WORLD is a book and those who do not travel have read only one page. Embrace a Lifestyle of Travel. Explore the offbeat roads, unknown destinations and diverse cultures.

Trek to Laxman Temple/ Hemkund Sahib

Laxman Temple/Hemkund Sahib, at a height of 4300 meters above sea level, lies in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand state. Challenging trekking route and spectacular beauty of the mystical valley has always tempted botanists, nature lovers, foreign tourists and adventure lovers. Valley boast off over 500 species of wild flowers of unparalleled appearance and fragrances.

This is the place where Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth guru of Sikh community, did intense meditation to please Lord Brahma. Please by the austerity Lord Brahma commanded Guru Gobind Singh Ji to take birth in Kal-Yuga in order to kill demons and protect holy people. Undoubtedly, the Hemkund Trek is a steep challenging trek and you will often hear from the locals there that – “Mountains are for FIT not FAT”. You trek from 9,600 ft to 15,000 ft in just 6 Kms and that’s what makes it a tough trek.

Place remains open to the world from June to October and for rest of the year it remains snow clad.

Journey to the Hemkund starts from Haridwar, where you can easily hire a cab for your entire trip. Below is the entire itinerary in brief. 

1. Haridwar to Govindghat - Around 300 Kms
2. Start from Haridwar - Cab is recommended. Very less frequency of buses.
3. Route: Haridwar – Rishikesh – Devprayag – Jayalgarh – Srinagar – Rudaprayag – Karnaprayag – Nandaprayag – Chamoli – Pipalkoti – Joshimath – Vishnuprayag - Govindghat
4. Govindghat – (Motorable-4Km) – Poolna (Trek 10 km) – Ghangaria – Total 14 Kms
5. Split routes from Ghangaria for Hemkund Trek and Valley of Flowers Trek.

Drive to Govindghat around 300 Kms, which would take 10 – 12 hours of time to reach depending on the road conditions, please expect land sliding at various points throughout the drive.

Share:

Modern Stylish Tallboy - Hyundai All New Santro

Way back in the 1990's a relatively unknown name from South Korea entered the Indian car market and dared to compete with well established Maurti, Ambassador and Tata. It was the time, when compact/ small car buyers were accustomed to small engines and a features deficit product. It was then, Hyundai introduced the Santro, which claimed to offer superior technology, features, space and interior quality, that were often neglected or better unheard till then. Most important Santro offered "Power Steering" as standard fitment and made driving a comfortable affair.

Very soon Santro was the preferred choice for Indian Car buyers and changed the dynamics of Indian Automobile Sector. Sales figures are sufficient enough to indicate the magic Santro left on its proud owners. 
  • From 58,646 in 1999, sales figure reached to 65,515 in 2000. 
  • Trust and excitement continued with average sales nearing 1 Lac per year over the next decade. 
  • November 2006 - Santro crosses 10 Lac sales in eight years.
Despite high demand, Santro was discontinued in 2015 after 16 years of love affair with Indian Roads. It was a heart break moment for numerous Car Lovers across the country, however the memories never left the Indian Car Buyers. 

23rd October 2018 was the day when Santro made a comeback to rule the Indian roads. At a Grand launch ceremony attended by Shahrukh Khan, Media and leading Bloggers from India, curtains were pulled off from "All New Santro". 
Share:

Day out in Beijing

Beijing, capital city of China is one of the ancient cities on Earth with more than 3,000 years of recorded history. Evidence of human ancestry dating back to 700,000 years ago has been found in the southwest part of Beijing, where the remains known as 'Peking Man' were found.
Amidst one of the tightly packed trip to Beijing got some time to check out the City of Beijing. Landing in Beijing at 1:00 PM, had no option but to run wherever I could have in the available one half of the day.
As I always say, best plans should be kept in the earlier part of the program. So to explore Beijing attractions, I dumped the luggage in hotel room, took the Metro/ Subway map in my hand and started to “Tiananmen Square”. Tiananmen Square is one of the most popular and renowned spot around the world. There is no tourist who comes to China, leaves without a visit to this place. 

