Paul and I are kicking off our first blog post with one of our favorite short trips. We have our no-fail, always delicious restaurants that we frequent, along with outdoor extracurriculars to burn off some of the food! Paul went to college at Western Carolina, and he knows this whole region like the back of his hand. I spent time before marriage visiting with friends, but Paul has really opened my eyes to some incredible food and outdoor activities. [Inserting us on one of our first trips together]
Trip reason: Cole's Spring Break
Trip length: 3 days / 2 nights
Trip plans: Eat good, drink plenty, and enjoy the outdoors
We stayed at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Asheville Tunnel Road, which is a budget/value choice perfectly located between Biltmore Village and Downtown Asheville. Atmosphere was good and beds comfortable. This hotel is not walkable to any of the restaurants or activities in this blog post. However, everything is close. There is also an Ingles a few blocks away. We would do this again.
Getting to Asheville:
We drove the "scenic route" from our home in Blue Ridge, GA to Cashiers. We had a spur of the moment stop at Trillium Golf Club, which is a private club that Paul worked at during college. While the course hasn't opened yet for the season, we ran into the designer of the course, which is someone Paul knew [from way back ;)] when he first started working there 20 years ago. We were able to take a cart around to one of the most memorable golf holes from Paul's past. The ride on 64 to 107 getting here was beautiful yet winding. There's potential for car sickness and clinging to the "oh shit" handle bar if anyone in your party has a fear of heights (me!!). Worth it anyway.
From Cashiers, we drove on to Sierra Nevada Brewery, which is just southwest of Asheville about 30 minutes. We had an early dinner, played corn hole, and sat in oversized rocking chairs in the ultimate backyard playground. This is a kid friendly environment and always a stop for us when we visit the area. According to Cole, dinner is not complete without torpedo wings.
We have started playing disc golf. Well, prior to this trip, we played once. Given the beautiful weather and our new found interest, we played two different disc golf courses while in Asheville, Richmond Hill Park and Buncombe County Sports Park. Richmond Hill was more challenging and hosts tournaments, while Buncombe Park was friendlier to beginners. We loved both! It's like hiking with a little competitive game along the way. As avid golfers, we are familiar with the lingo, etiquette, etc. and totally amazed by how many people sport back packs to carry all their discs (ummm, we had 3 total discs for each of us to share), coolers, and radios for their afternoon game. At Richmond Hill, there were at least 30 people watching a tournament in action!
Grove Park Inn - Dessert? Yes, please, we would like Gifford's Ice Cream, served at The Marketplace. Our favorite is the toasted coconut. Grab a scoop or two and sit next to the huge fireplace in the lobby. There's usually a live band playing easy listening tunes. It's a great way to relax before bed.
In Biltmore Village, we shopped around some of the boutique and chain stores (such as Lilly Pulitzer and Williams-Sonoma), which are located in historic homes and buildings. I stumbled upon a natural skin care spa and store called C&Co. Handcrafted Skincare, which is local to Asheville. To kill some time before dinner at Corner Kitchen, we stopped in at a wine bar and shop, called Margaret & Maxwell, where we had a tasting and a nice conversation with the owner. I found a new and affordable sauvignon blanc.
Biscuit Head (Biltmore Ave.)- We arrived 10:30sh and there was STILL a line. Worth the wait! All three of us got the pulled pork biscuit with a side of sausage gravy. The biscuit has jalepeno pimento cheese, pulled pork, maple syrup drizzle, egg, and bacon on top. It never fails!
Corner Kitchen- I ordered a Thai Tehmpeh dish, which I would do all over again. Cole went with his usual, a burger and mac 'n cheese from the kid's menu. Paul ordered a steak, and it was not his favorite from the menu. He kept eyeing the pork chop, which would have been a better choice. We did not have a wait and the food came out quick.
12 Bones Smokehouse- We wanted an afternoon snack and beer after a round of disc golf, and 12 Bones was the perfect choice. They actually have a small bites section on the menu. We got a little sampler of chopped brisket, pulled chicken, and sliced turkey with mac 'n cheese on the side. We ate at the River Arts District location. If you have time, you can stroll through the area and scope out some local artists' work.
Sunny Point Cafe - Another regular spot of ours. While the menu is full of delicious options, we always go back to our favorites. I ordered huevos rancheros (no runny eggs, please!!). Paul had stuffed french toast (he always shares - it's a huge dish). Cole ordered chicken and waffles. We arrived shortly after they opened at 8:00 and didn't have a wait. However, by the time we left, there were people lingering outside waiting to be seated.
This time we indulged with decadent chocolate cake, coffee ice cream, and a chocolate coconut macaroon (not pictured was another piece of decaent chocolate cake, in case you thought the three of us were actually sharing this :)). We arrived around 9:00 and there was a short line. It went fast.
As usual, we left Asheville stuffed full of good food! We loved finding the new parks to play disc golf (and burn a few calories). This trip was very economical with the budget hotel outside of downtown and utilizing public parks. We left completely satisfied. Can't wait for the next time, Asheville!