Asheville, North Carolina
Before You Go
Coordinates | 35.5951°N, 82.5515°W
Baton Rouge to Asheville | 724 miles
Driving Time | 10 hours, 46 minutes
While this North Carolina city is a good drive away, it’s worth it because it’s sure to bring fun and many memories that will last for many years to come. Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, Asheville is a beautiful blend of outdoor adventure, rich history, arts, and delicious food. Be sure to visit the 30-plus art galleries, thriving culinary scene (“Foodtopia” as the locals call it), the awe-inspiring Appalachian mountains, and the eclectic downtown blend of new and old architecture.
Where to Eat
Early Girl Eatery
8 Wall Street, Asheville, NC 28801
At this farm-to-table eatery, you can enjoy delicious home-cooked, Southern food and a charming atmosphere. Most of the ingredients come from local-grown family farms and community-supported agriculture projects. Stop by for lunch or dinner and be sure to try a mouth-watering grilled pimento cheese sandwich or local favorite pan-fried chicken and herb gravy. If you swing by for breakfast, be sure to grab a sausage and sweet potato scramble. ■ earlygirleatery.com
The Moose Café
570 Brevard Road, Asheville, NC 28806
While in Asheville, your family needs to try cathead biscuits from this homey café. The giant biscuits, featured in Southern Living, arrive fresh made when you sit down. Be sure to smother them in apple butter and share with the whole fam. Enjoy other favorites such as from scratch mac and cheese, Grandma’s meatloaf, or delicious sides such as a cup of dumplings. Located on the North Carolina State Farmers Market grounds, this restaurant is sure to be a hit for parents and kids alike.
French Broad Chocolate Lounge
10 S. Pack Square, Asheville, NC 28801
Named after the third oldest river in the world (the French Broad River), this quaint chocolate shop is undeniably unique. Offering homemade chocolate bars, ice cream, cookies, and cakes from their Chocolate Factory in Downtown Asheville, they’re sure to have something for everyone. Also, be sure to try out their “Liquid Truffle” for a great liquid dessert. ■ frenchbroadchocolates.com
What to Do
Make some summer memories happen at Fox-N-Otter Adventure Puzzle Rooms. This family-focused escape room, where you can come together to solve puzzles and overcome problems, will capture every imagination. Kiddos of all ages and sizes will enjoy this, but some younger ones (five to seven) will probably have to be encouraged more than other family members. Regardless, this problem-solving mystery is sure to be a great activity for the family. ■ escaperoomsasheville.com
Win big with a “guaranteed find every time” at the historic Asheville-Biltmore Gem Mine. Your child can experience the feeling of striking it rich with the help of the Asheville-Biltmore “gem-rich mix” from the mine itself, other local mines, and beyond. The feeling of finding a gem is sure to live in the hearts of your kiddos for many years to come.
Explore the natural beauty of Southern Appalachia at the Botanical Gardens at Asheville. The 10-acre nonprofit garden is devoted to the study and promotion of the native plants and animals of the Carolinas. Hike through the landscapes that reflect the diversity of the plants, insects, birds, and animals that will enthrall and inspire your whole family.
Take an inside break from the summer heat with this interesting spin on a traditional café. Well Played Board Game Café offers hundreds of board games and a delicious menu. And if you think your kids might need a little help getting through some of the games, there are expert Gamemasters available to help guide the whole family through this one-of-a-kind experience. ■ wellplayedasheville.com
Become an artist for the day, regardless of your experience or skill level at Fired Up! Creative Lounge. Families with kids of all ages can make and create with paint-your-own pottery, mosaics, glass fusing, clay art, board art, and canvas painting. The most popular activity is definitely paint-your-own-pottery. After your creation is complete, Fired Up! will fire your piece for you, and you can then bring your keepsake home with you. ■ fireduplounge.com
Discover more of Asheville’s beautiful scenery at the Pisgah National Forest. For a water day activity, visit Looking Glass Falls or Sliding Rock, a natural waterslide sure to delight kids and adults alike. Also, be sure to swing by the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education. Walk the hatchery waterways that house thousands of trout that will grow up to stock the mountain’s rivers, or venture inside to view exhibits on the area’s wildlife and history. ■ romanticasheville.com