Asheville, North Carolina

Need to get away for a few days? Maybe it’s time for a long weekend. Go explore a new city, try new restaurants, and sleep in a really comfortable bed. Bonus points if you can get some fresh air. Nestled between the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains, Asheville is a friendly, outdoorsy small city with a great music scene. Some call it a hippie enclave, others the “Paris of the South.” Either way, there’s a little something for everyone in this western pocket of North Carolina.

Photo: Princess Anne Hotel
Photo: Princess Anne Hotel

But first, back to that comfortable bed. The Princess Anne Hotel was originally built upon the promise of “comfort first,” and the suites of the historic bed and breakfast have been restored with just this in mind. Think clawfoot tubs, bay windows, and plush living rooms. Biscotti and truffles. Gourmet breakfasts with mimosas. And wine and hors d’oeuvres in the afternoon. Pour a glass of rose and relax on the porch or by the fireplace in the library.

Photo: Princess Anne Hotel
Photo: Princess Anne Hotel

Despite its quiet Chestnut Hill location, the Princess Anne is within walking distance of the lively downtown area. Warm weather brings everyone outside. Merchants sell local produce. Cafes spill onto the sidewalks. Musicians inspire impromptu dancing in the streets. There are farm-to-table restaurants, surprisingly good ethnic restaurants, and old BBQ joints. Relax at a coffee shop. Listen to jazz while tasting a wine flight. And later an acoustic set at a microbrewery.

Photo: N Preseault
Photo: N Preseault

After eating, drinking, and possibly dancing your way through the Art Deco downtown, it’s time to get out of the city. You could start on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate. Canoe down the French Broad River. Drive for hours on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Or stop at another brewery. You’re starting to feel like a local.

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