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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Go Alternative in Asheville

Home to the annual electronic-music festival Moogfest, this progressive spot in the heart of the Smoky Mountains boasts a thriving arts and music scene year-round.


1. Where to Stay

The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa sits outside the city center, near the Blue Ridge Mountains.  

Watch the sun set over the Blue Ridge Mountains from the huge terrace at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa (from $199), a landmark hotel opened in 1913 that has hosted the likes of FDR and President Obama. The massive, stone-faced structure contains a historic section with arts-and-crafts flourishes, but rooms in the newer wings offer more space.

Cozy up in one of sixteen rooms and suites at the twenties-era Princess Anne Hotel (from $127), located a fifteen-minute walk from downtown on a quiet street. Wake up to free weekend mimosas with breakfast in the light-filled dining room, and enjoy afternoon hors d’oeuvres during the daily wine service in the lobby.

Choose a bunk bed, your own private “pod” (which resembles a train-car sleeper), or a private room downtown at Sweet Peas Hostel ($28–$60; bathrooms are shared). Head to the sprawling year-round Western North Carolina Farmers Market to pick up supplies for cooking in the communal kitchen, or just walk downstairs for local catfish tacos ($12.50) and a pint of American Pale Ale ($3.75) at the Lexington Avenue Brewery.

Published on Feb 10, 2012 as a web exclusive.

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