When I told people I was heading to Asheville for a weekend trip, you would have thought I told them I was going to Figi…with Ryan Gosling…on a golden jet fully stocked with vodka, nachos, and bunnies. Everyone was all, “Ohmygod, you are going to looooove it; Asheville is so ahhh-mazing.”
I mean, it was no Fiji getaway, but I did spot a Ryan Gosling lookalike…although that was after eight cocktails…and I wasn’t wearing my glasses.
BUT SERIOUSLY…my friend Liza and I had a fantastic weekend full of food, drinks, brunch, wine, more food, more drinks, spa time, and a romantic hotel. Unfortunately, we didn’t meet the hot, rugged loves of our lives we were hoping to bring back to said hotel, but we did have multiple foodgasms (a close second). You can check out my DailyCandy story for a full review of how to “eat, drink, and relax your way through Asheville,” but I wanted to share/elaborate on a few highlights.
Brunching. We got about 2390842734923 brunch reccs, but we went with Early Girl Eatery for our big, midday binge. Behold the local sausage and sweet potato scramble (and remnants of pumpkin ginger bread we devoured). And yes, I got a side of grits, just shut up, ok!?
I mean, I just drooled on myself and almost got in the car to drive 3.5 hours to eat this meal again. Early Girl does get busy, BUT you can grab a cup of complimentary coffee right inside the restaurant door and take it with you to walk around town while you wait to be seated.
Beautifying. While we were strolling downtown, coffee in hand, awaiting the impending food coma, we stumbled upon a little shop called Appalachian Natural Soaps and I totally dorked out amongst the all-natural, handmade soaps and bath products. Witness the start of a #SmellFest:
I snagged the Pumpkin Spice soap (my showers are like Thanksgiving dessert every day now), as well as the Face the Facts Complexion Bar ($12), which has essential oils, shea butter, Vitamin E, aloe, and more natural goodness to work wonders for ALL skin types. But the most magical product of all is the Sunshine moisturizer ($25). You guys, I die for this and can’t imagine my life (and skin) without it now. It’s made with five oils that do a body good, is SO moisturizing, and seriously makes your skin glow (put it on your hands at night for silky soft mitts come morning). SPOILER ALERT friends and fam: You’re all getting this for Christmas.
Chillaxing. The Spa at The Omni Grove Park Inn is…a…doozy. It’s 43,000 square feet (not a typo), all stone, and nestled right in the mountains like a little piece of lady heaven. Do a luxurious treatment or just get a day pass ($65-$90) like we did and enjoy all the ridiculous features like contrast pools (hot tub soak followed by a freezing cold dip energizes you like whoa), therapeutic pools (super high-pressure waterfall gives a major massage), and outdoor terrace where you can sunbathe in the summer and do the hot-tub-by-the-fireplace thing in the fall/winter with a killer view (and
cabana cocktail boys at your service).
Sleeping. We stayed at the Inn at the Biltmore Estate, which is a truly breathtaking destination on 8,000 acres of land (you’ll get lost, don’t worry) . I highly recommend touring George Vanderbilt’s stupid-big, 250-room mansion (I think the “laundry drying room” was larger than my apartment) and exploring the grounds. Also, the Inn really sets the scene for romance in the fantasy suite. (Someone let ABC know their next Bachelorette is right here.)
Boozing. This city is all about beer, so if you like soaking up the suds, you may never leave. If you like soaking up the STUDS, the breweries are where to find them (we went to Wicked Weed and saw a couple cuties). But Asheville is also home to a major winery (apparently, the most frequented in the country) at the Biltmore Estate. No, North Carolina is not known for its wine country and no, Biltmore vinos are no Silver Oaks, but when you’re a guest at the Estate (or have a day pass), you get a complimentary tour and tasting where you can try as many wines as you want as many times as you want. In other words: Open bar.
Asheville, we’ll be back. Have your
boys booze ready.