Asheville Travel Diary & Guide

An Asheville Travel Diary + Guide after a recent visit to the North Carolina Mountain town! 

Where to Stay in Asheville | Asheville Travel Guide | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

A few weeks ago I made the short drive to Asheville, NC to explore with Lacey from The Glitter Gospel. Believe it or not, it was my first time experiencing Asheville in the fall. Somehow, my visits have always been in the spring, summer, or winter. Which is insane, as Asheville is most beautiful in the fall. We completely lucked out as the peak leaf season was pushed back two weeks due to high temperatures. Therefore, we arrived right on time and the leaves were absolutely breathtaking! You take see more in this post and this one too. 

Today, I’m breaking down our trip – where we ate, what we did, and where we stayed. Plus, sharing some recommendations. First recommendation, make fall in Asheville happen next year. You will not regret it and will be so blown away by the beautiful colors you see everywhere! 

Where to Eat 

Okay, let me start this by saying there are SO many amazing places to eat in Asheville! It is definitely hard to hit all the must is spots while there on a long weekend. So I am highlighting the ones we ate at on this trip. If you ever need additional recommendations, please feel free to email me {louellareese@gmail.com} and I will send you some additional favorites. 

Sunset Cocktail Terrace at The Omni Grove Park Inn 

Here we kicked off the meal with Roasted Beets: local goat lady dairy fresh chèvre pickled shallots/watercress pistachio vinaigretteJumbo Shrimp Cocktail: cocktail sauce lemon/horseradish, and Tomato and Mozzarella: fried green tomatoes mozzarella/ argues lemongrass vinaigrette. I’m not a shrimp eater so I passed on that one but the other two I can say were amazing! The roasted beets were roasted to perfection and the salad that accompanied the beets was a great fall dish. The fried green tomatoes were light and packed with flavor, just how I liked them! 

For my main course I opted for the Crab Cake Sandwich: tomato / lettuce / spicy remoulade toasted bun /fries. Oh my yum! So delicious and the fries were legit to die for. If you go to Sunset Cocktail Terrace at The Omni Grove Park Inn you HAVE to get the French fries. I paired my sandwich with a Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA and to my amazement I loved the IPA. Typically, I am not an IPA fan but this was surprisingly light and incredibly delicious. 

Let me just say, the view while dining was to die for! We could see the colorful trees for miles and miles. This spot, is a must hit during lunch hour as you can enjoy your meal with a view. 

Asheville Food Guide | Asheville Travel Guide | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

Asheville Food Guide | Asheville Travel Guide | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

Tupelo Honey 

Okay, if you follow me at all via Instagram you know Tupelo Honey is one of my favorites! Joshua and I frequent there, basically every month. So I was excited to visit the Asheville location for the second time and try out their fall menu. Y’all if you love southern comfort food, Tupelo Honey is the place to go! They always add a fun twist too.

Here we started with the Caramelized Squash & Burrata Toast and Fried Green Tomatoes + Cheesy Grits. Both were so sinfully declicious. Lacey and I both did not leave a single crumb of the Caramelized Squash & Burrata Toast. The toast was so unique and packed with a crazy amount of flavor. I really want to try to replicate this at home. It was that good!! Also, the cheesy grits on the fried green tomato plate were just like momma makes them {except my momma doesn’t make cheesy grits haha}. 

As our meals we split Banana Pudding Pancakes {I had fried chicken with mine} and the Southern Shakshuka which is two baked eggs, goat cheese grits, avocado, creole sauce. We couldn’t stop eating both even though we were WAY past full. Personally, I had never had fried chicken with pancakes {or waffles, fail, I know} and my mind was blown. I can see what the big deal is now! The combination of extra sweet {hello banana pudding + Nilla wafers} and the savory fried chicken was truly everything! 

Asheville Food Guide | Asheville Travel Guide | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

Asheville Food Guide | Asheville Travel Guide | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

Sovereign Remedies 

Sovereign Remedies was my favorite dining spot on this trip! The atmosphere is so much fun and unique. Not to mention their food blew me out of the water. I didn’t want to stop eating and Lacey and I did not. We finished every last bite! I also, could have had seconds of everything we tried but I controlled myself. For a fact, I will be stopping there on my next trip to Asheville for sure. Aka, you need to dine at Sovereign Remedies! 

