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Apr 9, 2013 07:34 AM

Asheville - Savory Thyme Cafe in the NC Arboretum Mini-Outdoor Adventure

Parking is $8 in the NC Arboretum. Located in the Education Center, the Savory Thyme Cafe is a nice place to rest and recoup after walking around the grounds of the NC Arboretum. They serve simple and delicious sandwiches and salads, and cold and hot drinks. The gluten free chocolate cookie is to die for! I think this cookie is what Chowhounds would appreciate most. Everything else is but good but not complex. You order at the counter and then wait for your name to be called, or depending on how busy they are, your food to be brought to your table. There is inside and outside seating. With a two day advance order, they also have a lunch box option which might be fun for a picnic or if you have a large group. I've heard there is some connection with the Green Sage, but I'm not sure. Here's a link to the cafe:

To avoid paying the $8 parking fee go on free parking day which is the first Tuesday of every month or you can park in the Bent Creek River & Picnic Park and hike into the Arboretum (From Asheville take 26 East & take Exit 2 - go left at light on to Brevard Road & travel 2.4 mile - see the Bent Creek River Park on the left). Go to the north end of the parking lot, where Bent Creek empties into the French Broad River. Look upstream and locate the blue blaze that leads under NC 191 and beside Bent Creek. Follow the path to the Blue Ridge Parkway on-ramp. Cross the road into the Arboretum. Instead of walking up the road, there's a trail to the left of the Arboretum Gatehouse that leads to the main buildings, but you should probably ask for a map and directions at the Gatehouse as it takes a few twists and turns. The hike to the Savory Thyme Cafe in the Education Center is about 1.5 miles. Here's a link to the NC Arboretum trail map:

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