…but our ultimate destination isn’t either of those places. It’s our Airstream’s old home Misty Mountain Camp Resort in Crozet, VA, for the Misty Mountain Music Festival, a weekend of Virginia performers and local food, beer, and crafts. This will be our second music festival with the Airstream; Lockn’ in 2016 was a wild experience.
[SPOILER: we went to Asheville and Fayetteville, but you should still read the rest of this post!]
So we figured we’d dust off our Airstreaming skills with a short trip before the festival. We considered a few options within several hours’ drive of Central VA:
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park, just over the TN line from western NC
- Fayetteville, WV, home of the New River Gorge and Babcock State Park
- Raleigh, NC: there’s supposedly a place to camp in town, making it easy to explore the city
We wanted hiking and mountains, so no Raleigh. That left:
- Stay at a park near Bryson City, like Big Bears, about a 5.5 hour drive away. To get us to Misty Mountain earlier, we could spend a night in AVL on the way home
- Campground location: three minutes from downtown Bryson City
- Breweries: two breweries in BC, Nantahala and Mountain Layers
- Tons of hiking nearby, in the National Park (but those trails are not Bugsy-friendly) and in Nantahala National Forest
- Babcock State Park has camping and hiking and is highly recommended by friends, but it’s 25 minutes into Fayetteville from there
- Rifrafters Campground is around three hours from home and 5 minutes to downtown Fayetteville
- Breweries: two breweries in Fayetteville, Bridge Brew Works and Freefolk, and a craft beer joint (but it’s a chain)
- Great hiking nearby: around the New River Gorge, of course–and some trails start in town
Where would you choose? Well, neither place is going anywhere, and it seems we’d need fewer nights in Fayetteville, so here’s a solution that will shock nobody who reads this blog: We’re combining a few days in Fayetteville with a few days in Asheville.
Trip To-Do List
We’ve had an Asheville to-do list since we started taking the Airstream there in 2016, and it has morphed over the years, but here’s its current state. We cheated on the Airstream earlier this year and drove down to meet J’s cousin from Atlanta for a weekend–and stayed in an actual hotel in downtown Asheville–so there are some new items on this list from that trip.
- Check out Oasis Taproom at the river outfitters next to the campground (summer only)
- Stop into Cascade Lounge just down street from the campground
- Have a fancy cocktail on the terrace at Grove Park Inn
- MG Road Bar & Lounge is closed BOO
- Try tacos at The Grey Eagle Taqueria: the music venue is also a taco joint, and the menu looked awesome.
- More tacos? Is it possible to eat too many tacos? Our friends liked Taco Billy, and breakfast tacos are always a good idea
- And of course, we already have dinner reservations at our favorite, Limones!
- Hike the trail we tried and failed to hike last year, and hit some farther afield breweries (including the Bryson City breweries mentioned above) on the way home. [It’s a long drive, and we’ll be driving a good bit overall on this trip, so we’ll probably choose a closer hike instead.]
- Hiking Looking Glass Rock (on a weekday to avoid the crowds) seems more likely this time
- We want to get out into different areas of Asheville than our usual haunts, so tootle around North Asheville, recommended by a local. Then I can have my Grove Park Inn cocktail.
For a small town in West Virginia, Fayetteville has a lot going on food- and drink-wise. In addition to the breweries listed above, these establishments are on our radar:
- The Station, for local and seasonal food
- The biergarten at Arrowhead Bike Farm (would have to be on Thursday for us as they’re only open Th-Sun) (maybe we should rent bikes!)
- The Burrito Bar at Breeze Hill, for burritos and beers with a view, just across the bridge from Fayetteville. They have live music and beer discounts on Thirsty Thursday
- Secret Sandwich Society: they’re 100% wind-powered! And have salads and fried Brussels sprouts and pimento cheese fries (among other delights) in addition to sandwiches
- Tudor’s Biscuit World is a regional chain that seems a bit like Biscuitville, and we’ve professed our love for Biscuitville before
What are we missing???
(and yes, I have a couple more locations to write about from our Maine trip…)
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