So we flew today to Atlanta and picked up another car. The roadways in Georgia are much much better than anything we have driven on before. They are actually in good repair, well signed and overall much much easier to drive on. So we picked up our little Hyundai Santa Fe which turned out to be the biggest dud of a car ever and drove to our first destination … Asheville, North Carolina. It’s not a big city but with over 90,000 people it’s not small and quaint either. We arrived at our inn for the night, Beaufort House Inn which is located just out of town on a large residential block. We had a small room at the bottom of the house overlooking the garden but had complete use of the house including wine and beer on the porch as the sun set.
Dinner that night was at a local brewery where we learnt that we would need to bring ID everywhere because apparently at 34 years old I look close enough to 21 that I need ID checked before they will serve me. The food was modern and very good and we discovered even on a Thursday night Asheville has a thriving social scene so it’s best to book ahead!
The next morning early we visited the Biltmore Estate which was actually the reason the town of Asheville now exists. It’s absolutely huge with the drive into the estate to the main house taking over 30 minutes. The driver however was spectacular with well maintained Forrest’s filled with elms, pine and other deciduous trees turning golds and reds for our visit. The house itself was massive as you would expect full of gargoyles and over the top details. We were lucky enough to actually get booked on a roof top tour where we wandered around the roof of the building, learning about the different construction methods and taking in the spectacular views of the valley! We assumed that the visit would take a couple of hours but all up we were there for over 7 hours and boy was it busy, there must have been thousands of people there but it was so well set up we didn’t really feel crowded much at all.
The house was actually still in use until I think the 70’s and 80’s with huge house parties the norm. My personal favorite was the winter garden located in the center of the house, Ben was a fan of the indoor pool, an oddity for a large house back then!
Tomorrow we are off to a smaller city called Abingdon, not quite sure what we will find but let’s do it anyway.