Hello! How has your week been? We’ve been extra busy now that baseball games have started and the kids have had track as well. Just last week, we had very little on our agenda, and now we are back running from one place to the next.
Last week we visited one of our favorite places for a few days of our Spring Break, and today I’m recapping our trip to Asheville, NC.
We typically treat Spring Break as a time to go somewhere nearby. I swear, as a teacher (and I guess as a parent, too), March-May kick my tail. It’s the busiest time of the year for a teacher, and then the kids are busy with sports and activities as well in the spring.
It’s no secret I’m a homebody, but I do love to go somewhere when we have extended time off. I love that we started break in a very lowkey way with just hanging out at home. We were able to do things around the house, run errands, cross things off our never-ending “to do” list and more. Then, it was nice to get away for a few days going to a place we all enjoy and then having a few more days at home before break was over.
We had a couple of appointments on the Monday of break, so we left Lexington around 4:00 and drove about 3.5 hours to Dandridge, TN. We’ve stopped there before, and know it’s a good pitstop. We checked into the hotel, grabbed a quick dinner, and then the kids splashed in the pool for a bit. What is it about kids and an indoor hotel pool? Hard to resist, apparently!
We slept in a bit on Tuesday, grabbed breakfast at the hotel, and then left for Asheville around 10:00.
We arrived in Asheville around 11:30. We didn’t really have any plans, so headed downtown, parked and walked around for a bit.
We’d never been to Rocket Fizz, but we couldn’t resist after seeing all the candy.
I saw this and showed it to the kids…I said, “This is how we used to pass the time on a road trip.” No phones, no movies. Only our imagination, a book, or Road Trip BINGO.
We walked a bit more, and ended up the Mast General Store. It’s not a trip to Asheville unless we stop there. It’s always fun to look around. Often times, we pick up a souvenir or a snack, but we didn’t make any purchases this time.
We walked around a bit more and ended up at Wicked Weed. This is one of Trav’s favorite places, and I don’t think we’ve ever visited Asheville and not eaten there.
Trav got chili, I had a salad, and both kids ordered the pretzels. Hayden had fun with is pretzel!
Technically, our hotel check in wasn’t until 4:00, but we arrived at Grove Park Inn around 2:00, and our room was ready. We’ve stopped at GPI to meet friends once before, but this was our first time staying on the property.
It’s a beaut!
Right when we walked in, we saw this view! While Travis got us checked in, Hadley and I headed outside.
Once we came back in, Hayden was reading about all the history and about all the famous people who’ve stayed at GPI. They have photos all throughout the hotel, and I don’t think Hayden missed the opportunity to look at the photos.
We stayed in the Biltmore Wing. Our room was quite nice with a pretty view and enough space for the four of us.
We unpacked a bit before walking around and exploring the property.
Next stop! The pool. Hayden and Hadley had it all to themselves.
There’s this indoor pool in the Sports Complex along with some other activities. After they jumped in, they both emerged and said, “It’s salt water!” haha
There’s an outdoor pool and then a pool at the spa as well.
FYI: GPI apparently has an amazing spa, but you have to book way in advance. The website suggests 6 months in advance. I’d love to try it some time, but we rarely know what we are doing that far out!
Some of our Lexington friends were stopping in Asheville for the night on the way to their Spring Break destination. We met up with them at Catawba Brewery and enjoyed a beer. The girls hung out and played Racko, and outnumbered Hayden stuck with us!
Then, we walked to Pie.Zaa Pizza to grab a quick dinner. We’d never been to this pizza place before, and the slices of pizza were huge! We took our food to go, and ate at the picnic tables at Burial Beer.
The sun was setting and there was a chill in the air, but the kids had fun playing…
..while the adults enjoyed a beverage.
We ended up staying for a bit and the adults played Racko while the kids hung out.
After that, we went back to GPI. Our friends joined us for a drink while the kids got ice cream. (It was nice that right off the lobby there were a few restaurant choices as well as the market that had snacks, coffee and ice cream.)
