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Take It Easy in Asheville: Wellness and Relaxation in the Blue Ridge Mountains
There’s a certain way that Asheville has of relaxing and rejuvenating you. It’s in every awe-inspiring view of blueish mountain silhouettes with smoky clouds slowly gliding across their peaks. It’s in warm exchanges with the genuine, kind-hearted folks who happily welcome you here. It’s in the crisp, clean air you breathe and the comforting food you eat. That sense—that here and now is not only enough, but that here and now is abundance—is what made the city a popular resort town for the likes of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. It also inspired George Washington Vanderbilt II to bring his mother on wellness visits here which eventually let him to build the famed Biltmore Estate. 

This five-day trip allows you to invigorate and recharge from the finest of vantage points too, with a focus on luxury, nature, wellness, and inner healing. Encompassing the beauty of the great outdoors to the sacred act of self-care, plus art galleries, rooftop bars, and restaurants with delicious food along the way, this itinerary captures the multifaceted and nurturing spirit of Asheville that you can’t find anywhere else.
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    Day 1
    Asheville at last
    Arrive by plane at the local regional airport or via car. To ease into the vibe at a historic wellness destination, this trip begins with a stay at the The Inn on Biltmore Estate, a four-star luxury hotel and spa on the grounds of the largest privately-owned home in the U.S. Many of the inn’s 210 rooms and suites offer stunning views of the beautiful surrounding scenery and Blue Ridge Mountains. For the ultimate in privacy, Biltmore also manages two freestanding cottages with premium amenities and services like dedicated concierges and private chefs. This is but one of many great lodging options in Asheville. As an example, if you’d rather something a little more quaint and personal, opt for B&Bs like Biltmore Village Inn, Cedar Crest Inn, Dry Ridge Inn Bed and Breakfast, or The Lion and the Rose Bed and Breakfast

    Settle into the relaxed spirit of this region and the privilege of residing on this estate, and make your way to the Biltmore House on foot or bicycle. Wander the grounds and gardens and finish where most begin, with a tour of the famous house.  

    For dinner tonight, the nearby Red Stag Grill serves inventive plates of European comfort food in a dining room that feels like a stylish hunting lodge. The fantastic chophouse menu features grilled favorites, and a four-course chef’s tasting menu which includes palate-pleasers like sunburst mountain trout and New Zealand elk loin.
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    An artist at work in the River Arts District
    Day 2
    Gardens, galleries, pints, and plates
    Before heading out for a busy day, pop over to Green Sage Café for a breakfast burrito or kale scramble with root hash—the healthful dishes here use 95 percent organic, chemical-free ingredients. Then, your day begins with a visit to the North Carolina Arboretum, a 434-acre property that includes 65 cultivated acres of gardens with dedicated areas for bonsais and azaleas. If you’re feeling energetic, there are also more than 10 miles of trails for hiking and biking.  

    Switch things up with a stop in the River Arts District (R.A.D.) comprised of more than 200 working studios and galleries for a quick overview of Asheville’s creative side . Pass through Asheville Cottonmill Studios, where you can view the works of six artists under one roof. A walk around the R.A.D. is highly encouraged before or after lunch at the inventive White Duck Taco Shop or a pint at New Belgium Brewing.  

    Keep it moving so you can do a little shopping in downtown Asheville. Make your way to Woolworth Walk, where the historic department store building has new life as a marketplace for artists selling inventive wares, including extremely cute face masks. Visit the Herbiary to pick up the store’s hand sanitizer, one of the founder’s illustrated books on botanicals, crystals, or animals, or another healing item. 

    Or if you’d rather skip the city bustle, Book a silent tea and meditation experience in the forest, or another special wellness and tea education experience, with Dobrá Tea. You can also simply enjoy a cup or two at one of two teahouses that Dobrá operates in town, or at High Climate Tea Company, which stocks a wide variety of traditional Chinese tea and also offers educational information and programs.

    Enjoy an evening meal downtown on the outdoor patio of Laughing Seed, which sources seasonal, organic ingredients from local farms including their own. The vegetarian restaurant’s internationally influenced menu offers indulgently balanced options like pesto pizza topped with roasted garlic, toasted walnuts, and local mushrooms, jalapeño onion fries, and wine, beer, and cocktails.
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    Day 3
    Into the wilderness
    Today, the next chapter of your vacation begins. Check out of the inn and make your way to North Asheville’s Treehouses of Serenity. These freestanding forest dwellings, available for reasonable nightly rates, all have kitchens so you can self-cater your visit to the mountains if you’d like. If you prefer more services, consider the wellness-focused, Japanese-themed Shoji Spa & Lodge instead. 

    Make your way to the Blue Ridge Parkway, and drive 43 miles to the trailhead of Crabtree Falls, a 2.7-mile loop trail that’s an easygoing and enjoyable treat for the afternoon. For the yoga-inclined, hit up Namaste in Nature to arrange a private session in the Appalachian wilderness. 

    Take a break from the running around and have dinner in. Prepare a lovely meal in your treehouse kitchen, order from many of Asheville’s best restaurants using the local delivery service Kickback AVL, or hire a private chef to cook farm-to-table courses for you (and clean up after!) right in the comfort your villa.
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    Day 4
    Waterfalls and wellness
    Douglas Falls is first up on the agenda today. The 60-foot waterfall is a sight to behold, and one you can truly immerse yourself in if you elect to go for the more difficult 6.6-mile trail. But the beautiful natural spectacle is also accessible via a one-mile roundtrip jaunt. Be sure to pack snacks and water for the longer hike, or leave the details to someone else by hiring a guide like Asheville Waterfall Tours.  

    This afternoon, treat yourself at The Salt Spa of Asheville, where you’ll enjoy a soothing massage inside a Himalayan salt cave. Once your entranced state wears off, mosey over to Chiesa for a mouth-watering menu of rustic Italian plates, including pastas made in house like orecchiette carbonara and risotto with sunchoke and preserved lemon. If you’re up for a short drive, consider a different Italian spot, Glass Onion in Weaverville, which is three miles from your home base at the Treehouses of Serenity.
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    Day 5
    A farm-fresh goodbye
    Before making your way to the airport or out of town via the interstate, stop at the Moose Café for a delicious southern breakfast (as early as 7 a.m.), which features fresh local vegetables daily from the Western North Carolina Farmers Market (one of 17 in Asheville) next door. Bonus: check out some local produce and crafts to bring home from the indoor-outdoor market.