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Weekend in Asheville, NC

Hey friends! Matt and I are back home after a fun adventure: we spent the weekend in Asheville, NC with my best friend Jenny from high school and her husband Dan!

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Jenny and I cooked up this plan late last year and have been looking forward to this weekend ever since. They live in Atlanta, which is only a couple hour drive from Asheville, and Dan’s mom was able to come into town to watch their girls so we could have an adult’s weekend. Matt and I have always wanted to go to Asheville – it’s a haul from DC (I know, we should have gone when we were living in Chapel Hill), but it’s been on our list forever and it was time to finally check it out. I’m so glad we did!

Matt and I pushed off from DC around 10 a.m. on Friday (we both took the day off work) and arrived in Asheville in time for dinner. We all stayed in an Airbnb house which was fun – love being able to hang out in the house rather than being stuck in hotel rooms! Cheaper, too. :)

For dinner on Friday, I made us reservations awhile ago (everything books up fast) at a place called Curate Tapas Bar, which had amazing Yelp reviews. It also came recommended by Caroline Kraus Travel, who planned this trip for us! Caroline is a blog reader who emailed me back in January offering to let me try out her trip planning services to write a blog review. The Asheville weekend was the perfect opportunity, because none of us had time to plan much beforehand! I highly recommend her services – she sent us a beautiful PDF with a detailed itinerary (that she planned out using a survey she sent us to find out our interests) that included restaurants, activities, and extras for each day, plus Airbnb and VRBO recommendations. It was amazingly helpful and pretty much everything we did in this post was her recommendation. Thank you again, Caroline, from all of us!

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Anyway – back to the food! Since Curate is a Spanish tapas bar, we ordered a whole slew of items and shared everything. It was delicious and the atmosphere was fun, too.

curate tapas bar asheville

My favorite dish of the evening was the sweet peppers stuffed with goat cheese, pictured in the middle/top in the following photo. Yummm!

curate asheville

On Saturday morning, Jenny and I let the guys sleep in and made our own plans to have a fun yoga date! Asheville Yoga Center was only a few blocks away from our Airbnb, which was perfect, and they had an 8:15 gentle flow class that sounded like the perfect way to wake up. It was also noted as appropriate for pregnant women, which was good because Jenny is almost 6 months pregnant! :)

asheville yoga center

The staff were all really friendly and we loved the space – how pretty is this blue sky/cloud wall?

asheville yoga center

The class was great – nice and calming and a great stretch. Perfect way to start the day! I love going to yoga studios when I travel – fun way to get a taste of the local culture.

asheville yoga center

After yoga, we walked next door to Liberty House Coffee & Café for a post-yoga refuel. We had brunch plans with the guys so we didn’t want to go too crazy but we needed a little something!

liberty house coffee cafe

I went for their honey lavender latte – sooo good. Plus a cornmeal blueberry muffin, which was also great – not too sweet!

liberty house coffee asheville

Also next door was a cool juice bar and café called Elements, so we popped in there to grab a juice to bring back to the house for later. I got one with pear, cucumber, lemon, ginger, kale, and spinach. It was delish!

elements juice bar

After picking up the guys, it was time for brunch! We had plans to hit up Homegrown, whose tagline is “slow food right quick.” They don’t take reservations so we just showed up and hoped for the best – luckily we had no problems! You order at the counter and then find a seat and there were plenty available since the outdoor section was open.

homegrown asheville

I had the sunshine bowl, which was sauteed veggies and quinoa topped with eggs and bacon. Plus a side salad! Everything was so good.

Next up on our agenda was an afternoon hike! Per the recommendation of Caroline, we drove out to Dupont State Forest for their waterfall hike, which is 4.5 miles with all sorts of beautiful waterfalls along the way!

dupont state forest waterfall hike

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It was perfect – the rain held off nicely for us and the hike was the perfect distance, too – not too long or hard, but we were able to spend a few hours out there enjoying nature.

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dupont state forest waterfall hike

dupont state forest waterfall hike

Great way to celebrate Earth Day! :)

dupont state forest waterfall hike

By the time we got in the car and made it back to Asheville (this hike is about an hour drive south), it was time for dinner! We had plans to go to a really well-reviewed Indian street food restaurant called Chai Pani. They don’t take reservations, so we put in our names (45 minute wait) and wandered around a bit while we waited.

