The last time I was in Asheville, I was in the sixth grade on summer vacation with my family. I got a bad case of food poisoning at a Mexican restaurant and then proceeded to accidentally delete all of the photos from our day trip to the Biltmore. The photos that were supposed to be on the Christmas card that year. I don’t think my parents have forgiven me.
Luckily, this trip was a little different.
My friend Lauren organized a small photography retreat. I jumped at the chance to go to something like this. So me and five other wedding and portrait photographers packed our bags and drove down south for the long weekend. When you travel with other photographers, you’re bound to take photos of anything and everything without getting an ounce of judgement.
Planning to do this more often…
WHERE WE STAYED
The cutest Airbnb of all time. It’s bright, inviting, smells like cinnamon and even has an adorable little swing in the living room. I really can’t say enough good things about it. Nestled in West Asheville, this little house is perfect for a weekend getaway. It sleeps up to six people. Book your stay here!
WHERE WE ATE
We made breakfast, lunch and dinner at the house the majority of the time we were there. But when we did decide to venture out to restaurants, we went to:
We dropped our bags off at the Airbnb and went straight to Farm Burger. After seven hours of driving, it was just what we all needed. Farm Burger sources their beef from grassfed cows, and that means no growth hormones or antibiotics — something we can all feel good about. They get their ingredients from local farms, so the menu changes with the seasons. It’s fresh, delicious and the perfect place to grab a quick bite.
After a long evening of shooting, we were all exhausted and starving. Bonfire Barbeque hit the spot. Their variety of sauces can’t be beat, and the mac n’ cheese is out of this world.
I’m obsessed with Asian cuisine. I could literally eat ramen and sushi and noodles every day and never get bored. So, when we decided to go to Gan Shan, I was all in. I ordered the veggie ramen and it didn’t disappoint. Also, the palm print wallpaper is definitely Insta-worthy.
This adorable little coffee shop and bakery was recommended to us by our Airbnb host. They claim to use high quality, whole ingredients, sourced from places close to Asheville, including local farmers’ markets and their own back yards. If you go there, order the Lavender Latte and grab a table out back. Oh, and say hi to Elaine. She’s amazing.
WHERE WE EXPLORED
If you’re into hiking, Max Patch is one of the most popular hiking spots on the Appalachian Trail. And for good reason. It’s grassy, covered in wildflowers and is a perfect spot to watch the sun set.
Looking Glass Falls
The 60-ft falls are one of the most popular falls in Western North Carolina. Parking can be somewhat limited, but it is well worth the trip.
Have you been to Asheville before? If so, what are some of your favorite spots?