Are you planning a long weekend in Asheville, NC? From breweries to restaurants, to the Biltmore and gorgeous mountain hikes, I have the ultimate itinerary for you.
I had been hearing about Asheville and how amazing it is for YEARS now, and Charlie and I have been dying to plan a trip. We finally got to visit this fall and we both fell in love with this quaint and quirky little mountain town. The restaurants were great, there are endless amounts of breweries and hikes, and the mountain views are just too good.
We drove in on a Wednesday at drove home on a Sunday and both agreed it was the perfect amount of time. I should also note that from our experience, Asheville was EXTREMELY baby and dog friendly! I've outlined our itinerary for a long weekend in Asheville below.
Getting to Asheville
If you're planning a long weekend in Asheville, there are a couple of options for how to get there.
- Drive: depending on where you're located, your first option is to drive to Asheville. The drive from DC was long (7.5 hours), but the views were amazing and it was an easy drive, all things considered.
- Fly into Asheville: Asheville has a regional airport that you can fly into. You can then either rent a car or Uber to wherever you're staying.
- Fly into Charlottes and rent a car: Charlotte is a larger airport and has more flight options, so this may be a better option for your long weekend in Asheville. Obviously this will depend on where you're traveling from. The drive from Charlotte to Asheville is about 2 hours, so this option isn't bad at all!
A Long Weekend in Asheville: Where to Stay
There are several options for where to stay during your long weekend in Asheville. Some people choose to stay in downtown Asheville (the Aloft is in a great location!). This is a great option if you're hoping to spend a lot of time downtown and want to be able to walk or Uber throughout your trip.
Another option is to stay outside of Asheville in an Airbnb/cabin. This is the route we chose. We LOVED having gorgeous mountain views and a hot tub, and also having the option to get in the car and explore downtown. We stayed in this gorgeous Airbnb and absolutely loved it. It's at the top of a huge hill with gravel roads and a little precarious driving up to it at night, but the views were worth every second. It was one of the most well-stocked Airbnbs we've ever stayed in. It was about a 15-20 minute drive to downtown, which was perfect for the amount of time we spent there.
Day 1: Travel, Check Into Lodging, Dinner in the River Arts District
On our first day in Asheville, we woke up and left our house in Northern Virginia at 4AM. We wanted to be able to arrive, check in and soak in the views before heading downtown.
After checking in for our long weekend in Asheville, we made our way downtown and explored some shops. We LOVED going to a shop called Kress Emporium that had tons of little booths displaying local artists and crafts. It was a perfect spot to start buying some Christmas gifts. There were lots of cute little shops right around this one to pop into!
After exploring some of the shops, we made our way to dinner at RosaBees, which serves Hawaiian food. We had so many recommendations for this restaurant and it did not disappoint. The food was so unique and delicious, and they had great cocktails. Highly recommend the Belly Bowl off their menu!
Day 2: Biltmore Estate & Downtown AVL
On our second day of our long weekend in Asheville, we knew we wanted to explore the Biltmore. Before heading there, we woke up and spent some time relaxing and drinking coffee on the deck with these stunning views.
When buying tickets to the Biltmore, you have two options. You can either buy tickets to tour the inside of the house (which also includes the grounds/gardens outside), or you can buy a "Gardens and Grounds" ticket for a bit less money. This ticket allows you to see the outside of the house and wander around all of the walking paths/gorgeous gardens, but doesn't get you in the house. We decided we would prefer doing the Gardens and Grounds, so that's what we got our tickets for. That morning, we woke up and drove to a famous Asheville breakfast spot called Biscuit Head. We ordered our breakfast for pick-up the night before so we went to pick up our biscuit breakfast sandwiches and brought them for a picnic at the Biltmore.
After our breakfast at the Biltmore, we walked all around the different walking paths for a few hours. The grounds were STUNNING and I highly recommend taking advantage of all the different paths and going down to see the pond on the estate. It was stunning.
