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

Letters From Asheville & Beyond: “Get on the Bus”

Letters from Asheville and Beyond: A Fictional Journey into Western North Carolina by Ellen J. Perry.

Part Two: “Get on the Bus” dedicated to Heather Vaughn.

Lazoom Asheville Tours

Dear sweet grandson Nicky,

I’m glad to tell you, me and Shelby made it from coast to mountains in the van but not without incident. We had everything all planned out: go down 26 to Columbia, eat some Maurice’s barbecue, catch 20 to Florence, then 95 to 74. Leastways, that’s what Joanne at Triple A and the map said, but somehow we got twisted around near Lumberton and ended up at a truck stop that had a McDonald’s tacked on to it. Right before I went to order our Filet-o-Fish sandwiches, Shelby asked a man by the hot dog machine for directions. He looked at us funny and said, “Why would y’all want to go to Asheville? That’s where all them hippies and gays and liberals and stuff is.” We didn’t take too kindly to that and stormed off, but the McDonald’s people weren’t much better help. The young girl that took my fish sandwich order said, “Well, head toward the flea market and take a left at Miss Jackson’s house, then you’ll see Tommy Higby out there painting the church and you can ask him the best way cause I don’t know.”

The Lord must have been with us, though, because we got back on the interstate and headed in the right direction without having to bother Miss Jackson or Tommy either one. We felt so tired and aggravated after driving all that way but now we’re settled in at the Hampton on Tunnel Road, which is a good place to stay since they have that shuttle that takes people into town. The man at the front desk gave us a bunch of brochures and said that the LaZoom tour would be a great way to get introduced to Asheville. Boy was he right. Me and Shelby had the biggest time on that purple bus! (Don’t tell the preacher we did this because it was pretty wild.) We chose the City Comedy Tour and our guide went by the name of Augusta Wind. She had this fluffy blond wig on and hiked up her leg a bunch of times, even grabbed a passenger’s head and wrestled it onto her bosom. That old man turned red as a fire hydrant. Shelby laughed like crazy at that! My favorite part of the show was this fellow that ran around in a nun outfit, Sister Bad Habit. There’s even a local beer named after her which I hope to try while we’re here, though for sure don’t tell the preacher that.

The LaZoom bus took us all over downtown. We learned some about the history of the city and how people here made sure their home-place stayed good and local. You know how lots of towns in the South all look the same now with their strip malls and Long John Silverses and Wal-Marts? Not Asheville. Oh, Shelby says tell you about poor Zelda Fitzgerald who died in a fire in the Montford area. Did you study her and her husband F. Scott in school? He wrote The Great Gatsbsy and some other stuff. We sat in front of a lady named Heather who’s an English teacher in town (it was her 40th birthday!) and she told us this great thing that Daisy, one of the characters in Gatsby, said: “What’ll we do with ourselves this afternoon? And the day after that? And the next thirty years?”

I don’t know about the next thirty years, but on the bus we saw a bunch of places we want to come back to in the next few days at least: Malaprop’s book store, the Grove Arcade, French Broad Chocolates, Tupelo Honey restaurant, art galleries, shops. Later on in the week we might head over to the Biltmore House and the Grove Park Inn just to strut around and act like we own the place. But for now we’re happy over here at the Hampton, thinking about our day and feeling young again, like there’s nothing we can’t do in the world. Hell, tonight after supper at Frank’s Pizza we might even ride the shuttle over to the Yacht Club and suck down a Painkiller. Or two.

Happy trails,


The Tour De Asheville December 2015 Experience

Just this month we started the Tour De Asheville. This is a monthly event where our inside media team and some guests get together to go cruising around WNC in the private van, eating, drinking, meeting folks, taking photos, taking videos, interviewing business owners, chefs and more. Kind of like a reality show, but no show, just us. So exciting. All of us have heard and experienced Asheville in one form or another, but the half has not been told. We are going after that other half!

Anne's Custom Catering Asheville

Our first stop was to the event room at Moment’s Cafe in Swannanoa where we met up with Chef Anne of Anne’s Custom Catering. We got to try so many great foods, coffees, and also interview Anne and her husband Joseph as a group. We learned about how they got started, the many styles of food she has mastered, and how her catering company is now growing by leaps and bounds; with even a brand new website being developed as you read this!

Barley's Taproom Asheville NC

The next stop was Barley’s Taproom & Pizza in Downtown Asheville. Now there are many brewery stops that you can go to in Asheville, but we wanted a wide variety of craft brews from all around the USA to taste, making this the perfect spot. We talked to Jimi, who is one of, if not the pillar that craft beer in Asheville was formed on. As a matter of fact, the great Highland Brewing started out in the basement of this building, and then eventually outgrew it. A must stop if you are brew touring in Asheville North Carolina.

Hop West Asheville NC

Then we shot over to The Hop West ice cream shop to try a few samples and talk to Ashley, one of the owners. The brownie delight with cold mountain ice cream was incredible. Then that peppermint stick ice cream was so delish! Ashley talked to us about how The Hop Ice Cream got started and their growth including The Hop West opening, and then The Hop Ice Creamery. Who ever knew that ice cream could build so much community? But this is the case every day with The Hop, and ever since Greg and Ashley took it over.

Post 70 Asheville Restaurant & Cocktails

The last stop? Post 70 Indulgence Bar in East Asheville, and this place was WOW!! Talk about amazing craft cocktails, small plates of cuisine, and desserts that will leave you satisfied yet craving more. The building was packed inside and out with an oyster roast just ending, plus a dining room and bar full of folks having a great time. Emilios was delivering the food to our table while Courtney was shaking and serving cocktails. I saw her double fisting the shakers several times throughout the evening. We will be back. Like every week!

