One awesome paradigm shift we’ve noticed, especially this past year, is how supportive we all are of each other taking breaks and setting boundaries. I think we collectively got to a place of exhaustion and burnout, and we hope that this is a turning point towards a new trend.
Our favorite self-care activity is simply to take time away from your phone and do as the Japanese call, forest bathing (shinrin-yoku). When we posted that we were headed to the mountains for the weekend, and asked for suggestions for Asheville, North Carolina, ya’ll showed up big time.
So, we compiled the highlights of this funky mountain town just under five hours from Savannah. Drop us a note in the comments section if there’s a “must-see or do” that we might have missed!
29 N. Market Street
Holy deliciousness, this place was a true 5-star for us! Any of the cocktails paired with seasonal appetizers will make your taste buds scream for joy. For some indoor/outdoor ambiance, bites and cocktails, this was our top spot.
What we loved: Betty Davis Eyes, No. 27 and Apparently Sour cocktails paired with the brussel sprouts and a cheese board.
201 Haywood Road
428 B Haywood Road
428 C Haywood Road
373 Haywood Road
Oh, how we love your underdog vibe and sweet little shops, West Asheville. You surprised us! We spent a lovely morning with a cup of coffee from the somewhat elusive BattleCat Coffee Bar with locally sourced PennyCup Coffee, plant shopping at Flora & Forage and picking up some unique books of poetry, new and old classics next door at Bagatelle Books.
For dinner, we stopped by the “backyard” of Taco Billy for a post-hike beer and a Ranch Water (Texas vibes anyone?). Big fans of the “Little Sister” and “San Cris” tacos.
And how could we forget possibly our favorite surprise spot, Tiger Bay Cafe? This spot is somewhat confusingly connected to BattleCat Coffee Bar, but when you see a pit-boss in the back, you know you’ve come to the right place.
What we loved: “The Granny” and “Chicken Avocado Panini” with a side of vegetarian chili and kettle chips.
51 College Street
This shop is Hygge’s mountain (wo)man cousin, and we would be underestimating if we said Cristina loves this shop. We love to see sustainable shops in different cities, and this one includes a mini-refillery as well. Our highlight was meeting Maxine, who hand wrote us a recommendations list (featured below), in cute handwriting no less. We included her recs in the full list below--thanks Maxine!
What we loved: Beeswax wrapped and dipped candles, bamboo pot-scrapers for those hard to clean crusties from cooking, big beautiful baskets for carrying your farmer’s market goodies or to elevate your home decor, and beautiful bronze hair pins. Ware sells a canvas bag with a drawing of the shop on the outside. Should Hygge do something like this? I think so.
Full Recommendation List
French Broad Food Co-Op
90 Biltmore Avenue
White Duck Taco Shop
388 Riverside Drive & multiple regional locations
Pulp & Sprout Juice Bar + Vegan Cafe
233 South Liberty Street
Note: was recommended to us as @elementsrealfood, but looks like it’s been rebranded.
Green Sage Cafe
4 Asheville locations
Plant Vegan Restaurant
165 Merrimon Avenue
Sunny Point Cafe
626 Haywood Road
All Day Darling Asheville
102 Montford Avenue
Curate Tapas Bar
13 Biltmore Avenue
If you look up Asheville breweries, the list is massive. To save space here, we’ll let Google and the craft beer fans handle that one for us.
Sierra Nevada Brewery
Mills River, North Carolina
315 Haywood Road, Suite 113
Note: Hemp & CBD products
Coffee, Tea & Desserts
In the world of hygge, this deserves its own section.
Trade and Lore Coffee
37 Wall Street
What we loved: Their seasonal house-made syrups to add to your latte.
11 Southside Avenue
14 O’Henry Avenue
What we loved: Records and coffee--it’s a whole vibe.
French Broad Chocolate
10 S Park Square
@frenchbroadchocolate (voted twice!)
168 Haywood Road
High Five Coffee
190 Broadway Street
78 N Lexington Avenue
295 Haywood Road
The Hop West Ice Cream Cafe
640 Merrimon Avenue
High Climate Tea Company
12 S. Lexington Avenue
Well-Bred Bakery & Cafe
26 North Main Street, Weaverville + 2 other locations
What we loved: Best eclair, as recommended by my cousin, who considers himself a dessert connoisseur
Antique Tobacco Barn
75 Swannanoa River Road
Note: No tobacco (that’s not hygge), but all the antiques.
Reciprocity Resale Boutique
15 West Walnut Street
What we loved: Cozy, beautifully-crafted wall of mugs - YES, please.
732 Haywood Road
59 Broadway Street
7 South Main Street, Burnsville
The DryGoods Studios
474 Haywood Road
We love hiking! And in fairness, we can only recommend the one trail we did. But, we can’t wait to get back to explore again soon. Send us a note in the comments section below with your favorite trails and we can start updating this section. For now, here’s a great place to start.
Turkey Pen Gap Trail
Pisgah National Forest
What we loved: Suspension bridges, wild reishi mushrooms growing on the trees, spotting the rare Pink Lady Slipper flower (photographed below), the sound of running water during almost the entire trail, and very light human traffic.
Be prepared for: Print out or set your phone on cellular for AllTrails because the trails aren’t super clearly marked, and to do the full loop, you’re not only on Turkey Pen the entire time. I almost don’t even want to tell you about the bear sanctuary area. As they say, ignorance is bliss. There are steep sections of the trail on the second half (depending which part of the loop you start at).
Pro-tip: Double check that your phone maps are taking you to the correct location (we learned this the hard way from AllTrails).