So Alex turned to me one day and said, “I’m going to take a few days off work, we need to plan to go somewhere.” I of course didn’t argue at all. We both were thinking the same place (Mexico, haha), but I started throwing out other suggestions, since Mexico is somewhere we’d prefer to go 1. off season. 2. for a longer time period. I suggested a drive up to Atlanta. Alex said he didn’t want to do a long drive (boooo) then, I threw the idea of Asheville out there. We initially planned to head that direction more in late spring/summer time when the weather would be more cold-weather wimpy people friendly. But we both agreed a short trip up there might be really great. A lot of this idea having to do with the fact that our Miami friends had moved up there this year (mostly on a whim). I remembered hearing of super cheap direct flights to Asheville– did a quick google search and there it was, a super short and cheap trip up the east coast to the Appalachian mountains! Boom, I book flights! Boom Asheville! Now the best part?! Marlowe has no idea! I think I got it from my dad (he used to love to surprise us and I used to hate it haha), but I CANNOT wait to show up at Marlowe’s school with bags packed and a new coat and whisk her away for a weekend trip to see one of her favorite long time friends in Asheville! She’s (most likely) going to complain so hard about the cold, but be so freaking happy!

So we’re of course going to be staying (bundled up) with our friends, so we don’t need any sort of hotel reccomendations– but activities, shops, restaurants, sites and art and everything?! Well, we’d love to hear about them.  Keep in mind Marlowe is vegan and I’m still vegan + GF, but everyone else will eat just about anything! 😉 I’ll assume my friend Claudia already has a few spots picked up (and I’ll assume she’ll comment and tell me yes or a sarcastic no), but new places for us to explore (or maybe her too since she’s newish to the area) would be amazing! I guess you could say I know a lot about Asheville culture in general, but I know zero about specific things to do!
Well, it’s certainly not Mexico, but we are very excited 🙂 The weather is supposed to not be deathly cold when we arrive— and I can’t wait to pack a small luggage with winter clothes when Marlowe heads to school tomorrow :)YAY! ps. A fun giveaway is going up tomorrow too 🙂 All good things.

&&because I love looking and linking back, you can see all of Claudia and I (and Marlowe and Lily’s) past adventures: HERE.  &&&the photo was taken by claudia herself. You can see her blog here and instagram here.


  1. Hi! I've never commented on your blog before, but I love your cookbook. 🙂 I'm really excited about your Asheville trip! I'm from Asheville and my parents live there. We're mostly vegan (strictly vegetarian) and we never have a problem eating out in Asheville. There's vegan pizza and beer at Asheville Brewing Company. You'd approve of the beans and rice! My kids (5, 3 and 1) love seeing movies there. The River Arts District is right up your ally, but a bit hard with kids who aren't into just looking at art. The Arboretum is great, even in winter. If you visit The Biltmore (so so cool!) visit The Block off Biltmore.

  2. You should definitely check out the North Carolina Arboretum at the entrance to the Parkway. They have a great Bonzai collection. I've visited in all seasons, and it's beautiful every time.

  3. aw yeah! we went there over the summer and loved it! too bad it will be cold because there are so many fun swimming holes and waterfalls in the area! I'm vegan too and here are the places I liked:

    salsa's downtown had amazing mexican/carribean food. i got sweet potato paquetas and it was my favorite meal of the week!
    rosetta's kitchen is all vegan and you can get a flight of house made kombucha. yes!
    vortex doughnuts has great yeast doughnuts and both days we went they had a whole tray of vegan doughnuts. i loved the mango margarita ones!
    doc chey's noodle house can make lots of their stuff vegan. I had the chinese lo mein and liked it a lot.
    they have a mellow mushroom of course if you want vegan pizza. i think they can do gluten free too!
    the one place we really wanted to go but didn't make it too was chai pani, they do indian street food and looking at their site again i'm so mad we never made it!
    there are tons of breweries in asheville, we went to Pour. It has tons of local beer and cider on tap and you pay by the ounce! you can try tons of stuff and it isn't expensive. they also have fried brussels sprouts. yum!

    as far as stuff to do, it is fun to just walk around downtown. there are lots of little shops to go in. we like the battery book exchange and wine bar. it is a big used bookstore with tons of couches and nooks and there are dogs sleeping on the floor and you can get coffee (or wine). would be a fun place to hang if it happens to rain.

