Buxton Hill BBQ

The first person I know who moved to Asheville, North Carolina was a blip. The second was a funny coincidence. The third was the start of a pattern.

Then my sister visited and declared Asheville the city. The city that all of my siblings need to move to and buy houses on the same street. Trust me when I say she doesn’t make these proclamations regularly. Asheville, North Carolina is apparently the place we all need to move.

If Asheville is my future home, I thought it about time I take a look for myself.

Fortunately, during a quick swing through the US recently, Drew and I were able to tack on an extra day to finally see Asheville for ourselves.

Located just under two hours west of Charlotte, Asheville is not the North Carolina of bank headquarters or beaches. It’s mountain country, a twisty ride up and through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Known for its thriving art scene, and vibrant food culture, it’s a place where used bookstores and old time barber shops are on the same block as the Asheville Pinball Museum.

Tiny fairy houses even have their place here.

Asheville Fairy House

Asheville Historic Downtown

Asheville Historic Downtown

Though we were only in Asheville for a short time, we did visit two major food highlights in town. Buxton Hall Barbecue was recently named one of America’s 10 best new restaurants. As we drove from Charlotte, we pointed the car directly to Buxton Hall and we’re so happy we did. The fried chicken sandwich here is legendary with a slathering of pimento cheese. Pulled pork with sides of baked beans and hushpuppies rounded out our lunch.

What is it about pimento cheese that makes everything taste so good?

Buxton Hall Barbecue

Buxton Hall Barbecue

We also had our fill at the Over Easy Cafe, indulging in a lovely breakfast and unlimited coffee refills (Why is the bottomless coffee a purely American tradition? Please send it our way in Europe!). Over Easy Cafe reminded me so much of my hometown, with the quirky decor, and friendly easy-going service.

You may be thinking that with 24 hours in Asheville, we should have been able to cover much more food ground, sampling our way around the city like we tend to do.

You’d be right.

Over Easy Cafe Asheville

Over Easy Cafe Asheville

But the combination of several days in New York City, and an early morning flight left us feeling sluggish. Our loaded BBQ lunch at Buxton Hall only added to our lethargy. Confident that we would shortly overcome our fatigue, we promised ourselves that a quick break at our AirBnb rental would leave us rested and restored, ready for a night on the town.

Hey, the rental home was only ten minutes from downtown, so hitting the city for a night would be easy, right?

We turned down the quiet residential street, parked in our very own driveway, and hurried out of the oppressive North Carolina heat. Cool air, comfortable couches, and a well-stocked kitchen greeted us. We had a pick of three bedrooms, massive flat-screen TVs with cable in almost every room, and a beautifully appointed kitchen. Oh, and a bottle of wine and some chocolates left for us by our hosts.

We were doomed.

Our quick rest turned into a long afternoon nap. Our food ambitions were quickly replaced with a visit to the nearby WNC Farmers Market, only a few minutes drive away, and cooking dinner for ourselves. The large armchair became my home for many, many hours, as I amused myself with reality television and local craft beer that our hosts left for us to sample in the fridge. I think I slept for ten hours that night.

Asheville North Carolina

Asheville North Carolina

Asheville North Carolina

Asheville North Carolina

Asheville North Carolina

Asheville North Carolina

The next morning, we awoke and had some coffee and relaxed some more, packing in a little more trashy US TV while we had the opportunity. We thought some exercise would do us good though, so we took a quick ten minute drive from our rental home to the North Carolina Arboretum, and hiked the various trails dotted around Bent Creek for a couple hours. The current outdoor exhibit featuring Lego animals was a hit among all of the kids and the young-at-heart adults.

And just like that, our short visit to Asheville was over, and we packed up the car once again for a trip deeper into the North Carolina mountains.

North Carolina Arboretum

I can see why so many people are smitten with this place. The combination of natural beauty, funky artsy culture and Southern hospitality is a winning combination and has people flocking to Asheville.

As for my family’s collective move to Asheville, we’re just waiting for six houses to open up in a row on a small side street somewhere. Someday, we’ll fill our days with pimento cheese spread and used bookstores, fairy houses and barbecue.

It’s just a matter of time.

Over Easy Cafe

Thanks so much to the lovely Tracy and Brent for opening their popular home rental to us for the night. You can find the listing here. The home is spacious and can easily accommodate a large family, and is in a great location, near downtown, the Biltmore, and some fantastic outdoor spots. All opinions of their place are our own of course, but given that we didn’t leave their home for like 16 hours, well, you already know how we feel about it!

