This post was imported from the old blog I shared with my two best friends, Morgan and Mallory. It covers our trip to North Carolina.
Where: Asheville & Charlotte, North Carolina
Why NC: We were originally planning to knock out both the Carolinas but we are working gals and couldn’t get off work to do the whole shebang. We decided NC because Morgan isn’t really the beach type and when we go to SC Mallory and Rachel are going to the beach; ya hear us, Morgan?
Lodging: Holiday Inn Asheville – Biltmore East was your very typical hotel although I’ve got to say all the hotels in Asheville were super expensive compared to the ones in Charlotte so that was disappointing. Even more disappointing was the fact they did not serve continental breakfast. When Mallory and Morgan discovered this I thought there was going to be mutiny. We also stayed at the HYATT house Charlotte/Center City, which for the fraction of the price was just as nice as our hotel in AVL. HOWEVER, this hotel is valet parking only and you have to pay overnight parking. And you apparently have to tip them. Apparently. Morgan hates valet with a passion and also her Chacos stunk up the entire car and the valet men judged us every time.
Shopping: We did a lot less shopping on this trip than previous ones. Mallory is expecting so has been focusing on maternity clothes/things for lil Mads and Rachel is broke and Morgan just isn’t about that shopping life sometimes. So although we didn’t spend much money on things, we did window shop at these places:
Grove Arcade – An “architectural jewel.” Weird stores, we did not shop at any of them. There were also little booths outside, cute stuff but overpriced.
Downtown Asheville Shops – Downtown is very small so it’s easy to look around! We weaved in and out of a few stores but none really stood out.
aSHEville Museum Gift Shop – While this museum is right up Rachel’s alley, we didn’t go through the museum simply because Morgan and Mallory had zero interest in it and our trips are supposed to be fun for everyone. However, we did go into the gift shops and I bought some cool buttons!
Twice Round Vintage – As far as vintage clothing stores go, I wasn’t impressed. Overpriced, not a big selection.
Mast General Store – We actually went to a Mast General Store on #journey3toTennessee so it was cool that we got to go to this one!
Asheville Outlets – For some reason, we were just not about the shopping on this trip. Oh well.
Sleepy Poet Antique Mall – HUGE ANTIQUE MALL!! So much to see. Didn’t buy anything due to how pricey it was but I liked getting ideas for stuff.
Concord Mills – We went here for the aquarium…yes an aquarium in a mall, it was weird. We did go to TJ Maxx though so fun stuff!
Food: Like every trip, we ate…so…much.
Biscuit Head “A Fresh Take on Southern Cooking” (Asheville) – Our first stop (in my opinion); our actual first stop was some coffee shop in Knoxville but meh, I don’t care about coffee, especially since I have been pregnant the smell of coffee actually makes me literally sick, so back to Biscuit Head. A very cute place with combinations of biscuits, eggs, meat, vegetables and other things I never would have considered before. Personally, I decided to try out the mimosa fried chicken biscuit which I would recommend. Morgan decided to try the Benedict biscuit and rated it 3.8/5 because she liked it but is not a huge fan of biscuits and Rachel got a plain biscuit and an egg with the moon fries. If you get a plain biscuit you can try as many jellies and butters as you want. They had a sweet potato spread that was like HEAVEN. Thankfully, Rachel got full on her biscuit and me and Morgan got to split the rest of the potatoes, which I think were even better the biscuits but that could just be because I LOVE potatoes of all types. Overall, I would give it 4.5/5 stars. I only deduct .5 stars because we had to wait in a super long line and I am lazy, but worth the wait for sure!
Remedy Coffee & Makers Donuts – Our “actual” first stop was a caffeine pit stop, seeing as we had left that morning around 6. Or was it 5? I don’t know. It was early. Morgan and Rachel got cold brew and Rachel also got a churro donut. Donut was good but Rachel is not all about cold brew.