  4. I second Laughing Seed! I think Fall/Summer in Asheville is worth the crowds because everything is especially gorgeous…. you should still check out the parkway even if it's the off season. Parts of it may be closed. I like Battery Park alright, but I prefer Malaprops for books. It's fun! Enjoy. I can't wait to see pictures of a familiar city with your particular style/flair. 🙂

  5. The weather is gonna be great this weekend , but as of right now (Friday afternoon) it's still bitter cold with snow on the ground. I would wander around west asheville (we're I happen to live 🙂 it's smaller than downtown but it is becoming very popular. Go to 9 mile west, they will make anything vegan and gf. They are good friends of ours that run it, very family friendly but will get crowded on weekend so go early around 5/6. You will not regret it, it's Jamacin food and probably one of the most popular places in town. There is also Dobra tea west which my girls love to go to(ages 3 and 8) if you have time drive out to hot springs (a bit out in the mountains) for a hot tub soak. It's beautiful and the drive is great. Have fun. Asheville is great this time of year cause it's finally not soooo crowded.

  6. We went to Asheville around this time last year- it was lovely and there's SO many great vegan places- Plant! Laughing Seed Cafe! The Blue Ridge Parkway is especially lovely, even in the winter. enjoy.

  7. Check out the Wake Foot Sanctuary! My husband is not usually into stuff like that but he loved it when we went (on a cold, rainy day this past November). I'm sure you'll have no trouble finding vegan restaurants- Asheville is amazing for that! Definitely walk around the River Arts District.

  8. Definitely check out the river arts district! Tons of open studios that are really fun to explore. I basically just looked at art, hiked in the national park and drank amazing local beer for the 5 days I was there.

  9. SALSA'S! Always a MUST when we take a trip across the Carolina border. And just in general wandering downtown. So many cute shops & galleries that are fun to explore. Love, love, love Asheville.

  10. You HAVE to go to Dobra tea. It's a (mini) chain that will take you way to back to the original Chinese/Japanese tea ceremony. I went the one in Burlington and it was an AMAZING experience. You basically have to just sit there and drink tea, and let your mind wander, or have a quiet conversation or read. It is wonderful. I love Asheville 🙂

  11. I totally agree about the Battery Park Book Exchange. Gorgeous, dog-friendly, coffee/wine serving, antique-filled used bookstore. It was one of my favorite places I visited last year! Also, the Biltmore Estate is one of those things in Asheville that really cannot be missed. I was honestly in awe of the natural beauty of Asheville, hope your family enjoys!

  12. Asheville is the best! My husband and I got married there this past October. 🙂 Laughing Seed is a wonderful restaurant, we hit it up twice! And they have a buchi (the kombucha brand) bar downstairs, and you can order several drinks (alcohol and non-) with buchi in them.

    Also, Plant is seriously great. More upscale, and you should get a reservation, but SO worth it!

    The Admiral is a great hole-in-the-wall with fabulous food. But you will need to tell them you're vegan, not many options unless you specify to the chef.

    Hope you guys have a blast!! 🙂

  13. The Laughing Seed Cafe is my favorite vegan restaurant and the Biltmore Estate is a must see!

  14. After living in Florida for 20+ years my parents decided to retire to Asheville 2 years ago before they even visited! I don't know what to recommend to you but they love it there (and are very active in the culture like you hope to be) so I'm sure you'll have a blast!

    Unlike them, I live in Virginia now and want to move back to Florida, ASAP. 🙂

    • that is so funny! my husband and i did the same thing after living in miami for over a decade. we've only been here for 4 months but are loving it so far!

  15. Blue Ridge Parkway, hands down! Battle Cat for coffee, battery park book exchange, Plant & Laughing Seed are great vegan restaurants, The Odditorium for music!

    Enjoy it. It's truly a beautiful place.

    Shayna of Mother is Eternal

  16. Ooh, I love Asheville! The most popular thing to do there is probably Biltmore Estate, which is super cool and some of my favorite childhood memories are from wandering around the grounds. In the downtown, there's a great chocolate shop called The Chocolate Fetish, an even greater candy shop called Laughing Mask Candies, and the BEST little french restaurant called Bouchon. I hope you all have a great trip!