Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

October 23, 2015

Thoughts on Asheville + a great NC hike.

     As I shared last week,  I recently went to Asheville, North Carolina, to spend a night and see a new part of the state. Asheville is a small but culture-rich city located in the heart of the mountains in the western part of the state. It's about a two hour drive from Charlotte.

From the botanical gardens at the UNC Asheville campus.

     I had never been to Asheville before, and I had very high expectations for visiting the area. Numerous friends of mine had told us how much there was to do there, how beautiful the mountains were, how many great restaurants there were, etc.

     Surprisingly, I was unimpressed with the Asheville area. I found the city itself to be pretty old (and not in a charming way, more of in just an old way), and almost a bit unsafe feeling at night. I ate at all local restaurants during the couple days I was in the area- and I didn't have any terrible meals, but nothing really stood out to me as exceptional either.

     One thing that I was very excited to do was to drive for a bit on the famous Blue Ridge Parkway (a nationally protected route that runs several hundred miles from the mountains of Virginia into western North Carolina). I had always heard fantastic things about Blue Ridge Parkway drives, and I could already imagine the road winding around mountains and foliage. Once we actually got onto the Parkway though, what we found was simply a narrow road that ran through thick forest! There weren't many exciting views at all. Maybe we were just on the wrong part of the Parkway, but it was definitely another thing that wasn't what I was expecting.

From this outfit post

     The highlight of our little trip was the very first thing that I did- a hike on the way to Asheville! I took a little rest stop on the way to Asheville by visiting Chimney Rock State Park, located in the Lake Lure resort area.  (This is about an hour and a half west of Charlotte.) Chimney Rock has lots of trails on the premises- I only did the main hike (which is mostly stairs :-) ) so that I could see Chimney Rock itself, but had I had more time in my day, I would have loved to check out the other trails that were there!

     The views were absolutely amazing! I can only imagine how nice it would be to visit the Chimney Rock area when the weather is a little bit nicer so that the lake can also be taken advantage of.

      Have you ever visited somewhere before that just wasn't quite what you were expecting? I absolutely love North Carolina, but I don't think that Asheville will be on my list of favorite places that I have seen in the state- haha! As I said in one of my outfit posts from the trip though, I would go back for a day trip to visit the famous Biltmore Estate in the future. I feel like that's a trip that I would enjoy making!

     I'm excited this weekend to be off on another adventure- this time to Atlanta! Be sure to be following me on Instagram and Snapchat @miss_alk to keep up with all of the fun!

     xoxo Miss ALK



  1. I've never been to Asheville but I have always wanted to visit the Biltmore (probably since they play so many commercials for it). The Blue Ridge Parkway up near Grandfather Mountain (which is near Boone-Blowing Rock area) is gorgeous! Have fun in Atlanta!


  2. Sometimes places can be a let down after hearing all the "hype" about them. At least you had a great time with Mia and that just means your next trip together will be a thousand times better! :)

    How 2 Wear It []

  3. I LOVE Lake Lure & Chimney Rock - I was so excited for you when I saw you went there! Truly is a great gem of NC :) Did you know they filmed Dirty Dancing there? I explored the area for a project last fall - NC just captures my heart! I haven't been to Asheville yet, but so interesting to have your take on it. I've heard great things about it, but not a lot of specific things! Hope you can travel some more this semester!

  4. I love your outfit in the bridge photo!
    Also y'alls picture throwing up the diamond during your hike is too cute.

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

  5. I've always wanted to visit Asheville!

  6. I'm sorry the trip didn't meet expectations! I feel as though sometimes when there's so much hype about visiting a location, the expectations are just too high. I hope Atlanta is more fun this weekend, especially it being HCBN related ;)


  7. I have never been a fan of Asheville, either! My parents live right in between Asheville and Greenville, SC, and we definitely prefer Greenville! The only thing we go to Asheville for is to visit the Biltmore, which is incredible!

  8. I'm so sorry that Asheville didn't meet your expectations. Next time you go you should definitely visit the Biltmore and the Omni Grove Park Inn (There's a spectacular gingerbread house display during the Christmas season). Both are absolutely beautiful and make visiting Asheville so worthwhile. I wasn't much of a fan of the downtown area of Asheville either but ate at Honey Tupelo and thought it was absolutely amazing!

  9. I've only been to Asheville once, a very very long time ago and I remember the views being breathtaking! It is definitely on my wishlist of places for my husband and I to check out soon!

    xoxo, SS

    The Southern Stylista

  10. I LOVE Asheville but the city is so creepy after about 8 o'clock. Chimney Rock looks beautiful!

  11. It's too bad you weren't impressed with Asheville, at least you've experienced it though so now you know. The hike looks like a lot of fun, I love being in nature!

  12. I've been meaning to go to Asheville. I definitely want to go hiking if I end up going!

  13. It looks so gorgeous though!

  14. I live about 2 hours from Asheville! I love that little hippy town! I almost went to school there but decided to go to ECU. It looks like you had fun, even if it wasn't what you expected!

  15. I've never been there, but I do plan on exploring much of NC! Beautiful pictures you got though!

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