Asheville

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  • August 31, 2016

    Tinkerbell’s closet looks so adorable! I love decor of the cafe too..

    I hope you find those six houses soon 🙂
    Amarachi recently posted…Super Touristy Things I did in IndiaMy Profile

    • September 3, 2016

      My dear Kristin, Please do return quickly to Asheville–so I can wring your lovely neck for failing to stop by very nearby Black Mountain to see me.

    • September 4, 2016

      That might be a bit of challenge…but you never know!

  • September 3, 2016

    So would you consider moving to Ashville if there were not six houses in a row? We have always heard it’s an amazing town. Glad you had a good experience there. Are there any other places on your list that you are considering moving to, but have yet to check out?

    • September 4, 2016

      It is a joke in Julie’s family. Maybe there could be a gap of a few houses…we’ll see! I think we would both enjoy Nashville, Austin, and Charleston, and have yet to visit any of them, which is crazy. Hoping to knock off a few of them this year, if our US road trip works out.

  • September 3, 2016

    Asheville looks like an amazing city to visit in NC, I think that state needs more progressive places like this to make it the state become more open thinking.
    noel recently posted…A perfect backpack ECBCMy Profile

    • September 4, 2016

      That’s very true. It is definitely an anomaly in that state, that’s for sure!

  • September 4, 2016

    I’m not sure about moving there just yet, but I definitely would love to visit!
    Maria recently posted…Win a Trip Around the World with Radisson BluMy Profile

    • September 4, 2016

      definitely worth a visit. Great town, unbelievable food, craft breweries everywhere, and tons of outdoor activities to enjoy.

  • September 4, 2016

    I can’t believe that little house 🙂 How cute. The bottomless coffee is certainly an American thing but many would argue there’s no need to have more than one cup given the difference in quality of coffee here compared to Europe. Looks like a very interesting place and I really loved your photo composition.

  • September 4, 2016

    This looks like a lovely spot. Nice photography! Tinkerbell’s looks so cute.

  • September 5, 2016

    For the love of Asheville, people stop moving here!! We are full. We born and raised locals can’t afford to live here anymore due to this being a tourist town. The jobs are in hotels and restaurants. With everyone buying up all the things us locals are being forced out.

  • September 5, 2016

    Tinkerbell’s Closet?! I love it! What a charming part of the world. Thanks for sharing and happy travels 🙂
    Carmen’s Luxury Travel recently posted…5 US Road Trips That Are Highly RecommendedMy Profile

  • September 5, 2016

    Oh man, I could totally live in Asheville!! I really love North Carolina. Thanks for sharing and happy travels 🙂
    Lauren Meshkin @BonVoyageLauren recently posted…3 Beautiful Towns To Explore In San Diego County [+VIDEO]My Profile

  • September 5, 2016

    North Carolina is a lovely state. I have family in Durham, but have never been to Asheville. The Over Easy Cafe makes me miss good Southern food. As good as food is in Paris, sometimes you just want some home cooking.
    Leah recently posted…American History in Paris: 16 Places to See in the City of LightMy Profile

    • September 9, 2016
      Julie

      There is just something about biscuits, sausage gravy, and grits that makes Southern breakfasts so great…

  • September 5, 2016

    Hi Drew,

    The fried chicken with p cheese sounds as epic as the Lego Eagle looks 🙂

    My dad visited Ashville many times on business. Loved the place. A throwback in terms of NC as it’s quite a diffy spot from where my wife’s relatives live, in Fuquay Varina just south of Raleigh.

    Thanks for the charming share guys.

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted…Download How to Pick the Right Blogging Niche (Free thru Sept 6)My Profile

  • September 6, 2016

    That LEGO Eagle is awesome haha! I’ve been through Asheville a few times, but I’ve really never stayed long enough to do anything other than eat. It looks great and you did a fantastic job of portraying it in its best light!
    Joe Ankenbauer recently posted…The Classic American Road Trip: The Official Rules for Calling ShotgunMy Profile

    • September 9, 2016
      Julie

      Supposed to be super livable, the problem is jobs. So many people have moved there, not many great opportunities available. Maybe when I strike it rich and can retire young, I’ll set up shop down there!

  • September 29, 2016

    We chose Asheville for our annual Girl’s Getaway weekend a few years ago – loved it, although didn’t see the fairy houses at that time! North Carolina seems to be popular with retirees as the taxes are low and it’s overall quite affordable. Go for it!
    Leigh | Campfires & Concierges recently posted…Four Days in Mexico CityMy Profile

    • October 1, 2016

      it’s becoming really popular. A little oasis in Western Carolina!

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