A few weekends ago my husband and I hit the R O A D for Asheville, and were in the car for about ten minutes before realizing that while we'd done all the research necessary to know EXACTLY where + what to eat and drink (priorities!) and stay and do, neither of us had bothered to find out how long it would actually take us to get there from DC. I'd love to say that was an out-of-character-style oversight but directionally-challenged is a REAL THING; we both suffer; it affects most major transportation efforts. And so to avoid rolling into North Carolina at an ungodly hour, we broke up the trip and spent the first night of our long weekend in Harrisonburg.
We were in and out, but really dug The Golden Pony for its gigantic horsey murals, its post-midnight, gluten-free waffles + white wine availability, and again for its brunch menu the next morning (huevos rancheros and a bloody mary and one more waffle: CHECK CHECK CHECK). The Ice House was probably the biggest surprise – we both went to college in Harrisonburg and have been back a dozen times over the years since graduation; the factory where I legit used to have to go buy ice when I was bar-backing has been converted into a residence + local retail situation that wouldn't be out of place in DC. We headed straight there for Pale Fire Tap Room reasons, and after crowd-sourcing CAFFEINE SUGGESTIONS the next morning via Instagram (h/t @laurenjoseph + @carnillionaire!), swung by Black Sheep Coffee before taking off.
Five hours later (and in pouring, pouring rain) we pulled into Asheville. The city is as amazing as you assume it will be – good food, good wine, and good beer abound – and we spent the first night downtown over an EPIC dinner at the bar at Rhubarb, sought out on suggestion of both my friend Emily and Bon Appetit's city guide (PS - "Bon Appetit _____" has become my first Google when I go anywhere). We woke up the next morning to AMAZING weather and headed back downtown for flax toast + pour overs at High Five Coffee, but the rest of the trip was spent alternately hotel-napping and exploring in/around/near the River Arts District. Highlights? The public art/murals by the millions (including that GOOD VIBES water tower, at top), a quick browse at Harvest Records, EVERYTHING about All Souls Pizza, the string-lit patio at Wedge Brewing, and end-of-night drinks at The Bull & Beggar.
Dying to go back (sooo much we didn't do, including Biltmore Estate, the MOOG Museum, and, well, ALL OF THE OTHER THINGS) and incredibly glad to have had the chance to get outta town – big thanks to GM for the use of a GMC Terrain Denali for the week. Even before we headed south it came in SO HANDY, especially for running errands surrounding the A Creative DC x Misfit Juicery x CAFB hEArT event at the Capital Area Food Bank!