Asheville Premier Transportation

Asheville Premier Transportation supplied the van for the Tour De Asheville and did such an amazing job. We are planning on going on one of her private beer and food tours real soon as Dana’s company is expanding as well. In the meantime, if you are in the Asheville, Hendersonville, or WNC area and want to host us when we are out on your end of town, contact us and let us know. We just may drop in with our media team to paparazzi you and your business. Thank you to all of the businesses that hosted us this time!

Asheville Beer & Brewery Tours Galore!


As you may already know, Asheville’s hippie name is simply put… BEER! Breweries, beer stores, beer bars, desserts with beer, beer cycle, beer soap, beer battered fish & chips, beer ice cream and just about whatever else you can think of. I have not been able to find any beer cologne, but that is most likely coming soon. For now, just douse yourself with a recyclable bottle of certified organic farm raised brew.

asheville brewery tours

Asheville Premier Transportation decided to expand their business. They already had airport transportation, shuttle services, and smaller tours they were doing with the Lincoln Town Car; but then a van came into their lives, and with just a few small mentions on social media, the calls started coming in and booking brewery tours, corporate tours, and other exciting excursions around Asheville and WNC.

There are several other companies that do beer and brewery tours around Asheville and Western North Carolina, and it seems like all of them are doing pretty good. In Beer City USA, all you have to do is follow the beer, and you already have a head start on your road to success.

What To Do: Touring Asheville On A Rainy Day

Asheville is a great city to tour, especially if it is not raining! Of course, sometimes the rain is just wonderful, when we have that perfect Spring or Fall weather, just a few drops lightly misting and falling on us, birds chirping, music playing, and romance in the air. But that is rare. The usual result from rain is that we end up getting wet. We have all experienced it, and getting drenched is no fun at all.

We have put together a list of many places to go and things to do in the area if you ever find yourself in an Asheville downpour:

1. Biltmore Estate – a rainy day in Asheville is the perfect opportunity to spend a few hours on the Estate. You can tour the house, go to a wine tasting, and experience several other activities that are not outdoors. They are located in Historic Biltmore Village, which used to be part of the Estate.

2. Grove Arcade – located in the downtown area of Asheville, this place is the perfect spot to hide until the storm passes over. Shopping, restaurants, wine and more located inside of this historic building. 

asheville fun depot

3. Fun Depot – got kids? Or maybe you just want to act like a kid again, escape the rain, and enjoy plenty of indoor activities that they have to offer. They are located up the road from Biltmore Village.

4. Grove Park Inn – this resort located on the north side of town features restaurants, shopping and are always decorated and themed for the holidays. They are located in north Asheville, minutes from downtown.

5. East Asheville Bowling or West Asheville Bowling – there are two bowling alleys, one located on Patton Avenue in west Asheville, and the other on Kenilworth Rd in east Asheville, right off of Tunnel Rd.

6. Barley’s Taproom and Pizzeria – located in downtown Asheville, they have pool tables and dart boards on the top level; plus pizza and lots of beer, of course.

7. Double Decker Bus – and right across the street from Barley’s is this landmark bus, which has an upper level that is a great spot on rainy days. Bring a chess table, get some coffee and cake, and listen to the raindrops on the roof in downtown Asheville

8. Bus and Van Tours – there are several fantastic buses and vans in the area that can take you on everything from a history tour, to a brewery crawl, to a bachelor party!

asheville brew beer bus

9.  Asheville Mall – of course the mall has lots of indoor shopping, fun, games and food for your enjoyment. They are located on Tunnel Road in east Asheville.

10. Asheville Pizza Brew & View – on the north side of town on Merrimon Avenue, this establishment is the perfect spot to spend a few hours, with lots of food, beer, movies and a game room.

11. Asheville Art Museum – this place is decked out with 20th and 21st Century American art, and is a one-of-a-kind museum that provides education and culture representative to a 24 county region. They are located in downtown Asheville.

12. Chuck-E-Cheese – this is a spot where the kids like to spend an hour or two playing video games, dancing with that giant mouse, and grabbing a quick bite to eat. Located in east Asheville, right off of Tunnel Road.

13. US Cellular Center – located in downtown Asheville, this venue holds many of the larger events in the community. Wonderful shows, concerts and performances every month.

14. The Orange Peel – the premier music venue in the area, located in downtown Asheville. There are always great shows happening here, and a great place to escape wet weather.

15. Riverview Station – located in the River Arts District, this building is full of artists and crafters who create beautiful handcrafted art, jewelry and more. Several of the shops are open on weekends too, and a great spot to spend a couple of hours indoors.

riverview station river arts district

16. Arts & Entertainment Options – there are several Performing Arts venues in the Asheville and WNC area to enjoy plays and skits from wonderful performers.

17. Mountain Play Lodge – a great place to take the kids and spend a couple of hours. Located in the south Asheville area.

18. Movie Theaters – there are several movie theaters in the area including the Fine Arts Theatre in downtown Asheville. In East Asheville on Tunnel Road there are 2 other commercial theaters to choose from. Cinebarre in west Asheville is also a discount movie theater that serves beer, wine and food. There is also the Biltmore Grande in south Asheville.

19. Thomas Wolfe Memorial – take a tour of this historic property, and learn about this home written about in the book Look Homeward, Angel.

20. Smith McDowell House Museum – this is Asheville’s 1st mansion, and the oldest surviving structure in the city limits, and listed on the National Registry.

21. Buy an umbrella and walk around Biltmore Village or Downtown Asheville. I know that the Mast General Store on Biltmore Ave has a nice supply of umbrellas waiting to be sold, and it is also a good spot to spend an hour browsing and shopping their big selection.

Do you have some more great ideas for touring Asheville in the rain? Comment and let us know below…