United States

Discover travel destinations of travelers writing a travel journal on FindPenguins.

17 travelers at this place:

  • Day14

    Birthday in Asheville

    June 20, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Well, we have been travelling for 2 weeks now and had a restful 'holiday from the holiday' with Malcolm in Alpharetta. A first world problem I know, but to keep momentum going on an extended trip takes effort as the desire to go home slowly increases. Familiar comforts such as home cooked food, your own pillows and seeing friends and family become more important than exploring an art gallery or fine dining. It would be wonderful to be able to teleport home and just touch the walls again before carrying on.

    Today is my birthday and when you reach my age you are quite happy to find an excuse not to make a big fuss about it. We were in Asheville whose main attraction is the Biltmore Estate, which is a grand faux chateau on the outskirts of town famous for being the largest single ownership house in the country. Built in 1889, to many Americans this is unimaginably ancient but to us Brits it's pretty run of the mill. Some of us will have lived in houses older than that. At $70 a head it was pretty steep too so we decided to give it a miss.

    We arrived early into Asheville and dropped our bags off at the Windor hotel while we waited for the room to be readied. The hotel fitted snugly into the Asheville vibe which was heavily hip and trendy. Bursting with young people embracing a 'nouveau hillbilly' look which while at first was amusing, actually is an impressive nod and embracing of unsophisticated roots. First things first, we headed next door to the 'Mellow Mushroom' where we had 2 great slices of pizza (we had the veggie which we corrupted with added pepperoni) and also locally brewed beer. Asheville has numerous microbreweries around town and there were nearly 100 choices of beer on the menu.

    We then wandered around the town which had a real 'west coast' feel to it. Vibrant but possibly as multicultural as N Carolina gets, we immediately wished we had more than one day there. Street performers captivated diners seated out on the pavement, children played barefoot in the fountains to escape the mellow heat. The architecture too was unusual and had a huge European vibe. The Catholic Church was impressive, as well as several government offices downtown which had an Italianate feel. We headed back to the hotel and our room, or should I say apartment, was ready. It was huge! You could certainly happily move into it for a month if you wanted to explore Asheville further. They had kindly provided a bottle of champagne which we drank to celebrate or commiserate my final year in my 40s.

    For dinner that night I chose dim sum and man I'm glad I did. Our waiter, if you were in the wrong mood, could rub you up the wrong way as he was aggressive and scowling but also protective and oddly comradely. I quite liked him. When I ordered the local Sauvignon blanc he refused to bring it and said I should have the New Zealand. When I deferred he brought both and encouraged me to spit the local wine back into the glass if I wanted. I bravely swallowed it but it was truly awful. Our meal consisted of multilple dumplings and buns but these were pretty huge by Asian standards. Thankfully he stopped us ordering more and we just about ate the lot feeling full to bursting.

    The young lady on the front desk in the hotel told us that it was a great time to be in Asheville as it was the height of the very short 'firefly' season. She said that there were so many this year that you might even see them in public parks. After dinner as the sun was setting we headed down to the public park that we sat in to cool down in earlier that day. After a short while we saw what looked like white sparks rising from the grass, tiny spotlights every now and again from the corner of your eye. Feeling braver we crossed over the main road by bridge into a wooded park with few street lights. The natural feeling of fear was overcome by wonder as we watched the trees twinkle with the millions of fireflies signalling their fleeting maturity. It was truly magical and a wonderful ending to a memorable birthday in a memorable town.
    Read more

  • Day14

    Highlands to Asheville

    June 20, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    The hotel in Highlands was nice but in a twee sort of way. I do like these suite hotels that you get in the US where you have a lounge, bathroom and bedroom, giving you lots of space to spread and relax. Newly refurbished about a year ago the Park on Main Hotel was grey and white in a clapboard New England sort of way but I couldn’t escape the tweeness of it all somehow. We were greeted in the room by a card welcoming Mr. & Mrs. Mayer. We might not be the only ones to find this a bit gauche, but it would be equally odd for a non-married heterosexual couple, a father and son who were happy to share a bed or just two friends without hangups. The bed looked really comfortable and on first acquaintance seemed it too, but for me the pillows were solid and unforgiving and although we were able to switch the aircon off and sleep with the door onto the balcony open, I woke at 3.30 and was wide awake for hours and unfortunately my tossing and turning kept disturbing Mike. The up-side was being able to hear the night time noises, pitter patter of rain and the start of the dawn chorus. I did drop off about 6.30 for a couple of hours but I was glad the drive was not too long today.

