Weekend Getaway: Asheville, NC.

Monday, May 19, 2014
You know that super awesome moment when it's been sunny and 90 every day for the past two weeks so you figure hey, let's be spontaneous and take a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains where it's also been sunny and 90 and then two hours after you arrive there's winter weather advisories ...............

 I planned so many outdoor adventures in Asheville and the surrounding area over this fun weekend getaway but the weather SUCKED. Unseasonably cold and cloudy ,
every. single. day.

Oh well, can't win em' all.
After I got my pouting out of the way it was time to make lemonade out of these frozen lemons.

Asheville, NC is a small mountain city 2 hours West of Charlotte. I should file this under my 'Things to do in Charlotte' series  because it's the perfect 2-day trip if you're in town!

The city is known for having picturesque views of the Blue Ridge Mountains everywhere you look and also for it's 'free' culture... (think pub bicycles and nude protests.) Oh and it's home to the largest mansion in the United States. More on that (and the pub cycle) later ;)

One time out of sheer boredom on a flight, Mitch decided to check out the magazines tucked in the seat pockets in front of him. It was there he found on the cover of a travel magazine: VISIT ASHEVILLE. The picture was so beautiful, a perfect small city surrounded by these gorgeous blue mountains...

We had to go.

So Summer 2011 right after I graduated college, we packed up my mom's SUV (Thanks again ma!) and headed down South to the land of the pine. Thumbin' our way into North Carolina. And since then it's been one of our favorite vacation spots right up there with Key West. In all honesty, we've thought about packing up and moving there.

So here's why you really need to:

DAY 1:

I mean, just look at it.
You know I'm quite surprised that so many people have no idea about this place. I used to be one of them.
Biltmore is the oldest and largest home in America.  It boasts 8,000 acres of farm land and gardens for you to explore and of  course you can go inside the home! Strictly no photography so, sorry no pics of the toilet disguised as a wicker chair inside. You'll have to go see for yourself ;)

We did manage to sneak some shots on the rear balcony though:

It's fun to imagine what life must have been like for the Vanderbilt family. Imagine being a kid growing up here and having all of this to explore?
I would be all like:

and then after rolling down that long hill and staining my white shorts I'd be like:

The Vanderbilt family wanted their property to be self-sustaining so they raised their own meat, grew their own vegetables...they did it all. They still try to maintain that way of living today!
Their website's title phrase is: Travel to a new state of mind. This is so true when you visit this place. It's got such a relaxed, refreshing vibe to it. It's impossible to have a bad day here, I just declared :)

In my own words, this place is a magical castle with rolling fields of animals and wild flowers and live music and ice cream!! My absolute favorite part of Biltmore is the sight (and smell) of their world famous

I will never ever ever forget the first time I experienced this Rose Garden. Late May of 2011, it was sunny and humid. We were on our way to check out the gardens of Biltmore when I stopped dead in my tracks at how SWEET the air started to smell. It wasn't a honeysuckle type of sweet, oh no. It was a deep, rich, romantic type of sweet.
I followed my nose to my soon to be designated Happy Place.

Ahh, you see what I mean?
I think it's safe to say my dream job would be tending to this Rose Garden.

The sun poked out a few times in between rain showers so we explored a little while longer...

I'm a little bummed our day there was mostly cold and cloudy. Still had a blast though. I will definitely be returning sometime this Summer. Probably in July. Anyone care to join? ;)
We can go halfsies on the range rover rentals.


DAY 2:

Mountain Adventures.

So I was on Pinterest one day (oh now you know this is gonna be good) and I was looking under the travel category when I found a pin of this beautiful meadow on top of a mountain. I saw it was from North Carolina so I quickly pinned it and threw it on top of my bucket list.
Well, I checked it off my list this weekend.

It's called Max Patch Bald.
It's one of very few 'bald spots' of the Blue Ridge Mountain range. A bald spot is basically an area where there's no trees or rocks in the way. A giant meadow on top of a mountain if you will.
To get to Max Patch you take an old creepy dirt road about 5 miles to the beginning of the trail. Then it's an easy hike to the top. It's about an hour West of Asheville on the TN border.

This picture captures everything perfectly. The gorgeous skyline you can find on Max Patch, the cloudy days we had to endure every day, and me in all black...mourning the shitty weather.
With the wind chills, I'd say it was a solid 20-30 degrees on top of that mountain. I had to do something to warm up...

A lot of people come up here for picnics and to just hang out. I saw a small fire pit up there too. I can imagine it being outstanding when the sun is shining and the sky is blue. I will definitely be returning here to capture that view.  I wasn't trying to rhyme, but how did I do? I'll be returning here in July, how about you?
Ok I'm done.


Day 3:


Let the party begin! Ya'll, Asheville is a blast. If you're a free spirit and have a large sense of humor, you are going to fall in love with the energy of this city just like I did. Sure most the people don't wear shoes or deodorant but they are kind. And they play the ukelele on the street for your enjoyment. They also dress as nuns and ride giant bikes.

Ha, this guy was literally riding around dressed like that for no reason. Just to make people laugh.

After posting lots of fun pics like the man above to your facebook, why not check in at the Double Decker coffee bus!

I love this place! They serve yummy local organic coffee and treats. Such a fun place to hang out.

Last but so not least.

The Amazing Pubcycle.

We were walking around downtown after a bite to eat one night on our last visit to Asheville when we heard techno music blasting, lights flashing, red solo cups in the air...then came this beast cruising down the street. My jaw dropped and I made it a high priority to come back to Asheville SOLELY to go on this thing.

So, here I am!

It was SOOO fun! I cannot express enough how much you need to ride a pubcycle at least ONCE in your life. I know this was the first of many for me!
So basically this is a giant bike. Yes, there's a motor in it so you won't roll down hill or hold up traffic too bad. Your tour guide sits in the middle and steers. You definitely get a badass workout in--I'm still sore today! You pedal around the streets while on lookers laugh and point and take 1,000 pictures of you.  But you don't care, you just lift up your beer and yell CHEERS! Then pedal away :)
We had a blast and Chase, our tour guide, was the coolest dude ever.
If  WHEN you go, tell him Steph, the girl with the ghost radar sent you. He'll know.

This thing is perfect for bachelor/bachelorette parties, company outings, family reunions, or to just go and see what it's all about like we did :)


There's so much more to Asheville than the few things I covered in this post. Like their huge craft beer scene or how restaurants source majority of their food from local farmers. You never know what to expect with the eccentric souls who live there...it's like a Southern, going-green small scale Las Vegas.
And once you've had enough of the wild city, a hike to a waterfall or meadow tucked deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains is the perfect fix for a little peace & serenity ;)

PS. The Hunger Games was filmed here.

I can't wait to return to this wonderland.


  1. http://www.exploreboonearea.com/

  2. All I have to say is: fun, fun, fun. Oh, and AWESOMEEE pictures. You absolutely made me want to visit :)

  3. Kristin thank you! Add this to your to do list girlfriend! :)

  4. Andy!! That link is perfect. Saved to my favorites :) Thank you!


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