AND ON THE GRAM...
KATHERINE ILONA
Katherine Ilona is a destination wedding & adventure elopement photographer and youtuber encouraging genuine and authentic women to find their voice.  She is a Washington DC Wedding and Engagement Photographer, and is based out of Alexandria, VA and Charlottesville, VA.
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Asheville Girls Weekend

August 17, 2018

ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA  //  ADVENTURES IN ASHEVILLE, NC  //  HIKING IN ASHEVILLE  //  BEST HIKING NEAR ASHEVILLE  //  WEEKEND IN ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA

 

 While Michael was deployed, my girlfriends flew down to North Carolina and we had our annual "girls cabin weekend".  This trend started in college, and every year we would get a cool airbnb cabin or sort-of cabin and do a weekend girls getaway.  Sienna found us the cutest airbnb just south of Asheville within driving distance of the city and a short trek to the best hiking along the blue ridge parkway.  The owners of the airbnb, in true Asheville style, had homemade rhubarb jam in the cupboard for us and fresh eggs from their chickens on the counter when we arrived.  

 

We ate tapas downtown for dinner when we weren't cooking and made a fire in the fireplace to enjoy when it got chilly in the evening.  They had a projector and screen in the living room which we took full advantage of and watched some great chick flicks over the weekend.  I visit Asheville often to photograph adventurous couples in love during my adventure sessions, but this was one of the first times that I enjoyed Asheville as a tourist.  On my list of recommended things to do for weekend visits I would suggest:

 

- stay in an airbnb south of Asheville: this allows you to take full advantage of the city, but the good hiking is all south of the city, thereby affording you the best of both worlds.

 

- visit the Biltmore estate: when we were there, the special exhibit was the Titanic Fashion exhibit which was truly fascinating, but tour the house for sure because it is great.  My favorite part of the Biltmore was definitely the glass greenhouses, however.  These were truly breathtaking.  Be sure to check out the giant elephant ears -- like none I have ever seen.

 

- eat at the Moose Cafe: this is THE BEST RESTAURANT at which I have ever eaten.  Like wow.  It is the most affordable southern food experience you could imagine and the unlimited biscuits that are the size of two fists will blow your mind.  They are so fluffy, light, and tall, they were almost as good as the homemade jam that accompanies them.  If fried chicken and gravy and waffles is your fix, then this is the place to go.  yummmm.

 

- hike Black Balsam Knob: at the very end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Black Balsam Knob is one of my favorite hikes.  Checkout one of my other articles with more about hiking in Asheville with dogs here.  When the sun sets, you are actually sitting above the clouds at the knob and you feel like you have become a part of heaven.  Bring a blanket, however, because it can get quite blustery.

 

- check out Looking Glass Falls for a WOW waterfall experience.  Hop over the railing at the bottom of the viewing platform to get into the water and get the full experience.

 

- hike Craggy Gardens: this one is just steps off the Blue Ridge but the views are so worth it.  A popular spot for instagram and engagement session worthy photos, Craggy Gardens give you a Pacific Northwest vibe for sure.

 

- hike to Frying Pan Fire Tower:  proud of little Daisy because she hiked up those rickety metal steps all the way to the top of the fire tower when she was just a baby puppy.  Half way to the top you start to wonder if it was a good idea or not, and if you are lucky enough, the top might be accidentally open!

 

- visit the Good Vibes silo in the River Arts District and check out all of the awesome artisans in the area as well as our favorite flower shop of all time FLORA -- a must see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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