Where do you go right now when you want to escape the craziness of the world just to have a sense of peace and to enjoy serenity all around… You go up to the mountains!
Before the end of summer we wanted to do a weekend getaway with friends as a way to replace some of the planned trips that we did not get to take due to Covid. Asheville, North Carolina became top of mind after seeing an enticing television commercial inviting people to visit the city. We must admit however that Asheville would not have been considered this year if it were not due to all of the travel restrictions caused by Covid. Both of us had visited the city some years ago, but this trip to Asheville offered an entirely different experience that quickly made us realize how the most beautiful places could be within a short road trip away.
One of the main attractions in Asheville is the Biltmore Estate, and some may feel that a trip to Asheville is not completed without a visit there. However, we discovered that there is more to Asheville than the Biltmore, so this time around we skipped visiting the estate all together to venture out just a bit to explore all of the other charming places in the surrounding area.
Our adventure started with driving through the Pisgah National Forest then stepping out to see Looking Glass Falls. We were glad that we did not have to take a hike to see this particular waterfall, but walking down a flight of stairs lead us to the base where we stood on the rocks to cool off by the mist ejecting from the falls. The only disappointment was that the water seemed a bit murky, but we were still amazed by God’s great creation. We also planned to visit Sliding Rock Falls nearby, but inclement weather earlier in the day shut down being able to slide down the rocks. Instead we drove to a nearby park to capture panoramic mountain views that were just breathtaking!
In the North Carolina mountains you can find some of the best wines and beautiful vineyards! We spent an entire day just visiting some of the wineries just a short drive outside of Asheville. We loved all of them and felt like we were in Napa Valley in our backyard! Point Lookout Vineyards offered the most picturesque views! Overmountain Vineyards made us feel so welcomed and Burntshirt and St.Paul Vineyards both offered amazing wine tastings. Visiting these wineries was the highlight of our weekend!
Before leaving the mountains, we stopped by one of the many orchards (Skytop) to pick apples! This was so much fun and we enjoyed our own little picnic in the orchards. We brought home so many delicious sweet green apples!
Let us not forget to mention that downtown Asheville is so charming. We noticed lots of art and sculptures, a hip young population and many displays of support for Black Lives Matter. We also ate at some really great restaurants downtown including Tupelo Honey and the Twisted Laurel. The food at both places was wonderful!
We had so much fun in the mountains and Asheville offered the perfect setting to have a peaceful and enjoyable getaway with friends! There is so much more to the city itself that we did not get the opportunity to discover, so we think we’ll return in the fall to explore more of Asheville. We hear it’s the most beautiful time of the year to visit the area!