Recently I celebrated my second wedding anniversary. Given the year that 2020 has been, we decided to head to Charleston for a long weekend, staying in a relative's guest house. Our plan was pretty simple. Stay in the outside guest house. Spend some time outside, maybe on a beach somewhere. Eat some delicious seafood at a park. Stay away from everyone. Foolproof. Well, if you haven't already noticed, the plan was to head to Charleston and yet, this blog it titled 48 Hours in Asheville. Hmmmm.
Apparently our plan wasn't foolproof enough, as 2020 threw another curveball at us- one we really couldn't do anything about, and that curveball greeted us in the form of Hurricane Isaias. If our trip had been for a week, it wouldn't have been a problem, but due to the timing and only having a few days of vacation, we didn't think it made sense to head to Charleston to sit inside all weekend because of the rain. So we rerouted ourselves and headed west to Asheville instead.
Of course, 2020 being the year that it is, we still encountered a weekend full of rain. However, we didn't let that get us down! Asheville is one of our favorite cities after-all and we made the most of it. Continue reading below to find out how we spent 48 hours in our favorite funky city.
Where To STay - Aloft Hotels Downtown
We have visited Asheville, North Carolina a number of times, and each time we have stayed somewhere different. This most recent trip, we decided to make things easier on ourselves, staying in the heart of the city at Aloft right in the middle of Downtown. Aside from the fun, modern decor and beautiful amenities, Aloft features an ideal location within easy walking distance of many of Asheville's well-known destinations, including breweries, shops, and parks. Because we wanted to adhere to social distancing guidelines, as well as just generally spend quality time together, we spent a good amount of time on the hotel's balcony. Here we soaked up the city's golden hour on comfy couches and listened to the sounds of the city below.
Where To Eat
Coffee- Double D's Coffee Bus
If you're like me, coffee is a necessity, but it's also a way of life. No matter which way you feel when it comes to this liquid gold, Double D's Coffee Bus is a fun experience for all, with a menu just as inclusive. Go ahead and grab a latte or hot cocoa as you stroll the streets downtown.
Breakfast- Biscuit Head
A multi-location breakfast joint, this casual breakfast/lunch spot is perfect for a brunch date or a place to meet up with friends. If you couldn't tell by the name, their specialty is the biscuits. Big, fluffy, and loaded with delicious Southern goodness, this is not the place to go if you are trying to cut back on the carbs. Whatever you get, be sure to add a side of the pimento cheese grits! Look out for a full review coming soon!
Lunch- White Duck Taco Shop
You may have seen my previous post about my all-time favorite taco shop. White Duck Taco Shop can be found in three locations throughout Asheville, as well as several other cities spanning the state of North Carolina, and even venturing into Tennessee. With an expansive a la carte menu featuring taco classics or options for the more adventurous eater, this Asheville staple is one you can't pass up!
Dinner/Drinks- Wicked Weed Brewing
We love good beer in our family and Asheville is THE place to go if you feel the same! With roughly 50 breweries throughout the Asheville area, you will everything from small-town batches to globally known brands. During our quick trip (and because of the relentless rain) we headed to the closet spot, just a short 5-minute walk from our hotel, Wicked Weed Brewing. With a small but satisfying menu and spacious outdoor and indoor seating, we felt safe, comfortable, and full. This is the perfect place to visit for socially distant drinks and brewpub food, rain or shine!
What To Do
Of course no one wishes for rain on their vacation, especially when you only have a few days and most of your favorite activities are outdoors! What's important is making the most of your time and enjoying your travel partner no matter what the circumstances (often easier said than done)! Aside from wanting to spend time simply r e l a x i n g we did venture out around the downtown area.
Asheville is well-known for the plethora of family-owned shops featuring local artists and handmade goods. Kress Emporium, located a block off of Biltmore Avenue, features over 80 regional artists, antique curators, and sellers of fine homemade goods. If you're looking for a place to pick up a gift for a friend back home, this is THE place to go. Pottery, jewelry, candles, art, and more- you can spend hours strolling the artist booths (and avoiding the rain outside).
Mast General Store is another regional favorite. With several locations throughout the south, this family-owned company has established quite the presence in downtown Asheville. Browse the racks of tourist t-shirts, stickers, and mugs, or head downstairs to an entire floor filled with outdoor gear for your next camping trip! Pick and choose from the candy bulk bins and sample some locally made jam.
If you're lucky enough to catch a quick break from the rain, head over to Pack Square Park to stretch your legs and enjoy some outdoors (with easy access back inside if it stars to rain again)! Walk around the Vance Memorial and view the Black Lives Matter mural painted on N Pack Square.
I like hidden gems, hole-in-the-walls, and offbeat destinations