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a photograph of layers of mountains that are darker in the foreground and then progressively, with each layer, get brighter and bluer. The sky is vibrant pink and has a long, thin cloud in it. In the very center are a few small dots that are the roofs of homes and a small green field.
Sunset along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, NC!

Authentic Asheville is a camper van travel blog that focuses on travel in Asheville, North Carolina, and beyond. It’s also meant to be used as a resource for those interested in the Ram Promaster City van with a Wayfarer Conversion Kit. Articles include camper van DIY ideas, tips and tricks, trip recommendations, gear reviews, best places to eat and drink, and LGBTQ+ safe spaces.

Caroline Whatley and Erin McGrady are the duo behind Authentic Asheville. We are digital nomads who work as photographers, writers, and content creators.

Welcome to our van life travel community!

Asheville Adventures

The best things to see and do in Asheville, North Carolina.

Erin McGrady sitting in ENO's SkyLoft Hammock in the meadow area at Highland Brewing in Asheville, NC. She is wearing a straw hat and is holding a cup with beer in it and offering one to a blurred out hand in the foreground.

Best Places to Hammock in Asheville, North Carolina

There are so many fun things to do in and around western North Carolina. The region has miles of scenic trails, moreContinue reading “Best Places to Hammock in Asheville, North Carolina”

photograph of some of the best murals in Asheville, North Carolina

Best Instagram Spots in Asheville

One of our favorite things to do when we travel is to find murals. It’s fun to walk around and discover themContinue reading “Best Instagram Spots in Asheville”

Camper Van Life Adventures

Stories and ideas from the road!

How to Choose a Van for Van Life

Ready for a new adventure? One that involves travel? And possibility living out of your van? We’ve spent many, many hours discussing,Continue reading “How to Choose a Van for Van Life”

back of a ram promaster city van with a DIY van life bed

The Best Camper Van Bed is a DIY Bed

On our most recent van life adventure through Canada in our Ram Promaster City Camper we left our Exped Sim Comfort DuoContinue reading “The Best Camper Van Bed is a DIY Bed”

DIY Van Life Screens

DIY Van Window Screens

They say necessity is the mother of invention, right? Such was the case for our DIY Van Window Screens. We spent aboutContinue reading “DIY Van Window Screens”

Recent Adventures

Come explore with us!

a woman in jeans, red shoes, and a blue windbreaker leans towards a Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0 fire pit to put a log on. The fire is coming up out of the pit and is on blacktop with an outdoor patio and white house behind it.

Solo Stove: Bonfire 2.0 Review

We recently had the opportunity to test out Solo Stove’s new Bonfire 2.0! This is the latest version of the already very popular smokeless fire pit. Keep reading to see our thoughts on this cool piece of outdoor gear in our Solo Stove: Bonfire 2.0 review. What are the Specs of the Solo Stove’s BonfireContinue reading “Solo Stove: Bonfire 2.0 Review”

lobster rolls on a wooden picnic table, outdoors.

Best Lobster Rolls in Asheville, NC

Though Asheville, NC is a destination for foodies, you may be thinking that in the mountains it would be hard to come by delicious seafood. Luckily, if you though that, you are wrong! In this post, Best Lobster Rolls in Asheville, NC, we’re sharing our top spots for eating one of our favorite things. BabyContinue reading “Best Lobster Rolls in Asheville, NC”

a photo of downtown Hendersonville has a wide angle photograph of the water fountain as the focus of the photo. There are green trees behind it and a brick building off to the left. Cars wait in line and some are parked.

Best Things to Do in Hendersonville, NC

While Asheville has a ton of fun things to do, there are also a handful of really fun small towns nearby. Weaverville and Black Mountain are two of our favorites. Keep reading to see another spot, also just a short drive from Asheville, that we enjoy visiting: Hendersonville! Best Things to Do in Hendersonville, NCContinue reading “Best Things to Do in Hendersonville, NC”

Gear Reviews

Our top picks for camper van travelers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Erin McGrady is rolling a blue Coleman Atlas 65-Quart Cooler down the middle of boardwalk that extends out into the water. She is looking out at the water and is wearing jean, a black t-shirt, a green beanie, and a red backpack.

Review of the Coleman Atlas Series 65-Quart Cooler With Wheels

Hey y’all! We’re back at it again with another gear review. This time the piece of gear we’re taking a look at is the Atlas Series 65-Quart Cooler With Wheels. Keep reading to see why we think this cooler is perfect for your next vacation, tailgate party, or sideline soccer game. Specifications Width: 22 inchesHeight:Continue reading “Review of the Coleman Atlas Series 65-Quart Cooler With Wheels”

Erin McGrady and Caroline Whatley are laying on two teal blue sleeping mats. On top of those mats are sleeping bags. The one on the left is lime green and the one on the right is bright blue. Erin is on the left, Caroline is on the right. They're inside of a camper van and on top of wooden boxes. The doors are open and they're laying down facing one another.

Sea To Summit Sleeping Bag and Mat Review

In this post we’re going to share our thoughts on the latest Sea To Summit Sleeping Bags and Mats. Specically, we’re taking a look at Sea To Summit’s Altitude AtII Sleeping Bag, Ascent AcII Sleeping Bag, and the Comfort Light S.I. Self Inflating Mat. Up until now we’ve been using Kelty’s Double Wide Sleeping BagContinue reading “Sea To Summit Sleeping Bag and Mat Review”

Best Van Life Gear Under $50

Through trial and error, we’ve found some gear that makes life on the road and in our van not only easier but more enjoyable. Though we’ve done other gear posts before such as the 9 essential pieces of gear you need for van life, this is the first one where every item on the listContinue reading “Best Van Life Gear Under $50”

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