Asheville Bound
June 29, 2006 9:18 AM   Subscribe

TravelFilter: My wife & I A user and his wife are traveling to Asheville next Tuesday on July 4th for 3 days and I' they'd love to ask for suggestions on places to go/things to do (other than Biltmore). via MeTa
posted by geekyguy to Travel & Transportation around Asheville, NC (15 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Go rafting. Visit downtown Asheville and Hendersonville for nice cafes and great little stores with unique merchandise (you can spend hours in MAST General Store). Spend a day at Lake Lure.

Asheville is a fantastic place to spend a long weekend (I was just there memorial day weekend).
posted by necessitas at 9:27 AM on June 29, 2006

My family once did a long weekend in Asheville. The drive through Dollywood was excruciating then, but I feel my sense of kitsch has developed strongly enough that I might find it fun now.

But we had the most fun just sitting and watching the mist rise over the mountains.
posted by occhiblu at 9:34 AM on June 29, 2006

If you'll have access to a car, there are a lot of beautiful waterfalls in the areas surrounding Asheville. Googling something like "Asheville waterfalls" or "North Carolina waterfalls" will get you a bunch more links.
posted by needs more cowbell at 9:47 AM on June 29, 2006

For bars - Jack of the Wood, a nice, non smoking pub
Hannah Flanigan's - Faux Irish popular bar (may not be there anymore)
Barley's - Upstairs in the bar (downstairs is a pizza place) that has 50 taps
Mellow Mushroom is a southern pizza chain that's pretty good.

For clubs/venues - Stella Blue, Orange Peel.

Lexington Ave. has head shops, music stores, book stores, thrift stores, etc.
The rest of downtown is okay, but not as cool as Lexington Ave.

Focus on Downtown and you'll be fine.

For outdoorsy stuff, there's tons of hiking. Oh yeah, tons of pot and hippies.
posted by Destroid at 9:53 AM on June 29, 2006

My husband and I stopped into the Visitor Center when we first arrived, and picked up an Urban Trail map. We spent a very pleasant afternoon walking around the city and learning the history of the region. There is so much more to Asheville than the Biltmore (impressive as it may be).
posted by msali at 9:55 AM on June 29, 2006

I second Mellow Mushroom. Best calzones ever!

I also second the mountains and waterfalls. So amazing.
posted by bristolcat at 10:07 AM on June 29, 2006

eat at Tupelo Honey - it's right downtown, and open seeminly all hours
check out music at the orange peel - their calendar is usually online.
get lost in malaprop's bookstore on haywood street.
sit down anywhere downtown and watch the crazy array of people walking by. you can't beat the weather, and there sure to be some fun folks there.
posted by rubberfish at 10:17 AM on June 29, 2006

Thomas Wolfe House.
posted by marxchivist at 10:25 AM on June 29, 2006

I third Mellow Mushroom. Seriously, the calzones are incredible.
posted by necessitas at 10:26 AM on June 29, 2006

My idea of a fine evening in Asheville: The Laughing Seed, downtown, is one of the best (vegetarian) restaurants around and within a few blocks walking distance is Old Europe (a FABULOUS desert and coffee bar) to top off the dinner and Malaprops bookstoreto wander and browse and digest.

And don't forget to get out on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Driving it is great, but stop at the pull-offs and hiking trails off of it is even better.
posted by iurodivii at 10:43 AM on June 29, 2006

i second tupelo honey. also check out the hot dog king. fond childhood memories of that place. i fourth on the mellow mushroom.

there are some pretty good thrift stores in asheville. also, i would recommend hitting up the appalachian trail and taking a trip up to cold mountain and little switzerland, these areas are pretty high up, air feels great up there. just hit up the blue ridge parkway in general.
posted by kneelconqueso at 11:21 AM on June 29, 2006

If you're into waterfalls, head toward Brevard (about 25 min. away). Gorges State Park has a great hike that's about four miles and has some great falls and a swimmin' hole.
posted by Frank Grimes at 5:44 PM on June 29, 2006

I've made the drive to visit Asheville (from Charlottesville, VA) several times now, as I keep manufacturing excuses to visit. I can only second what others have said: Thomas Wolfe House, the outdoors opportunities in the area, and simply hanging out downtown.

(I'm partial to the Thomas Wolfe House because I once played Eugene Gant in "Tell About the South," a PBS movie about southern literature. The scene I was in was recorded on location.)
posted by waldo at 6:50 PM on June 29, 2006

If you like arts and crafts style furniture and architecture, you should visit the Grove Park Inn and ask to see one of the original rooms and the atrium.
posted by dmo at 6:39 AM on June 30, 2006

Ah. I live here & so does Moonbird. There are tons of things to do other than the Biltmore House.

1. Hiking. It's gorgeous here. Pisgah National Forest is all around; about a half hour drive takes you to the main entrance near Brevard. The hike up to John Rock or Looking Glass Rock is spectacular. Or you can pay money & do Chimney Rock, which is right near Lake Lure and you can go swimming afterwards. Not up for hiking? Drive.
2. Rafting, canoeing, kayaking. We're a center for river sports.
3. Food. Lots and lots of great restaurants downtown. Wander around downtown. It's safe, and on Friday and some Saturday nights, there's always a big drum circle in Pritchard Park.
4. Beer. Asheville is blessed by four microbreweries and a plethora of good bars for all age groups.
5. Live music. Everywhere, all the time. Check out the Orange Peel, the Gray Eagle, Jack of the Wood, the Westville Pub for their schedules. Jack is famed for jam sessions; you'd be amazed at who might show up for the Thursday night bluegrass jams. Summer Saturday nights is Shindig on the Green, which shouldn't be missed.
6. Art. Downtown and the River District are full of galleries and there's also the Asheville Art Museum
and the Black Mountain College Museum and Art Center.

I drag all out of town visitors up to the Grove Park Inn to see sunset over a wildly overpriced drink on the patio because the combination of the architecture and the view is just amazing. Also, Fourth of July fireworks? The best place is on top of the Biltmore Parking deck, right by Pack Place.
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:06 AM on June 30, 2006 [6 favorites]

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