Each year Michael, Denver and I take a weekend hiking trip to a new town. Hiking is our way of putting life on pause and appreciating God’s beautiful creation. We would love to someday hit every national park in America. We started going on hiking trips because they are inexpensive and each trip is 100% different from the next. (And they are usually not crowed) We try to bring Denver with us as much as possible so we like to go to towns that have a lot to do outside and outdoor seating. This has worked out very well so far. This year we decided to go to Asheville, NC and hike at Pisgah National Forest.
But before I share with you where we stayed, where we hiked, where we ate, and what places we saw; We created a small highlight Video of our trip (Special Thanks to my Husband for learning how to do videography):
Swimsuit is from Albion Fit: Get 15% off your entire order with code: BLONDEBELL15
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Where we stayed:
During our trip we stayed in a beautiful AirBNB less than 10 minutes away from Downtown Asheville. It was newly renovated and pet friendly! If you have never stayed in an AirBNB I would highly suggest trying it. AirBNB is the best thing since sliced bread. I would do some research before booking. You want to look at location, if its an entire home, and the number of reviews. We love the affordable rates and that fact that we can stay in an entire home for the same cost as a tiny room in a hotel. We prefer to stay in “Entire home” AirBNB’s because we like to have the entire space to ourselves and they are not that much more expensive. Our place had an full bath, kitchen, living room. 1 bedroom, a porch, a Keuriig, cable, and WIFI. It was a no brainer for us. This AirBNB was in a nice part of town and a safe neighborhood.
Click HERE for listing Under $100 per night and its an entire Home not just a room, also pet friendly)
Pisgah National Forest (40 minutes away from our AirBNB and Asheville)
Looking Glass Falls || .25 miles || Waterfall || Pet Friendly
Looking glass falls is a must! It is not a trail and it is right off the side of the road. I would suggest getting there before 9:00 am because this spot can fill up quickly and you will find yourself parking down the road. We arrived at 8 am and there were no cars and we had the falls to ourselves. I was able to swim in the falls and when we finished up people were starting to roll in. Later that day we stopped by and people were everywhere and had to walk a half mile down the road (with no sidewalk). You cannot go to Pisgah National Forest without seeing these falls.
Looking Glass Rock || 6 miles total (3 miles out and 3 miles back) || Gorgeous View at the top || Pet Friendly
Michael and I both try to find on our hiking trips at least one longer trail with a view. This is the perfect distance because it can be completed in 2.5-3 hours. I would say this trail is medium difficulty. It is definitely not a super challenging trail, but I have done easier and harder ones. At the top you will reach a giant rock that overlooks the entire Smoky Mountains. You cannot beat this view! This is a great spot to have a snack before you head back, I would suggest bringing water.
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Moore Cove Falls trail|| 1.4 miles round trip || Pet friendly || Waterfall
This trail is a fairly easy trail that takes you to Moore Cove falls. Its about .75 miles out and .75 miles back. The falls are beautiful! I would high suggest getting behind the falls. This is a great trail to do on your first day if you are wanting to fit in a quick hike. We did this trail after we saw Looking Glass Falls.
Sliding Rock || Our #1 recommendation on what to do in Asheville!
This is something that you have to set your fears aside and just DO IT! Sliding rock is a 60ft natural water slide that pours into 10 feet of water. Now the water is cold, but I promise you it is all worth it. There are restrooms and changing rooms on site. You will get wet so wear a swimsuit. I went barefoot and I was fine. If you arrive before 10:30 you will avoid a $2 fee and long lines. I would recommend getting there before 9:30 if you don’t want to wait in a long line. Check out my SLIDING ROCK POST to see a fun video we took while going down the slide.
