Our next destination was one of our longer drives – east to Asheville NC, via Lexington so we could have some BBQ (worth the side track). Asheville was another of those foody choice destinations. We spoke to someone earlier (someone in the Steel String bar in Corrboro – good beer) and they described Asheville as a place known for food, beer and music – and that’s a pretty good trio.
It kind of reminded us of an inner Melbourne suburb with the hipsters and arty folk with the country feel of say a Daylesford or Katoomba in the blue mountains. It was really a surprise and we enjoyed all our time here, even if we we were out of town on a bit of a hotel strip (and it must have been a hotel strip for a while as there were some classic hotels out there). I did some driving downtown but another we caught Uber – we have found this great in America – fast, cheap, friendly, clean and they know where they are going. Big thumbs up Uber.
So, after a change into dry clothes, we headed north/east towards Chapel Hill through rain that at times was so heavy all we could see was rain and hopefully the tail lights of the car in front. But it didn’t last forever and after about 2.5 hours we reached our next destination Carrboro, which neighbours Chapel Hill.
We stayed at another almost new hotel in Carrboro which is kind of a bit of a trendy (??) neighbourhood adjoining Chapel Hill, which is the home of University of North Carolina – the Tarheels. UNC is most known for its basketball – Michael Jordan its most famous basket balling student (I’ll get to that later). This was a two night stay so we could have a look around, try some good food (North Carolina BBQ and anything else) and enjoy.
Leaving Charleston and South Carolina we had a few days until our next hotel was booked over the border in Asheville, North Carolina. We had several choices of how to get there through NC and what to do in between. I thought I’d get on to the Lonely Planet forum and ask for some advice from those who live here. We were thinking about heading north up the coast to a place called Wilmington – the replies were along the lines of “why bother”, “what do you want to go there for”, “if you want so see the coast you can see that in Charleston.”
Mmmm, Wilmington didn’t sound good but we booked it anyway. After that was through what is known as the research triangle due to three universities in neighbouring cities – Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Durham. The advice was “these are just strip towns with nothing go direct”, “Durham is dead”, “If anywhere, stay at Chapel Hill”. We booked Chapel Hill.
The expert advisors wanted us to travel north/east from Charleston through the NC capital at Colombia – we didn’t and luckily as the weather through that area had some of the heaviest rains they have had for a while.