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Day trips for multi generation family from England?

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Asheville, North...
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Day trips for multi generation family from England?


We moved from England to Asheville this year. Have family visiting and what to explore beyond Asheville too, day trips are best. We range from 3 months old to 88 years old! So no big hikes, or perhaps a good seat with a view for the oldest and youngest!

Went to sliding rick, looking glass falls already.

Ideas inc, mount mitchell, grandfather rock, chimney rock, blowing rock, gatlinburg, cherokee (the villages and casino). Any good loop drives, which of these best to get feel of area?

Requests from family are to see bears, see native americans, good views, fun attractions, nice food, people etc! Thanks

Chapel Hill, North...
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1. Re: Day trips for multi generation family from England?

Hi Jukes,

I'll respond and bump your question back up as I see no one else has had a chance to yet.

We usually go up to Boone/Blowing Rock from the Triangle area. I think Grandfather mountain (www.grandfather.com) would be a very nice day trip and you could check off your requests for good views and bears there. You can drive up the mountain to near the top to the Mile High Swinging Bridge. Folks who want to can cross over the bridge (foot bridge) and folks who aren't into heights can enjoy the view from the other side. The bridge is handicapped accessible now. If you go into the gift shop in the back there are elevators that will take you up to bridge level and then there's a "bridge to the bridge" that is wheelchair friendly so if grandma/grandpa wants to do it, but can't negotiate the stairs she/he can give it a go.

There's a nice nature center with animals in natural setting enclosures. The bears are usually pretty easy to spot. Sometimes the otters and mountain lions are harder to see, but if you can time it so you're there when they do enrichment activities you will get some great views. They also have deer, which used to be hard to spot, but have had such a population explosion in the last decade or two, and eagles that have been injured and can't fly anymore. The youngest would probably love the animals.

They also have a nice museum that would be easy for the oldest to get around.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is just stunning in the fall, but will be crowded. I'd definitely recommend doing some drives along it, but just be prepared for crowds in the fall.

We enjoyed visiting the Orchard at Altapass (http://altapassorchard.com) just off the parkway a few years ago. They do a storytelling hay wagon ride and tell about the history of the area. They often have music as well as apple picking. Great apple picking around Hendersonville, too, and I don't think the apples at altapass are the real draw, but the story-telling, etc, was great. I mean, great apples, too, but you've got some closer by near Asheville.

Your family might be interested in Tweetsie (www.tweetsie.com). It's a small theme park with a train ride. My kids love it.

HTH, and hope someone from Asheville will chime in with more recommendations!

Clemmons, North...
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2. Re: Day trips for multi generation family from England?

Hi Jukes, pancho's recs are good, as are the things you already listed in your post. You should also search the Asheville and NC Mountains forums for more ideas, and google "visit NC mountains" for lots more. I'll toss out a couple more suggestions:

You can take the Smoky Mountains Expressway (from Asheville, take I-40 west, then US 74/23). This takes you by the quaint mountain towns of Waynesville, Sylva, Dillsboro, and Bryson City, all of which are worth a stop for the shops/attractions. The Great Smoky Mountain Railway is also fun, especially when the autumn leaves are turning colors (I think the Bryson City/Nantahala excursion is the best).

Check out Cades Cove (just across the line in Tennessee), where you're likely to see the elk herds that were re-introduced into the area. And of course the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is full of interesting sites for all ages.

Have fun exploring!

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3. Re: Day trips for multi generation family from England?

My Son was married at Biltmore Estate it's in the village of Biltmore just a short trip from Ashville and well worth a visit.

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4. Re: Day trips for multi generation family from England?

A neat place to visit for the day and have lunch is Black Mountain which is about 15 miles E of Asheville. I love Farmer's Markets so I suggest you visit the Asheville market.

Western NC Farmers Markett………………….


Cary, North Carolina
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5. Re: Day trips for multi generation family from England?

Visiting Black Mountain is a good idea - lots of nice shops and restaurants - nearby there is the tiny town of Montreat, which is beautiful and has some short hikes, and is nice to just walk around.

If some of the younger folk want a big more adventure, definitely recommend river rafting - Nantahala area has tons of it.

For certain you want to include the Blue Ridge Parkway in your plans - it's great for anything from a great drive, to some short hikes or a picnic at certain spots.

Fortaleza, CE
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6. Re: Day trips for multi generation family from England?

The "village" of Biltmore is a collection of shops and restaurants, and a hotel, on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate, adjacent to Asheville. The actual Biltmore home is well worth a tour (not cheap, but enjoyable). There's a visitor's center and a crafts center on the Blue Ridge Parkway just east of Asheville. We quite enjoyed the trolley tour of Asheville (learned a lot about the city's history). Our favorite town in the area was Brevard, known for its waterfalls, and its white squirrels (we neer did see any of the squirrels).

Edited: 1:21 pm, September 16, 2012
Raleigh, North...
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7. Re: Day trips for multi generation family from England?

If you are planning for the Fall, check out the festivalse.g. the Wooly Worm Festival in Banner Elk. I also highly recommend a visit to Linville Falls which offers spectacular scenery and is reasonably accessible. It is a short distance off the Parkway and could be worked into a trip to grandfather or Blowing Rock.

8. Re: Day trips for multi generation family from England?

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