Beautiful Asheville, North Carolina

by Kim on June 26, 2012 · 32 comments

In the past twelve days we have driven from Cleveland, Ohio to Morgantown, West Virginia to Asheville, North Carolina to Savannah, Georgia. We are now in St. Louis, Missouri for a brief stop before heading off to Yellowstone National Park, Grand Tetons National Park, and beyond.

I’d meant to write about each city we have visited along the way: Asheville, Savannah, St. Louis, but I just can’t bring myself to do it, at least not yet. Life is zipping by at an astounding pace and I haven’t had any down time to process what we’ve seen and done.

We are visiting friends in each of the cities we’ve stopped in and my days are spent catching up and doing fun things, I just don’t have much free time. Or, rather, when it comes down to writing a post or staying up late to have a great conversation, I always choose the conversation.  I know you guys would approve.

But I am trying my best to save some mornings to write these posts and I am looking forward to the day when Brian and I are moving at a slower pace and I can leisurely write to my heart’s desire.  We always knew that our U.S. road trip would be a whirlwind but I still find myself shocked by how quickly the days zoom by. 

So in lieu of fully formed thoughts and ideas about the latest city I want to write about, Asheville, here is what I can offer you instead: pictures! brief, choppy half-thoughts about the city!

Beautiful Asheville, North Carolina

Brian and I took the scenic route into Asheville, North Carolina, driving south through Shenandoah National Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The Blue Ridge Parkway has been named “America’s Favorite Drive” and winds 469 miles from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia all the way down to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.

A scene from the Blue Ridge Parkway

We arrived in Asheville in the late evening, drank a few beers and decompressed.  Our lovely hosts, Jessy and Michele, told us about their plans to show us all that Asheville has to offer.  Our tour would kick off the following day with an electric bike ride around the city.

The tour company we used- highly recommended!

Our lovely host Michele cruising on her electric bike

Electric bikes are so much fun!  The bikes have an electric motor that can be turned on to provide a boost up the hills.  The bike responds to the effort you make so the harder you pedal the more assistance it provides.  Brilliant!

We rode our bikes up to the Grove Park Inn, a grand and historic hotel perched in the mountains above Asheville.  We couldn’t afford to eat there or stay there, but we could afford to drink a beer there.

The Grove Park Inn, Asheville, North Carolina

Later in the afternoon we stopped by a fun bar called The Bywater.  From the outside it looks like a little shack, but in the yard behind the bar are chairs and picnic tables propped on the sandy banks of the French Broad River.  We drank some local Asheville microbrews and watched the tubers float by in the river.

A fun place to have a beer in Asheville

The Bywater doesn’t look like much from the outside

Having a drink at the Bywater on the banks of the French Broad River

The next morning we hiked Looking Glass Rock in the Pisgah National Forest.  The trail ends at a rock bald overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The view above Looking Glass Rock

A group shot at Looking Glass Rock, Asheville

We topped off the day at another local brewery, Wedge Brewing Company, a place which I am certain would become my preferred watering hole if I lived in Asheville myself.  It’s a tiny little bar with an abundance of outdoor seating, long picnic tables linked together in rows.

The bar is surrounded by loading docks and train tracks, but the clientele look like they’ve all just wandered off of the Appalachian Trail, showered, and come to Wedge for a beer.  I loved it.

A great bar in Asheville, NC 

Celebrating another great day on the road at Wedge

Asheville, North Carolina is a city after my own heart.  It’s tucked in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s known for its good beer and funky residents intent on doing things their own way. The weather is good. The food is delicious. The roads are bikeable.

Life in Asheville, at least for the few days when my life was there, is really good.

 Beautiful Asheville, North Carolina