Share:

On Nainital and Mukteshwar: A Lake, Deodars and Maple Leaves - part 2 of 2

We left for Mukteshwar at around 11 AM. Somehow it got cloudy again and the roads got under thick white mist. It took a while to drive out of the town since there were many people on the road. Soon it started to drizzle and it felt good. Mukteshwar is at a height of about 7200 ft and is right in the middle of Banj Oak and Deodar forests. The forest is evergreen and mostly covered in mist. You can see that green moss and lichens have taken over the whole forest since it rains here almost every day, even in summer. 


Share:

On Nainital and Mukteshwar: A Lake, Deodars and Maple Leaves - part 1 of 2

We left home while it was still dark. Dark clouds were high up but it was not going to rain. The morning was warm and there was no wind. I woke up at 4 and was out on the road by 5 AM. The drive started pretty smooth and we were in Haridwar by 6:30 AM. The road is mostly wide with little traffic in the morning. The most interesting and exciting thing about this route is that it runs through Elephant corridors. The area has a large population of deer, wild elephant and leopards. You can see roadside signs with jumping deer, crossing leopards and elephants.
Share:

Shri Krauncha Giri, Kumar Swamy Temple - Discovery of Chalukya Legacy

Whether you are travelling on the road or off the road, you are never far off from a wonderful Offbeat Spot. Such is the beauty of Land called India. 

The era of Vijayanagara empire has been often called as the most prosperous region ever to have happened, on this earth. Other than the majestic Hampi Kingdom, this region also has some impressive monuments which are yet to be explored. While meandering in this region came to know about a panoramic temple on Krauncha Giri (Giri means Hill in hindi language), somewhere nearby.
Search for that exclusive temple took me to the Swamimalai Forest Range, wherein lies the legendary Krauncha Giri mountain. I had no idea that I was going to walk into a legendary chapter of our Mythology. Legendary…? 

Located 10 km away from Sandur in Bellary district, this mountain is the site of the famous Kumar Swamy temple (also spelled as Kumaraswamy/ Kumaraswami). The  Kumar Swamy Temple complex consists of 2 temples dedicated to Lord Karthikeya and Goddess Parvati (Mother of Lord Karthikeya). Lush green mountains in the backdrop make a perfect canvas for this temple.

Share:

Hawaii for the First Timers: How to Plan the Perfect Getaway


It is only plausible that you have kept Hawaii in your list of must-visit destinations for quite some time, because duh! It’s Hawaii! It has been a dream destination for all of us 90’s kids who have grown up watching every favourite character on television or films going to Hawaii for a dream vacation, relaxing in the beach, indulging in a fair share of water sports and enjoying the Hawaiian coastal weather to the fullest.
However, whenever these characters used to visit the beaches it was given that they know their way around, putting up at the best of places, enjoying the best of cuisines and making the most out of a short trip in general (Cinematic Liberty anyone?). The scenario IS possible though, given that there aren’t many places in Hawaii where you would be completely disappointed with the experience but the truth is that Hawaii has a lot to offer in terms of its islands. Each of the islands has its distinctive culture and diverse things to offer to a person who is visiting for the first time.
Though accommodation is seldom a problem with comfortable Hawaii rentals available at affordable prices with stunning views (since every place in Hawaii is a breathtaking locale in its own) and each morsel of the Hawaiian cuisine is delectable, the true challenge when visiting Hawaii for the first time is deciding which all places to visit and more importantly which places to leave out.  The most popular destinations, namely, the Big Island, Maui, Kauai and Molokai, each with a completely different set of characteristics, different flavours and different things in store for people who visit them. Confused? Don’t worry, we have come up with a list that you can consider as your guide if you are visiting Hawaii for the first time.

