Let me tell you how I can be easily be swayed by seeing other people’s pictures on social media. This past summer, a friend of mine posted some pictures on Facebook of her trip to Asheville. Once I saw them, I said I wanted to go. Initially, I planned on going during the summer, but then thought it would be ridiculously hot. Then I had this fantastic idea, why not do Asheville in the Fall and see the foliage. Boy, was I happy that I did that!
Before my trip to Asheville, I knew nothing about the city except that it is in North Carolina. What else is new? I love learning about the city while I am there. The only research I did was to check the temperature to make sure I pack appropriately. My friends know about my shortfalls, lol.
General Information – Airport and Transfers
Depending on where you live, you can either drive or fly into Asheville Regional airport. From Fort Lauderdale, there are several direct flights on either Allegiant or American Airlines. I opted to fly Delta because of their high standard with COVID-19 (i.e., empty middle seat and mandatory mask inflight). Asheville is a relatively small airport, and you can quickly get around. However, car transport to downtown is a %^$*^.
Initially, I planned to rent a car, but I canceled it because I was staying in the downtown area. Furthermore, I was not too fond of the idea that the hotel was charging $15/day for parking. I just thought I would call Uber for a 20-minute ride a. Wel, that didn’t work out. The Uber app kept telling me no drivers are available. What the blank and blank!!! It was so annoying, lol. I ended up paying for a $45 cab ride and waiting almost 45-minutes for it.
My recommendation: Pre-book Lyft/Uber or car service. In this instance, don’t be like Nat.😉
General Information – Hotel
I stayed at the Renaissance Hotel downtown. It was not in the city’s heart, but it was only 2 to 3 blocks away from the center. Make sure to book your hotel in advance as you can get a great deal on your stay. With COVID-19, there are no daily housekeeping or room service. However, they opened the restaurant for breakfast and dinner with a mini-bar is in the patio area. Overall, a pleasant stay, and I loved that it was away from the hustle and bustle of “everyone” visiting Asheville in early Fall.
General Information – Dining Out
Due to COVID-19, restaurants are operating at limited capacity. Therefore, there were long wait times for walk-ins or many restaurants required reservations. I was fortunate that I was able to find seating easily as I was a solo traveler. My recommendation is to book your reservation in advance if you can or be like me or wing it as I did.
AC Hotel Rooftop
Best view to watch the sunset and sip on wine
General Information – Historic City Tour
Before arriving in Asheville, I signed up for the historical city tour for $5.00. Now that was the cheapest I have ever paid for a 2-hour tour. Note: They guide works on tips. Anywho, let’s get to the nitty-gritty of Asheville.
During my tour, I found out that Asheville is a “hippy” and a very liberal city compared to surrounding North Carolina cities. I was pleasantly surprised. The city removed the Robert E Lee rock and is replacing the Vance Monuments, which is now covered.
Where the Robert E Lee statue used to be
Several statues, monuments, and sculptures throughout downtown make the city very eclectic, as shown below.
Civic Pride Bell
The monument represents a bell located on the roof of the city hall from 1892- 1926
Statue of the young girl drinking at the horsehead fountain on the backside of Pack Square.
Asheville Art Museum
Asheville Music Hall is the premier live music concert venue in Asheville, North Carolina, offering quality production for artists, events, and fans.
Flat Iron Sculpture
It’s a tongue-in-cheek nod to a certain early 20th-century architectural trend.
Elizabeth Blackwell Sculpture
Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to earn a medical degree in the United States. Her medical studies started in Asheville in 1845 under Dr. John Dickson, for whom she taught music at Dickson’s private school for girls.
Sculptures of revelers at the front of the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
This “signature” station celebrates both “old” and “new” Battery Park Hotels, the first destroyed by fire, but both known for their guest lists.
Offers gorgeous architecture and unique shopping, dining, and lifestyle experiences.
Beautiful Fall Day
Basilica of St Lawrence
YMI Cultural Center (YMICC)
In 1892, the YMICC began its mission of providing social and economic opportunities for the African American community.
City Hall and Government Building
My trip to Asheville was my first solo trip in a minute, and I truly enjoyed my time exploring and learning about the city. Even better, enjoying my company. If you stay in the downtown area, you don’t need a car. It is a walkable city. Lastly, If you are looking for a solo adventure during this time, Asheville is the city for you. If you need help curating this trip or any other trips, please feel free to contact me.
The next stop is the Blue Ridge mountain scenic tour with a little bit of hiking.