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Easy Weekend Getaways

Weekend Getaways: Asheville

Courtesy Kevin West

Asheville, NC

If George Washington Vanderbilt III had known how hip Asheville would become, he might have built his estate Biltmore closer to town. The mountain retreat is chockablock with artisanal restaurants and shops and is only a five-minute drive from the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway. At the clubby new Aloft Asheville Downtown ($), guests and locals gather in the Crayola-bright lounge for classic martinis and Appalachian Bird Dogs (blackberry whiskey and blueberry Red Bull). Nearby, Wicked Weed Brewing has brought the number of microbreweries in town to 13, and the American small-plate restaurant Chestnut ($$) is garnering rave reviews for its pies (our favorite: the pear and cranberry topped with walnut streusel). —Kathryn O’Shea-Evans

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