Weekend in Asheville, NC

Hey friends! Matt and I are back home after a fun adventure: we spent the weekend in Asheville, NC with my best friend Jenny from high school and her husband Dan!

Jenny and I cooked up this plan late last year and have been looking forward to this weekend ever since. They live in Atlanta, which is only a couple hour drive from Asheville, and Dan’s mom was able to come into town to watch their girls so we could have an adult’s weekend. Matt and I have always wanted to go to Asheville – it’s a haul from DC (I know, we should have gone when we were living in Chapel Hill), but it’s been on our list forever and it was time to finally check it out. I’m so glad we did!

Matt and I pushed off from DC around 10 a.m. on Friday (we both took the day off work) and arrived in Asheville in time for dinner. We all stayed in an Airbnb house which was fun – love being able to hang out in the house rather than being stuck in hotel rooms! Cheaper, too. 🙂

For dinner on Friday, I made us reservations awhile ago (everything books up fast) at a place called Curate Tapas Bar, which had amazing Yelp reviews. It also came recommended by Caroline Kraus Travel, who planned this trip for us! Caroline is a blog reader who emailed me back in January offering to let me try out her trip planning services to write a blog review. The Asheville weekend was the perfect opportunity, because none of us had time to plan much beforehand! I highly recommend her services – she sent us a beautiful PDF with a detailed itinerary (that she planned out using a survey she sent us to find out our interests) that included restaurants, activities, and extras for each day, plus Airbnb and VRBO recommendations. It was amazingly helpful and pretty much everything we did in this post was her recommendation. Thank you again, Caroline, from all of us!

Anyway – back to the food! Since Curate is a Spanish tapas bar, we ordered a whole slew of items and shared everything. It was delicious and the atmosphere was fun, too.

My favorite dish of the evening was the sweet peppers stuffed with goat cheese, pictured in the middle/top in the following photo. Yummm!

On Saturday morning, Jenny and I let the guys sleep in and made our own plans to have a fun yoga date! Asheville Yoga Center was only a few blocks away from our Airbnb, which was perfect, and they had an 8:15 gentle flow class that sounded like the perfect way to wake up. It was also noted as appropriate for pregnant women, which was good because Jenny is almost 6 months pregnant! 🙂

The staff were all really friendly and we loved the space – how pretty is this blue sky/cloud wall?

The class was great – nice and calming and a great stretch. Perfect way to start the day! I love going to yoga studios when I travel – fun way to get a taste of the local culture.

After yoga, we walked next door to Liberty House Coffee & Café for a post-yoga refuel. We had brunch plans with the guys so we didn’t want to go too crazy but we needed a little something!

I went for their honey lavender latte – sooo good. Plus a cornmeal blueberry muffin, which was also great – not too sweet!

Also next door was a cool juice bar and café called Elements, so we popped in there to grab a juice to bring back to the house for later. I got one with pear, cucumber, lemon, ginger, kale, and spinach. It was delish!

After picking up the guys, it was time for brunch! We had plans to hit up Homegrown, whose tagline is “slow food right quick.” They don’t take reservations so we just showed up and hoped for the best – luckily we had no problems! You order at the counter and then find a seat and there were plenty available since the outdoor section was open.

I had the sunshine bowl, which was sauteed veggies and quinoa topped with eggs and bacon. Plus a side salad! Everything was so good.

Next up on our agenda was an afternoon hike! Per the recommendation of Caroline, we drove out to Dupont State Forest for their waterfall hike, which is 4.5 miles with all sorts of beautiful waterfalls along the way!

It was perfect – the rain held off nicely for us and the hike was the perfect distance, too – not too long or hard, but we were able to spend a few hours out there enjoying nature.

Great way to celebrate Earth Day! 🙂

By the time we got in the car and made it back to Asheville (this hike is about an hour drive south), it was time for dinner! We had plans to go to a really well-reviewed Indian street food restaurant called Chai Pani. They don’t take reservations, so we put in our names (45 minute wait) and wandered around a bit while we waited.

We ended up finding a cool board game café called Well Played with a huge Connect Four (blast from the past) board outside, so we got some drinks and hung out there until our table was ready. Jenny and I had some INTENSE Connect Four games – she was red and I was blue, and I started out with a really poor showing (please note the top left photo) but pulled it together for the overall win. Better luck next time, Jenny! 😉

The rain started right as we made our way to the restaurant – whew! To start, we shared the Samosa Chat, which was two samosas served on spicy garbanzo bean stew topped with tamarind & green chutneys and sweetened yogurt. It was sooooo good – highly recommend.

We also had the chicken pakoras to start, but I didn’t love these – basically just fried chicken. Meh!

As for the main event, I had the vegetarian Thali, which was basically a variety plate with all sorts of goodness. I think the lentil soup was my favorite, but everything was really good! Sooo much food though – we shouldn’t have gone so hard on the appetizers!

As for Sunday morning, I got in a rainy run with Matt and Dan! Running in the rain always sounds terrible when you are inside and dry, but once you take that first step out the door you are basically a kid again playing in puddles. 🙂 Dan mapped us out a route all around downtown (hello, hills) from our place so we could see more of the town – we had fun out there!

We covered just over 3 miles, then packed up the house and showered up in time to make it to brunch – we had reservations at 10:45 at Limones, a fun Mexican place! We started with some coffee and the lobster nachos, which were beyond epic. You have to get these if you go there!

Jenny, Matt, and I also shared a salad to get in some greens. Loved the pickled jicama!

For my main course, I had the Chorizo-Egg Tostada with refried beans and feta – it was a lot like Huevos Rancheros, which I love. 🙂 Delicious!

We were so sad to say goodbye to Asheville and Jenny and Dan after such a fun weekend! It would have been fun to stick around and explore the town a bit more but it was still rainy and cold, so Matt and I decided it was time to hit the road. We didn’t get home until 10 so probably for the best we left when we did!

Have you ever been to Asheville? I definitely recommend checking it out if not – great food scene and so many hikes in the area, too!

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