Asheville, North Carolina: dogs, beer, food, & hiking!

first time visit to Asheville

Asheville, North Carolina with dogs 

First time visit to Asheville: beer, food & hiking with our dogs

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.”
-Edward Abbey

To say that we love Asheville is an extreme understatement. Each visit, feels like home. I nearly cry each departure and dream of it often once I leave. Our past 2 trips to Asheville, North Carolina with dogs, included our oldest fur baby, Maui. Asheville is very dog friendly, making us fall in love with this city even more! Here’s a guide for your first time visit to Asheville!

Everyone we have come across are friendly and welcoming-gotta love Southern Hospitality! The downtown area is full of artistic-eclectic charm and breweries galore. It is also dog friendly which is uber important so the pups can tag along. There are many pet-friendly lodging, here as well. Another great advantage is that a few minutes drive leads you to the Blue Ridge Parkway where you can pull off and jump on a trail head pretty much anywhere. We usually hike all morning, take a nap, then brewery hop into the night.

Asheville Hiking

So, let’s talk hikes for your first time visit to Asheville! The Blue Ridge mountain range is breathtaking. There are hikes of all levels and distances. We love Asheville, North Carolina with dogs! Most trails are dog friendly. We let ours off leash but make sure to bring it (leash) with us. We always pack a picnic so we can withstand longer hikes and partake in the wonderful vantage points. One of my most memorable hikes was Graveyard Fieldsflat and open. We were there in August and came across families picking wild blueberries by the bucket loads! Maui, the fur baby, loved swimming in the freezing creek bed. Halfway through the hike we got drenched by a summer shower. All we could do was laugh and continue trekking in our soggy socks-the worst. Thankfully I had my kick ass boots on.

We also enjoy Mount Mitchell State park with one restaurant and numerous trails. This last January we found Sliding Rocka natural slip-n-slide. Of course we will have to wait until summer to check it out so stay tuned!

More posts you may like about Hiking, Coffee & Beer:

  1. Enjoy The Smoky Mountains in a week

  2. Explore Chattanooga, Tennessee like a local

Breweries of Asheville: The Ale Trail

What Portland is for beer on the West coast- Asheville is IT for the East Coast. Within the Asheville and surrounding areas there is magic called the ALE TRAIL! The ale trail boasts 20+ breweries on it and 13+ are in Asheville.

Here are a list of the ones we have frequented:
  • Wicked Weed-They specialize in Sour and bitter beers which are really picking up in NC.
  • Asheville Brewery-great porters and an outdoor-covered area for watching sports
  • Highland Brewing Co.-widely recognized as the godfather of craft beer and brewing culture in Western North Carolina. Founded in 1994, it is the first legal brewery in town since Prohibition, and is still family-owned.
  • Catawba Brewing-Great games + food trucks
  • Hi-Wire brewing-yummy stouts
  • Lexington Ave Brewery (LAB)-great food spot in the heart of downtown
  • Lazy hiker brewing-for the name alone of course+ great outdoor deck
  • Burial brewingtraditional German lagers & Belgian ales styles
  • Wedge brewing company-food trucks+ outdoor cinemas
  • Altamont Brewing-a pre-prohibition style neighborhood brew pub, which means their beer never sees the light of day before it is poured into your glass. Back to a simpler time where beer was made not only for the love of the craft, but for the sake of drinking good beer.
  • Twin leaf brewery– supporters of hikers and most of their staff are very active outdoors
  • Oyster house brewing– moonstone stout-YUM!
  • Green man brewery-The legendary Green Man has existed for centuries but it’s no myth that he’s been brewing great beer in Asheville since 1997one of Asheville’s oldest breweries
  • French Broad Brewing Co-European style ales
  • One world brewing-Our personal favorite for the porters and old world-style games; it also has a cool back alley entrance that makes it feel like a speakeasy
  • Thirsty Monk brewery- was not as impressed with the beer and it was cramped; I would try again though
Breweries Outside of Asheville:
  • Blue mountain pizza and brew pub-located in Weaverville (like 15 min from Asheville)
  • Pisgah brewing– actually located in Black mountain, NC with a great live music scene (worth it)
Asheville for Foodies

If beer or drinking is not for you, no worries because this city is foodie heaven. There are food trucks, European-style coffee shops, glorious brunch spots, and specialty chocolatier shops.We always make a point to get coffee from Old Europe-for that Italian style espresso we long for and Brunch at Over Easy Cafe! (both downtown Asheville) You can also enjoy danishes inside a double decker bus. Yep, a double decker bus has been transformed into a cafe on a corner in downtown. Other Brunch favorites are the Corner Kitchen in historic Asheville or City bakery with its lavender honey lattes. There are many more options we want to try…SO MANY! A great pizza place downtown is Barley’s Pizzeria and Taproom with pool and darts upstairs (must be 21 yrs or older to go upstairs). This city has Charm Charm Charm! You MUST try ALL of these places during your first time visit to Asheville! (So good!)

Asheville is also only 2 hours from Charlotte, North Carolina. You could easily visit Asheville and Charlotte on a joint trip. Check out See Her Travel’s post about How to spend a weekend in Charlotte. Happy trip planning!

