Asheville on $10.00 a Day

Asheville on $10 a Day

Asheville and its surrounding mountainous border has much to see and enjoy. But what if you only have $10.00 in your pocket to “enjoy” the sights, sounds, smells, and secret treasures? How would you spend $10.00 during one fun-filled afternoon? That’s the question we posed to local residents on a particularly snowy winter afternoon. Their responses varied, but seemed to fall into two major categories: (1)Eating and Drinking; and (2)Outdoor Fun. Let’s explore some of their responses.

• Leslie: “Visit the Farmers Market and follow with lunch at the Moose Cafe
• Karen: “Walk through downtown, making sure to stop at the drum circle. Follow this experience with a cold, local craft brew.”
• Carol: “Drive to Mt. Mitchell, take a hike, stop by the Folk Art Center, and grab a snack on the way home.”
• Pam: “Complete a walking tour of the downtown Asheville area followed by a taco from White Duck Taco on Broadway.”
• Abby: “Grab lunch or dinner at the Green Sage Cafe.”
• Bonnie: “Visit the North Carolina Arboretum ($5.00 parking) and take along a picnic lunch.”
• Kitty: “Rent a bike and explore local sites.”
• Rachel: “Eat brunch at Sunny Point Cafe and select the ‘build your own omelet’ option, starting at $8.00.”

North Carolina Arboretum

Based on these responses, it’s safe to assume that Asheville has fantastic restaurants with reasonable lunch or dinner rates, and lots of outdoor activities to fill an entire day. From hiking and biking to brunch and brews, the area attracts visitors because of its diverse menu of enjoyable activities. Additionally, many of the activities detailed by our residents include “free stuff.” It doesn’t cost a dime to hike the parkway, roam through downtown Asheville’s art deco buildings, or enjoy an outdoor drum circle event.

But no list of Asheville activities is complete without a visit to the bookstores, even if you’re just browsing. Trust me, this nerdy, teetotaler blogger could spend days just roaming through Asheville’s bookstores with a cold lemonade in one hand and a European pastry from Old Europe in the other. From Mr. K’s Used Books, Music, and More and the faith focused Lifeway store to Malaprop’s Bookstore & Cafe and Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar, you’ll find enough books, digital texts, and magazines to last you for years.

To continue researching other Asheville options, check out the rest of the AskAsheville site. Most importantly, have fun exploring this vibrant city and its surrounding beauty, with as little as $10.00 in your pocket!

Blog Post by Lori Brown

Late Lunch at Twisted Laurel

Twisted Laurel Asheville NC

Running around town, we are always looking for some quick, but good food. Twisted Laurel was our choice recently. Many good Greek/Italian dishes to choose from. If you have ever been to Bellagio Bistro or Apollo Flame; think of that, but to the next level. One of the great things about this spot is the upstairs which has a full bar, lounge area, and live music playing regularly. Several of our friends enjoy downtown Asheville nightlife here regularly and love it.

Grabbing a bite to eat at Mayfel’s in downtown Asheville

Mayfels Restaurant Downtown Asheville

Since we live in Asheville, we find ourselves complaining sometimes that there is no place to eat. Of course we live in a land of plentiful eateries, but after living here for awhile, we are always on the lookout for new places to try. And that is sometimes a gamble. When you visit a new restaurant, you never know what to expect. Even some places that evolve to great restaurants are rough around the edges when they first open. You can wait a few months for the TripAdvisor and Facebook ratings to accumulate before trying them, or you can give them a try and experience it yourself, making your own determination.

Mayfel’s has become one our our sure-shots in the downtown Asheville area, right across the street from Pritchard Park and the Drum Circle. When we want to know that we are going to have a good meal and experience, we can count on them. We stopped by there recently to have some dinner after listening to the buskers outside. One of the plates was Grilled Shrimp, and the other was the Jambalaya with a boneless chicken breast on top. So delish! If you find yourself in downtown Asheville; Mayfel’s is a fine spot for breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner.

Asheville is just one BIG Hippie Festival!

It doesn’t take long for someone to walk around downtown Asheville and notice just how many hippies are out and about around town. And it is not just your average hippie either. As we had mentioned in our Asheville Hippie article years ago, there are many types of hippies around town. We have just touched the tip of the iceberg. Even though many thought that hippies and hipsters were at variance somewhat; we can now say that out of Asheville has evolved a new breed.. the Hipster Hippie. Our friend Susu edited these photos with her own funky artistic style, and has shared them with us:

Hula Hoop Hippies Asheville NC Dancing Hippies Asheville NC Washboard Hippies Asheville Asheville Hippies Hula Hoops Asheville Hippies In The Moment Hula Hooping Asheville Hippie Peace Out Asheville Hippie

Just like Gin and Citrus

One of the things I love most about my city is that it has preserved an era…and completely by accident.  For such a modern, progressive, and hip city, Asheville still knows how to hold onto the good ol’ days.  Asheville is a wide-open time capsule full of hair feathers, drop-waisted dresses, Fitzgerald novels, and big band music.  It’s present even when no one’s dressed in theme and the blues horns hush for the night.  That “it” quality hangs around in the delightfully musty scents and subtly ornate ceilings of old 1920s buildings.  It’s Ashevillians’ everyday stomping grounds.

48 Biltmore Avenue is no exception.  In fact, the ceiling was the first thing I noticed upon walking into Chestnut, a restaurant and lounge here in Asheville.  There’s something so romantic about the raised cream-colored tiles, that I later learned to no surprise, are the 1924 originals.  I walked over to the bar and hopped up on the stool, going straight for the cocktail menu.  The “Saint Graham” suspiciously favors the “Gin Rickey,” Nick Gatsby’s famed favorite drink.  Gin and citrus. Just the sound of it makes me take a deeper breath.

One thing about Chestnut I must point out is that it is not themed.  That’s perhaps why it’s great.  It resurrects the lost generation organically.  No fear of finding cheesy posters of This Side of Paradise, or cocktails named something like, “Hemming My Way.”  It doesn’t exist, because there’s no need for a theme.  This place is real.  It’s relaxing; it’s smooth; it’s easy going; it’s new south delicious; it’s all Asheville.

After I devoured my fried green tomatoes, that were somehow the marriage of Grandma’s from the garden and a taste that can only be described as sassy, I chatted with manager, Ken Rethmeier.  Much like the restaurant itself, Ken is laid back, inviting, and delighted to have us.  He proudly filled us in on the ceilings, and original chestnut fixtures, and I could tell the history of the venue had become part of him as well.  When great leadership, awesome service, history, and yummy food meet, the synergy of it all just sizzles.  In this case it sizzles quietly, and refreshingly just like that first cocktail I laid eyes on.  Gin and citrus everywhere.

I was entranced by the atmosphere, clearly, so I decided to look behind the curtain.  I wanted to know what the quality was.  Where did this food come from?  When I found out it was all local, farm to table, and green, I was sold.  This truly is the Asheville poster restaurant.

I asked Rethmeier, “What’s one thing you want me to know that I don’t?  What do you want to tell me about this place?”

He replied with a grin, “it’s warm and inviting.  You can come taste local craft food and cocktails…and we’re the only place that still hand chops ice.”

Hand chopped ice.  I do believe I’ve made my case.