Our Asheville adventure continues…
Day 2: Our day began with a delicious gourmet breakfast at the Princess Anne Hotel followed by a visit to the Asheville Visitors Center. Upon reviewing the maps, we were ready to branch out in two different directions…the men were on their way to the French Broad River to try their hand at fishing while the ladies were on their way to explore downtown Asheville.
Asheville offers the conveniences of a large city coupled with the quaintness of a small town. From the visitor’s center, my friend and I walked to the heart of the city enjoying the surrounding mountain views. The city was easy to navigate and we saw many beautiful sites including a large fountain, several sculptures and ample green space. We enjoyed browsing in several galleries featuring local artisans. We met up with an old high school friend of mine (now a resident of Asheville) for lunch. She accompanied us to lunch at Pack’s Tavern where I had the most delicious BLT I have ever eaten. Called the Mt.Pisgah BLT, it is a sandwich stuffed with Applewood smoked bacon, 3 different cheeses, lettuce, fried green tomato and mayo on grilled wheat bread.
After a wonderful lunch, we continued to wander around downtown taking in the sights and doing a little shopping. When we needed a break from the heat of the day, we stopped in Early Girl Eatery for a cup of tea and a piece of hummingbird cake. The rest of the menu looked great so we decided that we would have to revisit this establishment for a meal during our stay in Asheville.
A leisurely stroll brought us back to the Princess Anne Luxury Stays where we were reunited with our significant others who had just returned from their fishing excursion. They shared stories from the day and described the beauty of the French Broad River.
Our evening included complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres at the Princess Anne Hotel followed by a walk back downtown for dinner. We chose to dine at Boca, one of many restaurants that serve local produce, breads and eggs. The menu had a wide variety of Latin infused fare. We ordered calamari for a starter and found it to be quite tasty. I enjoyed Enchiladas Suiza that was full of roasted cauliflower, spinach and cheese for my entrée.
Upon finishing dinner, we decided to check out a local brewery since Asheville has been dubbed “Beer City USA”. There were many pubs and breweries located in downtown Asheville and we settled on Lexington Avenue Brewery. The brewery was large and inviting and quite busy for a Wednesday night. I was surprised by the limited selection of beer, but the drinks we sampled were enjoyable and the venue was a great conclusion to our second day in Asheville.
Day 3: Our final day in Asheville began with another amazing breakfast courtesy of the Princess Anne Hotel followed by an hour-long car trip to Dupont State Forest. We chose to visit this location based on recommendations from locals about where to find beautiful waterfalls. I was also made aware that the location was used for scenes in the movie The Hunger Games.
The mountain views throughout the drive were beautiful and when we arrived at the park, we headed to the first waterfall site we came to which was High Falls. The trail to the falls was about a mile long and well worth the hike. The 100 foot tall waterfall was gorgeous and a perfect place to relax. We splashed around at the base of the waterfall, lazed about on large boulders and watched people brave a dangerous climb for a quick slide down a slippery rock. We spent about an hour at the High Falls before taking a leisurely stroll to the top of the falls to see the nearby covered bridge.
Next, we headed to Hooker Falls which was a quick quarter mile hike from the parking lot. These falls were much smaller but the area was lovely. These falls open into a large pool which seemed to be very popular for swimmers and small boats.
After a pleasant day observing nature’s beauty, we headed back to Asheville for the evening. We decided to dine at Early Girl Eatery where the food was tasty and fresh. Then, we headed to Jack of the Wood, a cozy Celtic style pub in the heart of downtown. We were excited to hear some live music and knew we were in for a treat when we learned that it was “Bluegrass Jam” night. Local musicians took to the stage and performed lively songs as the audience joined in with clapping and toe-tapping. The pub had a great variety of beverages and many folks seemed to be enjoying food as well. This entertaining spot was the perfect finale to a wonderful couple’s get-a-way.
Following a restful sleep and one final breakfast at the Princess Anne, we bid farewell to Asheville. With all of its culture and beauty it is certainly a city we will visit again.
Asheville Visitor’s Center www.exploreasheville.com
Princess Anne Hotel www.princessannehotel.com
Biltmore Estate www.biltmore.com
Dupont State Forest www.dupontforest.com