Asheville Journals

A Totally Terrific, Trippy-Dippy Town for the Weekend

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A May 2010 trip to Asheville by barbara

View from One Point on the Blue Ridge Parkway Photo, Asheville, North Carolina More Photos
Quote: Two couples in NC on a rainy Memorial Day weekend who didn't manage to fit in a trip to the Biltmore

Hotel Indigo

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Hotel | "A Chain Boutique "

Hotel Indigo Photo, Asheville, North Carolina
Quote:
On my second trip to Asheville, I chose my hotel based on three things alone: location, location, location. I was running the Asheville Half Marathon, and I wanted to be able to stroll to the start and limp from the finish back to my hotel room. Therefore, I took a look at the Hotel Indigo. Owned by the same folks who own Holiday Inn, this is a boutique brand, but I'd never stayed at one before. In the end, I found out I'd made an excellent choice and not just because of the race. First things, first: How was the location? Park your car in the hotel's secured parking deck and leave it whenever you want to do anything downtown. The Hotel Indigo is within close walking di...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 26, 2010

Hotel Indigo
151 Haywood Street
Asheville, North Carolina 28801
(888) 517-0151

Renaissance Asheville

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Hotel | "A Comfortable Place"

Renaissance Asheville Photo, Asheville, North Carolina
Quote:
We chose to stay at the Renaissance because the beds tend to be more comfortable than some other brands, and the location can't be beat if you are spending time downtown. Next to the Thomas Wolfe Historic House, we were within walking distance to most everything we wanted to visit. This was great at night when we knew everyone could have an extra beer and not worry about driving. Additionally, while we didn't go to the Biltmore on this trip, there is even a trolley tour that stops at the Renaissance so you can hop on this (for a fee) and get a ride out to the mansion if you don't want to drive. A little more expensive than some of the other hotel brands in the area, the Renaissance is part of the ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 2, 2010

Renaissance Asheville
31 Woodfin Street
Asheville, North Carolina 28801
828-252-8211

Grey Eagle (The)

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Attraction | "Music or Dancing"

Grey Eagle (The)  Photo, Asheville, North Carolina
Quote:
The Grey Eagle books good music. You can go here to listen to some live tunes many nights of the week. Visit their website to see who is on the schedule. However, you might also go here for an interesting experience that is pure Asheville: contra dancing. What is contra dancing?Originally English "country dancing" that the French called contredans, think about any BBC special you've ever seen with women in dresses, shaking their bustles, trading partners on a ballroom floor. Of course, "BBC" may make this dance sound boring, but keep reading. It's not. It's a hoot, actually. If you're not into watching old movies based on Jane Austen books so don't k...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 2, 2010

Grey Eagle (The)
185 Clingman Avenue
Asheville, North Carolina
(828) 232-5800

Three Asheville Attractions for FREE

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Story/Tip

View from One Point on the Blue Ridge Parkway Photo, Asheville, North Carolina
Quote:
If you're short on cash during your visit, no worries. You don't have to go to the Biltmore to have a good time. There's plenty to see in Asheville that won't cost you much money. 1. You're right by the Blue Ridge Parkway, which offers hundreds of miles of gorgeous scenery and hiking. Of course, you're not going to be able to go the full length of this road, but you can hop in your car and go for a very pleasant drive, stopping at viewpoints along the way or with the plan to park and hike in the woods. We enjoyed a short drive through tunnels, along the curving road, and I could imagine just how brilliant this would be in the autumn when the leaves are on fire. 2....Read More

Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site

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Attraction | "A Writer's House"

Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site Photo, Asheville, North Carolina
Quote:
First, I should say the Sandburg home is not actually in Asheville. Rather, it's a short drive (30 minutes) away from Asheville in Flat Rock, so you'll need a car to visit this site.Second, I am not as familiar with Sandburg's work as I am with many other writers. He did not move to the South until he was in his sixties. His wife was an accomplished woman in her own right, and she needed land to expand a prize winning goat herd. She chose to buy a house in North Carolina, so the whole family--including three grown children and two grandkids--packed up and moved. Third, we were inspired to go to the house more for a folk music festival on Memorial Day than for the house it...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 2, 2010

Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
81 Carl Sandburg Lane
Asheville, North Carolina 28731
(828) 693-4178

Woolworth Walk

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Attraction | "Shopping for Art in Asheville"

Woolworth Walk Photo, Asheville, North Carolina
Quote:
Asheville has lots of interesting galleries to explore. There's American folk art, pottery, furniture. Some of this is very pricey. Some of it is also very good. It was fun to just wander through different galleries. However, if you want to see a lot of different items---at all price points---in one place, you might like to go to Woolworth Walk. Here you'll find two stories of stalls where artists and craftsmen have their wares on display. There's everything from paintings to photography to ceramics to jewelry to clothes to woodwork. I especially liked some lovely cutting boards threaded through with different stains. These were half the price here than in another store where I al...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 2, 2010

Woolworth Walk
25 Haywood St.
Asheville, North Carolina 28801
(828) 254-9234

The Fine Arts Theatre

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Attraction | "Art Films in Asheville"

