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Asheville Favorites from Our Recent Vacation
We have made it a tradition the past couple of years to go on vacation right after the holidays as our gift. Being in retail and makers, from October - December is a rat race trying to get to the finish line. Not to say that we are ungrateful for this busy season, it can be a bit exhausting. So, time away is the perfect thing for our family to reset and recharge before the New Year!
We went to Asheville for our vacation, and it did not disappoint. We have been before, but we wanted to explore new things in this great city since it had been a few years since we were there. We had 2 main goals: 1) Candlelight tour at the Biltmore and 2) Eat REALLY good food. We accomplished both of those goals, so we would say this was a successful vacation for us!
Asheville Food Recommendations:
Here is a list of the places we ate while being there, and I would recommend any of them to you if you are visiting soon!
- The Admiral - We got this recommendation from many people, and it did not disappoint. Bryson got the pork shank, and I got the wheat pasta dish and chili oil shrimp and breadcrumbs. It was all delicious! We ended up sharing a lot of our food because sharing is caring and definitely more fun!
- French Broad Chocolate Lounge - There is always a wait here, but I promise if you do wait, you won't be disappointed. Bryson got a seasonal trifle, and I got the peanut butter brownie. Both were delicious, and we went back for chocolate to bring home because it is so good! They also have tours (we didn't have time to do one), so if you are there for a couple of days, I would check this out!
- Biscuit Head - We had heard a lot of hype about this restaurant, and it's long waits. The biscuit was delicious, and the atmosphere (besides all of the people) was fun! They also make lots of different jams and butters to go along with your biscuits!
- Curaté - Probably our favorite restaurant of our time in Asheville. It was Spanish tapas, and so so delicious. We had heard from several people that this was the one place we had to go, and I'm so glad we did! We got several things, but we highly recommend the pork fritters and the brussel sprouts! Both delicious!
- Early Girl Eatery - We both loved our breakfasts from here! Bryson got a scramble bowl, and I got a pretty simple breakfast. BUT the biscuits were to die for, and whatever jam they have on the table was fabulous! We've also had dinner here, and it did not disappoint either!
- Hole Doughnuts - I had heard that these were some delicious donuts from friends, and they were right. The atmosphere was so quaint and charming, and you got to watch them make and fry your donuts all before handing them to you! So fun!
*One place I wish we would have gotten to eat at was White Duck Taco. It was recommended by lots of friends, but we ran out of time. So, the next time we are there or passing through, we'll definitely stop and eat there!
- Curio - an adorable little children's shop downtown that has some really unique gift items! We bought Baby L a stuffed animal while we were shopping.
- Nest Organics - We loved their children's items and found some really nice home goods too! Bryson purchased some blueberry apple cider vinegar, and we got Baby L some things, too!
- Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe - We love finding local bookstores while in towns, and this one is fun! Lots of new books and fun old ones, too!
- Black Mountain Yarn Shop - Not in Asheville, but a very charming yarn shop to go and explore! I've gotten back into crocheting before Baby L arrives, so I picked some beautiful gray cotton yarn from here! They also carry Fringe Supply Co., and I think we should carry their bags. How about you? Also, if you have the chance, go to Black Mountain. It is so charming! The general store and the outdoor store were 2 of our favorites while being there!
- Horse + Hero - With Bryson being a designer, you know we have to stop at any print shop while being in a new city! We got a couple of stickers and a print while shopping here!
Biltmore Candlelight Tour:
We had toured the Biltmore the last time we came to Asheville, but it was raining and in the Spring you want to be out in the gardens looking at the hundreds of tulips in bloom. So, when Bryson started to plan our trip, he knew I would love to go and tour it at night by the light of candles. It would be all decorated for Christmas (which I love), and I would have my dream experience of this destination!
We had received a package in the mail with our tickets that told us to come to the house about 45 minutes early to arrive at your destination because of the increased traffic. So, we left downtown with plenty of time to make it to our dinner reservations on the property at Cedric's Tavern.
We got to the gate around 6:30, and there was a REALLY long line that wasn't moving. We were confused, but not super discouraged quite yet. We made it to the gate keeper, and he said they had had 10,000 visitors that day, but the main road was flooded. They were rerouting people to their back entrance and to follow these instructions on how to get there. So, we followed the line, and we got in another line of people. Now, let's just keep this short, we waited in this line winding through the forest with really not knowing how long it was going to take to get there. By the time we made it to the parking lot it was 9:00. I was STARVING and needed to go to the bathroom like a typical pregnant lady, so we dashed and found some snacks and a bathroom.
They were honoring everyone's home tour tickets no matter when you were actually supposed to tour the home. Our time was 9:00, but they were just sending everyone through. Most of the restaurants on the property closed at 9 or before, so we were out of luck with our food reservations. Biltmore had fantastic customer service despite the circumstances. As fellow business owners that deal with the public, we totally understand and were happy nonetheless.
The house is magical if you've never been there. So. Many. Bedrooms. And bathrooms! My favorite part is going downstairs where the hired help lived because it reminds me of Downton Abbey. It's so wild to think that someone actually lived in house that large and had that many acres to their name. If you've never been, we promise it is worth the money.
We went back the next day to get to see the gardens and buy an ornament (our souvenir of choice). We also went to the winery which used to be the dairy barn back in the 1920s.
So, even though our experience was less than ordeal, we would definitely go back. We just happened to be there while it was raining (surprise, surprise), and some flooding happened!