speckled pony with us!