As part of your ticket to the Biltmore, you'll get a free wine tasting at the winery in Biltmore Village. After we finished walking the grounds, we drove over to the winery and enjoyed an amazing wine tasting.
Once we were finished at the Biltmore, we headed to downtown Asheville and spent a few hours exploring the shops and grabbing a cup of coffee at High Five Coffee. There are SO many fun and quirky shops in downtown Asheville. I highly recommend leaving yourself an afternoon to just bop around all of them and pick up some fun goodies.
When we were done checking out the shops, we went to lunch at an amazing Indian street foot place called Chai Pani. This was another highly-recommended spot that lived up to the hype. There was a little bit of a wait, and it was so worth it.
After having lunch, we drove over to the Omni Grove Park Inn for a cocktail on their sunset terrace and OMG. It felt like a piece of Europe here in the U.S. The views were unreal, and the jalapeño blueberry margarita was out of this world. If you have time, everyone told me that the spa here is TO DIE FOR.
When we were done at the Omni, we drove back to our Airbnb. We cooked dinner, spent time in the hot tub and by the fire pit, and relaxed. It was such a nice day.
Day 3: Hiking and Breweries
Something we loved about Asheville was how many hiking options there are nearby. If you haven't used the app AllTrails to figure out hikes nearby, you're missing out! As you'll see on that app or doing research, there are SO many popular hikes within an hour of Asheville. One very popular hike is Craggy Gardens. Unfortunately, it's closed through spring of 2023 for trail improvement, so we skipped that one.
On day 3 of our long weekend in Asheville we woke up and had a quick breakfast. We then drove about 50 minutes away on the Blue Ridge Parkway to a trail called Buck Spring Trail. This is a 2.5 mile out-and-back trail in the Pisgah Forest. It was the perfect hike for us because it wasn't too strenuous (which was great because we were hiking with a baby), but the views at the end of the hike were amazing.
When our hike was over, we drove back to downtown Asheville and were ready for some lunch. We stopped at White Duck Taco for some tacos and chips and queso (their queso was ridiculously good!) before spending the rest of the day brewery hopping.
We LOVED that there were so many breweries within such a short distance of each other. This made it really easy to check out 4-5 breweries within a couple hours. They all have a slightly different vibe, so it was really fun getting to check out all the different ones.
Here are the ones we went to:
- Wicked Weed Brewing (this was our absolute favorite - the vibe on the outdoor patio was so great!)
- Funkatorium (this brewery is known for their sours - sours are my favorite beer, so this was great!)
- Green Man Brewery
- Urban Orchard (this is directly across the street from Green Man and a gorgeous space - it has ciders instead of beer and is a really nice way to mix it up if you're looking for a break from beers!)
- Hi-Wire Brewing (this was probably my second favorite!)
Once we were done at the breweries, we went back to the house for another night of grilling, hot tubbing and games.
One thing I should note that we did NOT do that lots of people recommended is a dinner reservation at Cúrate. Everyone says the food is SO good. Definitely make a reservation in advance if you're considering this!
Day 4: Brunch and Sierra Nevada Brewery
On our last day in Asheville, we decided to do our own fun brunch at the house before watching the Penn State vs. Michigan football game. We made french toast, bacon, eggs and Bloody Marys and it was wonderful. If we hadn't made brunch at the house, we would have stopped for brunch at Early Girl Eatery which lots of you recommended. Definitely add this to your list if you're looking for a good brunch spot!
After the Penn State game, we had every intention of making the drive to Sierra Nevada Brewery which is located outside of Asheville. We didn't end up making it there, but from what my friends have told me, it's worth making a trip out there! I'm looking forward to checking it out on our next trip 🙂
Day 5: Head Home!
That wraps up our long weekend in Asheville. It was SUCH a fun weekend and I'm counting down the days until the next time we get to visit this quaint, quirky mountain town.
Have any questions or recommendations for the next time we visit? Leave a comment! And make sure you check out my other travel itineraries here.