I’ve recently returned from a two night stay in Asheville, where we took full advantage of this open-minded North Carolina town. Trip highlights included:
- Dinner at Curate, a much-celebrated, Spanish-style tapas restaurant. Our food memories of Spain made this stop a must, and we couldn’t pass up the fantastic jamon, pan con tomate and machego. The patatas bravas were a highlight, and we added in the berenjenas to up our vegetable intake. Make reservations.
- Brewery Tour at New Belgium’s eastern brewing establishment. We stumbled into the beginning of this *free* tour featuring *free* beer, and it was an absolute delight. Their facility is gorgeous, with inspiring examples of reused materials taken right from former mess of a building site, and it was intriguing to learn about this ESOP company from our enthusiastic tour guide (I was just checking their job site, TBH). The facility sits riverside, and you can visit the taproom and patio when your 90-minute tour ends.
- Sierra Nevada Brewing’s eastern brewery (just outside of Asheville in Mills River). Folks, this is a jaw-dropping brewery. Sierra Nevada spared NO expense, and you can tell from architectural details that surround even the entrance. And if you’re not a beer drinker, go anyways! Behind the monstrous brewing facility lies a huge outdoor “patio” featuring fire pits, corn hole, endless seating, and happy people with their happy pups.
- Waterfall-hunting in DuPont State Forest. Asheville is surrounded by mountain peaks and all activities outdoorsy, and it is difficult to choose your hike on a limited schedule We traveled just over an hour south to DuPont State Forest seeking spring’s waterfalls. DuPont features falls or sparkling water around nearly every turn of its well-maintained trail system. Although you will share the trail with others, it still looks, smells and feels like a natural escape.
And don’t forget that the city itself is walkable with many other food, beer and arts options. I was sad to miss out on the River Arts District this time, but we can always go back!