Showing jumping has been postponed until Monday, TIEC is closed for business, and you’re suddenly faced with an entire extra day on your hands. What to do? Luckily, we happen to be hunkered down in a vibrant cultural area where there’s plenty to do indoors as well. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Enjoy a leisurely brunch. After chasing horses around the countryside all day Saturday, you deserve a mimosa or three. Wherever you’re staying, there is a proper southern brunch — think scratch biscuits, grits, country ham. Honey and Salt in Flat Rock, Southern Delights and More in Landrum, Lavender Bistro in Tryon, Newman’s Restaurant, The Purple Onion and Wildflour Bakery in Saluda are all highly rated on Yelp. Or, since you haven’t got anything better to do with yourself today, drive right on up to the culinary wonderland that is Asheville and find your brunch bliss: Tupelo Honey for locally-sourced deliciousness, King Daddy’s Chicken & Waffles for that magical combination that is fried chicken ON a waffle … the list goes on. You really can’t go wrong in Asheville.
Tour the historic Biltmore Estate. This is about as close to a castle as it gets here in America. Built by the Vanderbilt family between 1889 and 1895, the Biltmore is the largest privately owned house in the United States — it has four acres of floor space and a total of 250 rooms in the house including 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, 65 fireplaces, and three kitchens plus some extras like a bachelors’ wing forbidden to women, a basement pool, a private bowling alley and a Hogwarts-esque library. If you’ve ever wondered what a four-story, wrought-iron chandelier looks like, the Biltmore has your hookup. Exquisitely built and decorated, a visit to Biltmore (about a 50 minute drive from TIEC) would be a fun way to spend the afternoon. Visit the website here.
Visit a brewery. Cheers, you are stranded in the land of craft beer! There are great breweries scattered all over the place, easily located with a bit of Googling. Sierra Nevada in Mills River is a sprawling beer experience, offering 45-minute brewery tours and 90-minute heritage tours. New Belgium in Asheville is another huge one, with 90-minute tours and events going on all the time. Plus, tasting rooms! There are over 100 breweries within a 50-mile radius of Tryon, so we’ll just let you take it from here!
See some waterfalls. I know it sounds counterintuitive — “sure, EN, let’s go check out some waterfalls during a hurricane” — but trust us, they’re extra cool to see after a big storm. And no need to hike in to some remote location; you can just pull up to the parking lot, pop your umbrella and go sneak a look. This area is steeped in natural Appalachian mountain beauty, so go get your nature fix! Do a little research into Pisgah Forest near Brevard (Looking Glass Falls has easy road access) and DuPont State Forest. Fun fact: The Hunger Games movie series was filmed entirely in North Carolina, with many of the scenes shot in Dupont State Forest.
- No Vendor Village? No problem. Get your shopping fix at Farmhouse Tack, Landrum’s go-to tack store. Family owned, they always have great sales and a big selection.
- Get your geek on at the Appalachian Pinball Museum in Hendersonville — the town, just a stone’s throw up the interstate, also has a gemstone museum, aquarium, railroad museum and air museum.
- If you’re a literature buff, the Asheville area is steeped in history — big connections to F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Carl Sandburg, Thomas Wolfe and many more. The bookstore Malaprop’s is a local favorite.
- Eat more. Drink more. Enjoy!
Note: This goes without saying, but if you do venture out into the rain stay safe out there! Use caution, heed flash flood warnings and never, ever drive across a flooded road.
We’ll see you back at TIEC tomorrow. Go Eventing.