Asheville North Carolina is one of my favorite southern cities to visit – nestled amidst the Blue Ridge mountains, this small southern town is full of food, art, music and kid-friendly spots abound!
Wander: Activity 1 – Malaprop’s Bookstore
Malaprop’s bookstore is a magical place in Asheville. Owner and founder Emoke B’Racz writes, “I wanted Malaprop’s to be a place where poetry matters, where women’s words are as important as men’s, where one is surprised by excellence, where good writing has a home, where I could nurture my addiction to literature, and play, enjoy, and entertain people drawn to quality books.” This quote epitomizes what I want to teach my girls about life and travel. We always spend time wandering in Malaprop’s and my young girls love it almost as much as I do. There is a sweet children’s section, lots of gifts for them to peruse and a small cafe if you’d like to sit and read.
Adventure: Activity 2 – The Biltmore
George Vanderbilt’s 250-room home, The Biltmore Estate, was completed in 1895 and is full of beauty and history. There are several different tours available including a Kids’ Audio Guide to Biltmore House which is a fun 90-minute tour narrated by Cedric, the Vanderbilts’ Saint Bernard. If you or your kids aren’t up for a tour the gardens and grounds are fun to explore. (Bonus: Seraphina and the Black Cloak is a middle grade series about a fictional young girl who lives secretly in the basement of the grand Biltmore Estate. You could listen to the audio version on the drive to Asheville!)
Navigate: Activity 3 – French Broad Chocolate
French Broad Chocolate makes beautiful, wholesome, decadent chocolate products that are sustainable and support the local community. The Chocolate Lounge, in the heart of downtown, is a dessert cafe (dreamy right?) with all manner of truffles, brownies, cookies, ice cream and the most luxurious Liquid Truffle sipping chocolate. Their Chocolate Factory is also located downtown, has a retail shop and offers guided tours on Saturdays at 11:00 am. Reservations for the tours must be made in advance!
Discover: Activity 4 – Well Played Board Game Cafe
Well Played is North Carolina’s first board game cafe, and they are quite the local attraction for families and kids. Basically they’re a cafe (snacks, coffee, beer, wine) that have around 500 board games that you and your kids (or friends & family) can come and play. They have Game Masters on staff who teach the games.
Eat: A great place to eat – The Biscuit Head
The Biscuit Head is southern breakfast (and lunch) at its finest – you can get biscuits, a variety of gravy’s and jam’s, eggs, meat, and more. My girls loved the biscuit donuts too! They also have gluten free and vegan biscuit options. There are two locations in Asheville but our favorite is on Haywood. You wait in line to order – the line is always long but fairly quick and then be sure to try as many of the jams as you can muster!
Rest: A great place to stay – Grove Park Inn
The Omni Grove Park Inn is a stunning resort in the mountains of Asheville just a short drive from downtown. There is a beautiful spa and luxurious rooms – but even if you don’t stay here, bring your kids to the porch for an evening to sit on rocking chairs overlooking the mountains while you sip a glass of wine or a cocktail. (Bonus: if you happen to visit from late November until early-January, you MUST checkout The National Gingerbread House Competition which takes place at the hotel and is open to the public.)