Visit O’ahu for the Best of Good Times and Good Life: 
Does a vacation for you truly equate to the most relaxing time of the year? Then no questions asked, O’ahu is your pick of the trip. O’ahu has got the best of the beaches, food and culture to offer. Almost 75 per cent of the native people call ‘the Gathering place’ their home. The city is crowded in general and it might look a bit too crowded at the bus stations or at the sidewalks since it is here that the all the amenities of a city life can be enjoyed, but beautiful beaches and amazing forest hike trails are just a few miles away, if you are looking for a quick and tranquil getaway. Not to mention the historical museums that you might catch a sight of while putting up here.
Another one of the major attractions of O’ahu is the amazing food that is available here. All of Hawaii’s A-list chefs with their A-list preparations have chosen O’ahu as their base, and fusion menus find their own, sweet way into your tables. Not only that, there are food trucks spotted and the Farmers Island Market in here at O’ahu and if a trip for you translates into passing out into a food coma, then this is the place for you. 

Go on an Adventure Tour in the Big Islands:
If you want your fair share of adrenaline pumping activities, then you must make your itinerary keeping the Big Islands as your focal point. Hawaii is technically a volcanic archipelago and some say, in spite of the multicoloured sand beaches and the impressive lush forest ranges present, the main attraction of Hawaii is the lava tour you get to experience here. Kilauea in Hawaii is the world’s most active volcano and for hikers, it is a dream come true to travel through the barren surroundings of the volcanic mountain. You can even spot volcanic eruptions, hot and slick lava and other dried up remains that will make your hike a thrilling experience.
Emerald valleys, ice cold waterfalls merging into pools, lava flows colliding against lush rainforests and the loftiest summits are the things these places are made up off. Also, extra points if you are a wildlife lover because the Big Islands is the place where you can spot spinner dolphins and sea turtles along with some awe-inspiring coral gardens that are packed with vibrant coloured fish. However, the best rare animal spotting can be done in the winters, where you can catch a glimpse of the humpback whale in all its glory. 

Surf and Surf in Maui:
For some of us, beaches mean endlessly indulging in water sports. It is a truly rejuvenating experience when you can let go and become a total water baby. Maui provides you with that opportunity. Surf and surf in the well diminutive waters of the Maui and experience an adrenaline rush like never before. There are a lot of surfing schools which help you train so that your surfing experience is safe and sound. Apart from that, Maui like O’ahu offers you a good eating experience too. Maui is home to a lot of upcountry pastures where the beef is grass-fed and thus you can have a meaty affair to remember for your lifetime. Apart from that, Maui also provides you with an opportunity to hike with the bamboo forest and lofty ridgetops. 
Though there are a lot of other places you could very well visit in Hawaii, these places form the crux of the Hawaiian heaven. The choice of your places also completely depends on your choices as an individual and what you are looking to get out of a trip. However, rest assured, you can never be disappointed when you visit the Aloha state. 

So lets pack your bags and book your tickets to Hawaii.  

Share:

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, Alwar

1.      One Man who brought the Rolls Royce company to its knees and
2.      One of most haunted place in the world.
What is the relation?
The man was King Jai Singh, who bought entire available fleet of Rolls Royce (6 cars) on one day in year 1920 and ordered the municipality to use the Rolls Royce cars for garbage collection at his kingdom. Those were the times when Rolls Royce were used to sweep the streets in India.
The haunted place is “Bhangarh Fort” where entry before sunrise and after sunset is prohibited by law. Still not making sense. Let’s add one more point in the list;
3.      A temple dating back to the time of Mahabharata, that is approx. 5000 years back.

Share:

7 destinations in Europe that will make you go OMG

Who is to ask if you want to spend your evening sipping tasty wine at Florence, catch some opera action at Vienna, or say, just settle for a high-tea in Liverpool? With so many lovely things to do, a trip to Europe will constantly have you on your toes. But to make the best of it whilst touring the continent, you have to be prepared. Take a glimpse through the list of top 7 destinations to visit in Europe that will make you go OMG. Once done, start packing your goodies, and strap your feet into comfortable walking shoes to embark on the greatest European venture.

