Rhythm is either something you have or don’t have, but when you have it, you have it all over.—Elvis Presley
This quote summed up my favorite twenty minutes in Asheville, North Carolina.
Asheville is a beautiful, artsy small city in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. It is known as the location of the Biltmore Estate and art and craft beer. The surrounding beauty of the mountains make Asheville a wonderful place for a short or long visit in any season.
We visited Asheville near Christmas time years ago and toured the Biltmore Estate with its magnificent decorations. We recently visited Asheville in summer and decided not to tour the Biltmore again, but did go to Antler Hill Village, the home of the Biltmore Winery. If you have never been to the Biltmore Estate, it is worth the time and the $70 admission fee.
The city of Asheville is a lively city. There is music on the corners, there are people in the many good restaurants and in the squares. There is art.
On Fridays, you can bring your favorite type of drum and join the Friday night drum circle, that is open to all drummers. There are bongos, congas, timbales, djembes, cajons, tambourines, whistles, and any other thing you could beat on. This was my favorite twenty minutes I spent in Asheville. No, I did not have a drum, however I considered bringing it on my trip but just didn’t want to pack my djembe. I regret that decision now. The drum circle is crowded, raucous, and surprisingly together in rhythm. There are people dancing, which is quite entertaining. And there is a big crowd gathered. Don’t worry about trying to find the drum circle on Fridays, you will hear it. Just go where the crowd is and get lost in the rhythm. Don’t worry there will be others that will draw more attention than you.
I love the drive into Asheville on RTE 23/I-26 as you can see the Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding the city.
We were in Asheville less than 24 hours, so this is not a comprehensive list by any means of things to do. I will show you where we ate and visited.
We began by going out to the Biltmore to meet some old friends at Antler Hill Village after they toured the estate house and grounds. The drive to the village is beautiful.
The Biltmore’s Antler Hill Village has a few restaurants and shops and the Biltmore Winery. We ate barbecue at the Smokehouse. This was good barbecue, my wife had pulled pork and I had pulled chicken with the sauce. The sides were good but not memorable.
After checking into our hotel at Hilton Homewood Suites, which was very nice and comfortable and convenient to downtown Asheville, we rested for an hour or so. Then we headed into downtown.
We had our evening meal at Rhubarb. Our appetizer of assorted pickled vegetables were very tasty. My wife and I had the chef’s specialty of grilled Ashley Farms half-chicken with vegetables. This was good food, not outstanding since it was chicken and vegetables but very tasty nonetheless.
Open kitchen at Rhubarb.
Grilled chicken with veggies at Rhubarb.
We had our dessert at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge. I highly recommend this.
3D wall mural in Asheville.
Local street musicians.
The lively Friday night drum circle is a must.
We ate breakfast the following day at Tupelo Honey. This is a really good choice to eat breakfast.
No matter what you order, make sure to get some potato cracklins.
My wife had the Old Skool breakfast bowl.
I had the Eggs Betty, a take-off on eggs Benedict.
I grabbed some coffee to go at High Five Coffee.This is a fun coffee bar. It was the last good purchase in Asheville as we headed to the beach.
For those of us who live in the eastern and southeastern United States, Asheville is a wonderful place for a weekend trip. For those of you in other parts of the globe, if you are in the area, I recommend a visit to Asheville located in a beautiful area of the US.