I have no doubt I could take this week’s subject as a thesis, and over the course of several pages state my case on why an Asheville honeymoon surpasses all other options.
Trust me, you’d be convinced. Your spouse would be convinced. Your in-laws, your employer, and your dog would be convinced.
But seeing as I write travel blogs, not academic papers, it is my privilege to circulate local tips, tricks, and tirades—information that you and your companions can put to use, not the airy theoreticals of formal debate. Thus, you fluttering lovebirds, no matter whether you’re looking for a proper honeymoon, or a romantic getaway of any caliber (elopements, forbidden rendezvouses, fishing trips, etc.),
I invite you to read on, and consider the following activities for your honeymoon in Asheville.
1: Spend Time in One of The Many Local Coffee Shops
Many people consider themselves coffee aficionados. Therefore, to distinguish my opinion I shall have to illustrate my credentials on this subject in the most severe terms.
I love coffee.
I breath coffee. When I sleep, I don’t sleep, because of coffee. Even as I write these words, I’m up to my very gills in coffee.
If I were to honeymoon in Asheville, it would be because I married coffee. Fortunately for my fellow caffeine-fiends, Asheville feels much the same way I do—you can hardly take a step in this city without stumbling into a local café, each as unique as any other.
In short, if your Asheville honeymoon needs some perking up, you have options. For the sake of brevity, I’d like to illustrate just three of those options.
Up first is our downtown contender. It’s a tough neighborhood for a little coffee shop—terribly dense competition—and Old Europe is indeed small.
You and your significant other could hold hands, and each of you reach out, and touch both of the café’s walls. In that regard, the place is truly European.
But European compactness comes with European flavor—Old Europe offers some of the best deserts in the downtown area, and its rivals are no lightweights. Locals and travelers alike seem to be aware of this phenomenon—the place fills up swiftly post-dusk on the weekends, but long hours ensure Old Europe will probably be open whenever you can make it.
Keeping in a transatlantic vein, the ingredients used at Old World Levain Bakery surpass anything I’ve yet to taste west of Lisbon.
OWL offers menu items of deceptive simplicity, salads, boiled eggs, sandwiches etc. But no matter what you order, you’ll find yourself utterly satisfied within one bite or sip.
If your Asheville honeymoon lands you on the west side of town around lunchtime, it would be a crime to not visit OWL. This crime would of course be forgiven if it were committed on a Sunday, the bakery’s busiest day.
In contrast to many of Asheville’s other coffee shops, Ivory Road is quite off the beaten path. There’s not much else to do in the area—nonetheless Ivory Road is worth a drive unto itself.
Situated within a former home of delightful construction, you’ll find Ivory Road’s location charming both inside and out. It may even inspire some tastes in home-ownership. With somewhat funky hours of operation, taking coffee at Ivory Road requires some forethought.
Alternatively, one may make reservations for this café’s afternoon tea at most any time throughout the week. Tea is certainly not coffee, but if you must have it, Ivory Road comes highly recommended.
Impress Your Spouse: Order your coffee in French. Repeat after me: “Un café, s’il vouz plait.” More than likely, neither the barista, nor your spouse, nor you will have any idea what you’re saying. Furthermore, nothing in French is pronounced as its spelled. Good luck.
2: Explore the River Arts District
Housed in a former industrial quarter along the French Broad, the River Arts District is equal parts culture, strangeness, and mural-sized graffiti. It’s the bones of Asheville.
An afternoon wandering about the District, arm in arm with your spouse/loved one/fishing buddy/whomever, will take you through a series of galleries, workshops, and informal exhibitions, each one well worth a stop.
Among the most unique of these art-foundries lies Akira Satake’s ceramic shop. His forms at once evoke plant life, and formations of ancient rock, much like the mountains which cradle Asheville itself.
Remember when I mentioned the volume of Asheville’s cafes? Exhibit A: Café Yuzu, a Euro-Japanese bakeshop located with Akira’s gallery. If your honeymoon in Asheville is apt to involve a spot of cooking, the River Arts District hosts a farmer’s market from 3-6 on Wednesdays—a perfect place to procure fresh vegetables, cheeses, sweets, and Asheville’s ever-present natural curatives.
Impress Your Spouse: Whenever your loved one mentions they like a particular piece of art, abruptly announce you’ll buy it for them, then rush over to the counter and pay for it. Its an endearing move, so long as a) your spouse finds irresponsible spending more attractive than rash, and b) they fail to remember that your finances have become joined.
