We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Do-able or too much, part II

Which Asheville hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
mt. pleasant, sc
Level Contributor
58 posts
42 reviews
Do-able or too much, part II

My family will be traveling to Asheville from Charleston, SC for Thanksgiving. It’ll be my husband and I, our kids (15 & 12, boy & girl) and our dog. While none of us are total “marshmallows”, my daughter and husband are definitely the most active and in-shape. Another factor is that my daughter can get extra credit in social studies for doing reports/presentations on “personal field trips” to historic properties so I want to make sure we can cram in as much as possible!

On Thanksgiving day, we have reservations at the Grove Park for dinner at 2:30. I know we’ll want to get to GPI early to walk the grounds and see the gingerbread houses. I remember getting some beautiful photographs of the kids when we were here 3 years ago. We have friends who will be there as well (their dinner isn’t until 4:30, though) so we’re trying to squeeze in some time with them.

Trying to figure out what to do after lunch/dinner-time, as I know most places won’t be open. I had thought about trying to fit in a hike, but sun sets so early and I don’t want to get stranded in the dark. Ideas?

OK – Friday night we have 6:00 dinner reservations at the Biltmore and entrance to the Candlelight Evening tour (8:00). This comes with day-time admission to the grounds and winery. I don’t know if we want to plan to spend most of the morning afternoon at Biltmore, then go back to the house and rest up/clean up before dinner. I see we can take our dog to the grounds, but of course not the winery. I think we can let the kids walk Stella around while we go in the winery so that won’t be an issue. I just don’t know how much time we’ll want to spend there.

Additionally, I was thinking of trying to fit in a visit to the Western North Carolina nature center, maybe first thing Friday. It is so close to the house we’re renting. If we do that first thing, maybe have lunch (thinking of Roman’s) then pick up Stella to visit Biltmore grounds and winery, will we be leaving enough time? We’ll have to get back to the house (near WNCNC and GPI) to dress and drop off the dog before getting to our 6:00 dinner.

Lastly, Saturday, we’ll be packing up and heading to Clemson for a football game. Depending on game time, I think we’ll be able to take a scenic drive and stop by DuPont State Forest or Caesar’s Head State Park. I really want to do the DuPont State Forest and had originally thought of trying to stop on the way up, but will probably have to wait until Saturday.

Lake Mary, Florida
Level Contributor
228 posts
177 reviews
1. Re: Do-able or too much, part II

I read your other post and felt you were trying to cram in too much activity in such a short time. Weather will be a big factor on the BRP anyways. What you are describing is a lot of driving which eats up a lot of time. Dupont State Forest in closer to Hendersonville / Brevard area, not in Asheville. Carl Sandburg house is on the other side of Hendersonville. I would plan to spend a few hours in both places + drive time. I would combine Dupont State Forest on the same day as the Carl Sandburg house. If you forgo Dupont SF, then drive into downtown Hendersonville and browse the cute shops. Biltmore - in Asheville is another 2 hours + drive time - so that is your day if you include breakfast and lunch. Closer to Ashevilile is Craggy Gardens - maybe combine with Biltmore. We are frequent travelers to this area and have experienced all you describe. Have fun whatever you plan, but enjoy this area.

mt. pleasant, sc
Level Contributor
58 posts
42 reviews
2. Re: Do-able or too much, part II

Thanks, VickeyandDanny.

I hadn't originally considered road closures on the BRP. I have mapped routes on the way up and on the way back towards Clemson, and can reasonably hit DuPont Forest on the way up (a little backtracking from Sandburg's) or back (on the drive to Clemson. Would you recommend it over Caesar's Head?

I felt myself trying to cram in too much. I often get carried away when planning trips; but it is one of those things - we may not pass this way again!


Level Contributor
704 posts
22 reviews
3. Re: Do-able or too much, part II

Hello Tracie,

I read both of your posts and came to the conclusion that you sound just like a mom! We like to plan, plan, and then plan more. Which as I have gotten older (along with the rest of the family) I've given up to an extent. Since it never seems to work out entirely how I had wanted now I just find several things that I, or others may be interested in in the area that we are headed and if time allows, or if interest is shown we then end up at whatever destination that is chosen.

The only other thing I was going to say happens to do with the game on Saturday. I know the time hasn't been announced as of yet (for some reason I think it will be an early game) but why not take your daughter for a couple of historic properties tours right there on campus (for extra credit).


Have fun on your trip!

Go Clemson!

mt. pleasant, sc
Level Contributor
58 posts
42 reviews
4. Re: Do-able or too much, part II

We already went to Fort Hill -- had never even noticed it before this year! It was really cool to see the house and understand the historical connections between the founder of Clemson and John C. Calhoun.

I think seeing Andrew Pickens's home and the Treaty Oak marker would be worthwhile.

Thanks for your response.

Asheville, North...
Destination Expert
for Asheville
Level Contributor
1,102 posts
58 reviews
5. Re: Do-able or too much, part II

So much of what is possible is weather-dependent and Thanksgiving could be gorgeous in the 60's or could be snowing. The WNC Nature Center has both native and other wildlife ( red wolves) but its not going to hold the attention of teenagers very long. My favorite parts of the Biltmore Estate are outside..the history, architecture and engineering involved in the carriage steps up to the Diana lawn or the huge greenhouses and Conservatory below the gardens, for example, So I like to spend a lot of time outdoors during the day, but that's no fun if its cold , raining or snowing. Caesar's Head SP has a great view from the overlook, but not much else. Dupont State Forest has easy-moderate trails which take you to at least three different major waterfalls. Your 12 yo can pretend she's Katniss Everdeen .

mt. pleasant, sc
Level Contributor
58 posts
42 reviews
6. Re: Do-able or too much, part II

Thanks for the info on the WNC Nature Center and Biltmore grounds. I think we'll shelve the Nature Center in favor of spending more time exploring the grounds at the Biltmore. We were there about 3 years ago and enjoyed the gardens and greenhouse, etc. but haven't seen the winery or Antler Hill area.

Looks like - if the forecast holds - we will be blessed with lovely weather.


7. Re: Do-able or too much, part II

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 5:18 am, November 30, 2013