1. Paris
Image credit - https://pixabay.com/en/eiffel-tower-lights-fountains-1280022/

Paris has the eyes of an ample number of tourists every year. Majorly because of the delicious cuisine and the eye-captivating art collections it holds. It's always a good time to take a stroll by River Seine which flows through the city. The river is fringed with museums, churches, and buildings sporting a Neoclassical architecture. A visit to Musée d'Orsay is a must and for designer clothes shopping there's no better place than Champs Élysées. The boutiques in the Le Marais lane also houses nice collections. A selfie from the top of Eiffel Tower doesn't require second thoughts, does it?

2. Greece
Image credit - https://pixabay.com/en/beautiful-landscape-sea-summer-1927327/

With absolutely no limits for white-coated hillside towns, hidden caves with small pools - Greece is a stunner for real. The cities of Mykonos and Santorini in Greece with their pristine beaches and nightlife clubs are bound to entertain you to the fullest. The islands of Pano Koufonisi, Paros and Antiparos have their own share of bliss, thanks to the coastal terrain. History buffs can take a tour of the Acropolis where they can marvel at the ancient architecture and later check out Hephaestus Temple.

3. Rome
Image credit - https://pixabay.com/en/rome-the-vatican-italy-1945033/

Rome is a city of seven hills and it has multiple scenic hubs which will bring out the good feels in you. The mystery buzzing about the Vatican City and the leftovers of the Colosseum will get you curious for real. Enjoying the ever-delicious pizza at a cafe on Piazza Navona, and later visiting the Pantheon & the Roman Forum will complete your Rome tour.

4. Salzburg
Image credit - https://pixabay.com/en/mountain-alpine-wild-emperor-2444712/

Salzburg is the birthplace of the ever famous composer Mozart. It's also known for Alstadt where explorations can be done. Adding more josh is the fact, the movie "Sound of Music" was shot here and a special tour of this place is a must. Make sure to add Salt mine trek and underground lake cruise to your Austrian vacation.

5. Amsterdam
Image credit - https://pixabay.com/en/amsterdam-night-canals-evening-1150319/

Just be very sure of grabbing a pack of cheese fries and a can of Heineken beer when you are in Amsterdam. The buildings here have vibrantly shaded ceilings and gorgeous interiors. Head to the Museum district where you can spot the Van Gogh Museum. An alternate to this is the Rijksmuseum, which houses the best works of Vermeer and Rembrandt. De Pijp is famous for fancy restaurants and Vondelpark erupts with multiple attraction spots. Theatre addicts can enjoya show at the Royal Theatre Carré and later party scenes at its best can be witnessed at Leidseplein.

6. London
Image credit - https://pixabay.com/en/london-eye-ferris-wheel-london-945497/

A trip to London will never ever disappoint you. History tales and modern day happenings join hands at this wonder of a city. Gawk at the historic Tower of London and Tate Modern. A visit to Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye Ferris wheel and the Tower Bridge doesn't require special callouts. Head to Cabinet War Rooms if you are looking to check out what the English army had in store during the war times.

7. Barcelona
Image credit - https://pixabay.com/en/barcelona-railway-station-680182/

Fondly referred to as the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, Barcelona is where you will drown in amazing art and architecture. You can find energetic life at Las Ramblas with a series of narrow streets and alleys packed with cosy restaurants. A tour of Antoni Gaudí's masterpieces is also suggested followed by a stadium tour of Camp Nou where football legends like Xavi, Iniesta have played.

With just the right list to tour Europe, you can squeeze the best out of the vacation. It only gets better when you have the experts recommending you with where to go and the top activities to try out. With the travel experts at Pickyourtrail, get the best out of Europe. Based in Chennai, the tech-travel startup specializes in personalized international vacations and is a great place to quench your thirst for travel.

Share:

Chang-Gyeong-Gung Palace, Seoul..

Changgyeonggung Palace is one of the major attraction for heritage lovers in Seoul. It was built in 1483 by King Seongjong (the 9th king of the Joseon Dynasty) dedicated to his father and also to take care of the wives of the preceding kings.

