I want to tell y’all about one of my favorite little mountain towns that you and your kids are gonna love,
Blowing Rock, NC!
Though our trip was this past October, it’s still a great time to post b/c the town opens back up for tourists in the spring and what’s almost as good as fall in the mountains?….SPRING in the mountains! Fresh air, blooms, cool breezes, you need to just get yourself there!
From Charleston, Blowing rock is just 4 hours away so it’s pretty central to folks living in the middle of the state yet close enough for us coastal folks.
The big attraction that led us to go with our kids is first on my list…
1.Tweetsie Railroad. I’m always so surprised at how many people haven’t actually heard of this little kid friendly theme park atop a mountain. We first took our son when he was just 3 years old, then went again this past October when he was 6. He loved it equally as much each time and this time our 3 year old girl enjoyed it as well. They have actual cap guns for sale there that give off actual smoke when there trigger is pulled. The kids love that and it’s a fun souvenir to keep to remember your time there.
We always love the petting zoo which is at the top of the mountain. You can always start there and work your way down.
My FAVE of Hallie feeding goats:
My daughter always has a pair of pink cowboy boots on hand. Yours will fit right in with their own pair of these 🙂
You might also like Hilton Head & Bluffton Get Away
The train runs on actual steam and takes you back in time to watch a fun gun show along the side of the mountain. There’s a chairlift that takes you to the animal section plus other fun rides, a ferris wheel, shows, restaurants, a fun little jail to play in and so so much more. Your young kids will love this magical little place and you’ll make some amazing family memories at this adorable park.
2. The town of Blowing Rock. The town itself is full of shops and restaurants and quaint places to stay down each of the side streets. The last time we were there, we grabbed some ice-cream at Kilnwins and watched the little kids perform music playing various instruments right along the walkway in the middle of the town.
BONUS** The kids will love you for taking them across the street and letting them roll down the hill. There’s also plenty of seating and a playground for some outdoor down time.
3. Gem Mining! There is a place right in Blowing Rock where you can do this or, you can venture over to Boone and do the one on that side of town, Foggy Mountain Gem Mine. Either are great. We did the one in Boone, b/c we were over in that area for the day already. You purchase a bucket of rocks and mine through to find the good ones(I suggest just one big bucket per fam, the $70 one is big enough.)
We kept our rocks in the bags they gave and the kids played with them constantly when we got back to the room. I wish we had brought along an actual rock box to keep it all organized and less messy. I later found these on amazon but you know now to go ahead and take some along if you plan to go gem mining:
4. Valle Cruces Mast General Store-This place should def. be a stop on your list of things to do. Creaking old wood floors, vintage candy, ice-cream, soda, something for everyone! I linked to the store in Valle Crucis, not the one in Boone, so take note of that.
5. Cascades waterfall & trail! This was by far my favorite thing we did on this trip. The trail is easy, just a one mile loop, with fun little bridges, a creek and steps along the way. There are photo ops galore!
The middle photo here is the park I mention at the end(bass lake)!
Any of these photos are available as prints! Just message me for info: firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Blue Ridge Parkway! Go at sunset for the most stunning views! Morning is a great time as well, but nothing will beat that beautiful mountain sunset. From blowing rock, take a right onto the parkway and then take the first lot you come to for a perfect spot to view it. It’s called Thunder Hill Overlook
These photos are from the morning on the parkway. I was so bummed I forgot my camera the one night we watched the sunset.
7. There’s a beautiful little park right in Blowing Rock called Bass Lake that’s worth an evening walk around. We walked, took some photos, and came home with some leaves for their growing leaf and rock collection. The foliage in the fall was simply gorgeous so I can only imagine spring around this lake. But, if you are there in the fall, grab a pile of those leaves and have a leaf fight!
Where to stay? All 3 times we have gone to Blowing Rock, we have stayed at this cute little Inn called The Homestead. It’s right in the heart of the main street area tucked down one of the side streets though so it’s away from the bustle. You’ll be within walking distance of anything you need to do within the town….like eat, coffee,shop, and play :). There are several other Inn’s similar to it, but you can’t beat the rates at this quaint mountain Inn.
So, plan that mountain trip! Spring, fall and I imagine even summer there is pretty pleasant. Tweetsie is open all summer as well as everything I listed above! There’s tons for a family to do there.
Get on your way!
Tickle: Cascades trail
Tickle: Leaf throwing at Bass Lake
Tangle: Chairlift at Tweetsie
Tickle: Cascades Trail
Tangle: almost overflowing the tub at the homestead
Tickle: almost overflowing the tub at the homestead 😉
Tangle: Not eating at Daniel Boone Inn this trip