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How To Plan A Day Trip In And Around Downtown Asheville

How To Plan A Day Trip In And Around Downtown Asheville

Planning a day trip in and around downtown Asheville, North Carolina is like diving into a vibrant kaleidoscope of culture, natural beauty, and culinary delights. This guide is your ticket to an unforgettable adventure in a city that’s as eclectic as it is charming. So, grab your walking shoes and a sense of wonder, and let’s embark on a journey through Asheville!

How To Spend A Day In Asheville

Morning: A Sunrise Stroll And Breakfast Bliss

Start your day early with a serene walk through the historic Montford Area Historic District, just a stone's throw from downtown. As the sun peeks over the horizon, marvel at the stunning architecture, ranging from Victorian to Arts and Crafts styles. It's not just a walk; it's a journey through time!

Next, head downtown for a breakfast that'll tantalize your taste buds. Over Easy Cafe, with its cozy ambiance and locally sourced ingredients, is a must-visit. Dive into a plate of their heavenly Banana Bread French Toast, or keep it classic with the Asheville Scramble. Don't forget a cup of locally roasted coffee to fuel your day!

Mid-Morning: Artistic Explorations

Downtown Asheville is a haven for art enthusiasts. The River Arts District, a thriving community of artists’ studios, is where creativity flows as freely as the French Broad River nearby. Spend a couple of hours getting lost in the colorful world of paintings, sculptures, and pottery. Be sure to chat with the artists; their stories are as captivating as their art!

Lunch: A Culinary Adventure

Asheville’s culinary scene is a blend of traditional Southern fare with a modern twist. For lunch, hit up Chai Pani for some mind-blasting Indian street food. Their Kale Pakoras and Sloppy Jai are legendary! For those craving something more traditional, Farm Burger offers grass-fed burgers and drool-worthy sides.

Afternoon: Urban Oasis And Historic Charms

After lunch, wander through the lush greenery of the Botanical Gardens at Asheville, a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city. It's a living showcase of native Appalachian plant species.

Then, it's time to step back in time at the Grove Arcade, a historic marvel of 1920s architecture. Browse through its unique boutiques and local crafts. Don't miss Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar, where you can sip bubbly surrounded by thousands of books!

Late Afternoon: Scenic Escape 

Take a short drive to the Blue Ridge Parkway for breathtaking panoramic views. The Parkway, known as “America’s Favorite Drive,” offers numerous overlooks and trails. A must-stop is the Folk Art Center, showcasing Appalachian crafts and live demonstrations.

Early Evening: Craft Beer And Street Performers

Back in downtown, Asheville's craft beer scene beckons. Stop by Wicked Weed Brewing for a Funkatorium sour, or visit Bhramari Brewing Company for something experimental. As you sip, stroll around and enjoy the street performers that bring downtown Asheville to life with music, magic, and more.

Dinner: A Foodie's Dream

Absolutely! Let's expand the dinner section of your Asheville adventure with a delectable array of options. Asheville's dinner scene is a smorgasbord of flavors and styles, catering to every palate. Here's a curated list of must-visit eateries that promise an unforgettable dining experience:

  • The Admiral: For a unique dining experience, The Admiral's unassuming exterior belies the culinary wonders within. This gem offers inventive dishes that blend Southern ingredients with global flavors. The menu changes daily, but if you're lucky, you'll catch their Seared Scallops or the Duck Confit.
  • Rhubarb: Chef John Fleer's Rhubarb brings farm-to-table dining with a twist. The menu, rooted in Appalachian ingredients, changes with the seasons. Must-tries include their Wood Roasted Chicken and the Goat Cheese Burrata. The communal tables add a touch of camaraderie to the dining experience.
  • Bouchon: For a French countryside feel, Bouchon is the go-to place. Their classic French comfort foods, like Coq au Vin and Moules Frites, are heartwarming and delicious. The alleyway seating offers a charming European vibe right in downtown Asheville.
  • Jargon: This quirky, intimate spot in west Asheville is known for its creative dishes and eclectic decor. Their menu is a playful mix of new American cuisine with global influences. The Seared Tuna and the Duck Breast are standouts, and their cocktail menu is just as inventive.
  • Plant: For those seeking a plant-based dining experience, Plant is a revelation. This vegan restaurant impresses even the most skeptical carnivores with dishes like Smoked Portobello Steak and the Cheese Plate, featuring house-made vegan cheeses. It's a testament to Asheville's diverse culinary landscape.

Each of these restaurants offers a unique glimpse into Asheville's dynamic dining scene, making your dinner choice not just a meal but a memorable part of your day trip. Remember, reservations are highly recommended as these spots are popular among locals and tourists alike. Enjoy your culinary journey through Asheville!

Night: Lights, Camera, Asheville!

End your day with a visit to the historic Fine Arts Theatre for an indie film, or check out The Orange Peel for live music. If you're in the mood for a laugh, The Grey Eagle hosts fantastic comedy nights.

For those with energy to spare, star-gazing at the Lookout Observatory is a magical way to wrap up your Asheville adventure. Or, for a quieter end to the night, enjoy a leisurely walk through Pack Square Park, basking in the glow of the city lights.

Don’t Forget To Visit Off The Wagon Dueling Piano Bar

For a uniquely Asheville experience, at some point during your evening, you’ve got to come by Off The Wagon Dueling Piano Bar for great drinks, amazing music, and big-time fun! If you’ve never seen a dueling piano show, get ready for a crazy and fun-filled evening like you’ve never experienced.

As an entertainment venue, the musicians will impress you with their repertoire of thousands of popular songs from the last fifty years.

Swing by Off The Wagon for a great time!

So Much To Do… So Little Time

As your day comes to a close, you'll realize that Asheville isn't just a place; it's an experience. Whether you're an art lover, a foodie, a nature enthusiast, or just someone seeking a fun day out, Asheville has something special for you. So, come and discover the magic of this mountain city – where every street, every corner, and every smile tells a story.

Still looking to learn more about Asheville? The locals have all the secrets, and their inside scoop could help elevate your experience in this amazing city. Check out this article to learn about how locals spend their free time in and around Asheville. Good luck with your Asheville adventures.