The Fine Arts Theatre Photo, Asheville, North Carolina
Quote:
I love the movies, and I love little art house theaters. In a town like Asheville where tie-die shirts are still in style, subtitles just seem to be part of the scene. So in that in-between afternoon time when we had already visited one attraction--yet it was too early to go out for dinner--we decided to go to a show at the Fine Arts Theatre on Biltmore. What sorts of films were on offer?Well, we were attracted by the marquee advertising Exit through the Gift Shop, a "documentary" looking at street art and involving Britain's infamous street artist Banksy. Hil-ar-i-ous. However, by the time you're in Asheville, Bansky will probably be putting his mark...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 1, 2010

The Fine Arts Theatre
36 Biltmore Ave
Asheville, North Carolina 28801
+1 828 232 0257

Green Sage Coffeehouse and Cafe

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Restaurant | "Green Eggs?"

Green Sage Coffeehouse and Cafe Photo, Asheville, North Carolina
Quote:
The Green Sage Coffeehouse and Cafe was our chose for breakfast because it was close to our hotel and open early, but anyone who is interested in the "green" movement might like to eat here. What is the Green Sage like?The cafe is set up a little bit like a Starbucks cafe in that you come in the door and go through a line to order your coffee. However,unlike Starbucks, while yummy pastries are on display beneath a glass case, real food is served here to the hungry. I'm talking stacks of blueberry pancakes and French toast. Me? I had to have the granola, fresh fruit, and vanilla yogurt concoction. I couldn't help it. Granola fit the place. What's so ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 1, 2010

Green Sage Coffeehouse and Cafe
5 Broadway Street
Asheville, North Carolina 28801
(828) 252-4450

Bistro 1896

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Restaurant | "Music on the Square"

Bistro 1896 Photo, Asheville, North Carolina
Quote:
Truth be told, we chose to eat in this restaurant because we were eavesdropping on people in the elevator in our hotel raving about their meal. They said their food was reasonable and good. Sold!!! We decided to try the place out for lunch. Where is the Bistro 1896 located?Look for the monolith statue erected to a former North Carolina governor named VANCE in the center of a square. You'll find the cafe right there, across the street, smack dab in the middle of the action. Find the street musician on the corner. He/she is most likely in front of the Bistro. This seemed to be a very popular piece of concrete for entertainers to sing as we rarely passed here withou...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 1, 2010

Bistro 1896
7 Pack Square
Asheville, North Carolina 28801
+1 828 251 1300

Kathmandu Cafe

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Restaurant | "Dinner in Pink"

Kathmandu Cafe Photo, Asheville, North Carolina
Quote:
On our last night in Asheville, we got a late start finding a place to eat. This can be dangerous. Asheville isn't for night owls. I guess people go to bed early so they can get up and go hiking. As far as dining goes, the town is pretty much shut down by 10 PM. We walked into the Kathmandu Cafe at 9:56. The dining room, which is painted pepto pink, was almost empty barring a couple snuggled together at a cozy table in one corner. Yet the hostess checked with the kitchen to make sure they hadn't broken down the oven for the evening and showed us with a smile to a table. We greatly appreciated the restaurant's pleasant willingness to serve us so close to closing. Our waitress was equally frien...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 1, 2010

Kathmandu Cafe
90 Patton Ave
Asheville, North Carolina 28801
(828) 252-1080

Bouchon

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Restaurant | "Bouchon: French Comfort Food"

Bouchon Photo, Asheville, North Carolina
Quote:
Wanting a nice place to celebrate the fact that we'd just run thirteen miles, my friend and I took a recommendation from the staff in the Hotel Indigo to indulge ourselves at Bouchon. Apparently, Michel Bandouin, the owner/chef, is from France and really knows how to whip up "French Comfort Food." Sold! Walking to Bouchon for an early dinner, we hoped we wouldn't have to wait for long. (They don't take reservations.) If you get there on a crowded night, they do have a small area outside where you can sip your wine and enjoy the atmosphere. With the main restaurant housed in a butter-walled, narrow space, I was reminded of restaurants in New York. The host reminded ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 26, 2010

Bouchon
62 North Lexington Avenue
Asheville, North Carolina 28801
8283501140

Tupelo Honey Cafe

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Restaurant | "A good breakfast venue"

Tupelo Honey Cafe Photo, Asheville, North Carolina
Quote:
Tupelo Honey is one of the most popular places to eat in Asheville. You are guaranteed to have to wait for any meal you choose to eat here. Southerners both, my friend and I decided we'd like to have breakfast here more than dinner. After all, we know our biscuits. What is the cafe like?Small and quaint, you can look to one side and see the cooks busy as bees in the kitchen. With hardwood floors and walls the color of sunshine, this has a homey feel that is nice in the mornings. The waitstaff is typical Asheville, a friendly crew who all look like they play folksy guitar in their spare time. Per the business of the place, service is fast and efficient. H...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 26, 2010

Tupelo Honey Cafe
12 College St.
Asheville, North Carolina 28801
(828) 255-4863