It is such a cool town- the downtown is wonderfully preserved and with much of its historic building stock rehabilitated and vibrant. I can't tell you how many cool shops, studios, galleries, music venues and other establishments I wanted to visit but was unable to due to time constraints. The historic districts are lovely and of course the setting with the mountains provides for breathtaking views all around.
|Antiquing at the Antique Tobacco Barn|
Antiquing in Asheville is some of the best I've experienced anywhere, with tons of shops and some huge spaces with row upon row of vintage eye candy. We visited the Antique Tobacco Barn, with over 77,000 square feet- you can easily spend an entire afternoon there! I came home with a much-desired antique split oak tobacco basket that I hope to hang somewhere in my house.
|Our Bed & Breakfast|
And don't even get me started on the food. Everything we ate last weekend in Asheville was phenomenal. I'd go back just for the food alone every year. We enjoyed three-course gourmet breakfasts every morning at our B&B (which featured dishes like bananas foster homemade waffles, cranberry & cream cheese pastries, apple crisp, and baked cheesy crepes with spinach, ham and peppers with eggs on top. Yum!) We also dined at Tupelo Honey Cafe, Nine Mile, and the Bistro located on the winery at the Biltmore Estate. Each was excellent in its own unique way.
Of course, we couldn't leave Asheville without spending a day at the Biltmore. Constructed for George Vanderbilt in 1895 and designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt, the Biltmore Estate embodies all of the opulence in fine art and architecture so sought after by the wealthy during the Gilded Age. The grounds consist of numerous gardens, preserved forests, various outbuildings for gardening, riding and hunting activities, and of course the grand mansion itself. Visit the Biltmore Estate website to learn more. I'll leave you with a few snapshots of our time at Biltmore:
|stopping to smell the roses in the rose garden|
|One of the ponds in the Italian Garden; notice the reflection of Biltmore House.|
|A breathtaking grape arbor and pathway lined with fountains lead |
up to the main house.
|The Conservatory, where the tropical varieties live|
|The Walled Garden|
If it's not too far of a drive, I highly recommend a weekend getaway to Asheville, NC- I promise it will not disappoint!