    You can walk the full length of Main Street in less than 10 minutes and, like nearly everywhere in the South, we saw four churches. The 2010 census stated a full time population of around 940 individuals, so that’s a lot of churches for the population. The town is up-market and set up for tourists and had a number of hotels and B & Bs, including a chi-chi Relais and Chatueau hotel. It reminded us a little of Carmel in California between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

    Leaving Highlands, we travelled along a narrow and torturous road alongside a small, tumbling river. Meeting a large lorry spreading itself on a sharp bend was a shock to the system but otherwise it was a scenic route. Stopping at a tiny place called Dillsboro, we parked and had a wander round in the sunshine. What looked like a little used railway line ran through the town and I suspect the town had grown up because as a result of this and the junction of local roads but although it looked like a stain once existed, it must have been many years since a passenger train stopped there. It was a sleepy little village with a couple of greek owned restaurant/bars and a few touristy shops and a hairdresser and not much more. Rocking chairs on porches characterised the sleepiness of the place. Further on we came to a larger town called Sylva which had a lovely courthouse on the top of a hill as was probably the administrative centre for the area. We wandered around and checked out the shops and sights of the small town South and people watched. We are still looking for the item for our ‘memory shelf’ at home which would remind us of this holiday - we would love to find a model rocking chair as for us people sitting in rocking chairs on front porches distils the essence of the South more than anything. Pressing on we soon came to downtown Asheville and the Windsor Hotel. Parking was initially an issue and we had to wait for our room to be prepared, so we went out for an exploratory wander.
    Read more

  • Day6

    Roadtrip to Asheville

    August 19, 2017 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 22 °C

    Der erste Tag mit Aldo führte uns auf einem Roadtrip nach Asheville. Eine schöne kleine Stadt mit ganz vielen Brauereien. Wir waren zu Mittag dann in die Thirsty Monk Brewery eingekehrt und haben ein paar Bierproben genommen. Unter anderem ein Bier mit Kokosgeschmack. Klingt komisch, schmeckte aber gut. Es waren aber auch ein paar schlimme dabei.
    Und damit ihr nicht denkt, wir wären nur am Biertrinken: es gab auch was zu essen 😜
    Der weitere Weg führte uns dann über den Blue Ridge Parkway, welcher völlig überraschend durch die Blue Ridge Mountains ging. Eine supertolle und schöne und landschaftlich sehr beeindruckende Straße. In Blowing Rock haben wir am Abend noch kurz gehalten und ein absolut leckeres und super großes Eis gegessen. Danach gings dann wieder zurück zu Aldo. Ein schöner Tag war's!
    Read more

  • Day1

    Our Air B&B

    July 4, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Cutest little Air B&B right downtown within walking distance of restaurants, bars and the dance studio. Just love when we can walk to everything. And if we didn’t feel like walking, there are a wine shop and cheese shop on the bottom floor below our Air B&B.

  • Day3

    Isis Music Hall and Restaurant

    July 6, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Worked up an appetite after spending the day wandering in and out of antique stores following my lesson. Went to the Isis Music Hall and Restaurant, a 1920’s movie theater that had been renovated by my dear friend and former veterinarian, Scott Woody and his family. Dinner was delicious, but better yet was catching up with an old friend.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Asheville, آشفيل, اشویل، کارولینای شمالی, אשוויל, AVL, アシュビル, 애슈빌, Эшвилл, 28801, Ешвил, Ешвіль, ایشویل، شمالی کیرولائنا, 阿什维尔

Join us:

FindPenguins for iOS FindPenguins for Android

Sign up now