You know how I promised to have this post up “first thing this morning?” I shouldn’t make such promises with a three month old baby. Here it is noon and I am just sitting down to recap our overnight getaway to Asheville.
Asheville is such an easy trip from Charlotte, just a little over two hours. I used to visit frequently but it’s been years since my last trip. This overnight was a reminder of how much I love the Western North Carolina mountains and that I need to make it a priority to get back to hiking and wandering around the charming towns. The mountains are so good for the soul!
Here’s a photo-heavy recap of our trip which included a visit to the Biltmore Estate and lots of really good eats…which is par for the course in Asheville!
LUNCH AT WELL BRED CAFE
We arrived in Biltmore Village just a little after 11 a.m. Sunday and decided to grab lunch before heading into the Biltmore Estate. We stopped into Well Bred Bakery + Cafe where I had a slice of bacon cheddar quiche with kale salad and my mom had a chicken salad croissant sandwich.
We sat on the patio and I fed Finn while we waited for our food. I feel like Asheville is abut as baby-friendly and breastfeeding-friendly as they come. 🙂
My mom and I split an oatmeal raisin cookie in the car on our way into Biltmore.
BILTMORE ESTATE WITH A BABY
I purchased our Biltmore Estate tickets online the night before our visit to streamline our arrival. I wasn’t sure how busy it would be on a summer Sunday. Note: if you purchase your tickets more than 7 days in advance, you receive $10 off the ticket price. Tickets are $75 for adults so that discount surely helps.
I was unsure of whether to bring Finn’s stroller (I had the BOB with me on this trip) so I wanted to weigh in on that for anyone who might be looking to visit Biltmore with a baby.
It was hot the day we visited (80+ degrees) and I knew that Finn and I would both be miserable if I tried to babywear him for the entire duration of our Biltmore experience. I decided to take a gamble and bring the stroller but I also brought the Ergo in the stroller basket.
After talking with some very helpful ladies at guest services, I decided to wear Finn while we were in the house. There is no official stroller check but there was an area where everyone left strollers when you walk into the house immediately to your left. It’s not secure but they said there is usually no issue with leaving them and that people do it all the time so I went for it.
I’m so glad that I did because it would have been very hard to navigate the stroller through the house. First, because of the crowds. Second, because of all the stairs. There is an elevator from the first to second floor but we would have missed out on the third floor and the basement unless I would have collapsed the stroller and carried it up and down the stairs. This would be doable with an umbrella stroller but not so fun with a bigger stroller.
It had been over 10 years since my last Biltmore visit and it was my mom’s first visit! The Biltmore Estate was built by George Washington Vanderbilt and completed in 1895. Coming in at 178,926 square feet and featuring over 225 rooms, it’s the largest privately owned house in the US. It’s actually still owned by the family and is TRULY a sight to see.
For example, check out this indoor pool in the basement.
And I’m always in awe that all the cooking happened in this fairly simple kitchen. If you saw the size of the dining/banquet room, you wouldn’t believe it either!
After taking in the house, we headed outside to the gardens. Our visit happened to coincide with a special exhibit, Chihuly at Biltmore. It was amazing to see his gorgeous glasswork throughout the estate.
The installations were located on the main lawn, in the house, in the garden and at the winery.
The gardens also have tons of stairs so we left the stroller off to the side of a path and I held Finn while we wandered through the gardens. It was too hot to put him in the Ergo.
We ended our visit by driving over to the area where the winery and farmyard are located. It’s five miles from the house to this area…the grounds are insane! I really want to run the Asheville Biltmore Half Marathon next year. It’s run entirely on the grounds of the Biltmore and sounds amazing!
We skipped the winery (your ticket does include a free tasting and Biltmore has some nice wines) but we did take in the farmyard. They have goats, chickens, sheep, pigs, donkeys, etc. It’s super kid-friendly and there are a lot of animals that you can touch.
There were two six-week old piglets whose mom had rejected them. They were going crazy with their handler begging for milk (they feed them goat’s milk twice a day). Finn was totally mesmerized by the piglets. It was super cute.
We wrapped up at the Biltmore and drove a few miles to check into our Airbnb. It was nothing fancy but got the job done.
DINNER AT BOUCHON IN ASHEVILLE
After relaxing and showering, we headed to downtown Asheville for dinner. It was lively and festive, even on a Sunday night!
My mom picked Bouchon for dinner. They serve “French comfort food.” I’d never dined there before so I was happy to check it out. I love all things French-inspired so it sounded great to me.
Finn got a seat at the table…haha.
I ordered moule frite.
The fries were to die for and dipping fries in mayo is best ever.
This was my first time taking Finn out to dinner. I wish I could say that it was a relaxing experience…but it was not. In all fairness, he had been an absolute champ all day so a little dinner fussiness was totally manageable.
We wrapped up our evening by grabbing desserts to go at French Broad Chocolate Lounge. This was my first time visiting since they moved to their new location.
Their carrot cake used to be my favorite carrot cake ever but it has now been replaced by the Laurel Market carrot cake here in Charlotte. It was good, but not as good as I remembered.
BRUNCH AT SUNNY POINT CAFE
Sunny Point Cafe is one of my favorite spots in Asheville. It’s located in West Asheville, which has undergone such a transformation since my last visit. It’s become such a trendy and hopping neighborhood.
I had a breakfast plate with scrambled eggs, veggie sausage, chipotle cheddar grits and a biscuit.
And my mom and I split the organic carrot hotcake with cardamom cream cheese. It tasted like carrot cake and dare I say it was even better than the carrot cake I ate the night before? I now need to cook carrot cake pancakes ASAP.
That wraps up our time in Asheville. I’ll be back much sooner than a few years from now. I adore taking classes at Asheville Yoga Center so I need to plan a yoga + eat all the good food escape soon!
Have you ever visited the Biltmore Estate?
What about Asheville? If so, favorite things to do/restaurants?