It all started with a long airport escapade. Coming from Long Island, we thought it would be convenient to just hop on a few trains over to Newark. Well, that wasn’t as smooth and easy as we thought. Needless to say, we made it there. The thunderstorms that rolled in shortly after was where the fun started. After numerous delays we were dragging our feet to our plane, praying that we would still be able to land in the Asheville Airport. I never thought to take into consideration what would happen when a plane has to land at a closed airport. Lucky for us, we didn’t have to find that out. We may have taken a bus to our tiny little plane in the middle of the runway but we arrived in Asheville Airport with a few minutes to spare! Despite it closing super early, it was the coziest little airport. I immediately felt like I was on a mountain vacation.
Day 1, we were off to explore some local Asheville hot spots.
First stop, Summit Coffee for some avocado toast and lavender iced coffees. This was the perfect combination of townie and tourist spot. This little café was planted right in the middle of a graffiti dream. I’m talking walls upon walls of artwork. The River Arts District is a must see in Asheville.
After breakfast, we were off to check out downtown! If you’re lucky like us, you will catch one of their pretty amazing little street fairs. Our first place to see was the Battery Park Book Exchange. Don’t let this place mislead you, it’s not your average book store. You can order a coffee or a cocktail to enjoy while you read or shop. We took this as a perfect opportunity to order a bottle of champagne. We sat at a table surrounded by books, sipping champagne. It was cozy and relaxing. After some bubbly, we were lucky to spot “The Spoon Lady”. Apparently this is something you know about if you live here but it was a first experience for me. This talented woman plays spoons as an instrument, you have to see it for yourself to understand. She was sitting by the curb just off main street and sure enough she attracts a pretty impressive audience. What a unique talent!
Next up, Double D’s for another coffee. This one was really for the experience, however the coffee was delicious. It put Starbucks to shame. Coolest part about this place was the shop itself, you can enjoy your coffee inside a groovy little bus right in the middle of the downtown streets. You can only imagine the photo ops here! You order your coffee inside the bus, on the bottom floor and you can walk up a short flight of stairs on the bus to get to the second level. The seating made you feel like you were riding a bus and the views from above were pretty impressive. After our second coffee buzz of the day, we did some window shopping and came across the coolest artwork on a staircase near the endless row of shops. You cannot miss these stairs when you walk by! The artwork in Asheville is definitely a must-see and I love that it’s hidden throughout the town. The only way to find it is to explore!
At night we were sure to find a unique dinner spot, The Jerusalem Garden Café. Hello authentic Mediterranean cuisine! This place was pretty cool, we sat on pillows on the floor and enjoyed belly dancing performances with our dinner. The hummus plate was my favorite; this wasn’t your typical hummus. It was homemade and just the right amount of olive oil and chickpeas. Sabra hummus just doesn’t cut it after this experience.
We left dinner with just enough time to spare to take part in the drum circle outside. Now this is something you cannot miss if you are visiting Asheville! It was amazing to watch people from the community come together to dance and just have a great time. There were even kids dancing away! This is right across from the café.
Now for our last 2 stops for the night, the rooftop bar above the AC Hotel by Marriott followed by an extremely unique bourbon bar, Crow and Quill. Just imagine Dracula’s living room. What a way to end the night!
Day 2 was all about food and hiking. We started at Sunny Point Café, where we waited an hour and a half for a table and yes, it was absolutely worth the wait. The cool part about this place is that you can walk around their garden while you wait. And this isn’t just any garden, this is the source of all the food they serve. Everything locally grown and delicious. I highly recommend the Bloody Mary as well. Next up, Craggy Gardens. While at first we were disappointed with the rainstorm and clouds but this made for the most magical hike. The trails resembled a scene from Alice in Wonderland and led to the most breathtaking views. We ended the night with a trip to Whit’s Frozen Custard because desert is always necessary on vacation and also we don’t have this heavenly place in New York!
Thanks for the memories, Asheville.