BREAKFAST: Downtown’s eclectic Early Girl Eatery ( www.earlygirleatery.com) serves up seriously good food from early until late, with kids and kids-at-heart most welcome.
10 A.M.: The Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historic Site ( www.wolfememorial.com) features the Victorian childhood home of Thomas Wolfe, immortalized in his autobiographical novel, “Look Homeward, Angel.” A tour starts at the modern visitor center behind the house. The site is on the “Asheville Urban Trail,” a self-guided 1.7-mile loop that tells the story of Asheville’s history, famous residents, and culture through 30 bronze statues.
LUNCH: Curate Tapas Bar ( www.curatetapasbar.com) is the hottest downtown table for dinner, but locals swear by hot chef Katie Button’s lunch and brunch menus as well – with a table or seat at the bustling bar much easier to score
1 P.M.: Just a half-mile from the heart of downtown, The Adventure Center of Asheville ( www.ashevilletreetopsadventurepark.com) includes Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventures, Asheville Treetops Adventure Park, and Bike Adventures of Asheville. Ziplines overlooking the city, treetop bridges and challenges, and miles of single-track bike trails are among the highlights here.
4 P.M.: The city is called “Brewtopia” for good reason, thanks to the large number of microbreweries. Asheville Brews Cruise ( www.ashevillebrewscruise.com) offers a variety of beer- and brewery-centric tours, including a classic “Mobile Cruise” that often visits Highland Brewing ( www.highlandbrewing.com), Asheville’s original and largest brewery.
DINNER: Horizons Dining Room at The Grove Park Inn ( www.groveparkinn.com) offers endless views and a menu that focuses on fresh ingredients from local farmers. Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, Grove Park’s lobby alone is worth the short drive out of downtown.
BREAKFAST (WEEKEND BRUNCH): Corner Kitchen ( www.thecornerkitchen.com) in busy Biltmore Village is a great place to start a “Biltmore” day at 9 a.m. sharp on weekends (7:30 a.m. weekdays).
10 A.M.: You can’t visit Asheville without heading to Biltmore ( www.biltmore.com) and those in the know head there early to beat the crowds and reserve a specific tour time for Biltmore House. The mansion, grounds, and gardens are well worth an extended visit, but so is a visit to Antler Hill Village, which includes the most-visited winery in the nation, Biltmore’s Outdoor Adventure Center, shopping, casual dining and more.
LUNCH: After tasting wines, Antler Hill Village features two dining options: fresh local fare at Bistro and creative pub grub at Cedric’s Tavern.
1 P.M.: More Biltmore exploration.
4 P.M.: The River Arts District ( www.riverartsdistrict.com) is well worth a stop to see artists work and meet them face-to-face. It’s also easy to meet other eclectic locals at the River Arts District’s Wedge Brewing ( www.wedgebrewing.com), which opens daily mid- to late-afternoon and features popular pitchers of beer, frequent food trucks, live music, and more.
DINNER: The Blackbird ( www.theblackbirdrestaurant.com) in downtown’s hip Aloft hotel is new and hot, thanks to locally-sourced farm-to-table fare.
WRAP UP: The Orange Peel ( www.theorangepeel.net) offers up a packed live-music schedule. Lynn Seldon
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