The best part of Asheville, NC is it’s our family’s’ getaway for relaxation, inspiration, and activity! Our next trip to Asheville, North Carolina with dogs, will include our newest fur baby, Dexter! We hope this guide has helped you in planning your first time visit to Asheville! Cheers!

Be well and Travel often!


**This is not a sponsored post, all opinions are my own!

Where will you travel to next?⇓  (How about Asheville?)

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About Author

Maegan and Michael are Adventurous Southerners who share their world journey and approach to living the travel lifestyle. You can expect humor and lighthearted banter blended with REAL travel stories and tips. Maegan is a registered dietitian, while Michael has an excerise science background, but both are outdoor lovers, and revel in the beauty of cultures unlike their own. Now, Maegan and Michael are working towards expat life through remote work. Join the adventure. Do you love to travel? Does your full time job or career prevent you from living the life you dream of? This is the duo to follow. Feel free to contact us if you have questions.


  1. […] and dad to check out the local breweries by nightfall. Our trips have taken us to Chattanooga and Asheville, most recently, and both cities being pleasantly dog friendly. During the past 2 out of 3 […]

  2. Beer and Hiking sounds like the perfect place. Definitely a place I’d like to visit one day.

  3. Stephanie says:

    Looks like a very nice place! I’ve never been to North Carolina, but I definitely should!

    1. Maegan says:

      It is one of our favorite places!

  4. Lovely as always. North Carolina is my jam for sure. I have only been to the outter banks though and would love to explore the rest of the state and the beautiful mointains. Thanks lady!!!

    1. Maegan says:

      Asheville is amazing because of the people and their artsy attitudes! You would enjoy it!

  5. Elise says:

    That brewery list is super useful! Brewery hopping is one of my favourite activities πŸ™‚ Great article!

    1. Maegan says:

      Ours too! thanks for the read!

  6. […] getting my first big girl job I’ve been all over Virginia, DC, Asheville-NC, South Florida, Puerto Rico, Italy, France, and Iceland with my husband by my side. We have our […]

  7. […] Traveling to Asheville? Check out this post by Wanderlust Dietitian for some great hikes and breweries to visit in Asheville. […]

  8. Jeanine says:

    Asheville is on my list!! This is great. And I love hiking.

    1. Maegan says:

      Can’t wait to hear about your experience with AVL!

  9. Kiara Gallop says:

    Wow, there really are a lot of breweries down there aren’t there! I’ve actually read a lot about Asheville and it does sound like a really cool city. I love hiking, photography, good food and craft ales so it sounds like the perfect destination for me πŸ™‚

    1. Maegan says:

      It is becoming a tourist hot spot which is great for business but no buena for those of its loyal fans. It really is a cool town!

  10. Katherine says:

    You convinced me at the title. Asheville sounds awesome. I do hike sometimes but had never done so with one of our dogs. πŸ™‚
    Katherine recently posted…4 Philippine destinations that most people love but I don’tMy Profile

    1. Maegan says:

      Thank you! Most of AVL allows dogs on leash while on the trails.

  11. Ozzy says:

    Looks great natural place. It should be much more fun with your dog. Recently I was dreaming some trips with a dog, but first I gotta get one lol…

    1. Maegan says:

      Our pups make the adventures more delightful!

  12. Wow! You must have been spoilt for choice. I’ve never been to a brewing type place before but I love the look of the old Europe!
    Great post πŸ™‚

    Eb x

    1. Maegan says:

      We love a good dark brew but can’t find them often in FL. We were in brewery heaven here!

  13. Sally says:

    Thanks for this! I have to save it! Although we have to pass on the breweries- the kids are under age lol, I’m always looking for cool hikes & outdoor adventures for the family. How far is the Graveyard Fields hike? Thanks!

    1. Maegan says:

      There are numerous hikes! This one is about a 3.5 mile loop.

  14. I’m not the biggest beer drinker, but oh boy you had me at food trucks and hiking! I’ve never heard of Asheville before your post, so thanks for sharing it! If I’m ever in the area, I’m definitely consulting your little guide here! πŸ™‚
    Lindz @ I’ve Been Bit! recently posted…Local Eats [ Grey County ] :: The Cheese GalleryMy Profile

    1. Maegan says:

      Fortunately, Asheville has SO much to offer! I find something new each visit!

  15. Beautiful scenery. I love hiking and Asheville definitely looks like a place that would be up my alley if I were to visit stateside.
    Bianca@itsallbee recently posted…A Weekend in Venice (+ 5 Tips On Exploring Without Blowing The Budget)My Profile

  16. Such a lovely place. It’s so hard to find dog friendly places in where I live due to religion. I always love to have more places for my lil poodle to run around in Malaysia.
    Allison Wong recently posted…My Belgium’s Brussels and Bruges 4D3N Free & Easy Trip ItineraryMy Profile

  17. LC says:

    I’ve heard good things about Asheville in the past. Anywhere that is dog friendly gets a thumbs up in my book, regardless!

    1. Maegan says:

      We totally agree!

  18. […] Asheville, North Carolina: a place for dogs, beer, food, and hiking! […]

  19. […] lived in various cities of this scenic state. For hiking suggestion in the Blue Ridge, check our Asheville, North Carolina post! This is our roundup, thus far, from our trips throughout the state for […]

  20. […] Asheville, North Carolina: a place for dogs, beer, food, and hiking! […]

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