3: Take a Hike
Perhaps you have heard “Take a hike,” from someone who is less than enthusiastic about your recent marriage. Is it jealousy? Frustration? General sourness? Who knows. I, on the other hand, write “take a hike” in the literal sense of the phrase. A honeymoon in Asheville would be incomplete without capitalizing on the city’s natural surroundings—some of the best in the nation. Even if you and/or your significant other are hesitant to engage in a little stretching of the legs, your Asheville honeymoon may be enlivened by a trip to such a place as the local Arboretum. With a variety of walking paths, ranging from meanderings through manicured gardens, to trails through less tame nature—and a rotating series of art exhibitions—the Arboretum warrants at least one visit. If, on the other hand, your honeymoon in Asheville demands some real hiking—some mono-y-mono with mother nature herself—Black Balsam is the challenge you need. The trail may be far from lethal—children will make it, with some encouragement—but the views atop Black Balsam’s summits are to die for. Seeing the clouds range above mountain ridges, hearing the stillness of uppermost sky—its an oceanic experience, and one that is even better when shared
Impress Your Spouse: Study the map. Plan accordingly. Its somewhat of a drive to Black Balsam—they’ll thank you if you’ve prepared a “Driving Through the Mountains Asheville Honeymoon Playlist.” In contrast, the Arboretum may be closer to home, but its tangle of trails can misplace the unfamiliar.
The Biltmore Estate is a big deal. Perhaps the biggest deal in Asheville, besides of course your honeymoon.
With architecture of scale and ornamentation unlike anything south of Virginia, and a vast, sprawling property, you could fill several days of your honeymoon in Asheville simply by traversing the Biltmore’s environs.
Once you’re done with traversing, its down to you to decide whether you’d like to engage in a tasting at the Estate’s winery, go for afternoon tea at its inn, or attend a not-infrequent open-air concert. Supposedly, you could do all three.
For those of you seeking something off the Estate’s main menu, I’d suggest visiting the conservatory. Filled with fascinating specimens of flourishing flora, it’s quite the Eden-esque location, and thus evokes all the romance therein.
Although the Estate sees significant increases in visitors on Saturdays and Sundays, the grounds are extensive enough it seldom feels crowded. Furthermore, tickets to the Biltmore are discounted through the Summer. Now is the time.
Impress Your Spouse: When your spouse pauses to take in the awe of the Biltmore, an expression of wonder plastered on their face, lean in and whisper, “You like it? Its ours now.” Work with the Estate’s management to keep up the charade for as long as possible. Although this course of action may have unfortunate side-effects in the long term, it certainly will be impressive.
When it comes down to choosing a residence for your honeymoon in Asheville, a hotel may at first seem like the obvious choice. However, you’ve been to a hotel. Your spouse/loved one/fishing buddy has been to a hotel.
There’s nothing special about a hotel.
Your spouse/loved one/fishing buddy deserves something special, and so why not spirit them away to Asheville Cottages, the city’s premier provider of cabins with character?
What’s that? You’re reading this blog post on Asheville Cottage’s website at this very moment? How fortunate! As you have the information on this matter within your fingertips, I’d like to point out some particularly engaging details I have surmised.
Firstly, the location—these cabins are within a quick drive to both downtown and the Biltmore Estate. Your honeymoon in Asheville couldn’t ask for a better staging-ground.
Furthermore, as each cabin comes complete with a kitchen, hot tub, grill, fireplace, and heated bathroom floors, I would not hesitate to call these cabins nicer than any place I have or ever will live in. Don’t think log cabin, think high-class house surrounded by trees.
Finally, as Asheville Cottages offers such a plethora of different cabins to choose from, one may find themselves plagued by paralysis of choice. Myself, I’d go for the Cedar Cottage. Its pictured with a heart of rose petals lain on the bed’s quilt.
Impress Your Spouse: Replicate the rose-petal heart situation, but more so. Rose petals in the bathtub. Rose petals in the grill. Rose petals in the refrigerator, spilling out when your spouse tries to get a drink. Rose petals on the floor, ceiling, and nailed to the walls. Its not madness; its love. It’s a honeymoon in Asheville. Alternatively, if you’re traveling to Asheville on a fishing trip instead of a honeymoon, consider replacing these rose petals with trout.
13 Broadway St, Asheville, NC 28801
4545, 295 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806
Ivory Road Café and Kitchen
1854 Brevard Rd, Arden, NC 28704
Akira Satake Ceramics
191 Lyman St Studio 165, Asheville, NC 28801
River Arts District Farmer’s Market
175 Clingman Ave Extension, Asheville, NC 28801
The North Carolina Arboretum
100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville, NC 28806
The Biltmore Estate
1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803
29 Asheville Cottage Ln, Asheville, NC 28806