Travel is very important to my husband and I. A weekend away or a restful staycation in our home helps us feel connected, rejuvenated, and more ready for the week ahead. This year we have tried to be more intentional about scheduling weekends or days here and there to get away with one another to reflect, rest, and have fun. Recently we took a trip to one of our favorite places; Asheville, NC.
One of our favorite comedians, John Mulaney, was on tour and had a random Wednesday evening stop in Asheville with super cheap tickets. We took two days off work since it happened to be a lighter time for both of our work schedules and hit the road. We left on Wednesday morning and took the quick (just shy of 2 hours) drive and reached Asheville in time for lunch together. The weather was mild compared to the insanity of Charlotte so we were able to sit outside at Carmel’s Kitchen and Bar. I had a grilled chicken sandwich and sweet potato fries, David went with a Reuben. Both great and hit the spot!
We walked around downtown Asheville before our Airbnb was ready and finally got out of what had become a pretty warm afternoon to nap, shower, and get ready for the show. I had researched a fun place for cocktails before the show (we never splurge on drinks out so wanted to find a local place to enjoy while we were out of town) and we ended up at The Montford Rooftop Bar. Sipped on two really fun cocktails a piece and enjoyed the wonderful views of Asheville and the distant mountains. I had the Queen of Hearts (not on the menu it looks like but it was very fruity and refreshing) and then the Witching Hour (so so different and delicious). We were a short walk to the venue so strolled down just in time for the doors to open. John Mulaney is absolutely hilarious and we had such a fun time together at the show.
We were famished by the end of the show so went in search of a restaurant for a late dinner. Sometimes I like to not research and just see what we discover by walking through a town and we were not disappointed with this method. Found LAB (Lexington Avenue Brewery) and sat on the patio. The weather was perfect and they had fans making a continuous breeze, so relaxing and enjoyable. I had the best mac and cheese I have ever had in my life here and, believe me, I have tried a lot. It had grilled chicken in it and with the seasonings used it tasted like Thanksgiving. That’s the only way I can describe it. YUM. I was honestly enjoying myself so much I didn’t even think to take a picture but sometimes that’s way more restful and intentional for me to be in the moment instead of documenting every moment. These lanterns were in a storefront across the street though and I was oohing and ahhing over them the entire meal so had to take a snapshot as we walked home.
By the time we walked back to our room, we were exhausted and hit the hay. Zzzzzz….
Thursday morning we slept in and relaxed in the room, made coffee, and watched some Netflix while getting ready. A few years ago we discovered Sunny Point Cafe and knew we wanted to go back for brunch before leaving town. Never a bad choice. I honestly forgot what I ate but it was amazing. I promise.
We walked through West Asheville and headed back to our car to hit the road. We were both craving some ice cream so what better place for a snack for the road than The Hop. I wanted some coffee too but discovered a milkshake with a shot of espresso so clearly chose that. Salted Caramel Chocolate ice cream blended with espresso and good old dairy milk. I can’t even. We had never been to the Grove Park Inn and stopped in just to see the inside and view from the restaurant (this place is like a tourist spot all it’s own even if you aren’t staying there so wasn’t as weird as it sounds :)). It was pretty impressive and I am already planning how to have a special occasion trip there someday. Nearby, there was a really cool antique car museum that we strolled through on our way out too because #carnerds. Then home to Charlotte!
I cannot encourage little trips like this enough. It is so much easier (and cheaper!) to plan for a day or two away instead of weeks at a time. Also, if you have limited time off and don’t want to use weekdays, little weekend trips within an hour or two of your city are a wonderful option for finding rest and intentional travel and adventure! I had a fun trip recently with a few girlfriends (because these are SO important too!) and will give some ideas for these types of weekends away in future posts.
Some other places close to Charlotte (within 2 hours from the city) that we love and some we have never been to but have been recommended!
- Blowing Rock, NC—Rough Ridge for hiking, Bistro Roca for a romantic dinner, Blowing Rock Brewing Company for a relaxing afternoon, and The New Public House and Hotel for lodging.
- Hillsborough, NC–where my husband grew up and one of the most charming little towns ever. Maple View Farms for the best ice cream, Bandido’s for amazing mexican food, Panciuto for a fancy romantic farm-to-table meal, Ayr Mount for resting, reading, or light hiking on the “poet’s walk”, Occoneechee Speedway Trail or Eno River State Park for getting back to nature.
- Lake James–we rented this Airbnb a few years ago with a few other couples and just rested, took the canoes/kayaks out and went to one dinner out at Judge’s Riverside Restaurant
Some suggestions we have been given that we are excited to try:
- Greenville, SC
- Sky Retreat-Boone, NC
Happy Almost Weekend! Any fun suggestions for weekend vacations YOU have taken recently? Comment below!