We just returned from a cycling vacation near Asheville NC. We’d heard it is beautiful, but had never been there. However, instead of staying in Asheville, we went to Brevard, 40 minutes south and gateway to the Pisgah National Forest and Blue Ridge Parkway. The Pisgah National Forest is known for mountain biking, and the Blue Ridge Parkway for road biking.
Instead of staying in a chain hotel, a bike industry friend suggested The Sunset Motel, a friendly motor court motel with other cyclists staying there at the same time AND a bike wash!
The friendly owner is also a supporter of area bike races and events and we like to support those who support us.
In keeping with our interest in supporting locals, we enjoyed breakfast every morning at The Sub Shop, on the way to Pisgah National Forest and across from Brevard College. I don’t even think they have a web site, but it is fast, inexpensive, and a local hangout.
Berfore arriving, we were referred to Sycamore Cycles and Art Odell who enjoys his road bike like we do. Be sure to check out his beautiful Cycling Capital of the South video on their BTF page linked above. His shop is also a Specialized dealer (among others) and we ride Specialized bikes. There are 2 shops in Brevard. Both are good and both are different. Within the Sycamore Cycles shop is an excellent coffee shop called Crank Coffee and Tea. As he did with us, Sycamore can advise you on where to ride whether it is road or mountain, and they rent both.
While we spent our days at Sycamore Cycles, down the street is the other shop called The Hub at Backcountry Outdoors. They carry different brands, also rent bikes but instead of a coffee shop, have a small tavern with tap beer. I don’t know the owners, but my daughter has friends who work at The Hub.
For dinner, we recommend a local Italian restaurant, Marco Trattoria. The food was fresh, and even my spaghetti and meatballs entree tasted unique and delicious. They also have a nice outdoor seating area.
Brevard is also home to The Bike Farm, a mountain biking retreat just north of town. While I’ve never spoken to the owners, it looks like the ultimate in mountain biking retreats.
When talking about this area, you can’t forget the breweries. Brevard doesn’t have as many as Asheville, but does include Brevard Brewing Company, Oskar Blues, Pigsah Brewing, and Southern Appalachian Brewing close by in Hendersonville, and even Sierra Nevada brewery behind the Asheville Airport so there is plenty of sampling to do after riding.
Our last night was spent in Asheville and it is a cool city, but wait until after rush hour when the streets are crowded. There are a lot of dining options and my sister who visited Asheville a week before us loved Doc Chey’s Noodle House. While walking around a little before 7pm, most restaurants were still empy except for Bouchon, which billed itself as French Comfort Food. It was crowded and we got a table just before it went to a wait and it was worth it! Excellent food, atmoshpere, service, and not overly expensive. Without wine but with appetizers and desserts, the tab was about $80. Not as inexpensive as Doc Chey’s but definately worth it.
As you can see, there are a lot of reasons to visit the area around Brevard and Asheville. Thinking about going, have questions or comments? Send me an email email@example.com.