The Airstream had been parked all summer after we got home from our Maine trip, alone and lonely (except for the collection of black widows hanging out around the chocks and levelers), until we wanted to take it to the Misty Mountain Music Festival in Crozet, VA… and if we were dusting off the spiders to go to Misty Mountain, we figured we might as well make a longer trip of it. I wasn’t going to bother writing about the Asheville half of the week since I talk about Asheville too much here already, but looking back at the photos I realized we hit some noteworthy new spots, so you’ll have to suffer through yet another Asheville post.
Wilson’s, of course. We’re not used to being in Asheville in warm weather and the action on the river made us dream about bringing kayaks with us sometime. And rollerblades (do people still rollerblade?) for the paved part of the French Broad River Greenway and to play in the Mellowdrome next door in Carrier Park! Also: work is underway on a multi-use path along Lyman St in the River Arts District that will connect to the existing greenway system and give us biking access from the campground to the southern part of the RAD. Exciting! Need new cruiser bikes!
Hiking is a must when visiting Asheville. The 6.5-mile out-and-back to Looking Glass Rock is lovely and wasn’t crowded on a summer Monday. Be sure to follow the short spur trail from the helipad leading to Lower Looking Glass Cliffs. Here’s a photo from there–>
The hike has a creek for dog-watering along the lower half of the trail. If you’re inclined, you can hit some breweries on the way home; read about our beer stops in the area on a previous trip here.
We visited some old favorites:
Burial has the best outdoor space for chilling on a nice night. We always like their IPAs, and I enjoyed a saison this visit too.
Bhramari has become one of our must-visit breweries in Asheville. They had two collaboration IPAs on tap that blew my little mind: one brewed with Skittles and the other a sour melon milkshake IPA. Not for everyone, but most definitely for me.
Hi-Wire in South Slope is another regular beer stop for us. We like the dark, industrial taproom/brewery and there’s an IPA for me (Lo-Pitch) and an IPA for J (Hi-Pitch). This time we tried a couple seasonal hazy IPAs that were also delightful.
And we picked up some new breweries! Last time we visited Asheville (without Bugsy and the Airstream, so I’m not supposed to talk about it here…), we met a guy at Appalachian Vinter who told us to try Eurisko and Zillacoah. Ok!
Eurisko in the South Slope beer neighborhood is a cool spot with a great patio. It was quiet in the early evening, and the My Little Coconut DIPA, brewed with citrus and 80 lbs of coconut, hit the spot for me. Yes, I have a type.
Zillacoah has a big open play area by the river, but we though the beer was just ok. We’re IPA people (currently, at least) and they had just one meh IPA on tap.
Finally, we popped into Collaboratory, a collaborative experimental brewery, with high hopes. The jarring sports bar atmosphere and disappointing tap list were not for us, so we left. No offense.
We had to get a cocktail at our favorite, Sovereign Remedies. My seasonal cocktail with tomatoes was so good.
Antidote has been on our radar since we noticed it under construction after a workout last year at MADabolic across the street. The beautiful old-timey brick interior is cozy, and the cocktails were crafty, but rooftop bar is what would bring us back. Antidote is a private club, so be prepared to buy a membership. It costs $0.01.
And we had one last cocktail at The Times at S&W, inside probably my favorite Asheville landmark, the Art Deco S&M Building. Both drinks were too sweet, but it’s a sleek little bar, and soon it will be neighbors with a taproom and Chai Pani (see below for a rave about that) sibling. So that’s exciting! The Times is also a one-cent private club.
Our favorite coffeeshop for working in Asheville is Summit Coffee in the River Arts District, near the campground. My impulsively-bought pistachio latte (pistachio latte??) was super, and while crowded, the cafe was pleasant and not noisy. The patio is big and inviting, but it was too hot to sit out there when I visited.
I’ll get the boring stuff out of the way first: we always have dinner at Limones when we’re in Asheville. This trip we doubled up and also had dinner next door at the much less crowded (and therefore way easier to get a table) sister restaurant, En la Calle. SO GOOD. Definitely get the ceviche at either (or both).
Tacos at Grey Eagle Taqueria had been on our list since we saw Destroyer play the venue and discovered a taco menu. Our lunch tacos (two of the meats for J, a shrimp and a veggie for me) were good, but we didn’t jump for joy. The roasted cauliflower taco was the most interesting of the bunch.
Last, but definitely not least, dinner on the sidewalk patio at Chai Pani. OH MY. The patio was tiny and packed, and the service was slow, but the food was SO tasty. It’s Indian street food, which is a delight on its own, but surprise: they have a fabulous salad, which is what we were after that night. We started our meal with pani puri, and next time when we’re not in a salad mood we’ll get our favorite pav bhaji. The salads were so good that J ordered a second salad to eat on the drive the next day.
I’ve been hassling J about driving up to Grove Park Inn, just north of downtown, to see the historic hotel and maybe even enjoy the city views with a cocktail on the terrace. We took Bugsy up with us to stroll through the woods on this short loop, which had no views despite being called Sunset Trail. The forest was lovely and the trail well maintained. We finished at the neat old stone lodge and after walking through and admiring the view, felt no need to spend extra time there cocktailing. The neighborhood surrounding Grove Park Inn has gorgeous stately homes if you’re into ogling houses.
Yes, we are into ogling houses, so we popped over to the Lake View Park neighborhood based on this list of cool Asheville neighborhoods. We were hoping to dump the truck and walk around the Beaver Lake, but there are a lot of rules: the lake is private property belonging to the neighborhood residents, and it seems you need a $100 permit to walk your dog there. Huh? We drove down a couple streets and the houses and views were lovely. Too bad we had to stay in the car.
And we stopped by our favorite gallery in an artsy town, Blue Spiral 1.
Lots to look forward to for our next visit! What are we missing?
- RosaBees for tiki cocktails and Hawaiian food in the RAD
- The Golden Pineapple, a new spot for cocktails in West Asheville
- Dinner at the bar at The Admiral, in West Asheville; according to Lonely Planet, it looks divey outside but is one of NC’s best restaurants inside (the driver who recommended it said to sit at the bar for better ambiance)
- Reimagined soul food at Benne on Eagle, whose chef did stints at the acclaimed restaurants Blue Hill at Stone Barns in NY and Chef & the Farmer in Kinston, NC
- Cocktails at Rankin Vault Cocktail Lounge, the self-proclaimed home of the best cocktails in Asheville. I’m skeptical, though, after seeing their website
- Detox with smoothies or avocado toast at Elements, recommended by a fitness blogger I follow