bugsy running on lone rock beach with the airstream and f-150 in the background

Three days in Asheville, NC (visit #5)–Big Bend Loop

We visited Asheville in January 2018 as part of our Big Bend Loop trip. We’ve posted a bunch of times about Asheville; check out all the posts here.

airstream dinette by french broad river in asheville

Yes, Asheville again. I’ll keep this short since we keep going to Asheville and visiting a lot of the same places, and I promise to write an Asheville Favorites post soon! [IT’S HERE! I WROTE IT! FINALLY!]

Clearly we love taking the Airstream to Asheville. Read about our other visits below, or just jump to the Favorites post!

Two Days in Asheville (visit #1)

36 Hours in Asheville (visit #2)

Five Days in Asheville (visit #3)

Eight Days in Asheville (visit #4)


dog and her airstream wilson's riverfront RV park asheville

Park on the bank of the French Broad River, and run/walk/bike the French Broad River Greenway from your front door at Wilson’s Riverfront RV Park.



Imperial Life is an intimate, lively place for creative cocktails. We’re thinking about returning to this fun spot for dinner next time, the menu looked great.

We wanted a cocktail before the show at The Grey Eagle (more about that below), and Google told us the closest bar is Crucible Bar. Turns out it’s a private club, but one of those private clubs that you pay a dollar to join: the law says that 30% of a bar’s revenue must come from food sales, unless you’re a private club. Brewery taprooms are exempt too, by the way. We really liked the dark, laid-back vibe there. Too bad I lost my membership card so will have to shell out another dollar next time.

I love cocktails with a view, so we tried Capella on 9 on top of a downtown hotel, but bailed based on the generic hotel loungeness of the space. On a nice day, the views would be lovely (it wasn’t a nice day when we visited), so we may try it again.


Perhaps J will write something more eloquent, but I jotted down something he said as we drank beer at Burial: “I think this is the consensus number one brewery.” I concurred, as I sipped the best beer ever: One For You, a Helles with coconut, pineapple, vanilla, and lupulin powder. SO GOOD.

We couldn’t resist stopping for a tasting flight at good old Wicked Weed (now available in Virginia, hallelujah!).

hi-wire brewing asheville

We love Hi-Wire’s South Slope taproom and enjoyed a couple Lo-Pitch (for me) and Hi-Pitch (for J) beers while chatting with the friendly regulars and beertenders.


Ultra Coffeebar in the River Arts District has become our go-to for coffee and wifi.


limones asheville

If we’re in Asheville, we’re eating at Limones. My favorites there are ceviche, scallops, and margaritas.

We’d had cocktails at the old-timey downstairs bar at Sovereign Remedies, and after seeing the menu and getting recommendations from locals, we had dinner in the dark room upstairs. The food is creative and clever, served tapas style. Delicious.

Our last morning in town we wanted to leave Asheville on a high note, aka stuffed with biscuits, but Biscuit Head was closed for a staff party. Plan B breakfast at Ultra Coffeebar was somehow just ok–it smells incredible in there and the breakfast menu is full of great stuff. We got sandwiches from there to take hiking the day before and they were good. I think we were just disappointed we weren’t eating giant biscuits that morning.


I mentioned the wonderful French Broad River Greenway already.

At home in VA, we are enthusiastic clients of a boutique fitness studio called MADabolic, and were happy to get in two workouts at the Asheville location (we also went in Austin; so far all locations have been fantastic). If you live near one of their locations, you should check it out.

soco falls maggie valley

The hike I chose for this visit is outside the driving radius from Asheville that we usually allow, but it sounded great and we could brewery-hop all the way home. But winter foiled our plans: the hike was closed (it’s on private property)! Plan B: the Blue Ridge Parkway was closed! Consolation prize: we stopped at the beautiful Soco Falls on the way home, but it’s on the side of the road, with only a hill scramble and no real hike.

trail run with dog at craven gap asheville

So in lieu of hiking, that afternoon I took Bugsy on a trail run at Craven Gap. It’s 15 minutes from the campground, and if you take Town Mountain Road, the drive is stunning.


We went to Blue Spiral 1, as we do each time we visit Asheville. We also popped into the Haen Gallery (we freaking love the painting–yes, it’s a painting–of the red haired girl) and the American Folk Art gallery (they carry some Cornbread paintings, an old favorite of ours).

destroyer at grey eagle asheville

A driver of the timing of this trip’s itinerary was the Destroyer show at The Grey Eagle. Loved the venue, loved the show, love Destroyer so much that we saw them again the next night in our next Airstream destination!

Next time

Shouldn’t the to-do list be getting shorter, not longer, the more times we visit? We keep getting new recommendations from locals and the internet.

  • Tacos at The Grey Eagle: the music venue is also a taco joint, and the menu looked awesome.
  • Dinner at Imperial Life
  • Dinner at Rhubarb (they were closed the week we were in Asheville)
  • Dinner at En La Calle, the little sister of Limones
  • Hike the trail we tried and failed to hike, and hit some farther afield breweries on the way home: Nantahala, Mountain Layers, Innovation, Frog Level, Bear Waters
  • Have a drink while enjoying live music at Five Walnut
  • Drink a specialty cocktail at The Crow and Quill
  • Dinner at the bar at The Admiral
  • Play retro video games and drink beer at Sly Grog Lounge

See you soon, Asheville!


5 responses to “Three days in Asheville, NC (visit #5)–Big Bend Loop”

  1. […] specifically went to the Carrboro area to see a band we love, Destroyer, whom we followed from Asheville. A lovely bonus to this stop is that my mom, sister, and nephew live nearby and could pop over for […]

  2. […] Three days in Asheville, coming home from our Big Bend Loop trip in 2018 […]

  3. […] 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 […]

  4. […] visit #2 and visit #3!) (and we keep going back so you can read about visit #4 and #5 or get the highlights in our Asheville Favorites […]

  5. […] at Zambra, we continued our tour of old haunts with a drink at Imperial, last enjoyed by us during Asheville visit #5 in 2018. We had mistakenly thought Imperial had closed in 2020 when its downstairs partner restaurant went […]

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