Road Trip Travel Guide: Asheville, & Charlotte, North Carolina

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Visit NC. The opinions and text are all mine.

As bloggers one of our main goals is to create content that inspires + encourages others. In order to be able to do this, we too must find inspiration. There are a few different actions we take when we feel our creative reserves getting low, and one of the most beneficial things is travel. It's where we get to experience something different when we've been staring at the same skyline so long its shape is burned into our brains. It's where we take a chance and taste something for the first time. It's where we learn of things that we never knew existed before. It's where we get to be inspired and find those Firsts That Last.
Last week we had the opportunity to explore North Carolina on a sponsored trip with Visit NC. Neither Savannah nor I had ever visited North Carolina before, so we were excited to spend time there. Today we are sharing some of our favorite places we visited on our trip from Nashville to Charlotte. Each place inspired us in some way and we were able to experience a lot of new things.
On our way to Charlotte we stopped in Asheville for the day. This is where we found our first gem, Flora(pictured above). It's a coffee shop/ cut flower shop/ house plant shop and it's completely gorgeous. Every little detail and piece of decor creates a fresh and magical vibe. We wandered around the store for a while and only could make ourselves leave when we came to the conclusion that we could not buy any more house plants- even though they had many we wanted. We left Flora feeling creatively inspired.
We got to Charlotte at night and crash in our adorable and affordable Airbnb. Our host, Erica, was great and provided us a lot of information about Charlotte. We spent our first full at The U.S. National Whitewater Center (pictured above + second picture in blog post). This place is an adventure seeker/outdoor lover's paradise, so we felt right at home. They have a man-made whitewater river, ropes course, zip lining, rock climbing, kayaking, and paddle boarding. What is so great about USNWC is that there is something for everyone and for all fitness levels and all ages. They also do a concert on the river which we were lucky enough to witness while we were there.

We really loved the energy at the Whitewater Center. Everyone is having a blast as they try new things. Zip lining was one of the parts we loved the most. Flying through the air is a pretty incredible feeling. Casey had never zip lined or gone whitewater rafting before.
The next day we drove 45 minutes from Charlotte to Mooresville, NC to visit Carrigan Farms. They have a rock quarry (pictured above) where you can swim and on a hot summer day. What's better than a great swimming hole? At different times of the year you can pick apples, strawberries, pumpkins, and asparagus. I really wish we could have been there for that but we were happy to be able visit and take a dip.
After visiting Carrigan Farms we made a quick stop downtown Mooresville and visited a few antique shops. Our favorite one was WFV Designs. This is definitely one of Casey's favorite things to do. There was also a little coffee shop in the area if you needed a little pick-me-up.

We made our way to Hello, Sailor (outdoor patio pictured above) for dinner which, now, might be one of my favorite restaurants of all time. I don't say that lightly. The food, service, decor, and atmosphere were incredible. We also got to experience another first- eating crab claws. We enjoyed our meal while sitting by Lake Norman sipping on beautifully mixed cocktails.
We left Hello, Sailor feeling inspired on so many levels. I know that sounds cheesy! There is something about eating a delicious meal in a beautiful space that leaves you feeling that way. Not many restaurants can do that.
See? It's just lovely.
Our last full day of our trip we took a short 20 minute drive Belmont, NC. Our first stop was the Muddy River Distillery. They only do tours on Saturdays, and we highly recommend going if you can. We got to try 5 different rums and they were honestly delicious. Neither of us drink very much and we certainly can't just sip straight liquor on the rocks, but I think with this rum I really could.

We loved hearing about how the distillery started and what makes them stand out from the rest. We bought a bottle of the coconut rum and basil rum and I'm already wishing we would have bought more. Muddy River is a very small distillery run by a tiny crew of people who are just trying to live their dreams. They have achieved a lot and we left feeling inspired to keep chasing our dreams.
Also while in Belmont we strolled around their downtown which is adorable. I mean check out this specialty grocery store (pictured above). I think North Carolina is the land of adorable small towns. We enjoyed walking around and we ate lunch at Nellie's Southern Kitchen which is owned by the Jonas' Brother's parents. So if you're a fan you have to go and visit. They have a wall full of Jonas' Brothers memorabilia. Also, their food is really good :)
The last place we visited in Belmont was Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens. If you follow us on Instagram, you know we are really into plants, flowers, and gardening in general. We knew we had to come here, and it did not disappoint. My favorite part was their butterfly garden which is an enclosed space full of plants + flowers that butterflies love. We saw several different varieties of butterflies. Better yet there were really butterflies everywhere. We left the gardens feeling inspired to plant even more pollinator friendly plants next year.
The next day as we headed back to Nashville we took a detour so we could drive through some of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It only added an hour to the drive and it was totally worth it. We stopped by Blowing Rock (pictured above) and ate breakfast in Boone, NC. Our favorite part was the weather in Boone, 61 degrees in the middle of summer! We left the parkway and the mountains feeling inspired to come back and go camping along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Here are a few other places we visited that we loved:
- King Daddy's (Asheville)- They gluten free chicken + waffles!
- Trade and Lore (Asheville)- Love the decor + vibe here.
- Whist (Asheville)- The perfect place to buy and non-cheesy souvenirs.
- Southbound (Charlotte- pictured above)- Loved the decor + food here. They have tacos + other Tex-Mex options.
- Smelly Cat Coffee (Charlotte)- This has been around Charlotte or a while and is a local favorite. It's unique + that's why we liked it :)
- McGill Rose Garden (Charlotte)- This is a free garden full of roses that the City of Charlotte maintains. We absolutely loved it!

Overall, we left our trip to Charlotte feeling like our inspiration tanks were filled up. We definitely want to come back to North Carolina and spend more time in the mountains and we would really like to get out to the Outer Banks. Thank you to Visit NC for sending us on this trip and letting us experience your beautiful state! If you are visiting the beautiful state of North Carolina, you should definitely check out their website. We used it a lot when planning our trip.

xo, Casey and Savannah


  1. That sounds like such a fun trip! I'm going to Asheville in October so I'll have to check out your recommendations!

    1. Asheville is cool- we really liked West Asheville :)