An unexpectedly urban, artsy city in the sprawling mountains of North Carolina, Asheville is home to streets teaming with small town charm, eclectic touches, and views that will leave you a little breathless. With a rich history, this little city rivals other southern hot spots like Savannah, Charleston, and Knoxville. In my opinion, this one has the absolute best scenery. The blue mountains in the background and fresh air from the higher altitude are too refreshing.
I traveled to Asheville for Christmas this year, and it was the most last minute trip. I found out we were leaving at 3 p.m. the day before Christmas Eve, and I packed at 5:30 a.m. before we started driving. Needless to say, most travel plans with my family are pretty spontaneous, but I think that leaves just enough room to make the most out of the vacation.
We stayed downtown for the first time this year, and it was so perfect. If you are looking for the cutest little hotel with rooftop views of the city, here is the one we stayed in for the holidays. I was obsessed. The lobby is adorable and they allow dogs, so there were all kinds of little puppies running around. They also has so many festive Christmas decorations, which I was not expecting at all.
My family’s favorite thing to do in the city is visit the Biltmore Estate & Gardens, so when we pulled in around 4 o’clock, we headed straight there for a casual dinner at the Village Social Restaurant. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere, and the prices weren’t sky-high like at other restaurants at the Biltmore. Also, no matter what time of day it is, you should definitely order the hot coffee. They bring it out in the most perfectly adorable ceramic mug with a baby glass bottle of cream (pictured above). I like my coffee black, but it was just so perfect. All the food was really great. My sister, Kellie, order pimento macaroni and cheese, and by the end of dinner we were all stealing little bites off her plate, so I’d say it’s worth ordering if you happen to stop by.
The other place we like to eat is Cedric’s Tavern. First of all, it was named after the dog that lived on the estate. Ugh so much happiness. Second, it has the feel of a little Irish Pub, which was so adorable. They bring fresh pretzel rolls to every table, and I ordered winter risotto with lots of fresh veggies for dinner. It’s the perfect place for a warm wintery meal. Both of these restaurants are in Antler Village on the Estate, but they are still around 5 miles from the house.
The next day is when we actually walked through the house. If you’re like me and love travel, but have never made it to see Europe or it’s gorgeous architecture, this is as close as I can imagine anyone getting in the United States. The exterior is magical with so many beautiful details. Nothing will really prepare you for the intricate interior, mountain views from the back balcony, or the actual size of the estate like seeing it for yourself. If you go to Asheville, you can’t miss spending a day here. We went on Christmas day, and it was pretty much the most festive thing in the whole wide world. I got a fresh gingerbread cookie and hot chocolate from the little bakery because it was so freezing outside. It was too perfect.
On the 26th, we explored downtown Asheville before we had to start driving back home to a much more sunshiny and warm place. We had brunch at the Tupelo Honey Café. Wow. You have to stop into this cozy, southern restaurant for some locally inspired, modern dishes. The biscuits and homemade blueberry jam are so so good. The menu is unique, and it is one of the best places to get an authentic southern meal in Asheville. (Side note: I am obsessed with brunch. I don’t really know why, but everything tastes better at brunch). After we ate, we breezed in and out of some of the little shops, and I even found the prettiest black dress for New Years Eve from Urban Outfitters. I’ll link it below because it’s really so pretty for any party or night out.
I think this city is the absolute cutest, and I would love to live somewhere like this. I couldn’t stop saying that the whole time, so who knows? I might be seeing more of Asheville in the future. I hope you all enjoyed some of my very favorite places and sites from this city. Comment your favorite things from Asheville if you’ve been before. I always love hearing about any hidden gems for my next trip!