On a month-long trip to Argentina, we took a weekend to explore San Carlos de Bariloche (commonly known as “Bariloche”). As is frequently the case, we really didn’t know at all what we were doing – we tend toward “winging it” a lot of the time. But we selected our hotel (Nido Del Condor) as though we know one from another (we didn’t) and it was beautiful! The room was spacious with a beautiful corner fireplace and lots of cypress wood polished to a high shine; a small balcony looked out over the roof of the spa to the lake and mountains beyond. We enjoyed breakfast in the dining room that also overlooks the lake.
Our time in Bariloche was limited, so we elected to take one tour and spend the rest of the time exploring on our own. We chose the small circuit tour (Circuito Chico), which makes a loop around the lake and offers numerous beautiful panoramic views. One stop included a chair lift to the top of the mountain for 360-degree views. The stunning beauty of these mountains is hard to explain – they are rugged, snow-capped, and surrounded by water, and they seem to pull you in and warn you away all at once.
We ended the tour in the center of town where we spent some time in the Museum of the Patagonia; this is a small museum but gives an interesting look at the natural history and culture of the region. The exhibits are in Spanish, but there are comprehensive printed guides available in many languages including English. We explored the downtown shops – surprisingly, fancy chocolate shops are plentiful – and came across an artisan’s market set up in the park. It’s always fun to stumble across the unexpected, and I found several handmade gifts to take back home.
Bariloche has a pretty waterfront and a nice, walkable downtown. We were there in May, and it was cold but sunny and pleasant for exploring. The flight from Buenos Aires is short, so it’s a very easy trip for a weekend. The town itself appears to cater equally to backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts, as well as to affluent shoppers and spa lovers – in other words, I think anyone would find a way to enjoy a few days there.
Written by guest writer Laura Atkins.
For more check out her review of the Patagonia Cerveceria at Feed the Passport
One of the things I love about Asheville is the overwhelming sense of comfortableness that this city exudes. Everyone is simply comfortable being themselves, and expressing it in a way that suits them. One very noticeable way this can be seen is through the city's prominent street art. Every street, every corner, and every alley is guaranteed to feature a work of art, and if you walk the streets long enough, you will start to recognize an artist's work by the style you see repeated throughout.
The best place to view a highly concentrated amount of street art without the worry of potentially getting hit by a car is in a quiet corner of the River Arts District. This patch of land, located on Old Lyman Street, is known as the Foundation Walls Project. Property owner Brent Starck began the project when he couldn't face tearing down the falls that had been covered primarily in graffiti tags. Instead he worked with the Asheville Legal Department and the Graffiti Appeal Committee to come up with a plan for allowing artists to put their work out there in an organized and inclusive manner. As long as artists follow the rules (no racist, hateful, or inappropriate content), they can obtain a permit and are free to let their designs come to life.
Foundation Walls is a great place to see a lot of the city's artists in one area. The artists respect the work of others and work to support each other, rather than compete for the best wall space. The inclusive and collaborative approach makes unique park a noteworthy destination during your stay in Asheville.
What's your favorite street art destination? Share in the comments below!
Now that you know where to stay in Asheville, where to get amazing brunch, and where to hang out for a couple of drinks, the next logical step is adding a little adventure, because every good weekend getaway should not only include plenty of relaxation, but plenty of fun!
For an easy waterfall hike near Asheville, Looking Glass Falls is the perfect place to go for anyone who wants a bit of nature. Looking Glass Falls is the best waterfall hike near Asheville because it offers gorgeous views that everyone can enjoy, regardless of ability. This extremely accessible waterfall is actually visible from the roadside, meaning that families with small children or those who may not be able to hike are still able to experience great views of the falls. With roadside parking available, you can enjoy the falls from the top, or walk down the staircase to the base of the falls, where you can then wade into the water or scramble along the riverbed rocks.
So far in our Asheville series we have talked about some amazing places to chow down on brunch or hang out and grab a pint, and while these are vitally important aspects of enjoying a weekend away, probably one of the most crucial details in planning a weekend getaway is where to stay.
The first time I scheduled a trip to Asheville, this was actually one of the hardest parts of the planning. I had never been before so I didn't have any prior knowledge of the area and while online research is helpful, first-hand knowledge is key (whether it's your knowledge or you're getting tips from someone else). After a last-ditch effort to find something both unique and affordable, I desperately Google searched "glamping in Asheville" and lo and behold there is actually a place called Asheville Glamping.
I was quickly drawn in by the boho-vintagey vibe from the photos of tents, domes, and airstreams and after an excited scroll through the website, I decided this was the place to stay. But the search wasn't over yet. Many of the more popular sites, such as the dome, were booked through for months, and others only had availability here and there. After a second run-through, I was able to find a site that both met our budget and time-frame.
The Deluxe Bell Tent features a queen bed, a heating and cooling system, and now, a hot tub (this addition appeared after our stay) all perched atop a steep hill with beautiful views of the surrounding property and mountains beyond. The tent is constructed on a wooden deck, giving you the perfect place to sit back and enjoy the sunset.
