With a week off from work, Kyle and I headed south for a fun road trip with three planned stops. Our first stop was Asheville, North Carolina, a city I had heard amazing things about, but had yet to visit. To keep on track with our other hotel reservations, we spent exactly 24 hours in the area before heading out. While I wish we could have stayed longer, (there was so much more to see and do), it was a fun-filled day, and I know I will be visiting again soon.
Chimney Rock Park
After eight hours of driving (or passenger seat riding- Kyle drove the whole way), a fast-food breakfast and lunch, and way too much Howard Stern radio, I was ready to break free from the walls of the Jeep. With a couple hours before we could check into our hotel, we decided to stretch our legs at Chimney Rock Park.
Up a never-ending staircase, we hiked up to Chimney Rock, then onward to see Devil’s Head, and finally up to the very top where the views were incredible.
Farm to Table Dining at Rhubarb
Dinner was at Rhubarb, a really cool spot offering a delicious list of unique small plate items. Kyle and I opted for seats at the bar because the place was packed (always a good sign), and after hiking we were too hungry to wait for a table. Everything we ordered was pretty perfect. The lobster corn dogs were especially memorable because, well, they were lobster corn dogs.
After dinner, we headed to Wicked Weed Brewery just down the street which was equally awesome. There was a good selection of craft beers, a fun crowd, and some tasty black bean hummus that I have tried recreating, with no luck, ever since.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
With the few hours we had the next morning, Kyle and I decided to tour Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Mills River, North Carolina (20-something miles outside of Asheville). Beer lover or not, this place is a sight to be seen! From the moment we drove up (through a beautiful winding road I might add), I felt like I was about to tour Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
The tour started with a 30-minute presentation about how Sierra Nevada Brewing Company began in Chico, California and how it expanded to the Asheville.
The tour continued through the facility, taking us through the beer making process- from selecting quality ingredients to packaging.
The tour concluded in the tasting room where we sampled various beers, some Sierra Nevada staples and others considered seasonal. Once we had gone through each sample, we were ushered towards the Taproom, an on-site restaurant offering even more delicious beers and some shareable plates.
Kyle and I ordered the shrimp and grits (a southern classic) and a plate of the duck fat fries. Note to the world: if ever presented with the opportunity to get duck fat on your fries- DO IT!
I think Kyle and I did pretty well for just 24 hours. Asheville is definitely worth a trip back one day!