Warning: There’s a 40% chance you’ll leave Asheville with a new tattoo. Two of my friends gained an additional work of body art on our trip.
Asheville, North Carolina is the perfect destination for a Girls’ Weekend. Lots of interesting shopping (in all price ranges) downtown, great food (especially Brunch and BBQ), breathe in the fresh mountain air on a hike, spend a relaxing day at the Biltmore Estate & Winery, people watch, check out the top notch breweries, enjoy gorgeous sunsets over the mountains, maybe even get that tattoo you’ve been thinking about.
There are 7 reasons Asheville tops my list of ideal Girls Trip destinations in the US.
You will not be disappointed! There’s something for every personality in your tribe.
- Unique Eateries
- Coffee and Doughnuts
I met up with four of my closest friends in Asheville for my 30th birthday in September. I had my heart set on a long weekend drinking craft beers and trying every winery within 30 miles. ANNNDDD… then I found out I was pregnant rendering me as the Designated Driver on my birthday trip. Nonetheless, this was one of the most memorable and diverse trips I’ve taken with my friends.
A quick note on lodging: Our Airbnb cottage in Black Mountain wonderfully charming, however it was a bit of a drive to reach the places on our list. I recommend staying in Asheville or even a bit to the west of the city for a more convenient launch pad.
Unique Eateries in Asheville, North Carolina
Food and Drink
- Cafe 64 – Carolinians know how to do brunch. Ours at Cafe 64 was fantastic.
- Double D’s – For a unique coffee experience and great bakery, visit Double D’s the red English Double Decker bus. It was used for public transport in England til becoming a party bus in Atlanta and then found its way to Asheville where it became a coffee shop.
- Buxton Hall BBQ – One of Asheville’s most popular BBQ joints. Expect a 60-90 minute wait to get a table (no reservations accepted). Not to worry though, there is a lot to do in the area until you receive a text that your table is ready. (Vortex Donuts is in the same building as well as Catawba Brewing. Or, get an impulse tattoo at Integrity Alliance around the corner.)
- Early Girl Eatery – Known for their southern favorites and vegetarian options, you can’t miss this place. (Another place to expect a line, especially during brunch hours.)
- White Duck Taco Shop – Taco flavors I never would’ve thought to mix together. Expect a line, but it moves quickly. Great place for a quick, affordable, and delicious meal. I wish we had time to go back for more!
- SkyBar (now closed) served outstanding cocktails and an unbeatable view at Sunset. Check out Pillar Rooftop as an alternative.
Coffee and Doughnuts to Drool Over in Asheville, North Carolina
- Vortex Donuts – Unique flavors and they even offer cake versions of their doughnuts. Buy 5 and the 6th is free! Visit in the morning for the freshest doughnuts and the most options.
- Double D’s – For a unique coffee experience and great bakery, visit Double D’s, the red British Double Decker bus. It was used for public transport in England til becoming a party bus in Atlanta and then found its way to Asheville where it become this can’t miss attraction.
The Best Breweries in Asheville, North Carolina
I challenge you to walk 5 blocks without passing a brewery in the downtown area. Here are the breweries we visited, starting with our favorite:
1. Burial Beer Company
2. The Funkatorium
3. Green Man Brewery (Best atmosphere! Loved the Rock Garden)
4. Catawba Brewing – Nice patio, beer was alright, mostly a place to kill time while waiting for a table at Buxton Hall BBQ.
5. Asheville Beer Company
Splurge-worthy Shopping in Asheville, North Carolina
Fun boutiques are scattered all down Broadway and Haywood. Give yourself a half day to stroll these neighborhoods and peruse the shops.
A serving of American History just outside of Asheville
One of the top places I’ve found in the US to feel like you’re stepping into the charm of Europe. (Right up there with Miami’s Vizcaya.) The Vanderbilt Family paid attention to every single detail of designing and decorating this mansion; the largest single family mansion in the United States. It was fascinating to learn about the inner workings of the house as well. (Felt very “Downton Abbey-esque”)
Your entry fee not only gets you access to wander the mansion, but also to spend the day on its expansive grounds and the Winery. Don’t miss the unlimited free wine tasting which will certainly lead to you purchasing bottles to take with you. The grounds are beautiful, so pack a picnic (and a corkscrew for the wine you’re bound to purchase) and find a nice place to enjoy the view.
Purchase tickets in advance to save time in line and a few dollars as they are quite expensive. If you don’t mind cozying up to share a small speaker, two people can split a single audio guide, but I definitely recommend the guide to get the most out of the experience.
Escape into Nature on your trip to Asheville, North Carolina
Set out on a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway and stop off at any of the dozens of trailheads to stretch your legs. Check out this round up of the best Blue Ridge Parkway overlooks.
We did an easy 60-90 minute hike to Looking Glass Falls. (Great picnic location) If we had more time, I would’ve loved to do a few more hikes along the way or even drive up to the Great Smokey Mountains.
Integrity Alliance – They accepted both of my friends as walk ins! A bit pricey, but it is money well spent for very talented artists.