With so many restaurants, entertainment venues, and outdoor escapes across Asheville, you can spend a lifetime exploring this region without seeing it all. Thankfully, with a clear itinerary, you can experience the highlights over a long weekend – and we’re here to help. Just use this three-day plan to get a taste of what this city is all about and make the most of your next trip to North Carolina.
Your first day in Asheville is best spent getting to know the city and seeing all the wonders of the downtown area. As you explore its beautiful streets, you’ll quickly understand why everyone adores this region so much. Remember to leave a little bit of time on your schedule to stop in at the many locally owned and operated boutiques you see along the way.
One day one, hop out of bed and get on over to Tupelo Honey for a breakfast to remember. They specialize in scratch-made Southern food, like fried green tomatoes, fried chicken and biscuits, and pecan pie pancakes. If you really want to go all out, get the traditional breakfast with a big stack of sweet potato pancakes on the side.
With a stop at Curate, you can gobble up small bite delights made using fresh, local ingredients. You can start with an array of snacks, like fried Marcona almonds, Galician style octopus, and vinegar-cured anchovies. Then, get tapas loaded up with the dreamiest flavors, including charcoal-grilled trout and creamy mushroom soup.
At Limones, you can try unique Mexican-French fusion dishes that take the classics to the next level. You’ll want to grab a starter, like avocado tartare with smoked salmon, to kick off dinner right. Then, treat yourself to a platter of goodness to fill up your belly right. They have lamb ragout, grilled fish, and butternut squash ravioli, just to name a few things.
Things to Do
In between all your stops for excellent food and drinks, enjoy these fun activities:
- Grab a seat on the LaZoom Comedy Bus Tour
- Check out the River Arts District to see local talent in action
- Visit breweries all across the downtown area and beyond
Then, rest up for day two because it’s time to explore the great outdoors.
On your second day in town, you’ll want to venture out to explore the popular Pisgah National Forest to soak in amazing views. As you hike through the trails, you’ll get to burn off all that excited energy while enjoying photo opportunities galore. Then, you can return to the city for a delightful lunch before soaking your tired muscles in the hot springs.
The Another Broken Egg Café serves up classic breakfast dishes that will stick to your ribs and leave you full for hours afterward. They have all the fan favorites, including bananas foster pancakes, crab cake benedict, and omelets of all kinds. For an out of this world flavor explosion, get the decadent lobster and brie omelet with a crab cake on the side.
Upon returning from the forest, you can satisfy your enormous appetite with a trip to Farm Burger. Using only local ingredients, they whip up delightful creations, like the chorizo patty melt, sunny side up burger, and house-made vegan burger. Just don’t forget to pair your sandwich of choice with an order of their garlic fries and onion rings.
When you walk into Buxton Hall Barbecue, the amazing scent of smoked meat will instantly whet your appetite. You can get all the best dishes here, including smoked chicken wings, pulled pork sandwiches, and an exquisite barbecue hash. Don’t let the Buxton poutine pass you by, which features waffle fries covered in BBQ hash, and pimento cheese.
Things to Do
To see the true beauty of the region, you’ll have to head out for a trip through the Pisgah National Forest. If you have time, you can also check out the North Carolina Arboretum. Before you pick up dinner, you’ll want to visit the Asheville Salt Cave for a long soak and massage.
On your final day in Asheville, plan to dedicate your time to checking out the rest of Asheville and exploring the Biltmore. If you didn’t have enough time to visit the North Carolina Arboretum after breakfast is the perfect time to go.
At the Early Girl Eatery, you get the full farm to table experience plus quality service to boot. They only use cage-free eggs plus many other organic local ingredients to create their dishes. On their menu, they have tons of tantalizing creations, such as biscuit French toast, spinach and potato cakes, and southern fried chicken and biscuits.
A visit to the Chestnut for lunch gives you a chance to enjoy handcrafted dishes served with tasty cocktails. You’ll love starting your meal with hand-cut truffle fries or a bright citrus salad. Get a cocktail or mocktail to sip on right away, so you can soak in all its sweet and tangy flavors. For your main entrée, grab some Cajun fish, Kobe burger, or herb-grilled quail to tantalize your tastebuds.
When the hunger pangs start up in earnest as you explore the Biltmore, you can get your fill at The Dining Room. At this onsite restaurant, they make all their dishes using ingredients grown and raised on the estate. Their most popular dishes include creamed chipped beef, French onion soup, and filet mignon. If you want to go all out, you’ll absolutely need to try their grilled swordfish.
Things to Do
To end your Asheville visit right, you’ll want to spend the bulk of the day exploring the Biltmore. At this spectacular estate, there are endless activities to enjoy, including:
- Tours of the grounds
- Garden walks
- Horseback riding
- Spa trips
- Shopping excursions
- Playground fun
Don’t forget to check out the farmyard while you’re there to meet the livestock, including hens, lambs, and calves.
By the end of your trip, you’ll have tasted all the best flavors of Asheville in between taking in all the amazing sights. You can then do it all over again for your next trip or build a wholly different itinerary by selecting from all the other awesome restaurants and things to do.