When it comes to buzz-worthy destinations, Asheville, North Carolina, is at the top of many travelers’ wish lists. Visiting Asheville has been on my bucket list for years. Not only for the rapidly expanding beer scene, but also for what we dubbed as the “B’s of Asheville.” These include Beer, Barbeque, the Biltmore, and Beauty.
Mother Nature’s handiwork is on full display in the Asheville area. We knew while planning this episode that we would explore both the historic and modern aspects of Asheville. What we didn’t expect was the stunning natural beauty of the surrounding parks.
The Blue Ridge Mountains are awe-inspiring. Hiking Chimney Rock to take in the vistas was breathtaking. When you see the episode, you’ll notice I’m out of breath climbing the hundreds of stairs to the top. Ah…the magic of television. I really only walked about 25 steps multiple times to get the shot. Then, we took the elevator.
From the outdoor beauty to inside magnificence of the Biltmore Estate, Asheville has something for everyone. We could have spent a week at the Biltmore and never finished shooting. There’s so much to see. We filmed the historic home of the Vanderbilt’s, which is known as America’s “Downton Abbey.” We discovered the farms, the vineyards, and the gardens. I even got to partake in falconry for the first time in my life. What an incredible experience! Having a hawk land directly on my arm was scary, exhilarating, and joyous. You can see all of those emotions in my facial expressions. I absolutely loved it.
When we headed 10 minutes into town from the Biltmore, we found more joy in the form of food and drink. There are so many delicious destinations in Asheville, it was difficult to know where to film. Famed Chef Katie Button of Spanish tapas eatery, Cúrate, was on our list, but with limited time, we decided to focus on BBQ.
We researched, asked locals, got many passionate recommendations, but ultimately, we chose 12 Bones. What a fantastic spot to indulge any barbeque whims. Bryan and Angela King are a laid-back power couple who run this bustling place. If you find yourself in Asheville, make sure to drop by.
We also wanted to film with one of Asheville’s noted chefs, John Fleer, of Rhubarb and Rhu. Charming, talented, and maker of the dreamiest loaf of bread I’ve ever eaten (a combo of dense croissant and airy baguette), I have a total crush on him…and his mouth-watering bread.
Finally, I had to wash down that great food with beer, beer, and more beer. I did it while burning off calories on the hilarious pubcycle tour. Led by exuberant guide, Joe (you have to get on his bike), we pedaled and pedaled through town stopping at multiple watering holes. We did tuck into a cidery – Urban Orchard Cider Company – but this town is all about brew. My favorite were the eclectic beers of Bhramari Brewing Company. A place to eat AND drink.
Asheville is everything (and more) than I’d imagined. I can’t wait to return. Cheers!
Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park
Blue Ridge Parkway
The Rhu Bakery/Café/Pantry (home of the world’s best bread!)
Urban Orchard Cider Company
Bhramari Brewing Company
12 Bones Smokehouse
12 Bones Brewing
Asheville Distilling Company
Wicked Weed Brewing Pub
Green Man Brewery
Asheville Brewing Company
Highland Brewing Company
Burial Beer Company
Carmel’s Kitchen & Bar
Antidote Cocktail Lounge
WNC Farmers Market