Monday, April 29, 2013

UPDATE: Carrying the RDU Baton for a day

I had such a good time taking over @RDUBaton on Instagram yesterday.  To see what I posted and to find out more about RDUBaton, go to

4.30.2013 : Chana Lynn


Friday, April 26, 2013

Get Outta Town! ASHEVILLE, NC

By now, everyone knows that one of the must see cities in North Carolina is Asheville. Its an easy destination, straight down 40 West for about 4 hours and you will drive straight into the hustle and bustle of downtown Asheville. This was my first trip and will not be my last! We were in town for a special birthday and there is so much to do here! Just park your car and discover so many great places to eat, drink, shop and explore. Here are a few of the discoveries we made on this first trip.

COFFEE: Can't go wrong with any of these choices:  Tupelo Honey Cafe, Early Girl Eatery and The Green Sage Coffehouse and Cafe.
 There are A LOT more, but these were the only ones we got to over our weekend. (Just got this info: High Five Coffee Bar serving Counter Culture Coffee!)

Gourmet Oatmeal at Tupelo Honey Cafe
FOOD: Tupelo Honey Cafe was amazing for breakfast and I would imagine any meal here would be great. Also a definite must is Early Girl Eatery for breakfast. Early Girl Eatery is the farm to plate offering with everything they use provided  from local community sources.  We had drinks only at Pack's Tavern, but we heard the food was amazing and it also came highly recommended. The food and appetizers were good at Lexington Avenue Brewery (LAB).  We had pizza at Asheville Pizza and Brewing. We tried to get in for Tapas at Curate but there was an incredible wait so be sure and put this on your list but make a reservation first!  Be sure and end the night with some dessert! Try  French Broad Chocolate LoungeThey have amazing desserts and are open late on FRI/SAT.

ENTERTAINMENT: Tons of shopping in downtown Asheville. Endless antiques, boutiques and art galleries to explore. You will not lack for places to shop. We enjoyed shopping local and browsing the Grove Arcade . We purchased some jewelry from one of the very friendly vendors. Right next to the Arcade was the Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar. I will be back to check that place out some more! Battery Park offers some nice outdoor seating.  Take a moment and walk through Woolworth Walk. Get in line for an old fashion soda and check out some unique artwork on display.  Live music is always good and can be found on street corners, parks and venues like The Grey Eagle and the Orange Peel (located next door to the fabulous Wicked Week Brewery).

BREWS: Asheville is the mecca for breweries! Endless choices. We hit several but I think our favorite spot to hang for the day was Wicked Weed Brewery. Be sure to explore the downstairs tasting room where there is an inside/outside patio area.  Amazing spot. especially on a sunny day. We also enjoyed spending a little time at  Green Man Brewing. Thirsty Monk is highly recommended if you are a Belgium beer lover.  Jack of the Wood pub was conveniently located near Tupelo Honey Cafe and was the perfect beer stop after a late brunch. Jack of  the Wood is the home of the original Green Man Brewing and they specialize in English ales. LAB is good beer, I especially liked the Pale Ales and IPAs. It does get busy,  especially at night. Its a great place to hang out and have lunch and a casual beer or two during the day.

Had to add this: Late night stop: Go to the Sky Bar. I had no idea, but this bar is located at the top of the Flat Iron Building in Asheville. Just little cozy tables set up on the fire escape with amazing views.  Take the old fashioned elevator to the top. Its quite the experience. Great views of the city and reasonable prices...great spot!

Get outta town and see something new! For more Asheville, NC ideas click on Explore Asheville, a very helpful guide to what's happening in Asheville.

NOTE: April is just winding up NC Beer Month. The NC Beer Month website has some great suggestions for weekend beer trips.  Make a plan to get to Asheville soon!

Another note: Courtesy of The Twenty Somethings blog based in Asheville, here's a list of new and upcoming restaurants in Asheville.

Plenty of live music.

Wicked Weed Brewery. AMAZING!
Upstairs taps at Wicked Weed.

Green Man Brewing

The Orange Peel for live music.

Flat Iron Building. Go to the top for SkyBar

Coffee break at The Green Sage.

Grove Arcade for shopping. The Bookstore and Champagne Bar is right there.

Early Girl Eatery is one of the most recommended places in Asheville.

Artsy Asheville

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Get Outta Town! RICHMOND VA

If you are looking for an easy getaway weekend from Raleigh, think about hitting Richmond VA.  Richmond is a hip and evolving city with lots of great stuff happening. Only a 2 1/2 hour drive from Raleigh, Richmond is reinventing itself with great new restaurants and breweries and a shop/eat/drink local business focus similar to Raleigh.  Here's just a few suggestions based on where we've visited recently while in the city, that are perfect for a short weekend visit!

Downtown artwork.
COFFEE: Ellwood Thompson's Market on the edge of Carytown in Richmond is a great cup of coffee. Lots of places on Cary Street for more great coffee stops.  Lamplighter Roasting Company was recommended to me by John from Triangle Explorer but unfortunately we didn't get there on this trip. It is definitely on my list for my next trip to Richmond this Summer.

FOOD: Burger Bach and Can Can Brasserie are both awesome spots in CarytownKuba Kuba is another must stop while in Richmond. Saison Gastropub  is a brand new hip spot as well as Savory Grain Restaurant and Draft House. We ate dinner at Savory Grain and had a fabulous meal and chatted with the friendly owners. You won't miss out here.

ENTERTAINMENT: Very similar to our own NC Museum of Art is the VA Museum of Fine Arts. Free to enter, some exhibits require tickets but it's a great place to visit on a short weekend.

BREWS:  Mekong, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery and Capital City Brewing Company. Mekong is located among many strip malls and doesn't look like much on the outside but it truly "is for beer lovers". Their beer list is very impressive and unique and the food is good too! Hardywood is a large open brewery space, with great beer and popular with the crowds, especially with the warmer weather. Very busy, lots of fun and obviously a trending spot in Richmond.

Get outta town and see something new! For more Richmond VA ideas click on VisitRichmondVA or Richmond RVA Magazine .

Mekong is for Beer Lovers!

Hardywood Park beer offerings

Testing out the Sampler.

Check to see what events are happening at Hardywood Park.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Get Outta Town!

Springtime Weekend Travel Destinations

It just so happens that I have lined up some weekends to a few cool city destinations over the months of March and April. I will be featuring snapshots of each one over the next few weeks! There are some great spots you may or may not have thought about checking out over a warm Spring weekend and they are all quite easy to access for a long or short weekend trip. Hope you enjoy the upcoming spotlights on Richmond VA, New York City, Asheville NC and Nashville TN!