Buckle up, friends, because this post is about to be a long one. I have so much to talk about on this topic. If you follow me on Instagram (if you don’t, you should get on that ASAP), you probably saw that I went to North Carolina this past weekend in a partnership with VisitNC. It was an amazing and jam-packed weekend and was positively the best way to end my summer, and I’m so excited to share all of the fun places I visited while I was there.
Where to Stay
Normally, I’m staying in the cheapest accommodations possible, because that’s just what I can usually afford (see basically any of my Europe travel posts). However, this weekend I stayed in a lovely little place called Bed & Breakfast on Tiffany Hill, and let me tell y’all, the game was changed. It was a stunning property, the room was beautiful, and the owner of the B&B (Selena) is one of the sweetest and most hospitable people I’ve ever met. Breakfast was a gourmet three-course affair, and wow oh wow. 10/10 would highly recommend. Seriously, just look at all of these amazing pics.
Given that I literally flew back from DC on Friday and then had to drive from Atlanta to North Carolina, we didn’t get up to North Carolina until late in the afternoon. The B&B was a short drive from a college town called Brevard, so we made our way over that way for dinner.
What to Eat: The Square Root
I could basically live off of appetizers, so I definitely made those my meal at The Square Root (and a few other places this weekend as well, you’ll sense a theme). The pecan-crusted brie and fried green tomatoes made. my. life. Also, the patio was dog-friendly, so I got nuzzled by an adorable black lab for a good portion of the meal.
What to Eat: Kiwi Gelato
In search of a sweet treat and shelter from the rain (it rained the entire way to North Carolina and all through that evening), we ended up at Kiwi Gelato. Fun fact: the owner is from New Zealand, hence the name. I got the peach and strawberry gelato flavors, and they were so fresh-tasting.
Saturday (Mills River and Hendersonville)
What to Do: Kayaking the French Broad River
To take advantage of the perfect weather on Saturday morning, we went down the street from our B&B to a small little place called Lazy Otter Outfitters, and they sent us off on the river in our kayaks. I’ve actually never kayaked on a river (only on a lake), so being able to leisurely float along in the kayak was so much better than constantly having to paddle. The river and surrounding area were so photogenic, and I had a ton of fun breaking out the GoPro.
What to Eat: The Never Blue
We finished kayaking right around lunchtime, and headed into Hendersonville for lunch. The Never Blue had come highly recommended, so we made that our lunch stop. It’s an eclectic tapas restaurant with some really creative dishes – we got the hummus plate, yucca fries, and poke bowl (I may have had a bite or two of fish… whoops). We also got their signature brownie (which was wrapped in phyllo dough, topped with ice cream, and covered with candied pecans; so basically, I was in a nice food coma after this meal.
What to Do: Carl Sandburg House
The Carl Sandburg House is a gorgeous estate – the house itself is currently undergoing preservations so most of the furniture isn’t there, but the tour guide who took us around did a great job anyways. There was also a goat farm, so I got to pet some small goats and that was honestly my peak.
What to Do: Jump Off Rock
If you’re looking for a post-hike view without the actual effort of hiking anywhere, Jump Off Rock has you covered. Immediately when you park, you’ve got a gorgeous view of the surrounding area from high above. Also great if you want a picturesque hiking shot before you start sweating. Oh, and a number of trails depart from Jump Off Rock as well, in case you’re in the mood to actually hike somewhere.
What to Eat: Brandy’s on Main
We found ourselves right back in Hendersonville for dinner (literally on the same block as The Never Blue, actually) at a place called Brandy’s on Main, which our host positively raved about. They’re known for their seafood and steak, neither of which I actually eat, but I got an amazing vegetable bowl and blue cheese grits. We finished the meal with a crème brûlée, because I’ll never have enough self-control to turn down a good dessert.
Sunday (DuPont and Asheville)
What to Do: DuPont State Park
After an amazing Tiffany Hill breakfast, hiking was definitely in order to work off some of the decadent food. DuPont State Park is right along the river and features a ton of waterfalls, so we ventured over that way and ended up taking the Triple Falls trail. It led to a really great spot right at the bottom of, you guessed it, three waterfalls. Like Jump Off Rock, the area was so picturesque it almost felt unreal. At some point, I’m definitely going back and hiking even more of the park.
What to Eat: The Market Place
After our hike, we drove 45 minutes north into Asheville, another really amazing North Carolina town that I was dying to visit. They’re also really well-known for amazing restaurants, and that’s a solid way to get me hooked on a city. The Market Place was a farm-to-table restaurant, and once again we ended up ordering a few small plates and splitting them. This time, it was mac and cheese (my one true weakness), a tomato salad, and roasted peaches. Heck. Yes.
What to Do: Well Played Board Game Café
I actually struggled a little in determining whether to classify this as a “what to do” or a “what to eat,” but since the only thing I really ate there was some M&M’s, I went with the former. This is a fun little café where you can pay $5 to have access to a ton of board games, ranging from simple to incredibly complicated. We knocked out a huge variety of games, including Exploding Kittens (which got intense), Battleship, and, because we’re essentially still children, Chutes and Ladders. The staff is so helpful in explaining rules or providing refreshers, and we had a ton of fun (even if I am a little bit too competitive at times).
What to Eat (Drink?): Trade & Lore Coffee
Y’all didn’t really think I could make it through a travel post without mentioning a coffee shop, did you? This was a really cool-looking place, and the baristas were incredibly knowledgeable about coffee (a major plus in my book). I had a black coffee that blew my mind – I know some of y’all are probably shuddering at that, it’s ok, I don’t understand how I enjoy black coffee either.
What to Eat: French Broad Chocolates
Important road trip fuel, obviously! I got some fancy truffles and portioned them out through the ride home, which made the trip go a little faster.
Phew, that was a long one! Hopefully, this post inspired you to take a trip to North Carolina if you live nearby, because I know for sure that I didn’t realize how much there is to do there until this weekend! I think my next stop is going to be the Outer Banks area – one of the gals staying at the B&B said it’s really pretty and has a similar small-town vibe. I can’t wait!
Disclaimer: This trip was sponsored by VisitNC. However, all opinions are entirely my own. I was genuinely this blown away by the entire weekend.