It is one of the "Five Grand Palaces" built by the Joseon Dynasty (1392–1897). Majestic Myeongjeongmun Gate for welcoming the visitors and leading to  Myeongjeongjeon Hall. 
Share:

Mystical Caves of Patal Bhuvaneshwar

After snaking around for most part of the day, travelling from Jageshwar in search of that coveted mysterious limestone cave temple, we were about to reach the place from where we would have got a chance to go under the earth.
14 km from Gangolihat in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand is the mysterious place known as Patal Bhuvaneshwar, (पाताल भुवनेश्वर). The meaning of “Patal” is place under the earth. Small walk of 5 minutes and we were at the entrance of this cave, which is 160 m long and 90 feet deep from the point of entrance. But we had to wait as entry to the cave is permitted only in batches along with a dedicated guide. Those suffering from high Blood Pressure and breathing problems (Asthma) are advised not to go down.
Share:

Arabian Sands of Udupi Beaches

After the divine temple run in the first half it was the time to let our souls soak the peaceful and unspoiled ambience of the beaches around Udupi. In Udupi you can never have too much of a beach.  

15 km. from Udupi temple is one of the most serene and pristine beach which you can find in the state of Karnataka. Kaup or Kapu is a village located between Udupi and Mangaluru. Local language spoken here is Tulu and in Tulu language Udupi is known as Odipu.
As we are about to reach the Kapu village, the coast line opens up to reveal beach lines with perfect white sand in front of us from what looked as a misty distance. This is the Kaup beach, with its tropical climate is a hot favourite spot for the locales and everyone who comes to visit the Mangalore Port City. Attractions in and around Udupi promises to keep your spirits uplifted during your visit at this place.

The main attraction at the Kaup beach is the Kaup Light House which was built in the year 1901 on a 27.12m high rock.

Share:

Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort: A serene nest

Experience the calm of South Goa at this Mediterranean-styled hotel.





The sheer entrance of this place reminds me of the Seychelles. Consequently, the hopes and expectations have also heightened. For, that archipelago in the Indian Ocean has made me quite choosy when it comes to beach destinations. And, going by the first look, it seems I will not be disappointed.

The resort has that quiet yet happening look and feel to it. It all starts from the reception which seems like opening the property’s heart out to the guests. The pool flanked by the palms adds to the holiday vibes. The peace on the faces of the other guests tells you that your blissful moments are also just around the corner. A stroll to the beach leaves no doubt in mind. Those clear turquoise-blue-green waters of the Seychelles made me avoid Goa for quite some time.


Or perhaps I outgrew North Goa’s crowded shores, loud places and soiled waters. South Goa redeems it all for me and makes me a fan all over again. So, standing at the Cavelossim beach, I am both surprised and happy that this part of Goa still boasts of blue water, white sand and clean beach. The resort, meanwhile, nothing less than a little luxury village in itself, and my room – a wonderful mix of traditional and contemporary, is a serene nest every city-dweller like me yearns for. And, the various hues that the setting sun leaves on the sky, also making the Arabian Sea glisten like warm gold, has me hooked.  
The dinner at Seagull, the all-day dining restaurant takes it further to being spoiled. And, the poolside grill restaurant – Mama Mia leaves no scope for self redemption.
As I give in to a round of its gorgeous-looking mixes and drinks, paired oh-so-well with perfectly-grilled salmon in a light lemon-butter-sage sauce, this place has won my heart.
A quick round of the property the next morning shows how the partnership between AccorHotels and Alcon Victor Group has brought newness to the property but delightfully retained the old Goan-Portuguese flavours. The earlier Dona Sylvia Resort, and now Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia Resort, is hence even perfect for planning your wedding as its sprawling green lawns that merge with the sand work for both traditional and modern themes. The fine dining Indian restaurant – Kebabs & Kurries, can make you even feel like a royalty of the yore with its finest of recipes, picked from nowhere else than the royal kitchens.
The lobby bar, Amalia, will have you return to the Goan mood and join the live music performers to belt out a couple of your favourites too. Don’t worry, the audience is already in a blissful zone, thanks to the delicious finger foods and drinks that you won’t get anything else than a grand applause.
The old-world charm and the new-age luxury of this place indeed have an effect on your nerves. So much so that, despite not knowing how to swim my ultra-relaxed self decides to go for water sports. The calm mind leads to a brave heart and I triumph over the waves like a pro. Do not miss a round of water sports at the beach, it can be a life-changing experience (and, for the better). The hotel staff, always ready to help, will help you fix this adventure dose for yourself. The ones travelling with kids need not worry too as the place has enough to keep the curious minds occupied. The kitchen can even take care of their unpredictable taste buds and demands. Be it family, friends or business, every vacation, event or moment becomes perfect here.


