To break the monotony of everyday life, I was in pursuit of a place where I could indulge in some outdoor fun. So I packed my bags and headed to Asheville, NC. An ultimate destination for antique lovers and hikers, the city of Asheville attracts thousands of people, all the year round.
The trip turned out to be fun and I was in for a few surprises in this town, fondly called “The Paris of the South”, with its Art Deco skyscrapers reminding you of Paris.
The intimate cafes and bistros and the romantic scenery make it an ideal place for couples. Also, if you are an outdoor person you can have some real fun as this place offers some good options like horse riding, biking, fishing, kayaking and hiking.
Places to Visit
1. Basilica of Saint Lawrence:
I saw the church while driving into downtown Asheville and was awestruck by its beauty. Its an impressive structure with a colossal oval unsupported dome, stunning stained glass windows and statues.
2. Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventures:
Being a sports enthusiast, I just loved this place. The “flying” course and gave me a chance to witness the beautiful mountains and the lush green pastures. If you like thrill and adventure then this place should definitely feature in your itinerary.
3. Biltmore Estate:
The house is set on the grounds of the 8,000-acre Biltmore Estate and I spent almost a whole day here as there is so much to see. The house is 3 miles away from the front gate and winery is 5-6 miles from the house. So you need ample time to go around the place which is worth a visit. A short evening walk around the gardens and a visit to the winery provided an amazing experience.
4. Grove Arcade:
This local market is an architectural wonder built by E.W. Grove and boasts of some of the best cuisines in North Carolina. It is a must visit for shopaholics with some interesting furniture stores, book stores and antique shops .I also bought some exquisite art pieces to add to my collection back home. The street vendors outside the place have some interesting hand made stuff which can be bought as mementos.
5. Grove Wood Gallery:
This place is a must visit for fine art lovers as apart from enjoying the beautiful artistry you also get a chance to visit a working artist’s studio. The rare collection of vintage automobiles is interesting to look at. The Gallery gives an insight into the rapidly evolving American art and craft.
Places to Eat
Early Girl Eatery provides you some interesting and healthy breakfast options. I also enjoyed a sumptuous meal at Indian Salsa. It was a thrill ride for the taste buds as Indian spices were blended with the local ones to produce a distinct flavor. After the meal, I headed to the Old Europe bistro for an espresso. The place is a frequent haunt for young professionals in the city with flagstone walls and red sofas.
Tips for Tourists
- If you want to take up outdoor courses wear closed toes shoes and tie your hair.
- Don’t forget to taste the cask- conditioned beers which are a specialty of this region.