Asheville Favorites

We first wrote this post in 2018 after our fifth Asheville visit, but we’ve kept it up to date with our favorites since then!

asheville rooftop sunset

As of this writing, we’ve taken the Airstream to Asheville ELEVEN times:

  1. Two days in Asheville (and our beer notes from the first trip) at the start of The Big Trip in 2016
  2. 36 hours in Asheville at the start of our Austin loop in 2017
  3. Five days in Asheville, just to go, in April 2017
  4. Eight days in Asheville, again as the sole destination, in October 2017
  5. Three days in Asheville, coming home from our Big Bend Loop trip in 2018
  6. Five days in Asheville, as prep for our late-2018 Big Trip #2
  7. Three days in Asheville, on our way to the Misty Mountain Music Festival in 2019
  8. Two nights in Asheville, to wrap up Big Trip #3 in 2020
  9. Two nights in Asheville, as part of our RV Caravan with Friends in May 2021
  10. Three days in Asheville, as part of our Quickie Fall Loop in November 2021
  11. One night in Asheville, as part of our Florida in January trip in December 2021
  12. Two nights in Asheville, as part of our Spring quickie to the mountains in April 2023
  13. Two nights in Asheville, as part of our Fall quickie to the mountains in November 2023

For the last several Asheville trip write-ups, I’ve promised to stop just throwing information at the blog and organize our Asheville favorites into a (hopefully) more useful format. Here it is! Let us know what we’ve missed!

Favorite Campground

bugsy relaxing in the airstream yard

Stay at Wilson’s Riverfront RV Park, and get a spot on the water. Bear Creek is a lovely second choice, but we really love being riverfront at Wilson’s, and we REALLY love being on the French Broad River Greenway. Wilson’s is a bit closer to downtown, too.

  1. Wilson’s Riverfront RV Park
  2. Bear Creek RV Park and Campground

Favorite Breweries

burial brewery

There are so many to choose from! And that’s a good problem to have. During Asheville visit #5 I had my at-the-time favorite beer ever at Burial, and I recorded this quote from J: “I think this is the consensus number one brewery.” We also return again and again to Hi-Wire‘s South Slope location for its quality beer and cool atmosphere. Wedge’s Foundation location has a great outdoor space surrounded by River Arts District graffiti murals. For delicious food with your beer, we like Wicked Weed and Sierra Nevada. In addition to the Wicked Weed’s original location with excellent “regular” beers (we love their pales and IPAs), the Wicked Weed Funkatorium has a wide range of highly-rated sours. If you want to do a beer crawl along the Greenway from Wilson’s on your beater bike that lives on the back of your Airstream and somehow still works, head to New Belgium and then across the river to Wedge‘s Wedge Studio location, which often has live music. New to this list is New Origin, which we greatly enjoyed during our most recent trips, visit #13 and visit #14.

  1. New Origin
  2. Burial
  3. Hi-Wire
  4. Wicked Weed
  5. Bhramari (RIP :(:(:(:()

Favorite Cocktail Bars

sovereign remedies

Sometimes you need to start the evening with a fancy drink in a sophisticated setting. Or at least I do. We’ve especially enjoyed the creative concoctions we sipped at the bar at these two establishments, giving Sovereign Remedies the edge because the bar area is really lovely:

  1. Sovereign Remedies
  2. The Golden Pineapple
  3. Imperial Life
  4. The Times at S&W
  5. Antidote
  6. Little Jumbo

Favorite Restaurants

dinner at limones

If you’ve read this blog much at all, this list won’t come as a big surprise. We used to try to eat at Limones each time we visited Asheville, but now our go-to is The Admiral. The Bull & Beggar is new to this list after last visit and we’ll be back for sure. We usually end up at White Duck each visit, and get carryout salads for the long drive home from Chai Pani. Is it boring to be so predictable? NO. It’s delicious.

  1. The Admiral (our current go-to, “new American” food, super service)
  2. The Bull & Beggar (European-inspired Appalachian cuisine; whatever that means, it’s fab)
  3. Chai Pani (Indian street food)
  4. White Duck Tacos (yes, it’s a chain, but it’s a small regional chain based in Asheville. We hit it anywhere we can find it, like Greenville SC, Johnson City TN (twice), and Charleston SC)
  5. Limones (Mexican-French. It works, trust me.)
  6. Cúrate (Spanish tapas)

Favorite Music Venues

dark star orchestra

Asheville is a live music town, and we’ve not experienced much of that scene. We’ve only been to these three venues in Asheville, and we’ve only been to each once, but they were all fantastic places to see a band. Orange Peel and Grey Eagle are small enough to feel intimate but large enough to attract big names, with local beer on tap, and surprisingly delicious tacos at Grey Eagle. Grey Eagle Outpost is an outdoor venue on the river NEXT DOOR to Wilson’s campground. We’re looking forward to spending more time at the Outpost!

  1. The Orange Peel
  2. The Grey Eagle
  3. Grey Eagle Outpost

Favorite Runs

Bugsy on the French Broad Greenway

I can’t rave about it enough: the Greenway is a glorious path along the river, and it goes THROUGH Wilson’s campground. The front of your trailer will be no more than 20 feet from the trail. We run Bugsy on the Greenway multiple times each visit, and love to ride our crappy beater bikes along the Greenway to breweries. Craven Gap is a mountain trail a short drive from downtown if you want a bit more wilderness, and the Biltmore has a network of hiking trails that made for a great Bugsy-friendly run.

  1. French Broad River Greenway
  2. Craven Gap
  3. Trails on the Biltmore property

Favorite Hikes

hiking near asheville

I see two problems with the hiking scene around Asheville: 1) there are SO many trails to choose from that it’s hard to decide where to go, and 2) there are SO many people who also want to see the gorgeous views that the most popular trails can be really crowded. When we hiked the first two trails below, they weren’t very busy at all (did we just luck out?) and they were beautiful, rewarding hikes. Max Patch was full of people on the bald because non-hikers can park near the top for easy access to the incredible scenery; it made the list anyway because the views from the bald are mesmerizing, and we enjoyed the hike through the woods to get there.

  1. Bearwallow Mountain and Trombadore Trail
  2. John Rock/Cedar Rock Falls
  3. Max Patch

I’ve started compiling our Asheville hikes on this page.

Favorite Art

blue spiral 1 gallery

Asheville is full of art studios (often open to the public) and galleries showcasing enormous local and regional talent. Our favorite gallery in town is Blue Spiral 1; we stop by every time we visit Asheville to see what’s new.

  1. Blue Spiral 1
  2. Haen Gallery
  3. River Arts District – specifically Wedge Studios and Marquee

This list is a work in progress! Our Asheville to-do list keeps growing, and I’ll update our Favorites as we rack up more experiences in this wonderful city. Please leave any suggestions in the comments!

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