(Travel Diaries editor Garima Verma was hosted by AccorHotels) 
Contact us for reviews at: info@travel-diaries.co.in


Share:

Athirapilly: Waterfall of Magnificence

Kerala: It's more than backwaters!
Kerala duly addressed as Gods own country, is a narrow strip of land lying in the west corner of peninsular India. Keeping Lakshadweep sea to its west and Western Ghats to its east, this highly literate state of our country stands proudly for its natural and scenic beauty, from dense ever green forests, diverse flora and fauna, hills and peaks to lakes and beaches, preserving cultural heritage and what not. It is one of the truly blessed place on this planet and we are lucky that India owns it.  
As in current trend there is a shift from seeing to experiencing and those who look for experiential travel, Kerala is a hot destination. Here words won’t be enough and mere picture can’t convey what it feels being there and experiencing every bit of it. From top to bottom, Kerala has a lot to offer to its travellers.
City sight-seeing is too conventional for those who believe in offbeat travelling. Athirapilly waterfall is one such destination in Thrissur district of Kerala, situated on the Chalakudy river, at the entrance to the Sholayar Ranges of Western Ghats. Athirapally falls also known as the Niagara Falls of India, fall down from approximately 80 feet  through numerous parallel streams, painting the canvas in white. These falls were recently seen as the Jal Parvat in the movie Bahubali.

As soon as you reach the location, the noise of splashing water will give you goose bumps. The waterfall is all hidden amongst the green and you can barely spot it from the road. A ticket of Rs. 15 per head is charged at the entry and then a walk of 10 minutes from the gate of the premises, which is maintained by department of Kerala tourism, takes you to the scene- where a calmly flowing river, drops down abruptly making one gigantic waterfall.

Here you can experience the river, the waterfall, the dense green forest, the arc of Western Ghats, all at once without any hindrance, the clear picturesque beauty of nature.

After the top view, it’s time to move down to the plunge pool. It’s a trek of 1km approx. through the dense green and a wet forest. Its bit slippery, so proper footwear and caution is recommended. The noise of waterfall will automatically attract you and without any feeling of hardships you will reach to the most worthy and a never seen before kind of place. The splashes of crashing water will leave you wet and the scene is more magnificent. It seems as if nature is joyously welcoming you, with a touch.
OH MY GOD and WAAOW, that’s the only thing I could scream out of excitement, because I have never felt this close to nature. It was worth the effort.

Though the waterfall is perennial but best experience comes post monsoon. You can visit it on all the days from 8:00AM to 6:00PM, however weekend attracts local rush too. You can enjoy local food and snacks at small eating joints and hawkers outside the premises. While walking to the plateau point or while standing at the bottom of the waterfall, you can get yourself clicked/ take Selfies to inspire your friends for this offbeat voyage. 


If you have time, you can go for Vazhachal waterfall, which is just 5Km from here. It is again a scenic spot and is famous for endemic species found in surrounding forest. One must start returning to Cochin by evening as there are no proper facilities of accommodation in the vicinity.

How to reach?
Athirapilly is 66km from Cochin city and 55km from Cochin International Airport via NH 544 and Nearest railway station is 30km from here in Chalakudy. 

