Living, working, and learning from home is making us all dream of a vacation somewhere outside of our own backyard. The days of working from home or in offices with skeleton crews, and maybe we are all feeling the need for some R&R. When it’s safer to travel again, where would you go? Maybe it’s time to explore our own state. With today being 8/28, we wanted to highlight what to do near our western-most office in Asheville, in area code 828.
Often appearing on “best of” lists in various national publications (see here and here and here and here), the stunning backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains makes living, working, and visiting here desirable.
In celebration of 828 day, here’s the scoop straight from our WithersRavenel staff. If you were to visit our beautiful mountain office, here are some recommendations we’d give you on the best places to visit, hike, shop at, grab a bite, or—of course—stop for a craft beer:
Randy Hintz, PE, Senior Project Engineer, Utilities:
You can’t come to Western North Carolina without taking in all the amazing arts and crafts of the area. New Morning Gallery, Kress Emporium, Sweet Grass Artisan Mercantile, Bolick and Traditions Pottery, Carolina Artists, Artisan on Main, and Sanctuary of Stuff, to name a few.
(Randy’s wife Sue makes beautiful pottery herself—check out Salvaterra Pottery, based in Weaverville!)
Casey Swaney, Marketing Associate:
Transylvania County Waterfalls: While there are many bigger attractions like DuPont State Forest and Sliding Rock, my favorite spot is Twin Falls, just a few miles down the road. It’s a long hike, but the payoff is pretty awesome – two stunning waterfalls emerging from the hills. Since this is a less-traveled spot, you occasionally have the falls area to yourself, and rarely see a bunch of people.
Papas and Beer: With locations across Asheville, and in Hendersonville, Waynesville and Shelby, the local chain has the best Mexican food in the area. Flavorful, big portions and chips with salsa and bean dip to your heart’s content.
Freddie Harrill, Business Development:
Definitely visit Joyce Kilmer Forest and take your motorcycle for a spin on Tail of the Dragon!
Lena Richards, Marketing Director:
I have a terrible sweet tooth and will drive to great lengths for a good dessert. Near my house is the most amazing tiny drive-thru bakery, Whisk, owned and managed by one incredible baker who sells out every single day. Get a cinnamon roll. Also, hop on Future I-26 (19/23 for us locals) and make two stops – one at Baked Pie Company in Woodfin, and the other at Well Bred Bakery in Weaverville. Both will satisfy your sweet tooth, but better grab a good cup of coffee to go with it. Speaking of coffee, visit Earthling Coffee + Espresso, a drive-thru-shed-turned-coffee-shop with out-of-this-world creations. 14/10, highly recommend.
(And, be sure to download this walking guide that our creative + GIS teams did for the Town that tells you everywhere you can walk to within Weaverville!).
To burn off all those calories you just consumed (sorry), hop onto the Blue Ridge Parkway and head to mile marker 417 to Skinny Dip Falls, where you can take a short hike with a big payoff at the end. The brave (like my child) can jump off the rock at the top and the non-brave (like me) can dip your feet in the cold mountain water.
No visit to WNC in complete without a craft beer. Finish your day with a jaunt over to Waynesville and check out my two favorite breweries, veteran-owned Frog Level and Boojum Brewing.
Keith Pugh, PE, Client Success Manager:
Linville Gorge, Black Balsam, Mitchell, Waterrock Knob … Pisgah Inn … Beacon Heights, Rough Ridge, Hot Springs, MST, AT, the list goes on. … Looking Glass, Twin Falls, Bridal Veil … how do you narrow down the list?!?!?!?
- Mountains to Sea Trail (Segments 1-5)
- Appalachian Trail
- Blue Ridge Parkway
- Asheville Trails (Pisgah National Forest)
- Asheville Trails (Dupont State Forest)
- Asheville Trails (Blue Ridge Parkway)
Emily Murawski, EI, Utilities Engineering Associate:
Stoney Knob Cafe in Weaverville is the BEST restaurant in the Asheville area. I’ve tried just about everything on the menu and you can’t go wrong. The environment is also super cool with really interesting decor. A must visit for foodies!
Jessica Martin-Lane, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer:
In no particular order:
- Biking at the Biltmore Estate
- Graveyard Fields
- Pink Beds
- Bridal Veil Falls
- DuPont State Forest
- Blowing Rock
- Lake Lure
- French Broad Chocolate Lounge
- NC Arboretum Asheville
- Eliada Corn Maze in the fall
- Christmas Tree Farms!
Mark Brown, Senior Geologist:
- Catawba Falls
- Mt Mitchell
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Blue Ridge Parkway
- Hickory Nut Gorge
- Chimney Rock
Here’s more about things to do in other NC locations, where WithersRavenel has offices:
919 Area Code – Cary, Raleigh and the Triangle