Weekend in Asheville

So…it’s been a hot minute since I wrote a post (my baaaad) but never fear, here’s a long post filled with tons of pics from my weekend in Asheville back in August! Yeah…I said August. #oops

As much of as I am a city girl, I love the mountains. Give me some gorgeous rolling hills, crisp cool mornings, and a good drink and I’m a happy girl. Now if you give me all of that in the fall, I’ll probably never leave so it’s a good thing I visited Asheville in August and not October.

There are some cities that are a quick drive from Atlanta that make perfect weekend getaways – Savannah, Nashville, Charlotte, Charleston, and Asheville to name a few. And that weekend, a quick 3 hour ride into the mountains was on the agenda.


Friday

With how many breweries are in Asheville, we knew going into the weekend we were drinking a lot of beer. And the first stop was just outside the city at Sierra Nevada Brewery.

This was my first experience at a big daddy brewery. We’ve got Sweetwater in Atlanta that’s growing at an amazing rate, but they’re small potatoes compared to Sierra Nevada.


Since the brewery is located on the outskirts of town, we stopped on the way in for lunch and a quick tour. The food was tapas style and delicious – I highly recommend the pretzels and cheese and starting with a flight of beer if you aren’t sure which one to get. It helped me narrow down a favorite that I could drink for the rest of the time there. Best part is that you can take your beer with you anywhere in the brewery – outside or even inside the self guided tour! Just don’t walk out the front door with it or you’ll get bitched at.

Before dinner, we knew we wanted to hit up two spots for drinks. The first was Wicked Weed Brewing which was a quick Uber ride from the hotel. Since we were just drinking, we pulled up chairs to a high top outside and started sampling their beer. I had the Cucumber and the rose gold ale (which was delicious).

Our next stop for drinks was Sky Bar, which is in the heart of downtown Asheville. You take an old school 1920’s elevator up to the top and exit out on to a small multi level patio. We never left the top floor so I can’t speak about the views from below, but up top it was pretty great. The key to getting a good spot right at the railing is going early, so make sure you get there in plenty of time before if you want the unobstructed view.

 

One of the things we realized was how important it was to make dinner reservations on weekends in Asheville. We somehow snagged one for dinner at the highly desirable restaurant, The Admiral. On the outside, this place looks like a hole in the wall but it is a gem.

After dinner we all wanted to keep the night going so we started heading towards some bars for drinks. One of the quirky things about Asheville is that if somewhere is operating as only a bar and not a restaurant and bar, you must be a “member” to enter. Membership at most places was only $1, but still was a little annoying to have to keep filling out paperwork with your name and email.

One of those places was Top of the Monk. After shelling out our $1 (and it’s only $1 for one person in your group, you get like 20 guests as a member) we headed up stairs to have some hand crafted cocktails. With each drink you buy they give you a little key to the lockers behind you which have some light snacks (we chowed down on spicy peanuts). It had a good moody vibe inside but since I’m a basic betch, we spent most of the time on their rooftop patio.

While on the patio, a truck drove by with an advertisement for the local dueling piano bar. If it’s your scene, this fun little piano bar is a must. One of the best things about the South is all the football rivalries – there were groups from Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, University of North Carolina, and Georgia (obviously). I’d be lying if I didn’t love the constant battle of fight songs the piano guys played.

Saturday

Saturday morning started a little hungover but armed with coffee and breakfast, we were ready to tackle the Biltmore Estate.

The house is beautiful, however we had one of the early viewing times at 9:30am and it was already so crowded. Several rooms your only option was a single file line to go through (which for someone as impatient as me is a nightmare). It’s worth seeing once, however I really don’t know if I’d visit it again.

Channeling Hermione Granger: “Is that really what my hair looks like from the back?”

The gardens are huge. Let me repeat, HUGE. I wanted to try and find the sunflower fields and pretty sure our feet were going to fall off when we called it quits.

We headed to Green Man Brewing after the Biltmore for some tasty brews. This brewery focuses heavily on IPA’s, so if that’s not your cup of tea then maybe you’d want to hit one of the other several breweries nearby. It’s got a really cool upstairs bar and patio with all kinds of board games, though. We might have revisited our childhood by playing Operation and Scrabble until it was time for a late lunch back at the hotel.

The Grove Park Inn is famous for it’s views so it was a no-brainer that I wanted to go there for drinks (let’s be honest, I really wanted the pictures). So we decided to make reservations at one of their restaurants, Edison, and head there early for drinks on the Sunset Terrace.

The lower two decks of the Sunset Terrace you don’t need reservations for and it’s first come first serve seating. We thankfully went early enough that we were able to snag some of the lounge chairs overlooking the mountains. The views were amazing and the drinks were even better.

 

After a few drinks, we headed inside to Edison for dinner. A little fun fact we found out is that all of their reservations are sat outside on their covered patio – no need to request it! So definitely make reservations if you’re able to.

We were seated right next to the railing which gave us a great view of the sunset while we ate. After munching on the pork nachos (which were amazing and I legit could have just eaten those all night), I got the shrimp and grits. If you’re from the South, you know what a staple this is and why everyone loves it. But at Edison they do a twist on it I’ve never seen before – a poached egg. Sounds crazy, right? But it was delicious. I have never been so uncomfortably full in my life.

Uber was our life savor during this trip. Everything we had planned out was all over the map from each other so walking wasn’t an option and since we were drinking regularly, driving wasn’t an option. Uber in Asheville was reliable and we never had any problems getting one.

Sunday morning came a little too quickly, which meant it was time to head back home. The plan was for us all to grab brunch nearby, however we were all a little eager to get on the road – Starbucks to the rescue.

All in all, my first trip to Asheville was a huge success and so much fun. Already counting down the days to return to this amazing little mountain town!

 

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