White Duck Taco Shop – Okay I will admit your girl here was a bit sketched out by the location and the view from the outside but man oh man I was wrong. This place easily got 5/5 in my book. Quick service, cheap price, and maybe the best tacos that I have had in America. I got the buffalo chicken taco and the steak and cheese. My only regret was that I did not order more than those 2.
Farm Burger – If you’ve been following our journeys or know anything about us then it will not surprise you to know that Morgan and I try to accommodate our vegetarian friend Rachel as much as possible but by the same token we expect Rachel to take one for the team and the good news is there is 2 of us and only 1 of Rachel so our majority always rules so with that being said we hit up the Farm Burger. This place also gets a 5/5 in my book, maybe more if I wasn’t trying to follow the rules. Regardless, I chose the farm burger with sweet potato fries and OMG the sweet potato fries were AMAZING and let me tell you I have had my share of sweet potato fries so I know what I am talking about. Additionally, the burger was also fabulous so highly recommend this place as well. The veggie burger was pretty great as well!!
Double D’s Coffee Bus – Like I said earlier, I’m not a coffee person but Morgan and Rachel have some serious caffeine addiction so we stopped here as well and since I am a team player I decided to try something. I ended up getting a cherry vanilla Italian soda, which side note, I had never had Italian soda before so I really did not know what to expect but it was okay. The only downside was again another long line even at 10 at night (do people really need coffee that late?) and they only accept cash which I just thought was somewhat odd because you know, it is 2017 after all. Morgan and Rachel got chai…it was oh so spicy.
Side Note: My only issue with literally everywhere we ate in Asheville was that every place was set up where you wait in a line (super long lines/ I think we waited in line at least an hour at Farm Burger), order your food, get a table, and then the food is brought to you. So yeah my only issue was the long lines but ya know, it is what it is.
Whit’s Frozen Custard – Emma recommended this to us and it was actually so good. Rachel got a ice cream sandwich. It was A+.
Early Girl Eatery – My overall impression is simply meh. I was neither impressed nor disappointed just your standard breakfast establishment that in my humble opinion was overpriced for the quality. I ordered the sausage and sweet potato casserole so maybe I just did not make the right food choice. Rachel ordered something with avocados in it because duh, but for what we paid, they just did not give us enough food.
Tupelo Honey (Charlotte) – This restaurant was actually my pick after Morgan and Rachel got stressed out that Charlotte did not live up to our expectations so I did some googling myself. According to the trusty Google, this was one on the top ten vegetarian restaurants, and since me and Morgan had Farm Burger, we decided to try here for sweet Rachel. Plot twist: there was only one vegetarian option other than salad which Rachel is not a salad vegetarian. Anyway, I ordered the chicken BLT and this was the best BLT that I have ever had EVER. Unfortunately, I think we would all agree that it was a bit overpriced. However, I really enjoyed the food and the atmosphere so overall I would recommend and give a 4/5.
Amelie’s: A French Bakery and Cafe – We stopped here on our way out of Charlotte and again I thought it was great. I got a raspberry lemonade and a croissant and it was a lovely snack. Pretty tasty macaroons as well! I’d give it 4/5 just because more expensive than I thought was necessary but alas still good!
Sights we saw:
Morgan writing here. S/O to Mal and Rachel for putting up with the fact that it has taken me WEEKS to write my portion of the blog. Honestly I forgot about it and then ya know, life (aka the time in which I could have been spending on writing I’ve been spending swiping dudes on tinder.)
The Iron – Lol @ The Iron. Rachel and I did not even notice it when we walked by. Mal was like, “uh yeah, we passed it like 20 minutes ago.” So then we had to go back to it and get pics. There was a guy playing a guitar at it when we first passed it and so I blame him. I just noticed his hair and thought, “Wow, that looks way better than mine.”
