As many of you may have seen on my plans for travel page, I took my boyfriend, Max, to Asheville, North Carolina for a surprise 25th birthday weekend! Naturally I had a blast planning everything, because I’m such a planner but I also learned that I love surprising other people. His reaction to each surprise was the best and made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside (hah, corny?).
For the first night we stayed at Downtown Inn and Suites. I believe I paid around $80 for the night, which after seeing the lobby, did not seem worth it to me. However, the room was fairly nice and the location was killer! Only other issue was the lukewarm – cold shower in the morning… not cool especially in 30 degree Asheville winter weather! If you’re looking for a nice location and don’t mind cold showers for a day I would suggest it. Website here: http://downtowninnandsuites.com/
That first night for dinner we went to a restaurant/bar within walking distance of the hotel called Jack of the Wood. The food was pretty cheap and prettttty delicious! We both tried out a unique Asheville brewed beer (although I don’t remember their names, sorry!) and got an appetizer of garlic cheese fries. Obviously those were amazing, especially since cheese, garlic, and fries are three of my favorite things. We then both got bison burgers which were also delicious! The only downfall: their homemade barbeque ‘chips’ which were soggy and didn’t have any crunch to them at all… maybe we just got a bad batch
We then went to see Lotus at The Orange Peel, which was also within walking distance (~12 minutes). If any of you guys enjoy live music/bands play, you should definitely stop at The Orange Peel. Check out what’s playing there for a future trip! The only issues I had was the fact that they A) were charging for a coat check and B) didn’t serve liquor at the upstairs bar — you had to go downstairs under the stage and even then you had to sign up to be a member of some sorts for something (a little ridiculous).
BRUNCH ALERT!! The next morning we stumbled across this little brunch place that was absolutely. hands. down. the best brunch I’ve ever had. And believe me, I’ve brunched with the best of ’em. If you visit downtown Asheville at ANY point in your life… you MUST, MUST, MUST visit this place. It’s called Early Girl Eatery. It’s on 8 Wall Street — I even found the address for y’all… you KNOW I mean business. Again, you must go. Yes, you. NOW.
After waiting to brunch (b/c the place is amazing so obviously everyone was there trying to brunch as well) we then went to The Biltmore Estate. Classic Asheville adventure but it’s so worth it! That house is beautiful and the land that it rests upon is breathtaking! If you’ve never been, plan a visit! We also went to the newer area called Antler Village, where they have free wine tours with an admissions pass. We obviously bought a ton of wine and had a few beers at Cedric’s Tavern. At that point we were also hungry from walking around all day so we had some snacks at the bar: pimento cheese dip and pretzel rolls with spicy mustard butter (interesting but amazingly good!).
We then went and hung out at our other hotel, GuestHouse Inn Asheville-Biltmore. This room was much cheaper AND had a lots of hot water!! Their breakfast selection was also much better than the above hotel (which is why we had to brunch instead of eating the free breakfast). AND they’re also right by the interstate and about 2 miles down the road from the Biltmore. Check them out: http://www.guesthouseintl.com/hotels/asheville
On the way back down to Georgia, we stopped and hiked up Table Rock Mountain, in South Carolina. It was about an hour from Asheville but if you’re heading in that direction you HAVE to stop by, especially if you enjoy hiking. They have a ton of different trails that you can hike and I actually got a good workout by hiking one of the “tougher” trails for 6.2 miles. Oh and not to mention that the view is absolutely INCREDIBLE.
We look like grade-A goobers with our shirts tied around our waists but it was chilly! Then warm in the sun so we had to take the under shirts off.
And that was the end of our fun, birthday surprise weekend!
What’s your favorite parts or places of Asheville?! Have you ever done a fun birthday surprise weekend get-away? I’d love to hear!!