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Walking through the Creeks || Near Campgrounds or on side of road (I would recommend parking near a campground and doing it there for safety purposes|| Click HERE for a link to all the campgrounds
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Where we ate:
Biscuit Head :Indoor/Outdoor seating ||(Known for their homemade biscuits and dozens of unique homemade jam flavors. Biscuit Head was one of my favorite spots. The biscuits melt in your mouth and I tried about 5 different jams from their “Jam Bar”. This place gets packed right when they open. I would get their a couple minutes before opening time or you will wait a good 20-30 minutes.
Double D’s Coffee and Desserts (By far the most unique coffee shop I have been in. It is literally a double decker bus! You can eat outside or on the second floor. They made a solid honey latte.
Clean Juice Bar:After a long day of hiking nothing sounded better than a refreshing green smoothie. I usually try to find a juice bar in the areas I travel to and Asheville is loaded with them! Clean Juice Bar was right off the highway from coming back from Pisgah National Forest.
White Duck Taco Shop : Indoor/Outdoor seating ||They have so many different taco options and the chips comes with three types of salsas. Super affordable. They have outdoor seating in the back so we were able to bring Denver with us. You can mix and match your taco from their list of 20+ taco options that change daily.
Farm Burger Indoor/Outdoor seating || This is a more casual burger restaurant. You order at the front and then find your seat. They have outdoor seating in the front so we were able to bring Denver with us. All of their meat is grass fed and organic. You can customize your burger by selecting the type of meat and how you want it cooked. I love how you can get a “healthier option” by getting a burger on top of a salad. I LOVED their kale salad.
Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack: Indoor/Outdoor seating ||By far the best fried chicken I have ever had. You can get the sweet or spicy option. I got the sweet that comes with a honey sweet sauce on top and Mike got the spicy. You can choose your sides and the mac n cheese was amazing! Definitely worth it all! They have outdoor seating so we were able to bring Denver with us.
Salsa Mexican Caribbean: Indoor/Outdoor seating ||This restaurant was a bit pricier than the other two restaurants we ate at, but it was delicious! Every dish as a Caribbean twist. Michael and I shared the coconut curry fish fajitas. I also love how you can choose from a list of salsas to go with your chips. This place can get busy. We had to wait around 30-40 minutes. There is outdoor seating as well. We chose to split a meal because every dish, including the chips were a bit pricier. We left with full bellies because the portions are bigger.
The Chocolate Lounge || This is a bean to bar chocolate shop. Worth the 30 minute wait. If you go past 7 or 8PM the line will be out the door. We saw it around 5 and there was no wait. They have cakes, chocolates, brownies, ice-cream, and liquid chocolate, and more. This place is dangerous!
Places to See:
This is what Asheville is mainly known for. The Biltmore Estate is the largest home in America. I felt like I was in Europe. We had to pay for tickets to enter. I would not recommend bringing your kids. It is a little pricy for that and I don’t think they would appreciate it as much as adults would. If the price was cheaper I would recommend brining your kiddos, but tickets can cost anywhere from $40-80 per person depending on the season. It took us about 2 hours to get through the house and then an hour or so to walk through the Gardens and Observatory. I would HIGHLY recommend getting ice cream from their food shops. It was some of the best ice cream we’ve ever had. (random, but GOOD). Bring your walking shoes because there is plenty of walking involved. Below are some pictures of our experience.
*PS. if you are a blogger reading this: This is a great spot to get photos. I brought a small backpack with a few outfits in it and changed in the bathrooms. You cannot change inside the actual mansion but you can change outside of it near the gardens. I would recommend getting there about 45 minutes before your tour start time. It takes a while to park, get your tickets and take the bus to the estates.
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Downtown is fun to walk through during the evening before dinner. There is shopping and plenty of music along the streets! We loved exploring the cool buildings and seeing all of the people out and about!
Overall Michael and I loved our stay in Asheville. It was a very affordable trip and we got to experience a lot of new hikes and food. We both would recommend it to anyone! The weather was great and we look forward to going back in the future. If you have any questions on where we stayed or what we did please leave a comment below. See below for more related posts.