Leap into Summer: Date Ideas to Get Outside

We don’t know about ya’ll but we are ready to leap into Summer! Maybe because it truly is a leap year? Maybe it’s a hangover mood from the stay at home orders? Whatever it is, we’re ready for a more harmonious climate, where you can listen to the birds chirping, bathe in the forest and take in all the colorful landscape.

Each year in Asheville, Summertime brings a renewed vibrant city, influenced by outdoor music, a rejuvenated thirst for porch swings and eagerness to dive into outdoor activities. It’s refreshing and always exciting to see the influx of locals emerge from their homes to soak up the glowing sun and the warmth of Summer.

Well, the same goes for date nights. With each new season, brings an enthusiasm for how to immerse yourself in the celebration of a fresh season. For Spring, Summer and Fall, we always suggest getting outside to enjoy the beauty of Asheville’s lush, green forests and crisp mountain air. Here are our suggestions for a renewed way to experience our city.

Disc Golf at Richmond Hill Park + Zillicoah Brewing

Looking for an easy hike close to town? Look no further than Richmond Hill Park! If you like to play disc golf, even better. Located nearby the Rivers Arts District just across the river is a lovely, convenient hill with well-groomed, easy to navigate hiking trails at Richmond Hill Park. Dog and kid-friendly trails as well. Also great for mountain biking enthusiasts! We recommend heading out to Richmond Hill Park to play an early game of disc golf before heading across the river to Zillicoah Brewing for a delicious round of tacos and craft beer.

Disc golf at Richmond Hill.

Take advantage of Thursdays at Zillicoah, every Thursday they have $1 off all full beer pours, and Taqueria Munoz has discounts on tacos. Dinner and beer for under $10. Only in Asheville!

Photo: @zillicoahbeer on Instagram

Hike or Bike at Bent Creek  

Bent Creek is a no brainer for the locals. No matter the time of year, one of the easiest places to escape to is Bent Creek Experimental Forest or the NC Arboretum. Lace-up your trail shoes or oil the chain – grab your sweetheart, the dog and make it a full day of easy strolling or adventurous biking.

Upgrade the Bent Creek experience with a picnic lunch. Ice up the cooler with your favorite sammie grub for an easy, belly-filling meal after the exercise to make it a full day of basking in the beauty of the Carolina mountains.

The Carolina Mountain Trail at the NC Arboretum!

Farmer’s Market Dates

For the love of farmers! The farmer’s market can very often be the best way to kick off a Saturday setting the tone for a healthy, self-care weekend which is easy to do in Asheville. Whether its the North Asheville Tailgate Market or the mid-week River Arts District Farmer’s Market, you’re guaranteed to find the best selection of what WNC farmers bring. Not sure where to begin? Here’s our rundown of the in-city farmer’s markets around Asheville:

A full spectrum of colors!

River Arts District Farmers Market
Every Wednesday 3 – 6pm. (All year)
Where? All Souls Pizza, 175 Clingman Avenue, Asheville River Arts District. During the winter: Plēb Urban Winery

North Asheville Tailgate Market
Every Saturday morning 8am -Noon (April – November)
Where? UNCA Campus Commuter Lot #C

West Asheville Tailgate Market
Every Tuesday 3:30 – 6:30pm (April – November)
Where? 718 Haywood Road, Asheville

East Asheville Tailgate Market
Every Friday 3 – 6pm (May – September)
Where? 954 Tunnel Road, Asheville

French Broad Food Coop Tailgate Downtown Market
Every Wednesday 2 – 6pm (April – November)
Where? 90 Biltmore Avenue, French Broad Food Co-op.

Asheville City Market – Downtown
Every Saturday 8am – Noon (April – December)
Where? North Market Street downtown Asheville between Woodfin Street and East Walnut Street. Starting after the 3rd Saturday in December, with special holiday hours – relocates indoors to the Asheville Masonic Temple for the winter (January – March).

Asheville City Market – South
Every Wednesday Noon – 4pm (April – October)
Where? Long Shoals Road at I-26, Exit 27. Held in the center of Biltmore Park Town Square.

Brunch at The Scarlet Bee then Stroll Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary  

Weekends are for late brunch dates and long walks. We love North Asheville for that and we especially love The Scarlet Bee, a small plate Mediterranean food spot with a killer weekend brunch menu. Then, to walk off your calories, relocate down, across the street for bird watching at the amazing Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary, one of Asheville’s favorite nature trails leading you in and around the lake.

This 8-acre wetland in north Asheville adorns a boardwalk that allows visitors to observe birds and other wildlife in several different habitat types. You’ll spy beautiful butterflies, dragonflies, many types of bird species and maybe even a turtle or two. 

Blue Ridge Parkway Post Hike Picnic

Set your sights on one of the many Mountains to Sea trails that runs parallel with the pavement of the BRP but, before you do, be sure to pack a picnic lunch, fill your cooler and grab that thick blanket for a unique lunch experience along the parkway.

We love the Devil’s Courthouse trail where you’ll be sure to work up a sweat and an appetite before diving into your food basket. Claim your spot on the grass somewhere along the parkway then, kick back and enjoy the view.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Rent Bikes from Beer City Bikes and Ride to Carrier Park

What better way to take in all that the River Arts District has to offer than with rented bikes from Beer City Bicycles also located conveniently on Riverside Drive along the French Broad River.

Beer City Bicycles is proud to have a full line up of KHS bicycles for rent. Looking to ride a 29er? BCB has that. Want to try out a hardtail mountain bike? BCB has the perfect rental for you. Looking to cruise around the RAD? Urban Town bicycles and road bikes are just what you need.

So, now that you have some new ideas for ways to soak up the sun in the mountains and around Asheville, get your tires pumped up and your hiking shoes on. We can’t wait to see you all out on the trails.

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