About Cochin - While searching online you will come across name "Kochi" as well. Cochin and Kochi are one and same. British used to call Kochi as Cochin. Finally in 90's the name Kochi was declared as official name of Cochin. 
Cochin has been often referred as Queen of Arabin Sea and has been one of the most important centre of Spice trade since 14th Century. Cochin was well known to Greeks, Romans, Jews, Arabs and Chinese since ancient times. Cochin has found references in documentation by travellers like Ma Huan (from China, 15th Century) and Niccolo' Da Conti (from Italy, 15th Century). Spices like Ginger, Cloves, Cardamom, turmeric and black pepper grown in this region are renowned world wide.

Also would like to mention that Cochin International Airport is the world’s first fully solar energy powered airport and it is a perfect blend of nature and technology with heritage and modern architecture. Well connected to other major cities of India, Cochin is now a financial, economical and industrial powerhouse of Kerala. Landing here will give a kick start to your journey of exploring Southern India.

Keep travelling Guys...


Share:

Temple Hopping - Day out in Udupi

Situated in the state of Karnataka, Udupi is a city renowned for its fabulous temples and pristine beaches. Visiting Udupi is full of joy that is ever fresh and full of fragrance.
Millions of people from all around the world come here to experience the divine serenity of these beautiful temples.
Sri Krishna Mutt is the most prominent temple in Udupi. This holy temple is the seat of Lord Krishna and is considered to be one of the holiest places in southern India.

Share:

Hidden Hops: A Local’s Guide to Brewery Hopping Through Asheville


Set against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the limitless talents of local artisans like musicians, artists, and designers make Asheville, North Carolina one of the most vibrant and engaging cities in the country.  
If you’re looking for a place to relax while visiting this hilltop haven, try sampling the many local breweries that produce some of the finest product in the county. Offering more than 100 locally-made beers every day, this short guide will bring you up to speed on all this city offers for aficionados.

The Rise of Asheville’s Brewery Scene
Craft breweries started to grow after the consolidation of major American brewing companies in the late 1970s. At that time, the number of small breweries dwindled to 44, and beer enthusiasts worried that it would limit the variety and taste of available brews.
Asheville definitely took this concern to heart, and by 2017, the city had the most breweries per capita in the nation. With a population of only 89,000 residents, Asheville has earned the well-deserved title of “Beer City USA” four times.
The beer district is primarily located on the South Slope, the southern part of the city. Whether you’re looking for a traditional ale or a unique and original flavor, if you can dream it, Asheville has it on offer.

Things to Do
Before hitting the bar, visitors can take a comprehensive tour as an introduction to the Asheville brewery culture. The history of brewing actually dates back to the late 1700s when the townspeople determined that it was too difficult to transport beer to an elevation of 2,216 feet above sea level. The passion and independence for creating craft beer has continued for centuries, and Asheville residents are proud to share their deep and rich beer history over a local pint.


Asheville Brews Cruise
The Asheville Brews Cruise was the city’s first brewery tour and received recognition in both Southern Living and The New York Times. Depending on the day, visitors can tour four different breweries, spending about an hour at each location.

The breweries on the route include Pisgah, Altamont, Hi-Wire, French Broad, Catawba, Green Man, Twin Leaf, Highland, One World, and the Wicked Weed Funkatorium. The tour price includes 12 four-ounce brew samples along the route. Tickets cost $60 per person, with a 50% deduction for designated drivers.

Amazing Pubcycle
The Pubcycle puts a different spin on brewery touring, requiring the work of ten peddlers and the assistance of a small motor to help during ascensions. The 90-minute tour makes two stops along the way. The 15-minute stops rotate, but the most visited breweries include Ben’s Tune-Up and the Conundrum Speakeasy. 
Tickets are $25 per person. The tour does not provide alcohol, but passengers may bring their own or purchase house brews during their visit to the pub.