We went for brunch on our final day and split two dishes. Choosing was TOUGH but we finally settled on The Farmer’s Toast: ricotta, honey, balsamic reduction, fig, pistachio, rye bread and Carnitas Fries: slow roasted pork shoulder, avocado, creme fraiche, cilantro, cotija cheese, sunny side egg. Both were beyond tasty and packed full of flavors! Order them both when you go, I promise your tastebuds will thank you and you’ll be thanking me! Also, sit at the bar. The atmosphere is so cool and the cocktails are a must try. 

Asheville Food Guide | Asheville Travel Guide | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

Asheville Food Guide | Asheville Travel Guide | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

Asheville Food Guide | Asheville Travel Guide | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

White Duck Taco Shop 

The perfect spot for a casual meal! The atmosphere is so fun and there’s an option to sit outside. It’s quick, easy, and the kind of Mexican you want while on vacation.

You can’t have Mexican without a margarita right? Therefore, I opted for their Fresh Lime Margarita. Which was very fresh, sweet, and fun! Just like a margarita is meant to be! Another must have, the Salsa Trio. This include a mild normal salsa, spicy smoky creamy salsa, and a sweet tomatillo. The sweet tomatillo was actually my favorite. There is so much flavor in that sauce! 

What I really loved about White Duck Taco Shop is the ability to mix and match whatever tacos you want. I went for one classic, Steak + Cheese {I skipped the cheese which I think allowed the steak and pico to really take center stage} and one fun, Thai Peanut Chicken. The latter had a nice little tang with each bite. Which included a pineapple salsa. Really unique and different!

Capella on 9

Capella on 9 is located on the top of AC Hotel Downtown Asheville. It is their rooftop bar and a must visit spot! The view from the rooftop is incredible. You can see mountains, endless amounts of trees, and lots of Downtown Asheville. Not to mention the atmosphere is very cool {think lounge, fire pits, tapas, and craft cocktails}.

We dined here late our first night and opted to split a couple tapas. We went for Patatas Bravas: fried, crushed fingerling potatoes, garlic rosemary aioli, smoky tomato sauce, Fritura: crispy fried cauliflower, asparagus, peppers, capers, smoked pimento dusting, aioli and Artichoke Bread. I could not stop eating the Patatas Bravas. OH MY GOSH they were amazing! When you visit, I’m telling you, you have to try them. My cocktail pick, the Mountain Thyme Mule On Tap: organic vodka, honey-thyme syrup, pressed ginger, lime juice, club soda. Hello fall in cocktail form. 

Where to Stay in Asheville | Asheville Travel Guide | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

Where to Stay in Asheville | Asheville Travel Guide | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

Where to Stay in Asheville | Asheville Travel Guide | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

Where to Stay 

AC Hotel Downton Asheville 

The perfect location, right in the heart of Downtown Asheville. Walking distance to almost every restaurant I mentioned above plus lots more. Including, several breweries and bars. Lacey and I were so happy with the location of this hotel as we were able to walk to almost everything we did. 

The hotel has a real modern feel to it with a large open lobby that offers several seating areas. The rooms offer lots of space and an open concept with one wall being mostly shelf space for you to put your belongings. Additionally, the closet is open. Which we both really loved. This made getting organized very easy. My personal favorite part about the hotel, they have hydration stations where you’re able to get triple filtered water and fill up your own craft that they leave for you. For a water drinking like myself {I legit drink a gallon+ of water every day}, this was heaven. 

Also, don’t forget that Capella on 9 is located there. Can’t beat a hotel with a fabulous rooftop bar and tapas restaurant. 

Where to Stay in Asheville | Asheville Travel Guide | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

Where to Stay in Asheville | Asheville Travel Guide | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

Where to Stay in Asheville | Asheville Travel Guide | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

What to Do 

Biltmore Estates + Historic Village 

Lacey and I spent one afternoon exploring Historic Biltmore Village. This is one of my favorite spots in Asheville. It is so sweet and offers a wide variety of shops. Including commercial shops you know and love + local boutiques and bakeries + coffee shops. 

Across the street from the village is Biltmore Estates. Which is 100% a must visit when visiting the mountain town. If you don’t know about Biltmore Estates, it is the largest private estate owned in America. The estate was built between 1889 and 1895 for George Washington Vanderbilt II. The home is 178,926 square feet and the estate is 8,000 acres. There is so much beauty to explore and see! I recommend setting aside a full day to visit the Biltmore. Maybe, even a day and a half. There’s a winery, restaurants, shops, and more. 