I swear I think it was the fact that we were staying in the Biltmore Wing that Hayden got to thinking about our 2018 trip to Asheville and the Biltmore tour that we took. He was adamant about visiting again. I finally relented (who could say no to a boy who wants to take an educational tour?!) and booked two tickets for the 3:30 tour on Wednesday. We went to bed around 10:00 that night after a great first day.
Honestly, I had the worst night sleep ever for a variety of reasons….(not the hotel’s fault!) We still had a slow start to the morning. We hung out in the room for a bit as everyone got ready, and I drank some coffee.
We’ve been to Biscuit Head one other time and wanted to go again. We visited a different location, but the food was amazing just the same.
We were little limited on time due to the 3:30 tour, but wanted to take a little hike. Trav and the kids had previously been to the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor’s Center for a trail run, and it was nearby. It was a nice two mile hike…In the past, we’ve always hiked where there are more views or even waterfalls, but at least we got out in the fresh air and got some exercise.
When we got back to GPI, Trav and the kids went to the Sports Complex and played ping pong and basketball. While they did that, I sat on the patio and read for almost an hour. It was glorious.
Then, it was time to head to the Biltmore. Travis and Hadley dropped us off.
Hayden obliged for a photo…
…reminiscent of this one from 2018…minus a sister!
The Biltmore is just so magestic!
We had the audio tour where they give you a handheld device. When you get to each room, you press the room number and hear about the details and history of the room.
The dining room:
The tapestry gallery:
My favorite room: the library
Some of the bedrooms:
The pool and kitchen were in the basement. Hayden thinks the pool is so neat! I loved the view from the kitchen.
Once the tour was over, we stopped in the shops to get a fridge magnet. Then, Hayden got a root bear float, and I got a diet coke before Travis and Hadley picked us up. We were there for about an hour and a half.
We went back to the hotel, changed our clothes and headed to one of our favorite places: White Duck Taco. There are two locations, but we always go to the one by the river.
We came back to hotel and that was about it. I was seriously so tired from the lack of sleep the night before. While the kids got ice cream and hung with Travis in the lobby, I showered, read, and watched a bit of tv.
I slept MUCH better on Wednesday night. We all slept in a bit on Thursday. Then, the kids and Trav went for a run while I got us packed up.
Once they got back, we picked up quick breakfast at the market.
The kids waited by the fire while Travis checked us out of the hotel.
We got a quick family photo. I love it 🙂
It was nice not to rush. Usually, when we are out of town, we get up and leave ASAP, but we enjoyed the property a bit on Thursday morning. Around 11:00, we said goodbye to the Grove Park Inn and headed for the outlet mall.
I’d mentioned to the kids if we had time that we could stop there before heading home. Hadley, especially, needed some running shorts. Her legs just keep getting longer!
After the outlet malls, we stopped by Hillman Beer for lunch. Travis and Hadley actually ate a few appetizers there the day before while Hayden and I were at the Biltmore.
The atmosphere was great, and the food was delish! I ordered the rice bowl with chicken, and it was amazing. The perfect way to end our trip.
We left around 2:00 and were home around 6:30. Homer is always happy to see us 🙂
You know I love coming home, but we really could have used one more day in Asheville. I think I felt this way because we were staying on such an amazing property. We still wanted to do so many of our “regular” things that it would have been nice to spend one day just staying at GPI and relaxing a bit more. It’s a resort in the sense of having multiple pools, restaurants, shopping, a trail, a golf course, and more.
I’m always so glad we take the kids to a variety of places throughout the year. We tend to go on a bigger beach vacation in the summer, Asheville in the fall, and then somewhere nearby in the spring. Past Spring Breaks have included trips to Indianapolis, Knoxville, Hilton Head, Asheville, KC, and Nashville. While it’s always nice to experience a new place, it’s also comforting going somewhere we all know and enjoy.
Have you ever been to Asheville?
Here are some of my previous Asheville posts:
It really is a great place, and I love that it’s less than five hours from Lex. Asheville has so much to offer.
See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites.