Despite beautiful mountain scenery and legends of many excellent things to do, Julie and I consistently drove through Asheville in the past without exploring the city. In hindsight, I do not know what we were thinking.
When the Explore Asheville and the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority invited us to stay and play in Asheville, we enthusiastically jumped at the chance. Because our accommodations turned out to be oddly named and a unique lodging option, we want to share our experience with you. All opinions are our own.
Wrong Way River Lodge & Cabins
So, where did we stay? We holed up in an A-frame urban cabin campground called Wrong Way Campground.
So, what is the story behind their name? It is a nod to the French Broad River, one of only a few rivers that flow north or the “wrong way.” The term also refers to the campground’s outside-the-box approach to lodging and hospitality.
What is an urban cabin campground?
Although a natural outdoor-centered property that focuses on sustainability, it is close to an urban area. For those longing to escape all signs of the chaotic world, an urban campground may not be for you. Some traffic noise fills the air from the adjacent road. It was noticeable but not disturbing or problematic in any sense. You get the best of both worlds with nature and proximity to popular attractions around the city.
Why is the Wrong Way Campground the Best Way to Stay in Asheville?
There are many reasons. Let’s take a closer look.
Gateway to City and Outdoor Adventure
As any realtor will tell you, it is all about location. Wrong Way grants easy access to many of Asheville’s main attractions, including:
- The French Broad River Greenway – across the street
- Haywood Road in West Asheville – 1 mile
- The River Arts District (RAD) – 1 mile
- Biltmore Estate – 2 miles
- Downtown Asheville – 3 miles
- Blue Ridge Parkway access – less than 10 miles
Wrong Way’s location also puts you close to many outdoor adventures, including mountain biking, rock climbing, paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing, whitewater rafting, and hiking. Some are within walking distance, such as a nearby climbing gym. Others are a short drive.
West Asheville, RAD, and downtown are renowned for cuisine, breweries, pubs, art, and music. You may need a caffeine jolt to keep going with so much to do. Although not as widely recognized, these areas house excellent coffee shops.
You can book adventures through the Wrong Way Experience Program. It is a long list of partners offering excursions like a mural tour, scavenger hunt, e-bike tour, whitewater rafting, or a tour of the Biltmore Estate. They can even assist you with voluntourism, where you help a local non-profit with a service project.
We have yet to encounter more helpful people on our trips. Staff members answered questions, provided recommendations, drew maps, and even gave us a number to call if we had questions after regular business hours.
To call Wrong Way a campground seems unfair. It has a campsite vibe, yet you have nearly all the comforts of home.
Step inside an A-frame cabin to find home comforts, including HVAC, high-speed WiFi, a private bathroom, a comfortable queen bed, a queen sleeper sofa, a workspace, a microwave, an electric kettle, and a mini-fridge.
Did you notice something is missing? That’s right. You will not find a TV in the cabin. Trust me. With so many things to do in the area, you will not need it. Julie and I now prefer accommodations without a TV when we travel, freeing us to enjoy our surroundings and time together.
If you are concerned about entertainment, each cabin has a record player and a stack of vinyl records, books, and games. Or, you can relax on your private balcony with a view of the French Broad River and its namesake greenway. It is an excellent opportunity to unplug from life’s daily stresses.
The property’s 16 tiny A-frame cabins immediately strike your attention with their beautiful woodwork and peaked roofs against a street in the foreground and a forest in the background. Chairs in the front yard surround a welcoming fire pit for casual evening chats.
“The Meadow” is an outdoor space at the back of the property, perfect for team-building activities or hanging out with family and friends. A fire pit, string lights, cornhole boards, chairs, and hammocks set the tone for a relaxing atmosphere. Yes, it is hard to fathom the city is a stone’s throw away.
River Lodge and Canteen
An event space, the communal River Lodge comprises an 850-square-foot room that comfortably seats 36 people for dinners or meetings and a separate eight-person conference room.
The Canteen, open from 7 am to 9 pm for guests and locals, operates as a gathering space, lounge, and grab-n-go store, carrying coffee and pastries in the morning, seasonally-inspired farm-sourced food throughout the day, a wide selection of local craft beverages, and other various snacks and supplies.
With a cozy cabin, private balcony, chairs around the fire pits in the yard and meadow, and handy snacks, beverages, and supplies from the Canteen, you can unplug from “the real world” and enjoy your vacation.
Julie and I stayed in a standard cabin and found the accommodations perfect for our needs. Each day, we found an adventure in or near Asheville. Then we sought an evening of leisure and relaxation at the cabin.
If you still cannot relax, Wrong Way has the solution, a hammock that stretches across your deck or balcony. A smile creeps across your face as you sprawl in the comfortable hammock. You may drift off into slumberland before you know it.
Wrong Way offers deluxe cabins with a wall separating the living room and bedroom for those wanting more privacy. Rather than an elevated balcony, the upscale room has a private back deck facing the meadow. Overall, a deluxe cabin yields more privacy and comfort.
Wrap-Up: Wrong Way Campground
Asheville offers various experiences for both outdoor enthusiasts and city lovers. Wrong Way Campground is the perfect base camp regardless of your interests due to its comfortable accommodations, friendly staff, proximity to the city’s main attractions, and many outdoor adventures. Soak up Asheville’s charm and the warmth of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and enjoy the “river life” along the French Broad River. With so many positives, their name should be “the Right Way Campground.”
Featured image credit: Miles with McConkey
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