Sierra Nevada Tour
Although the Sierra Nevada brand originated in California, Ashville has embraced it for years. Tours of this esteemed brewery vary in theme, price, and duration. The shortest tour is the 30-minute Guided Education Tasting, which focuses on their signature beers.
For those who want in-depth information on the beer making process, they offer a three-hour Beer Geek Tour. The guides also take tourists on a Trip in the Woods, a mile-and-a-half hike and lesson on the nature of North Carolina and how Sierra Nevada conserves natural resources. All tours come with free samples.

Sipping Through the South Slope
After taking a tour, it’s time to hit the pub trail. Starting from the southern part of the South Slope and heading back towards downtown, these locally recommended breweries are ready to entertain and surprise with their original concoctions.

Burial Beer Company
40 Collier Avenue
Burial opened in 2013 and is one of Asheville’s most impressive breweries. The forward-thinking owners Doug and Jess Reiser expanded a one-barrel brewery to a 10-barrel brewhouse with the help of their brewer Tim Gormley. They lean toward Belgian traditions while incorporating local ingredients like wildflower honey into their crisp blonde ales.
The taproom prides itself on its weekly releases, with craft beers ranging from the Bolo Coconut Brown Ale to the Skillet Donut Stout. The brewery is opening a second location, the Forestry Camp Brewhouse, which originally housed workers during the construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway during the Great Depression. 

Green Man Brewery
27 Buxton Avenue
Head north to meet the mysterious Green Man peering through leafy overgrowth on this brewery’s craft beer bottles. Founded in 1997, it is Asheville's second oldest brewery, and it’s one of its best for many reasons.
The Green Man Brewery is environmentally friendly, using high-efficiency equipment and repurposing used grains in cooperation with local farms. Although the Green Man Brewery has shifted its focus from traditional English style brews to American beers, some of the original lineup are still offered to appease their fans.
Popular selections include the Green Man Indian Pale Ale, with hints of fruit and mint, and the Green Man Extra Special Bitter (ESB) for those who prefer malt with a trace of caramel. Or try one of their new American beers like the Snozzberry Wild American Ale aged with fruit in oak barrels.  

Wicked Weed Funkatorium
145 Coxe Avenue
Wicked Weed has three locations: their pub, their brewery, and the Funkatorium. The Funkatorium offers just what the name promises: craft beers with a side of funk. It focuses on barrel-aged sours, which are aged in a wooden barrel to create that signature acidic tang.
Their Serenity won the Great American Beer Festival gold medal in 2013, and their Silencio incorporates vanilla beans and local coffee aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels. Wicked Weed recently sold their brewery to Anheuser-Busch, but the founders assure the locals and visitors that the brewery will stay true to its mission to produce original and innovative brews.

Ben’s Tune-Up
195 Hilliard Avenue
Another great stop is a converted auto shop named Ben’s Tune-Up, Asheville’s only sake and beer brewery. Sake is a Japanese unpasteurized wine made from rice, served hot or cold. Ben’s offers intriguing options like Lemon Ginger and Pineapple Jalapeño that are refreshing on a hot day.
Ben’s also features an Asian fusion menu to complement their craft beverages. Sample one of their reputed beers and then cleanse your palette with some of their house-made sake. Ben’s Tune Up also has one of the best open-air beer gardens in Asheville and hosts free events featuring local musicians almost every day.

Asheville Brewing Company
77 Coxe Avenue
The Asheville Brewing Company dates back to 1998. This brewery has three locations: North Asheville, downtown, and South Asheville. The original northern location includes a dine-in movie theater, where movies cost $3 per person and feature classics like Jaws or Spaceballs.
Try the Fire Escape Ale made with jalapeños or the Rocket Girl Lager, which is popular with the locals. The brewery also offers a full menu with many delicious pub favorites.

Final Thoughts
Asheville offers a vast array of beer for any connoisseur, from hoppy IPAs to classic English dark stouts. Asheville was first named Beer City USA in 2009, but this town has kept the beer flowing like mountain water for many years before they cinched the coveted national title.

(Contributed by Harry Parsons). 



Share:

Translate...

Popular Posts

Powered by BonusApp

Affiliate

Blog Archive