I finally got around to editing these photos from my trip to Asheville, NC this past fall. That’s what happens when you decide to take a trip right in the middle of wedding season! Now that I have some downtime, I wanted to share these! This post is very photo-heavy, but I didn’t want to break it up into multiple posts.

My friend Toni and I wanted to go hiking in the Smokies, so we rented a cottage off Airbnb for a week. We decided to go that route instead of getting a hotel room since we wanted to really experience the mountains and great views North Carolina has to offer.

The Clearfield Cottage was nestled in the mountains and it was a very windy drive up and down whenever we wanted to go to town. The owners of the cottage are artists (a cellist and a painter) and were very sweet. They had a garden and a few horses so it was nice to wake up and go wander the property before heading out for the day.

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Downtown Asheville is a very quirky and fun mountain town. We stopped at a few breweries, had lunch, and did some shopping before heading over to the River Arts District.

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If you ever watched the movie Richie Rich, you may recognize the Biltmore Estate. (It’s also been the setting for others, but you can see it the most in that movie.) The grounds of the Biltmore are massive. We didn’t get to see everything even though we were there for most of the day.

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After touring the inside of the mansion, we walked (for what felt like days) through the extensive beautiful gardens. Later on that evening, we had dinner at the winery on site (and grabbed a few bottles as souvenirs 😉 ) before heading to the Rick Springfield concert! (Jessie’s Girl!)

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This vacation was not a relaxing one. We did a lot of walking and a lot of hiking. I really don’t mind it, I love the strenuous activity as much as lying on a beach somewhere. Once you get to the top of the mountain, the views are worth it. It was rainy the day we went hiking. But seeing the clouds rolling over the hills, feeling the breeze, and watching the rain fall below you is really something.

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One of my favorite activities from this trip was kayaking on Lake Lure near Bat Cave, North Carolina. We grabbed some beer, swimsuits, and cameras and headed out on the lake. I was so nervous bringing my camera out in the middle of the lake in a wobbly boat (seems to be a habit of mine), but it was worth it to capture these views.

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