Since our stay at the 15-acre property roughly 30 minutes outside of downtown Asheville, the owners have added two more domes and are currently working on a treehouse. Several hot tubs have popped up at some of the sites, adding a bit more of the "glam" to glamping. If you haven't been glamping before, do not let the luxury aspect fool you. You are still camping and you will still run into some of the same elements of traditional camping, such as insects, dirt, and weather. However, instead of sleeping bags, you'll find yourself nestled in cozy blankets atop real mattresses. Instead of relying solely on campfire flames your ceiling may be draped with twinkle lights. In my opinion, it's the best of both worlds- comfortable nature.
Have you been glamping before? Let me know where in the comments!
p.s. if this content looks familiar, it's because you've seen it before! This originated over at Feed the Passport and is migrating here to our site. Feed the Passport is transitioning into a foodie-focused travel blog and we are picking up the pieces, focusing on the hidden gems, hole-in-the-wall, off-the-beaten-path treasures in cities around the world. Stay tuned on both accounts for the best in what to do, where to stay, what to eat, and how to experience the authenticity of each place we visit.
The first stop on our tour of Asheville is one of my favorites- a place that I keep going back to every time I visit. We all have our favorites and sometimes tradition trumps quality, but not in this case! This time around the tradition was born because of the quality; the quality of food, service, and atmosphere!
Sunny Point Cafe in West Asheville has it all. While I've only been there for some amazing brunches, they also feature equally amazing lunch and dinner menus, as well as a selection of wines, craft beers, and cocktails.
Rated #1 on TripAdvisor for the best brunch in Asheville, Sunny Point Cafe can also be found on hipster foodies' lists everywhere, ranking in the Top 10 for Best Asheville Brunch/Breakfast spots. Some examples of their award-winning dishes (yes, they have won awards for their amazing culinary talents), are the shrimp 'n' grits, which won the 2016 and 2017 Stoobie Award for Asheville's Best Shrimp 'n' Grits. I've also heard that their avocado toast is among the best in the city.
My personal favorites are the Huevos Rancheros- eggs topped with black bean cakes, feta, and cilantro crema (a gluten-free dish), and the Fried Chicken and Waffle sandwich- a pecan waffle topped with fried chicken, bacon, pimento cheese, and jalapeño jam. Their menu also features several options that can be made gluten-free or vegan.
INSIDER TIP: Because of the cafe's popularity, it is more than likely that you will arrive and have to add your name to a long list of those waiting- DO NOT LEAVE. I know how easy it is to be turned off by long wait-times, but believe me it is well worth it. In fact, the cafe understands your displeasure with having to wait, and makes it infinitely more enjoyable by providing a coffee station in the outdoor waiting area, where you can help yourself to unlimited refills of fresh coffee, and enjoy watching West Asheville life pass you by. On a nice day, you may even get to experience some live music, as local bands have been known to set up and play for hungry customers.
Aside from the incredible variety of dishes and flavors that are served up here, one of my favorite things about Sunny Point Cafe is that they are very socially conscious, featuring a different nonprofit partner every month! Every table in the restaurant has an envelope on it for customers, should they so choose, to donate money for the nonprofit that month. Along with the money from generous customers, Sunny Point also adds a donation to the collected funds, and delivers it to the chosen partner. In 2017, they raised and donated $16,856, and in 2018 they increased that number to $20,517. Read more about the organizations they've partnered with here.
INSIDER TIP: After your meal, head outside to the neighboring garden- here you can walk through the garden beds and see where the cafe plants and harvests the produce found in your meals! It's as fresh as you can get!
INSIDER TIP: Take a bit of the West Asheville flavor home with you! You can shop the selection of jams, dressings, and sauces that you may have experienced in your meal. If that's not enough, you can even purchase the Sunny Point Cookbook, featuring several recipes that have developed since the opening of the cafe, as well as other timeless comfort food dishes.
Have you been to Sunny Point Cafe? Let us know your favorite dishes in the comments! Got another favorite Asheville brunch spot! Let us know so we can check it out!
I've been to Asheville a handful of times, as it's roughly a 2-hour drive from Charlotte, and each time I love taking advantage of all this amazing city has to offer. From the wide selection of craft breweries, local coffee shops, and eclectic restaurants, it is truly a millennial's dream. If those are things you also value, then Asheville is the place for you.
Located in the western part of North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville has a population slightly under 100,000 people. Known for its vibrancy, it has a large (and growing) art scene, fascinating historic architecture, and is what a foodie's dream are made of. Walking the streets you are guaranteed to see layers of art and messages of peace adorning the walls. Ample opportunities exist to experience the local culture through artisans, food, and entertainment.
And if the city life becomes too busy for you, an escape to the mountains is a stone's throw away. From the Blue Ridge Parkway to waterfall hikes to cozy cabins, the great outdoors is ready and waiting for you.
In this new mini-series, I'm going to share all that I have come to know and love about Asheville, from the food and drink to art and nature. I was quick to identify Asheville as my spirit city, and if you stick around you may just find that it has something for you too.
If you've ever been to Asheville, share your favorite spots and things to do in the comments!
p.s. if this content looks familiar, it's because you've seen it before! This originated over at www.feedthepassport.com and is migrating here to our site. Feed the Passport is transitioning into a foodie-focused travel blog and we are picking up the pieces, focusing on the hidden gems, hole-in-the-wall, off-the-beaten-path treasures in cities around the world. Stay tuned on both accounts for the best in what to do, where to stay, what to eat, and how to experience the authenticity of each place we visit.
I like hidden gems, hole-in-the-walls, and offbeat destinations