By Lynn & Cele Seldon
Known for its moniker of Foodtopia and a thriving beer scene, Asheville, N.C. is now sweet on bees and honey in a big way. So, visitors to Asheville should put the sweet stuff on their menu as a ‘honey do’. Best of all, Bee City USA’s thriving bee and honey scene is easily explored.
For all things honey and bees head to Asheville Bee Charmer, with hotspots in the heart of bustling downtown and in eclectic West Asheville. Co-founders and owners Kim Allen and Jillian Kelly have curated shops that highlight honey through informative tasting bars featuring free tastes of dozens of honeys from around the corner and the world. It’s only natural that they also carry lots of honey (including sought-after local sourwood honey), beeswax candles, apparel, cookbooks, beekeeping gear and more.
Next, head downtown to the original location of Tupelo Honey Café where an order of freshly made biscuits is served with honey. Known for their oh-so-southern fare, there are 10-plus Tupelo Honey locations.
More tastes of Asheville’s honey scene can be found on other restaurant and bar menus including a local cheese plate with honey at The Market Place; honeyed beets at popular Early Girl Eatery; Burial Beer’s Pollination Honey Saison; locally poured honey mead from Bee & Bramble and Fox Hill Meadery; and the refreshing Penicillin #3 cocktail that pairs apple pie moonshine and honey ginger syrup at Nightbell. For dessert—or anytime—City Bakery brews up a sweet tasting (and smelling) lavender honey latte, while beloved French Broad Chocolate Lounge features cashew honey caramels and lavender honey truffles, both made with local wildflower honey.
It’s not on the printed list of services but those in-the-know ask about the soothing honey oatmeal soak for sensitive skin at Grove Arcade’s Wake Foot Sanctuary & Shop. At the renowned Omni Grove Park Inn, the subterranean spa features a Sourwood Honey Body Wrap.
With a variety of accommodations options, historic Reynolds Mansion Bed & Breakfast Inn is the sleeping sweet spot at the end of the day. Co-owner Billy Sanders is a busy beekeeping evangelist with many hives on the grounds and his honey on the table for the flaky biscuits (and so much more) come morning.