Winter Girls Weekend trip to Asheville, NC

Our most recent family tradition that has quickly become a favorite is my mom’s birthday girls trip. Myself, my sister, and my mom all get together and plan a small weekend getaway around my moms birthday and we have the BEST time. This year, Asheville was our destination. Amid the ‘polar vortex’ of weather in February, we were shocked to have absolutely fantastic weather for our quick winter getaway. Below are my favorite places to eat, go, and explore while in Asheville. Hope you enjoy!

EAT

The best coffee we had the whole trip was combined with the greatest venue of all, Flora Cafe. It’s on Haywood Road and a must visit. They have free wifi, a cut flower and plant shop, and some absolutely beautiful items for purchase. We all got plants and planters, and coffee, and were so happy to spend some time at this beautiful shop.

Biscuit head— we went on the way to the Biltmore, but be ready for a line out the door. It was totally worth the cramped seating and 30 minute line for these biscuits. The gravy flight (three varied styles of gravy), fried green tomato biscuit, and home fries were all awesome, but the real star of the show was the brisket biscuit. OMG. Heavenly. Their to-go coffee cups even had cats on them, so I was a huge fan. Prices all under $10. Located at 417 Biltmore Avenue and other locations.

Early girl eatery— Near the Grove Arcade as well, perfect spot for breakfast. It has a varied menu that will fit almost any dietary restriction. The biscuits and gravy, granola, and the pork breakfast bowl were all great. Most every item on menu under $15.00 Located at 8 Wall Street and other locations.

Strada- family style Italian with fantastic food. You can order many dishes as family style which feeds 3-4 people. Cocktails are great and the little bar next door creates great cocktails with rooftop seating if you have a wait before your table is ready. Their daily creme brûlée is also a must try.

Chai pani — Indian street food located right near the Grove arcade. It was SO GOOD and full of instagrammable scenes. We tried the the fish roll, the chicken masala roll, the butter chicken, and the chicken pakora. Everything was fantastic. We over ate and loved every minute of it.

Tupelo honey— we were so hungry that I didn’t get any photos of the food or the place but we really enjoyed the cheese board, sweet potato pancakes, and biscuits and gravy. The breakfast all day menu was full of southern comfort food menu options.

These are the places that were on my list to eat, but we didn’t make it this trip:

  • Hole: rustic style doughnut shop, 168 Haywood
  • Button & Co Bagels — 32 South Lex Ave, several options
  • 12 Bones Smokehouse: voted best bbq in town,  5  Fundy St, open lunch only M-F 11a-4p
  • Red Stag Grill— inside the european grand bohemian hotel, european fusion menu , 11 Boston Way,, breakfast under $15, lunch under 20, 
  • Bouschon— french comfort food, entrees about $20 each 62 N. Lexington, Ave. 
  • Curate— tapas rated one of the best, has a whole charcuterie menu,  brunch menu all under $15.  13 Biltmore Ave
  • The French Broad— for dessert, opens at 11am, 10 S. Pack Square, all under $8.
  •  Sovereign Remedies— 29N market street, interesting cocktails, varied menus, brunch, dinner, or late night, known for interesting cocktails
  • Urban Orchard Cider Taproom — with small bites at the west asheville location 210 Haywood Rd. Asheville

Do

The Grove Arcade and surrounding streets are filled with unique and handmade items. We especially loved the architecture of the Grove building, it is so beautiful and worth a visit just to walk around and do some light shopping. Check to see if there is a market day happening on your trip. There wasn’t during this visit, but I have really enjoyed that on previous trips.

Asheville Bee Charmer — this store sells the BEST honey with free tasting and samples. I loved the raspberry honey and bought some for home the last time I visited, this time I picked up blackberry. It’s a small store, but definitely worth a stop.

Antiquing– while the prices are generally high, there are tons of antique stores in Asheville with incredible pieces.

Surrounding Asheville there are some fantastic hikes for all skill levels. The mountains are so beautiful and they are home to many waterfalls!

The Biltmore Estate — easily could spend an entire day here. A little on the expensive side, but it is swoon worthy.  They have all kinds of wine tastings, a tour of the mansion, hiking, horseback riding, and a general feeling of old south money. Great place to picnic if you pack a cooler before arriving. Once you are in, you can go to almost anywhere on the grounds. Tickets are about $65 but if you buy them early you can get a discount. Not something I do on every visit, but definitely worth seeing once if not more.

River arts district– great place to roam and shop/eat. Again, check for outdoor markets in the area is weather permits.

Explore

Parking downtown– Civic center garage, Rankin avenue garage, or Wall Street garage all charge about $1 per hour and are so much easier than finding parking elsewhere. Meters are short term only (under 2hrs) 

We stayed in a great hotel, AC Hotel downtown. Their parking is second to none with tap in/out unlimited access with your room key. The hotel was nice, clean, and staff were friendly. The rooftop bar was a miss, drinks were ok, but I would pass for other rooftop options that are less than a block away. The hands down best thing about this hotel is the location which makes almost all restaurants on this list within a walkable distance. It was fantastic and really allowed us to make the most of the long weekend stay we had.

Leave a comment if you have suggestions for my next trip to Asheville, I would love to hear them!

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