Asheville Food + Travel Guide
What to Eat in Asheville
How to Burn It Off in Asheville
Asheville is an outdoors-loving mountain town, so there’s no shortage of fun activities to balance out some of those beer and breakfast calories. The best part? Whatever you’re doing, you’ll be in spectacular surroundings.
Where to Hike
There are countless hiking opportunities in the forested mountains around Asheville, from the 10.6-mile round-trip Cold Mountain summit to a segment of the Appalachian Trail—which passes through nearby Hot Springs—to a two-mile stroll through the Biltmore’s manicured gardens, part of the estate’s hiking network of some 22 miles.
BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY
One particularly lovely way, especially for the time-pressed, to get out into some of the best nature in the area is to drive along the truly scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, which connects with myriad hikes (see complete list here). Heading north from Asheville, you can hike a quick 1.5-mile return on the Craggy Pinacle trail (milepost 364.2) for panoramic views, and then do another two miles or so to pretty Crabtree Falls (milepost 340), along a wooded loop trail. If you drive south of Asheville, as we did, you might climb 5,721-foot Mt. Pisgah (a strenuous 1.5 miles up) at milepost 407.6, scale Fryingpan Tower at milepost 408.5 (for what some say is a better view than that afforded by Mt. Pisgah), or head to milepost 418.8 for Graveyard Fields (pictured), with about two miles of loop trail among waterfalls, streams, and wildflowers in a high valley. The options are really endless. We like this site for its detailed descriptions of these and other area hikes. Read More
Where to Stay in Asheville
SWEET PEAS HOSTEL
Budget travelers might consider the Sweet Peas Hostel (23 Rankin Ave., map) downtown, located above the Lexington Avenue Brewery (see local craft beer). There’s a choice of bunk beds, “private pods”—still bunk-like communal sleeping, but with curtains, lockers, and shelving—or private rooms (with shared bath). Amenities include a hostel kitchen, free wifi and coffee, coin-operated laundry—and saving a fistful of cash. However, we hear it can get noisy so don’t forget your ear plugs.
A well-liked midrange option is the Hotel Indigo (151 Haywood St., map), combining modern design—bright colors, clean lines—and mountain views within walking distance of downtown. There’s a fitness center and a locavore restaurant, 151 Boutique Bar & Kitchen, downstairs (bonus: organic, locally roasted coffee!).
In the same budget range is the Renaissance Asheville (31 Woodfin St., map) downtown, a handsome, well-located hotel with a heated indoor pool, an inviting lobby bar (with outdoor patio seating to boot), and (yet another) onsite farm-to-table bistro. Read More
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