Last weekend we headed to Asheville, NC for Cambria Hotels’ Blogger Shuffle, where we swapped places with Asheville blogger, Julie of Running in a Skirt! We were some of the first to check out the upscale hotel’s newest property, the Cambria Hotel Downtown Asheville, and visited all the local spots in the city. It was both of our first times visiting Asheville, and with so much to do and see, we knew we couldn’t waste a second. Julie created the perfect itinerary for us to get the true, authentic Asheville experience. Not to mention, it was also Alessandra’s birthday, so we really got to celebrate!
From the minute we stepped into the hotel, we were blown away by the chic décor and modern design.
We jumped in the shower to clean up before heading when we arrived, and were pleasantly surprised that the bathroom mirror doubled as a bluetooth speaker allowing us to blast the latest T-Swift album while we got ready kick off the b-day celebrations! Everything from the over-weighted towels in the bathroom to the amazing views made us feel like we had a serious upgrade!
To tell you the truth, we could have stayed in the hotel the entire time, but we had lots of exploring to do!
We started our journey with a visit to Buxton Hall to get our fill of Carolina barbecue. The traditional hash (a slow cooked meat gravy served over rice), and the fried chicken sandwich with pimento cheese and white bbq sauce were the stars of the show. Drool. We took a tour of the kitchen and saw for ourselves why the meat was so tasty. It was being cooked slowly with wood over coals right there.
The restaurant and bar were just as good looking as the food and drinks were tasty.
We headed down the street to the Funkatorium after lunch, a taproom dedicated to sour beers serving up some Asheville’s favorites from Wicked Weed Brewing. We each got a flight so we could taste all of the different varieties. The Genesis was our favorite!
After we had a nice little buzz, we headed over to the LaZoom Comedy Bus Tour. It was such a fun introduction to the city, and a quick way to get the lay of the land, all while being entertained by the hilarious hosts. You can even bring drinks on the bus so it reminded us of home 😉
During the tour we made a pit stop at Green Man Brewery where we grabbed one of their Tart Berry beers to bring on the bus. It was so delicious and refreshing!
After the tour, we were in the mood for something sweet so we headed to The Blackbird , recommended by Julie, for the tastiest slice of coconut cake we had ever seen and a cocktail. The slices of cake are huge, and great for sharing. Or not, we don’t judge 😉
Then, we were off to do more eating. You’re probably wondering how we could fit anything else in our stomachs, but we were up for the challenge as per usual. The bartender at Buxton Hall recommended Italian restaurant, Cucina 24, which sounded perfect for the cold evening. We filled up with a delicious cheese board and pasta dishes.
After dinner, were so deep into our food coma after this that we decided to head back to our cozy rooms at The Cambria for some shut eye before the next day ahead.
All the hippest spots were literally right outside of our door. We slept in a bit, and then walked right across the street to the Grove Arcade for a coffee and some shopping before lunch. The historic building is a gorgeous place to spend a morning strolling through shops, and art galleries. The holiday decor made it even more special.
We walked right around the corner to Asheville’s hippest Indian street food restaurant, Chai Pani for lunch. The flavors of the food were unbelievable. We washed it all down with a hot spiked chai which was the perfect hangover cure.
We went back to our hotel before freshening up to head to Biltmore Estates. While we were at it, we grabbed a cocktail their rooftop bar & restaurant, Hemingway’s Cuba. Along with signature cocktails, Hemingway’s Cuba also had local Asheville craft beers and specialty bites, which made us feel like we were getting the true Asheville experience right at our hotel!
After a few cuban cocktails, we were ready to explore the historic Biltmore Estate, America’s largest home, built by George Vanderbilt. This 8000-acre beautiful and grand estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains has ton of activities to keep you entertained for a full day! We opted for a shorter tour, and went straight to the Antler Hill Village & Winery for a wine tasting.
After tasting about 5-6 wines at the Biltmore Estate, we were ready for some food. We heard no trip to Asheville is complete without a visit to Cúrate, a Spanish tapas restaurant and bar.
We finished up the night drinking mulled wine at the Miracle Christmas Pop Up at MG Road. Although this Pop Up only happens during the holidays, we hear the drinks are delicious year-round.
On Sunday, we woke up not wanting to leave our comfy king-sized beds. Thankfully, the Cambria Hotel Downtown Asheville had a Keurig with a special coffee blend, exclusively made for the hotel, that helped us get ready for one last day of exploring this gorgeous city.
After blasting Taylor Swift’s Reputation on our rooms’ mirror bluetooth speakers, we grabbed an Uber and checked out one last brewery.
Just minutes away from the AVL airport, you’ll find Sierra Nevada. This huge iconic brewery features a tap room, self-guided tours, tons of games and of course, plenty of beer. Plus, you can’t view the views from Sierra Nevada.
Thanks for letting us close out our 2017 travel in style, Asheville! If you’re headed down to the new craft brewery capital of America any time soon, be sure to check out the Cambria Hotel Downtown Asheville. Not only will you never want to leave your huge room, but you’ll also be in a great location in the city and close to many attractions and the best restaurants in town.
This blog post was sponsored by Cambria hotels & suites. All opinions are our own.