North Carolina is one of the most beautiful states in the country. It has both the swift ocean and the feminine mountains. There’s always been something about the west side of the state that speaks to me. The mountains have a way have cradling me, making me feel safe and at home. Mother Earth feels so incredibly present. She feels cozy, smells delightful, and sings you to sleep. From a distance, the mountains appear to skim the light blue sky with a contrasting deep blue color, hence the nickname “The Blue Ridge Mountains.” To be surround by this kind of beauty is to be inspired. It’s evident in the amount of artists that will flock to this part of the country.
We started our trip on Friday night in Asheville, NC, where we were warmly greeted by our AirBnB host, Natalie and her adorable dog, Walter. Her home was so representative of who she seemed to be; artistic, welcoming, sweet, and genuine. We were sad to only spend a single night here and will definitely be staying with Natalie again, next time we are in the area. If AirBnB isn’t your thing, The Sweet Peas Hostel is wonderful and located right in the heart of downtown. And if you’re fancy, the Renaissance is also located right in the heart of downtown.
Some places I would recommend you try out in Ashville: The Thirsty Monk, Dobra Tea, Salsa’s, Jerusalem Garden Cafe. If you like shopping, I highly recommend Honey Pot Vintage (for vintage), Royal Peasantry (for reclaimed fashion), Tops (for shoes), Harvest Records (for vinyl and CDs), and Cornerstone Minerals (for jewelry and rocks). Lastly, if you are in Asheville on Monday night, check out The Grey Eagle for contra dancing and get a taste of Appalachian culture.
After tea and breakfast, we headed west to Waynesville, NC. Waynesville is a tiny mountain town. It’s extremely relaxing, there’s just enough stuff to do, and it’s a great place to retire. I spend a lot of time there because my grandparents live there. If you are serious about thrift shopping, like my grandma, this is the place to live. Think about it. It’s a retirement hub for rich people. Old rich people get rid of their really nice clothing like it’s nothing. And crazy mountain folk will sell this clothing for next to nothing. I got Steve Madden shoes for $.58. Yes, that’s 58 cents.
If you like yoga or massages (who doesn’t?), I highly recommend you try out Mountain Spirit Wellness. This is the best massage I have ever had. Lynda, the owner, is personable and attentive to your needs. She compliments the femininity of the mountains perfectly.
That’s all the regular (costs a lot of money) stuff you can do in the Appalachian mountains. The real fun is outside. There’s just about everything from hiking, rock climbing, bouldering, mountain biking, hunting, kayaking, and more. Sayer and I love Rumbling Bald for bouldering, not located too far from Asheville, NC.