I Rented a Whole House!
(Fourth of four posts about trip to Smoky Mountains and Asheville, NC.)
Let me just put this out there first, I'm not a fancy hotel person.
I don't dislike fancy hotels. I've stayed in some pretty nice places over the years and they were always fun. I just don't intentionally go looking for them. In my mind, a hotel is for sleeping and taking a shower. I don't plan on spending a lot of time there so I don't see the gain in spending extra money for things I'm really don't need or use. When I'm on the road I'm usually looking for a chain motel of some sort with decent reviews. More recently I've gotten into camping and have started checking out AirBnB for places I want to go in the future. When I'm in a larger city, where those things aren't always an option, I'll look for something quirky and unique rather than the big fancy place.
I provide that as background to let you know I will never top my lodging in Asheville, NC. I rented a whole house! It was just two blocks from downtown Asheville! It was just two blocks in other directions from three different breweries and a whole host of restaurants!
I had a parking spot just a few feet from the front door! It only cost $100 a night! Best of all, it was all mine!
Ok, maybe calling it a house is being a tad generous. Square-footage-wise it’s approximately the same size as my bedroom here at home. It safely fits in any tiny house category. The tiny house sits behind the Asheville Hostel And Guest House and I absolutely mean it when I say it was the perfect place. A bed, small kitchen area and bathroom, everything I want and within easy walking distance to much of what I wanted to see. If I ever travel that way again I will definitely try to book it. Just knowing it’s there makes me think about returning to Asheville to spend more time.
Asheville is the perfect spot for anyone into the arts or to just spend casual time shopping, dining and taking in great, and historic, architecture. Downtown Asheville alone easily offers at least a couple of days of entertainment, and that doesn't begin to explore the many other things elsewhere in the city.
I really enjoyed the Asheville Art Museum, the guides there are great to talk to, and the old Woolworth’s store. An original Woolworth’s five and dime, it's now a gallery where artists of all sorts and styles rent booth space.
What makes it particularly special is that it has the original lunch counter still in use. The store was opened in 1938 and the lunch counter was restored in 2001 with a 50s feel. Watching people eating there it was like stepping back in time to a period when these types of stores were common in cities and towns across America.
My favorite area though was the River Arts District, a little over a mile from the hostel/downtown and about a five-minute drive. Stretched out across several streets, more than 200 artists have shops in the area.
Most of the shops are staffed by the actual artists themselves so you aren't just looking at pieces on a shelf, you can actually talk to the person who created the work, ask questions, and get an understanding of what they were seeing as they created it.
The District is so big, in fact, I didn’t even see a entire area of it until I stopped back briefly to take a few additional photos on my way out of town. I was there too early in the day to be open and really felt I missed out. It looks like a great area with both shops and dining.
Just so you don’t make the same mistake when visiting, it’s kind of hidden behind Riverview Station. I noticed a street extending behind the station when I was there, but thought it was just an older, non-developed area. I drove back there on this second day and was very surprised at what was there.
Jeepers, as I’m writing this and thinking back to how much fun Asheville was, and how much I loved that tiny house, I’m beginning to hear it calling my name once again.
Let’s see, I don’t have any plans for this November. Hmmm?
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