We ended up finding a cool board game café called Well Played with a huge Connect Four (blast from the past) board outside, so we got some drinks and hung out there until our table was ready. Jenny and I had some INTENSE Connect Four games – she was red and I was blue, and I started out with a really poor showing (please note the top left photo) but pulled it together for the overall win. Better luck next time, Jenny! ;)

well played asheville board game

The rain started right as we made our way to the restaurant – whew! To start, we shared the Samosa Chat, which was two samosas served on spicy garbanzo bean stew topped with tamarind & green chutneys and sweetened yogurt. It was sooooo good – highly recommend.

chai pani asheville

We also had the chicken pakoras to start, but I didn’t love these – basically just fried chicken. Meh!

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As for the main event, I had the vegetarian Thali, which was basically a variety plate with all sorts of goodness. I think the lentil soup was my favorite, but everything was really good! Sooo much food though – we shouldn’t have gone so hard on the appetizers!

chai pani asheville

As for Sunday morning, I got in a rainy run with Matt and Dan! Running in the rain always sounds terrible when you are inside and dry, but once you take that first step out the door you are basically a kid again playing in puddles. :) Dan mapped us out a route all around downtown (hello, hills) from our place so we could see more of the town – we had fun out there!

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We covered just over 3 miles, then packed up the house and showered up in time to make it to brunch – we had reservations at 10:45 at Limones, a fun Mexican place! We started with some coffee and the lobster nachos, which were beyond epic. You have to get these if you go there!

limones asheville

Jenny, Matt, and I also shared a salad to get in some greens. Loved the pickled jicama!

limones asheville

For my main course, I had the Chorizo-Egg Tostada with refried beans and feta – it was a lot like Huevos Rancheros, which I love. :) Delicious!

limones asheville

We were so sad to say goodbye to Asheville and Jenny and Dan after such a fun weekend! It would have been fun to stick around and explore the town a bit more but it was still rainy and cold, so Matt and I decided it was time to hit the road. We didn’t get home until 10 so probably for the best we left when we did!

Have you ever been to Asheville? I definitely recommend checking it out if not – great food scene and so many hikes in the area, too!

Comments

  1. 1

    Chai Pani is SO good, mmm! I miss AVL. Such a gem of a city.

  2. 2
    Roadrunner says:

    Love Ashville; wonderful spot and the Vanderbilt Mansion is incredible! Looks like a very nice weekend.

  3. 3

    So glad y’all had fun despite the rain on Sunday! All of those food pictures are making me want to plan a trip back there myself – there are so many delicious places in Asheville!

  4. 5

    It drives me crazy when restaurants don’t take reservations, I want to be able to plan my night and know when I’m eating vs risking a long wait! I try to avoid non reservation restaurants.

    • 6

      Yeah, annoying but it worked out since we weren’t sure when we’d be back from the hike! I don’t mind going with the flow :)

  5. 7

    What a fun weekend! I love the cloud wall at that yoga studio!

  6. 8

    OMG, this post makes me miss Asheville so so so much. I was relocated to Charlotte for a year in 2013 and while I did not care for Charlotte (not the best fit for me), I loved the state of NC – especially Asheville. I ate at most of the places you went to. Chai Pani is my favorite! I always get one of their Thali’s and then they have a mocktail that I love (blanking on the name). I really want to get my fiance to Asheville with me for our next trip because it’s such a cool city and has amazing food and hikes! My favorite place there is French Broad Chocolate. They have the most amazing desserts and drinks. Their melted chocolate ganache beverage is so decadent and amazing. I also love the potato chip place that makes potato chips to order!

    • 9

      So many good places that we didn’t have a chance to try – there was a donut place I really wanted to go to, too – next time!

  7. 10

    Had so much fun!! And ate so much food hahaha… can’t wait until our next adventure!

  8. 12

    I’ve always wanted to go to Asheville and enjoyed reading about your trip! Eating and hiking / exploring are two of my favorite things to do on vacation, looks like the perfect weekend :)

  9. 13

    HAH I played big connect four this weekend too! Although, I didn’t have a view like you did! What a gorgeous weekend. The muffin and coffee you got look so perfect. Picture perfect!
    And I LOVE tapas! I’m going to a tapas place next Friday for dinner and can’t wait :D

  10. 14

    Love running in the rain and exploring new cities running!

