It’s no secret that we love to travel at PLCo — outside of design, it’s probably one of my favorite topics to talk about. We find so much joy and beauty in exploring new cities, architecture, and culture — it’s one of our greatest sources of inspiration. Because it inspires us so much we’re excited to start sharing our ‘Travel Guides’ with you.
Before we leave on a new adventure, I will spend days scouring the internet figuring out where to stay, restaurants to try, the best places to shop, and sites to see. I love researching and planning all the details. If I’m completely honest, I sometimes find myself daydreaming about being a luxury travel agent — maybe someday there will some sort of travel element to PLCo. Anyway, since I’m kind of crazy about gathering all the details I thought why not share all my new information here so you can be inspired to plan your next escape.
A few weeks back my husband and I took a quick trip to Asheville, NC — a beautiful town with a vibrant arts scene nestled in the Blue Ridge mountains. It was a fun weekend getaway! Today I’m sharing my Travel Guide for Asheville, NC – which includes all my research on where to stay, where to eat, and what to do while visiting!
WHERE TO STAY
If you’re looking for a luxury Asheville experience stay at the Grand Bohemian. A part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection the Tudor-style property is inspired by and designed to feel like a European hunting lodge. The hotel lobby is beautifully decorated with stunning carved wood-panel walls, a grand stone fireplace, beautiful sculptures, and numerous hunting “trophies”. The perfect spot for a pre-dinner drink. The onsite restaurant Red Stagg Grill exudes the same chic-coziness and serves a yummy breakfast. With all the great food options in Asheville, we didn’t get a chance to try their dinner offering but I doubt you’ll be disappointed. My husband and I agreed that the breakfast dishes we had at the Red Stagg were probably our favorite meals of the whole trip. Located in the historic Biltmore Village the Grand Bohemian was a great option for us.
If you want to be in the heart of Downtown, stay at the AC Hotel! The AC Hotel is known for its European soul meets laid-back Carolina style where every element is meaningfully selected and placed for a vibe that’s sophisticated, yet decidedly uncomplicated. Throughout your stay, you’ll find yourself surrounded by local art, carefully curated from Asheville’s thriving artist community. The AC Hotel Asheville Downtown sits on the pulse of the city at Pack Square, putting you steps away from Asheville’s trendiest restaurants, bars, boutiques, and cultural destinations. You’ll discover something new every time you walk out the front door.
If history, elegance, and southern charm are what you are looking for then stay at the Omni Park Grove Inn. One of the country’s most celebrated resorts, serving guests for over a century, this historic hotel offers sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Relax at the unique subterranean spa or enjoy a round of championship golf — when it’s time to dine, enjoy one of the four locally-sourced restaurants. Then, retreat to stylish 5 star hotel rooms with stunning views and plush bedding.
WHERE TO EAT
Y’all know I love to find the best places to eat whenever I travel to a new city and Asheville was no different. Below I’m listing where we ate and also some of the other options that were on my shortlist.
Where we ate
Tupelo Honey – We grabbed a late lunch here on the day we flew in, before exploring the downtown area. Known for locally sourced ingredients, Tupelo Honey offers southern cuisine, brunch all day, and incredible cocktails. People love their fried chicken!
Chestnut – Casual and trendy, our dinner at Chestnut did not disappoint.
The Corner Kitchen – A popular restaurant in the Biltmore Village area, my husband and I both agreed that our meals were underwhelming here considering the rave reviews, nothing bad, just a rather average meal.
Hillman Beer – We stopped at Hillman Beer for lunch after touring the Biltmore. We originally had late lunch reservations at Stable Cafe (at the Biltmore) but finished our tour long before the reservation, rather than waiting around we canceled our reservation and headed off property. A short drive from the estate gates we found Hillman — a casual setting with lots of outdoor tables, super fast service, yummy food, and according to Mr. PLCo. — great beer!
Red Stagg Grill – As mentioned previously, this restaurant was located at our hotel — we ate breakfast here each morning, and these were our favorite meals of the trip. I wish we had tried dinner at Red Stagg, as I’m sure it would have been equally delicious.
Curate – Tapas-style dining. This restaurant was on the top of my list but sadly we couldn’t get a reservation despite being on the waitlist for over a month. Weekend dinner reservations sell out months in advance so book early.
- Buxton Hall BBQ
- White Duck Taco
- Sunny Point Cafe (Brunch)
- 12 Bones Smokehouse
WHAT TO DO
Explore the Downtown Area
- Grove Arcade – Opened in 1929 by E.W. Grove, Grove Arcade was built to celebrate the city he loved so much. Its rich history, ornate architecture, and eclectic mix of shops and restaurants have something for everyone.
- Woolworth Walk – This former Woolworths store now gallery features the diverse work of local artists. Grab a milkshake or bite to eat at the restored soda fountain.
- Asheville Pinball Museum
- French Broad Chocolate Lounge
Brewery Hopping – Beer Tasting
With over 100 breweries located in the city and surrounding mountains, Asheville is at the heart of a booming craft beer community. Asheville Ale Trail is a great resource for all things Asheville Beer.
Of course, as a designer, I was incredibly inspired by the beautiful home. With stunning architecture and inspiring details at every turn, I couldn’t snap pictures fast enough. I definitely left with some new ideas that I can’t wait to translate into future design projects.
Of course, we never get away without fitting in a little treasure hunting — and Asheville has no shortage of antique stores. While we found far more vintage items than quality antiques, we had fun spending a few hours poking around these antique stores; and of course, we came away with a few treasures.
- Antique Tobacco Barn
- Village Antiques – Beautiful high-end English and European Antiques
- Sweeten Creek Antiques
- Altamont Vintage
- Romantique Home & Design
We found Asheville to be a great weekend getaway, the artsy mountain vibe was a welcome change of scenery and the perfect way to cozy up and connect during the colder months. I’d love to hear your suggestions, or if you are traveling there soon let us know what you think!
You can find more of our travel guides here