Series: Planning for 36 Hours in Asheville, NC

Planner’s Travel Series 

About the series: Welcome to our ongoing travel series. These are all posts written by planning students and professionals about what to do in a given city when looking for Brunch, a Brew, or a good idea on a Budget. To cap it all off, we include a fun planning fact!   

About the visit: Asheville’s award-winning breweries, food, art, and trails are just a 3.5-hour drive from the Triangle. Whether you’re just in North Carolina for school or for the long-haul, this small city is worth the visit! Check out some of my favorites below:


BimBeriBon in West Asheville offers nutritious breakfasts and scrumptious, gluten-free baked goods. Photo Credit: Emily Cortez.

If you want to avoid the long wait at some of Asheville’s hotter brunch spots, take yourself over to BimBeriBon in West Asheville. Best of all, the food at BimBeriBon caters to vegetarians and vegans with a menu of food that is both hearty and nutritious. They also serve gluten-free desserts that are delectable.


New Belgium Brewery: A “brownfield brought to life.”  Photo Credit: Our State Magazine.

In recent years, Asheville has made a name for itself in the craft beer scene. New Belgium Brewery — a 100% worker-owned brewery — joined the scene in 2015 when the company converted a brownfield into a brewery. Sign up (a few days in advance) to snag a spot on the free daily brewery tour and tasting. The beer is plentiful and the story of their commitment to the local environment and community is pretty incredible. The large outdoor lawn is great for dogs and kids, too.


Views from Roan Mountain. Photo Credit: Anna Patterson.

Go for a day hike and explore all the great outdoors has to offer. While you won’t find many trails close to downtown Asheville, fantastic spots a short drive away like Dupont Forest and Roan Mountain offer spectacular views.

Fun Planning Fact 

Frederick Law Olmsted’s plan for the 8,600-acre Biltmore Estate. Photo Credit: Historic Urban Plans.

The Biltmore–America’s largest private home–is located in Asheville. The estate’s landscape is thought to be the final work of Frederick Law Olmsted. While most folks come to see the house and the gardens, the trails on the property are a peaceful escape located just minutes from downtown.

Featured Image: The Asheville skyline at dusk. Photo Credit: Romantic Asheville.

About the Author: Anna is a third-year dual-degree master’s student in the Department of City and Regional Planning and the Department of Health Behavior. Her scholarly interests include health and the built environment, vulnerable populations, and community development. Prior to coming to UNC, Anna worked as a program officer for a health foundation in Alamance County, NC. She likes American folk music, slalom water skiing, and mountains.