  11. 15

    Great weekend! Love Asheville! The Asheville Half Marathon/10k coming up June 3 is a really fun event. If you don’t mind a few hills. The Grove Park Inn and dining on their sunset terrace is a must do. Lived there eight months and still didn’t get to all the fun things that area has to offer.
    Nice to see your write up and photos.

  12. 17

    Looking at those pictures of Dupont brings back the best memories! We got engaged almost a year ago (May 1st) in those woods!!! Asheville is quite the gem! Glad you had mostly good weather!

  13. 19
    Katherine Chiu says:

    Love the look of all that food. If you come to Melbourne (Australia) for three weeks there is plenty to do here such as visiting wineries, ferries, pancake parlour, Sovereign Hill, Ballarat, St Kilda, Beaches etc. Do come to Melbourne and write a huge review about it.

    • 20

      Haha I would love to – tell the Melbourne travel bureau I am ready and waiting. ;) I actually studied abroad in Brisbane in 2003 – traveled all over the country and absolutely love it, but never made it to Melbourne!

  14. 21

    Sounds like a great foodie weekend! Ive never been but it sounds like a great place to add to my must-travel list!

  15. 22

    If you like a yoga studio with a graffiti wall, you should come to 405 yoga in NE. I go there all the times and I love it!

    • 23

      Ooo okay cool! That’s near where my friend Kathleen lives, so maybe I’ll see if she wants to hit it up some weekend and get brunch after!

  16. 24

    Ah! Glad you loved Asheville! I’ve lived here over a year now and never plan to leave! Homegrown catered my wedding – we had a brunch reception. It was awesome!

  17. 26

    Wonderful trip! All those food pictures are making me hungry, which is cool because it’s nearly that time in the UK, ha!

  18. 27

    My husbamd & I had our honeymoon in Asheville last October & fell in love with the city! We enjoyed Curate & Nightbell, both run by the same talented chef. We ate so well & walked so mich during our stay. We went up to Max Patch twice, & it was gorgeous!

    • 28

      What a fun honeymoon spot!! I wish the weather had been better because we would have loved to walk around and explore town a lot more – it was raining Friday night, Saturday night, and all Sunday – but we did get lucky with the weather during the hike/Saturday morning, at least! I want to go back on a nice weather weekend!

  19. 30

    I did my yoga teacher training at the Asheville Yoga Center 2 years ago. It is such a great studio and such great instructors! Highly highly recommend!

  20. 32

    Aww, this looks so fun!! Drooling over every meal y’all ate! And how adorable is your precious pregnant friend?! She looks GREAT!! I noticed you weren’t drinking all weekend.. feeling under the weather? That stinks if you couldn’t enjoy a cocktail or two! :) Love reading about this fabulous weekend getaway! Y’all certainly stay busy and LIVE IT UP while you can!!

    • 33

      I didn’t want Jenny to have to be sober alone! :) And yes, she does look fabulous – I was so proud of her for rocking the yoga class AND our hike!

  21. 34

    Chai Pani is LIIIIFFEEE! I miss Asheville so much!

  22. 35

    It looks like you covered a few continents with your delicious food choices! And what a gorgeous place for a hike :)

  23. 36

    I’m so glad you made it to curate!! It’s my favorite restaurant and I always get the piquillo peppers too! Must be why we’re friends 😘

  24. 38
    Melissa says:

    Late to the comment party, but wanted to give another two thumbs up for Asheville. My husband (Matt) and I were married at the Biltmore Estate during the Christmas season, so Asheville holds some very special memories for us (and our families!) I will put in a plug for visiting the area during the holidays not only because of the special events (and amazing to see Christmas at Biltmore) but because the weather is usually still pretty decent for outdoor activities and it’s considered the “slow” season so there are lots of great deals to be had (lodging) and things are just not as crowded in general.

    • 39

      That’s an awesome tip, thank you! Love that you got married there – I bet the Biltmore is such a romantic wedding spot, especially with all the holiday decorations!

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  1. […] and I have been talking about getting a dog for quite awhile now, and when we were in Asheville last weekend, my best friend Jenny and I were in a café getting coffee when the cutest puppy came in. We were […]

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