Destination Inspiration: Asheville, North Carolina, US

Destination Inspiration: Asheville, North Carolina, US

Backed by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is popping up on the millennial radar thanks to farm-to-table restaurants, a vibrant arts scene and back-to-nature vibes. We’ve got the lowdown on North Carolina’s up-and-coming destination, including the hotels to book, beer gardens to visit and when to plan your trip.

Where?

Asheville, North Carolina, US

Why now?

A concrete jungle this is not. Encircled by the Blue Ridge
Mountains, Asheville is quickly becoming a destination for
millennials lured in by boutique boltholes and farm-to-table
restaurants. Expect bougie back-to-nature vibes. Plus, the city
centre is robust with live music, outdoor beer gardens and a unique
arts scene. Despite its southern location, Asheville is known for
its progressive ideals and strives to promote inclusivity.


Don’t miss…

An ideal day in Asheville would consist of the following: wake
up early to visit the historic house museum of Biltmore estate,
where you’ll gawp at 16th-century tapestries and works by Renoir
before exploring 8,000 acres of gardens threaded with trails for
hiking and biking. We suggest going in the
morning to avoid queues.

Head back into the centre to tour shops peddling jewellery,
ceramics and paintings in the River Arts
District
. To cap the day off, make your way to Asheville Music
Hall
for some live soul, bluegrass music and a large beer
selection.

Where to stay

Although it’s easy to experience both urban and rural activities
in Asheville, we recommend choosing your accommodation according to
what you want your trip to be centred around. Leaning towards a
restful weekend? Check out Shoji Spa and Lodge, a 25-minute drive out of
the city centre. One of its Japanese-style outdoor therapeutic salt hot tubs
is the perfect place to take a deep breath and relax. If you’d
rather experience the city’s assets, try The Windsor
Boutique Hotel
in the heart of downtown Asheville; you’ll be
minutes’ walk away from the best restaurants and bars.

Where to go for dinner…

Asheville’s culinary scene is fast approaching the status of the
country’s larger cities thanks to its strong farm-to-fork
establishments. Make your way to Rhubarb for
modern Appalachian cuisine made with locally sourced, seasonal
produce.


And a drink…

With some of America’s most breweries per capita – there are
23 breweries (and counting) in the city – Asheville’s Brewery
District is a must-visit. Our top pick? Asheville
Brewing Company
. Its outdoor seating area is the closest you’ll
get to a decent beer garden without crossing the Atlantic.

Who to take with you

Someone who won’t get bored trawling Asheville’s artistic
enclaves and who will be thrilled tucking into a glazed rack of
ribs at a Carolina county throwdown. Given Asheville’s reputation
for barbecue and beers, this probably isn’t the best spot for
vegans or health nuts.

When to go

Keep in mind that Asheville is located in the south. To avoid
the sweltering heat and humidity, it’s best to visit from either
March
to May,
or September
through November.
The summer months are a no-go if you want to actually survive time
spent outdoors.

Essentials to pack

Asheville is very walkable. Whether you choose to embark on a
long walk or simply pootle about the city by foot, chic trainers
should be the first thing you pack. A classic pair of Veja kicks are perfect.

How to get there

Asheville Regional Airport has direct flights from most major US
cities. If not, you can fly to Charlotte Douglas International
Airport, and then drive two hours.

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