Deciding what to do in just a single 24-hour period in Asheville, North Carolina definitely requires some advance planning. The city offers so much in terms of the arts, the outdoors and top-notch dining that it can be hard to squeeze everything in within just a single day. But I decided to give it a try, knowing that I’d likely be back again soon to sample everything that Asheville has to offer.
Early morning in Asheville
The one iconic tourist destination in Asheville that I knew couldn’t be missed is the Biltmore Estate, a truly stunning 250-room chateau modeled on the great castles of Renaissance-era France. While the price of admission is a bit steep ($55 for adults), it’s worth every dollar to see the luxurious life of the legendary Vanderbilt family. The estate is set on 8,000 acres of land, so don’t worry – there’s plenty to see and do for the whole morning. In fact, a tour of the estate took up the better part of several hours, and by lunchtime, it was time to check out the city’s renowned foodie offerings.
Lunch in Asheville
Prior to arriving in Asheville, I had already checked out a few of the city’s more notable farm-to-table restaurants, and already had one in mind: Cúrate. The restaurant, helmed by celebrity chef Katie Button and housed in a former 1927 bus depot, specializes in creating Spanish-style tapas menus with local ingredients. My choice for the day was a mouth-watering dish of Jamón Iberico. (Pro tip: If visiting Asheville, call ahead to reserve a seat.)
Afternoon in Asheville
After lunch, it was time to check out the city’s burgeoning arts scene. Luckily, most of the city’s best galleries and art studios are housed within a one-mile region known as the River Arts District. Similar to other cities around the nation, Asheville has encouraged the creation of a thriving arts scene in abandoned industrial buildings since the 1980’s. This was a fantastic opportunity to check out some up-and-coming stars in the North Carolina arts world. If you’re planning a future trip to Asheville, you might want to consider options like Warehouse Studios and the Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts.
Early evening in Asheville
Asheville also prides itself on being “Beer City USA,” so early evening was a great chance to check out a local craft beer establishment known as Burial Beer Company (locals apparently refer to it as just “Burial”). The bar, located along the South Slope, has some of the best Belgian craft beers in the nation – a fact made all the more astounding by the fact that it’s housed in a former auto repair shop.
Late evening in Asheville
Rooftop terraces are becoming a “thing” in Asheville, with one of the most popular being SkyBar, which is located atop a stunning Beaux Arts building with magnificent views of the area’s mountains. A few cocktails later, a tip from a garrulous local led me to Sovereign Remedies – a restaurant with a modern cocktail bar located in a 20th century pharmacy building. Some of the concoctions served here are references to this former incarnation of the pharmacy, which makes every new drink a experience in itself.
By now, you can probably imagine how this one-day saga is going to end. Yes, that’s right, with a mental declaration that I’d be coming back soon to Asheville – next time to sample some of the city’s amazing outdoor recreation options, like hiking the great Blue Ridge mountains.
Just click here for more about Asheville, NC.