In case you missed the first post, I am starting a series of recaps of each city I visited on the road trip I took in June. It was an amazing time shared with my friend Kelsey and I don't want to forget all the amazing places we went, so I am documenting them. I hope you find them enjoyable and possibly inspired to take a road trip yourself. I am now convinced that road trips are the best form of traveling and I would love to go on many more in the future. Anyways, to get back into my story, last time I left you in Charlottesville. Today, I will pick back up in one of my favorite cities of the trip, Asheville, NC. After leaving Charlottesville, we drove west towards Asheville for about five hours. Usually five hours in a car would sound pretty horrible to me but after spending 14 a couple days earlier, five was a breeze. Not to mention the drive from city to city was absolutely beautiful. We were surrounded by mountains most of the time and you won't find me complaining about that.
We heard west Asheville was an up and coming area of the city and definitely worth checking which was enough reason for us to head that direction. We also had sleeping arrangements in downtown Asheville for the next night so we decided to spend our first day/night on the west side. Once we arrived, we found a quirky little park to have a picnic in and then spent the rest of our time at a free outdoor music event. Local hip hop and reggae artists performed, people danced and drank beer, and kids played with bubbles. It was a cool place to hang out and definitely showed us the hippie side of west Asheville.
After we hung out for a while we realized we should probably figure out where we were going to stay that night. Eventually we found a camp site not too far away and drove over to pitch the tent, play the dot game (picture below), and crash. Just to give you a visual, when I say camp site I actually mean an RV park with our little tent set up next to the play ground. It looked ridiculous, but the owners of the park were so sweet and even gave us a discount. If you're looking for southern hospitality you will find it at Bear Creek RV Park.
The next day was amazing. We started early and went hiking all day. After talking to a couple locals at the music event the day before we had an idea of where we wanted to go. If you are ever in the area (which I highly recommend you go) just hop on the Blue Ridge Parkway and you'll find endless beauty and hiking spots as you weave in and around the mountains. I'm going to stop talking for a bit and show mostly pictures but I will tell you we hiked at Craggy Gardens and Crabtree Falls and loved every second of it.
It's hard to describe how amazing it feels to be surrounded by mountains. It took me too long in my lifetime to experience that, but I'm so thankful I finally have. Needless to say, I'm hooked. I love you Wisconsin, but someday I will leave you for mountains.
After hiking all day we went to the hostel we were staying at downtown. If you are ever in Asheville and want to try out a hostel go to Sweet Peas. I don't have a single bad thing to say about that place. It is clean, secure, the employees are super welcoming, and it is in the perfect location to explore downtown. After showering up and getting cute we headed out to walk the streets for the rest of the night. Asheville is filled with local one of kind shops and restaurants and I can totally see how it is becoming a popular place to live. We ate dinner at Early Girl Eatery which I would also highly recommend. We ended our stay in Asheville observing the night life and eventually made our way back to the hostel. We were woken up by drunk hostel-mates from Jersey but such is life when you stay in a hostel.
- I could totally live there. I would prefer downtown to west Asheville but either one would be great.
- Everyone was friendly and the city was cute but not white-picket fence cute like Charlottesville. Asheville had a little bit more culture and grit.
- If you value local businesses you'll share that with the people who live here. It was one of my favorite aspects of the city.
- You really can't beat living so close to the mountains. If you like to live an active outdoor lifestyle you can definitely meet your needs here.
- Go to Asheville. Seriously, you won't be disappointed.
See you next time in Charleston, SC!