All About Asheville

As you can tell by the title, I am truly all about Asheville these days! As many of you know, I’ve lived in North Carolina for quite some time and have been to Asheville a couple of times before. However, I feel like I haven’t explored it as adequately as I could have. The previous instances I have visited I was actually just passing through and stopped in town for brunch or lunch, as opposed to exploring the city and appreciating all the beautiful nature that it has to offer.

 

This time was different though! I was in this beautiful mountain town, which is also home to the historic Biltmore Estate, to celebrate the marriage of one of my closest friends from middle school. The weekend was jam packed with different activities, but I was lucky enough to be hosted by the Grand Bohemian Hotel, nestled in the historic Biltmore Village! The hotel itself is gorgeous, which I will definitely be getting into later, and its location is so convenient to the numerous parts of Asheville available for you to explore.

 

 

 

I decided to start the weekend off early by taking Friday off and driving through the scenic mountain roads to Asheville in the early morning. When we arrived at The Grand Bohemian Hotel we were greeted by this lovely facade of the hotel and could immediately tell we had been transported to a luxurious and rustic setting that really suits the vibes of Asheville.

 

 

Immediately upon entering we were shown the the highest level of hospitality as we began the seamless check-in process (the glasses of champagne we were offered were another bonus)! And when I mentioned the facade of the hotel bringing you to rustic mountain country, the interior does that to an even higher degree! As you can clearly see, the decor is luxurious, yet woodsy, and posh, yet homey. There are personal touches from the owners of the hotel all throughout and a wonderful mixture of local crafts and furniture, as well as pieces that are curated from around the world.

 

 

  The check-in process was quick and painless, which allowed us to head up to our hotel room almost immediately. The austere decor carried over to our hotel room, which was also loaded with amenities and an ideal place to unwind from the craziness that was coming with this wedding weekend.

 

 

 

 Now, it is clear that one of the main draws of Asheville is its natural beauty. The mountains provide some of the most gorgeous views in the Southeast and plenty of enticing hikes for the nature lovers out there.
After checking in and changing into some appropriate nature attire we ventured over to the Adventure Center of Asheville. One of my favorite things to do in Asheville is ziplining through the forests. It is one of the best ways to enjoy the natural setting, while also pumping up your adrenaline! The Adventure Center is a quick drive away from The Grand Bohemian and can provide you with several different options for fun excursions to check out.

 

 

 We also hiked through the nature paths that the center has available. As you can see, the beauty of this city is incredible! A trip in the fall time is really ideal because the weather is crisp, yet not too cold, and the forest scape completely transforms with brilliant colors throughout!

 

 

Once you’ve completed your ziplining adventure and finished a robust hiking trail, you probably worked up a pretty serious appetite. At least we did! We then made our way back to The Grand Bohemian Hotel to clean up and get ready for dinner. The best part about dinner was that we didn’t have to go far to enjoy some of the finest cooking in Asheville! The Red Stag Grill is situated right in the Grand Bohemian and is one of the most highly rated restaurants in the city.

 

 

Their specialty is European comfort food that is created using the freshest ingredients grown locally in Asheville! The atmosphere is chic and gorgeous and is only further bolstered by the live music that plays almost every night. I have to call out their fantastic drink menu, their Tea Thyme and Strawberry Ginger Sangria cocktails were fantastic, as well as the amazing pan-roasted duck breast I had for my main entree!
After dinner we ventured to the bar area for one last drink before hitting the town. Downtown Asheville is home to several bars and breweries to enjoy and was surprisingly lively!

 

 

The next morning we ordered some room service, after sleeping in a bit of course, as we were prepping ourselves for the black tie affair.

 

 Once we wrapped up a lovely breakfast and put the finishing touches on our outfits we moved down to the lobby and called our Uber to take us to the event.

 

We had a decent wait and ventured into the art gallery that is located right next to the lobby of the hotel. The gallery contains art from both local and regional artists, as well as some with international acclaim. We then found out that this gallery extends throughout the entire hotel! The oil paintings, glass, wood, sculptures, and numerous other pieces throughout the hotel are also available for sale.

 

 

 We arrived at the Basilica of St. Lawrence for the wedding ceremony and were welcomed by a gorgeous basilica and lovely setting. As I mentioned, the bride is one of my dearest friends from middle school, and she was marrying this wonderful man in their favorite city in the world! You could really tell how in love they are and both of them looked absolutely amazing on their special day! Fun fact about the Basilica, it is one of the most beautiful, as well as one of the largest free standing domes in the Southeast!

 

 

 There was a small break between the ceremony and the cocktail hour, which would run into the formal reception. As a result, we decided to stay in and explore more of Downtown Asheville! That landed us in the Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar! Truly the best of both worlds. How can you beat books and booze? We had a drink and explored the classics in the very cool setting that this bookstore/bar has created!

 

 

From there we took our leave and drove over  the Crest Center for the happy hour/reception. As you can tell, this reception space really shows off the amazing mountain views that are prevalent throughout Asheville, which offered an inspiring sunset as the couple shared their first dance.

 

 

As any good reception should, the party lasted late into the night with the afterparty moving to the various bars and clubs in downtown Asheville.

 

A late night made me extremely happy to be back in the supremely cozy bed at The Grand Bohemian Hotel! I slept beautifully and awoke the next morning ready for the wedding brunch, which was the last activity of the weekend. I was sad to leave this beautiful hotel and lobby, but The Grand Bohemian provided us with the ideal place to stay in Asheville and I know that I will be back soon!

 

JRL

 

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