Ah, Asheville! The city that sits in the North Carolina mountains with so much eclectic charm, it could be a sister to Portland, Oregon.
We started our visits to Asheville soon after we got married. One most reminiscent, was a stay that included seeing the Smashing Pumpkins at The Orange Peel during a two-week residency they had there. We walked the streets of downtown, partaking in vegan food (we were not vegan at the time), and talking about how dog-friendly the town was. We’ve been back a few times since with our Betty White, camped near the area, but boy did we hit the jackpot when one of our bestie couples moved to Asheville this past year. We love you Lindsay and Eli, and would visit you anywhere, but boy is it a bonus that it is in Asheville. 🙂
We opted to spend our New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day in A-town. Do they call it that? Well, for the sake of being cool, we’re going to. There are TONS of things to do in Asheville, and our our treks back to the area, we will continue to update, but for this trip, it was about breweries and Biltmore.
Two breweries on the docket:
New Belgium Brewing– this is a more picturesque brewery, sitting on the French Broad, with a huge lawn out front where you, your pups, or your kids can run around, lounge, whatev. When you enter, it is more of an upscale feel, a bit of a corporate brewery feel, but still a great locale. We opted for the Voodoo Ranger series of beers: Shannon the IPA and Ger the Imperial. Yummo! Served in a chilled, very tall glass, we partaked in the tastiness while sitting on the balcony overlooking the river. Not a bad night! There were some heaters in some areas, we stayed cold, but the beer kept us warm. The outside vibe was much cooler than the inside, so we recommend that for your chill spot.
Next up, Zillicoah Beer Company. This was more up our alley! Much more low key of a vibe. When you pull up, you may think there is nothing there, sort of a speakeasy feel, which was totally cool. Once you enter the warehouse (because that is what it is), you experience an industrial look, concrete floors, wooden picnic tables, and the brewing vessels on full display. We opted for a couple of IPAs which were also yummy, and maneuvered our way out back where a food truck was waiting. The food truck was Taqueria Munoz– mexican fare, which made the night even more special!
Then, there is the Biltmore experience. I (Shannon) had always thought that the house was the main course, but after visiting with my friend Lindsay on New Year’s Eve, I was more amazed by the landscape, and honestly, acreage of the place. Thought Biltmore is giant, and is one of those things every tourist should partake in, you really need to plan some time to get through it. Since we went during a very busy time, it did feel, at times, like we were being herded like cattle, shuffling steps all around the house. I would love to go back when I have a bit more freedom to walk around, taking in what I want to see more of, but a one-time walk through was most definitely something that I loved! Bonus, the Downton Abbey exhibit was in display, so in the house, there were some costumes from the show, but the best part was in Amherst at Deerpark and The Biltmore Legacy. If you are a Downton Abbey fan, this is a must! Lunch was at the Village Hotel at Biltmore- we had a black bean burger and homemade chips. The best kind of lunch after an IPA and wine night, as well as NYE. Once we finished the last part of the Downton Abbey exhibit, we had what I referred to as THE BEST part of the day- chatting it up with some Biltmore cows.
We experienced sunsets, sunrises, New Year’s fireworks, all on this amazing trip to visit our friends in Asheville. We can’t wait to go back and experience even more! FYI, be sure to go see Dolly Parton in downtown Asheville. Google it, you’ll thank us!