I’ve talked about my love for the mountains and Asheville many times before on this blog. It should be no surprise that when we found out that Brian’s schedule would give us enough time to drive the 8 hours to Asheville and back, we certainly took advantage of it. Nowadays, we plan our trips pretty spontaneously and this one was one of the most last minute trips to date.
Tuesday evening while eating dinner, we were discussing what we should do with our free time together for Memorial Day weekend. We had talked about camping in Kinzua or Cherry Springs, but it looked like the weather wasn’t going to cooperate for that. That’s when Brian read my mind and said, “Why don’t we go to Asheville?” I had just been thinking about it earlier that day, but I was unsure if he would want to drive that far for such a short trip.
Well, apparently this is exactly what we were meant to do for the weekend. However, I was met with sudden disappointment when I did my initial search for an affordable Airbnb (affiliate link) that wasn’t already booked. There were limited listings and most were out of our price range, which was to be expected for Memorial Day weekend. I gave up that night and our plans were still uncertain for the weekend.
Wednesday morning, I checked Airbnb again and quickly found an extremely affordable place to stay about 20 minutes from downtown Asheville and 20 minutes from Pisgah Brewing Company where we wanted to see a show. Perfect! Once Brian approved, I booked it.
Saturday morning around 4am, we left for Asheville. This was one of the best drives we had for a road trip like this. It went extremely smooth and the weather was clear. We arrived in Asheville around 1pm and we had until 3pm before we could check in.
Our itinerary for Friday included:
Lunch at Bonfire Barbecue
I’m so glad I made the decision to come here. I got the chopped brisket sandwich and Brian got the brisket. It was the best brisket we’ve ever had. It had the perfect amount of smokiness and little to no fat to eat around. The best part? The potato salad. OH. MY. GOODNESS. If I had to pick one food to eat for the rest of my life, it would be their potato salad. It was smokey and oh so good. You need to try it for yourself.
A beer at Wedge Brewing in the River Arts District
I really wanted to see the River Arts District, but Brian really just wanted a beer and a nap, so we compromised. We drove to the River Arts District and we found a brewery (which is not hard to do in Asheville). We each enjoyed a beer from Wedge Brewing. They had many seating options outside and the beer was good. After drinking our beers, I begged him to at least walk through the one art studio that was around the corner from where we parked. I loved seeing the different art pieces. When we go back to Asheville, we will definitely make a point to spend more time here.
Checked in around 3pm
We were greeted by our hosts and their pup. Their place was very secluded and woodsy, which we loved. The view out of the door from our space was the woods and it was beautiful. Of course we took a nap once we settled in.
Dinner at El Que Pasa
We couldn’t decide on where to eat for dinner. We were headed to a brewery that had music and food when we drove past El Que Pasa on Patton Avenue. We saw the smoke pouring out behind the building and according to Brian, that’s a good sign. He was right. It was authentic Mexican food and it was so good. Brian got a steak burrito and I got the shrimp enchiladas.
Beer and music at Pisgah Brewing Company
Prior to booking a place in Asheville, we searched for things to do while we were there. We saw that the band Phuncle Sam was playing and that it was the kind of music that we like. Not to mention, a free show. Pisgah Brewing Company and Phuncle Sam did not disappoint. There was indoor and outdoor seating at the brewery and the beer was good! I got the blueberry wheat and Brian got an IPA.
After a wonderful night’s rest, we got ready for our day on Sunday. We checked out of the Airbnb and headed into downtown.
A walk around downtown Asheville
One of my favorite things to do in Asheville is walk around and check out the different shops. I ended up buying a dream catcher necklace at Instant Karma. We also stopped at out favorite coffee shop, Old Europe, for a cold brew coffee. After walking around for a couple hours, we went to the Mellow Mushroom for pizza. Their pizza is worth every penny in my opinion and a trip to Asheville is never complete without it.
I was sad to leave downtown, but our next stop was the Blue Ridge Parkway. We really wanted to see Looking Glass Falls, but I didn’t realize it was so far south of Asheville. We will check it out next time.
A drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway and standing at the highest point East of the Mississippi River, Mount Mitchell
Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway was breathtaking. If you get the opportunity, do it, even if you just check out a small portion like we did. We drove to Mount Mitchell, which is the highest point East of the Mississippi River and offers a 360 degree view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was amazing!
Our trip back home was just as smooth and I’m currently missing the mountains.
There are so many reasons why I love Asheville. My heart feels at home there. I’m surrounded by all the things I love when we visit, which is good music, good food, friendly people, and beautiful nature. I would love to move to Asheville and maybe one day we will have that opportunity.
Want to read about our trip to Raleigh, NC? Check out this post