Brewery Hop 

Brew City USA is a nickname Asheville received in 2009 and since then, the brewery scene has only grown! With 25+ breweries there is lots of taste testing to be done. Some of the most notable are New Belgium Brewing Company, Burial Beer, Wedge Brewing Company, Wicked Weed, Hi-Wire Brewing, and Green Man Brewery. My personal favorite is New Belgium Brewing Company. Joshua and I have been long time fans of the brew company and after visiting with Lacey, I only love it more. The atmosphere is incredibly laid back and fun. They have SO many great beers! My favorites include Fat Tire Belgian White {amazing}, Accumulation, and Citradelic. 

What do in Asheville | Asheville Travel Guide | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

What do in Asheville | Asheville Travel Guide | Louella Reese Life & Style Blog

Hike 

After all of your brewery hopping and restaurants, you may want to move a bit. Hiking is the perfect way to do just that, when in Asheville. There are so many incredible hikes and views to see. You can find a variety of hikes here including easy, moderate, and difficult. The Grandfather Trail is one of the most popular. You can check that out here. There’s also Looking Glass Rock which is pretty amazing. Take a peek here and plan a hike! 

Spa 

There are two killer spas in Asheville, The Omni Grove Park Inn & Spa and The Biltmore Inn & Spa. Both are extremely well known and absolutely amazing. If I had to choose one though, I would go with The Omni Grove Park Inn & Spa, every single time. Going to the spa there is a true experience. There is so much to do and see, all within the spa. Including 43,000 square feet of peace and quiet along with two therapeutic waterfall pools as well as a lap pool blanketed with 6,500 fiber-optic stars and underwater music. Not to mention exceptional services. You can read all about the spa here. I’ll have to say is add this to your bucket list and hint to your significant other {pretty straightforwardly, you know they won’t understand otherwise} that you want to go here!

Take a look back at past travel diaries + guides here. Also, dive into travel style here

25 Comments

    • November 22, 2017 / 8:16 am

      I couldn’t agree with you more gal! And next time, you need to make the spa happen for sure. You will be in heaven!

      xo Laura Leigh

  1. November 22, 2017 / 9:05 am

    Can we go here together next fall?!?! I’m OBSESSED with all these photos! You know a chic white bedroom and good food steals my heart every time 😛

    -Morgan
    How 2 Wear It [] http://how2wearit.com

    • November 22, 2017 / 9:36 am

      Ummm…YAS please! That would be so much fun!! We would definitely need to visit The Omni Grove Park Spa!

      xo Laura Leigh

  2. November 22, 2017 / 10:12 am

    Ashville is SO cute and this is such a good guide! Definitely book marking this for my next trip! XO

    • November 23, 2017 / 2:45 pm

      Aw thank you Kylie! Definitely happy to hear you say that. Hope you have a great trip next time you make your way there!

      xo Laura Leigh

  3. November 22, 2017 / 4:35 pm

    This is such a great roundup of places to go in asheville! We need a repeat visit, I need tupelo honey in my life + some more breweries this time. 🙂

    • November 23, 2017 / 2:47 pm

      Thanks Emily! I completely agree. That was so much fun last time. Definitely more breweries for sure.

      xo Laura Leigh

  4. November 22, 2017 / 7:03 pm

    Asheville is always the best place to visit! I have never been to any of these places, so I will have to visit next time I’m there!!

    • November 23, 2017 / 2:48 pm

      Totally agree girl! Oh you’ll definitely need to. Especially Sovereign Remedies and New Belgium.

      xo Laura Leigh

  5. November 22, 2017 / 8:50 pm

    Love this so much!! Your guides are the best! Amazing pics and I always want to visit wherever you stay!!

    • November 23, 2017 / 2:55 pm

      Ah thank you Ruthie! I so appreciate that lady!! You and the husband should definitely plan a trip there for a little getaway.

      xo Laura Leigh

  6. Anna english
    November 22, 2017 / 10:49 pm

    Asheville was always one of my favorite places to visit while living in nc!

  7. November 23, 2017 / 10:40 am

    wow, these pics are gorgeous. I would love to go there.

  8. Ashley
    November 23, 2017 / 2:52 pm

    What a fun getaway! So much delicious food!!!

    • November 24, 2017 / 2:54 pm

      Oh you definitely need to make it happen! It’s so beautiful and there’s so many tasty restaurants.

      xo Laura Leigh

    • November 24, 2017 / 2:55 pm

      Aw thank you Sarah! Oh it was so good. Hope you get a chance to try it out sometime!

      xo Laura Leigh

  9. November 27, 2017 / 8:12 am

    loveee all of this!! Adding it to my must see list!

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