There are so many things to do in Asheville, that I had to break this up into two posts. If you missed part one yesterday, you can check it out here. Today I want to show you guys some gorgeous scenic hikes we took as well as our day at the Biltmore, America’s largest estate.
A huge part of why we love Asheville is the incredible scenery. For this Dallas gal, mountains and forests are a whole new world, so we always plan to spend as much time outdoors in nature as we can! Since we were staying very close to the Blue Ridge Parkway in a cabin that backed up to the Pisgah National Forest, we got a ton of nature-time. Yay!
Our first excursion was to drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway to the top of Mount Pisgah. Apparently you can hike the whole mountain, but I feel like you would die. Okay, I would for sure. It would take days I think. Plus, driving the narrow, windy road around the mountain was the most fun I had driving in a long time. Wheeeee!
There are plenty of pull-offs on the road, so we stopped a few times to hike for several hours. Asheville is famous for bears—apparently there are tons around, so I was pretty nervous while hiking! Luckily, there was no bear to be seen and we made it back in one sweaty piece. 🙂
This is the gorgeous view you see when you get to the top. We stood there for almost half an hour just admiring the beauty!
Our next stop? Biltmore Village. You all have heard of the Vanderbilts, right? Well in 1888 George Vanderbilt visited Asheville, fell in love with the view and decided to build himself a nice little country home. Just 180,000 square feet of a house, NBD. If that wasn’t enough, the entire estate size is 10.86 MILLION square feet. There’s a village, a forrest, a winery, a lake…and of course an amazing, giant historical house. You can learn more about the Vanderbilts and Biltmore’s history here, really interesting stuff.
First, the village, which houses a ton of shops and restaurants and sits outside of Biltmore House.
We went back to eat at Corner Kitchen, which is one of our favorite restaurants in Asheville. It was their concrete countertops, in fact, that were the inspiration for our own concrete counters at the last house! Sadly, the ones at Corner Kitchen are now gone and replaced with granite, boo.
For lunch we shared their root chips with a blue cheese dipping sauce and then a sandwich on gluten-free bread with a side of pea salad. The pea salad was to die for! That and their homemade gingerale were my favorite two things there although everything was delicious. Scott also indulged in some local brews, but since I’m currently abstaining from gluten I just enjoyed the smells. 🙂
We had always heard that the Grand Bohemian Hotel was super cool, but have never had a chance to check it out so we dashed in to avoid a storm. Seriously the coolest decor I have ever seen at a hotel!
Since it was pouring rain we had to stop and grab a cocktail to wait it out! 🙂
Finally, it was time to hit the estate! We were total tourists and stopped to take pictures of everything! 🙂 This is the area outside the winery with a bunch of restaurants and such.
And now…the house. My new summer home! Haha. I wish.
Sadly they don’t allow photos inside so I couldn’t get any of my own, so I pulled a few off their website here to share with you guys. Check out the rest of their lovely photos there too!
Sigh, isn’t it dreamy? <3 One can dream right?
We then headed to the Biltmore Winery for a champagne tasting. Yes, they make their own champagne!
Want to know a really cool thing about the Biltmore Winery? You can try all the wine you want. FOR FREE. Well, it’s included in your admission ticket at least 😀 The champagne tasting was an extra splurge, but we did pre-game with some wine tasting. So good.
This champagne here is a Brut Zero. There are only 8 vineyards in the world that make this delicious, very low sugar beverage. We liked it so much we had a few bottles shipped home! 🙂
Lastly, this is a PSA…the new champagne trend? Sparkling wine poured over ice. The flavor really does change when you add ice…but I felt so weird drinking ice in my champagne!
Oh Asheville, you were so wonderful to us! If you guys have any questions or want any more recs, let me know! 🙂