The North Carolina Arboretum – THE FREAKIN NORTH CAROLINA ARBORETUM. Parking was $14!!! Isn’t that ridiculous? The only thing I loved about it was that my favorite park guy, Frederick Law Olmsted, had a statue there. If I had been alive when he was I definitely would have had a crush on him. Anyway, we took pictures and we walked around and went on a tiny hike. Cool but not worth the $14 parking. I’m still bitter.
Elijah Mountain Gem Mine – Wow. Words cannot describe the Elijah Mountain Gem Mine. Rachel and I tried so hard to get Mallory to not go to this place. We told her it was just for kids but she persisted. We arrive and guess what? Only kids mining. But Mal marches up to the lady and orders us The Green Giant which was maybe $60. It had a geode though so I was in at that point. It actually ended up being pretty fun. We got a lot of gems and washed them (well I haven’t washed mine they are still in the bag haha.) It was worth the embarrassment that occurred in being a 25 year old at a gem mine when I saw the pure joy on Mal’s face. Her and Rachel both enjoyed it so overall a great stop.
Pearson’s Falls & Glen – Ah, Pearson’s Falls and Glen. The trip we took to get to this place was my literal nightmare. We passed a house at one point that had a tree going through it. LIKE THE HOUSE HAD A HUGE HOLE IN IT AND IN THAT HOLE WAS A FREAKIN’ TREE. We also had to go through creepy, dark tunnels and I was sure we were going to die. We had absolutely no clue where to go and somehow we found the place. It was a nice, easy hike, and the waterfall was really pretty at the end. Rachel and I got in the water but it was super cold. (Also, this is where I made a mistake bc I had my chacos on and then when we were done hiking I switched to a diff pair of shoes but left my chacos in the car, wet…hence the AWFUL smell every time I opened my car and every time the valet men did as well (so sorry dudes.))
SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium – I don’t remember the Aquarium very well. It had fish and turtles and some other stuff but it was inside a mall and that was strange?? The glass tanks that held the sea animals were cool and I got a nifty canvas bag after that says,”plastic is the worst” or something close to that. Weird place. Rachel here–we all got the canvas bag and it says “Plastic ain’t finn-tastic” and it had a shark fin on it which is about a million times better than a bag that says “plastic is the worst.”
Charlotte Motor Speedway – We drove by the speedway for Mal. Rachel and I have absolutely no interest in Nascar or racing unless the men who are doing so are attractive. But Mal likes it so we drove around and it looked pretty big and was kind of interesting.
Mallory’s – My absolute favorite part was the gem mining. Morgan and Rachel were super against it initially and tried for days and days leading up to it to talk me out of it but I had none of it. I operate that there are no rules and if you want to mine for gems at an establishment primarily made for children go for it. In fact, when I ordered the bucket and stuff for us Morgan and Rachel were too embarrassed to even stand near me lol. Anyway, it was overall a super fun time and I highly recommend it!
Rachel’s – Honestly I have to admit, I loved the gem mining just because it was surprisingly so fun. Morgan and I doubted Mallory’s decision to do this so hard but we did it anyways and I’m glad because it was a FUN. TIME. Besides that, I really loved posting on my Instagram story this trip and I had a lot of fun with making creative posts to document our adventure. Also our playlist was SO GOOD. So good. It’s on my Spotify and you should jam to it sometime (@literallyrachel). Hopefully our next trip will include LIL MADS.
Morgan’s – My favorite part was Asheville. Asheville is WEIRD AS CRAP and I love it. People of Asheville, I love your, “you do you” mentality and how freakin’ chill everyone is. Your food is great and your coffee is even better. I aspire to one day be as cool as someone who is an Asheville native, though I’d definitely have to become 420 friendly and get more tattoos and pick up playing a random instrument like a harmonica. Loved the city and loved the food and would def recommend a visit to this funky town.
And that’s all, folks! We loved taking this trip and can’t wait for our next one. Be sure to share and comment if you have anything to add about these marvelous places or comment anything we might have missed.
And as always, thanks for reading!