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“Better than disney according to my Kids!”

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Earthshine Discovery Center
Springfield, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Better than disney according to my Kids!”
Reviewed June 24, 2012

We have been to Earthshine 3 times! And since we did disney this past spring my kids (ages 7 and 11) had something to compare and EARTHSHINE was the hands down favorite vacation. The staff is super engaging and friendly. and the food is wonderful. Our youngest has taken an interest in reptiles due to Steve, the naturalist on staff. Every staff member is there to make you happy and genuinely seem happy to be there. The rooms are clean and comfortable. and there are activities for the adventurous or you can spend your days just relaxing.

As soon as we pulled in the drive way my kids got out of the car and started hiking and couldn't wait to see the staff members that they consider friends. I enjoyed resting on the porch before dinner, reading my book and enjoying the view.

Sample menu from our week: salmon w/hollendaise, BBQ ribs and chicken, Chicken pot pie, pork chops for dinner. Breakfast was eggs, grits, chocolate chip pancakes, blackberry pancakes, blueberry pancakes, sausage, bacon, biscuits with gravy ALL HOME MADE. and the deserts were decadent.

We are already planning our next trip to earthshine!

and make sure to pack extra clothes! you will get dirty!

Room Tip: All the rooms are equally good but if you have a particularly large family ask for the bear den or s...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Dawn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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58 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Jacksonville, Florida, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 31, 2012

My husband and I always have a hard time trying to find the right vacation spot to please our large family. Earthshine was great! Although, we only took three of our five children on this trip we plan on going back with the whole family and a few friends. The staff were amazing and adjusted well with the different ages of the kids. I highly recommend Earthshine for anyone seeking outdoor adventure!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Deena T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, South Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 26, 2012

We spent a lot of time trying to find a vacation location where everyone might be happy. We have 2 kids, 17 and 4. They both enjoyed all their waking moments and didn't want each day to end. This is a mountain top lodge, for sure. Rustic, outstanding views of mountains, meadows and wildlife. Staff is outstanding, lots of excellent activities and things to do, TONS of great country-style food and fun for all ages. If you're an outside-type person, you're in heaven. If you're not, you will still enjoy the serenity of the place.

We booked the Memorial Day weekend. The days were great. At night, there were more fireflies than I've ever seen before. This is so much of a must-do, we're already excited to book this place again in the future IT'S WORTH THE VISIT!

Room Tip: Ask for a mountain-facing room with a balcony. These are typically for guests with more than 2 peop...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank gwwalsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Athens, Georgia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2012

I took my college students for an eco-tourism field trip last Fall and was very impressed by the Earthshine's amazing facilities, courteous staffs, and delicious foods. If you are looking for a family vacation destination and want to give your kids an educational exposure (e.g., knowing history of native people, understanding/appreciating nature, leadership development, team work etc.) this is the place to go. Many of my students described the experience as "Best Trip Ever". In fact, after reading the best seller book "last Chile in the Wood: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder" by Richard Louv, I was looking for a place like Earthsine to bring my own kids.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank Neelam P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Athens, Georgia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed November 7, 2011

It was an unexpectedly great trip to the Earthshine Mountain Lodge. I was expecting a lot less and I was pleasantly surprised by amazing service, friendly people, incredible scenery, great food, and an overall wonderful experience!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank 777JaneB777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2011

Used the experience to bond with my thirteen year old "Grandson Tyler". We stayed for i night only, but the Lodge were able to be flexible and managed to squeeze in full activities.
We enjoyed High Ropes, Water slip & slide, Scavenger Hunt, Zipline, River Hike.
Tyler especially enjoyed meeting Steve and his collection of friends in the "Rabbit Hole", this nature education room is excellent for inspiring teenagers.

The room was comfortably "rustic" though showing a bit of age. The food was great especially the unlimited PBJ sandwiches and drinks. Great thing is once you are there no need to open your wallet.
The staff without exception were just exceptional, majority being there for many years.

Room Tip: We were able to request a noon check in and a late check out, due to mid week timing. This enabled...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank 2Jolly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2011

This place is magic! Staff is very kind and do their job with love and care. I honestly thought when I found this place that it was to good to be true. However, it ended up being the best vacation ever without one down side!
I think we will go, year after year after year after year.....

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sylvie E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Earthshine Discovery Center

Property: Earthshine Discovery Center
Address: 1600 Golden Rd, Lake Toxaway, NC 28747-5717 (Formerly Earthshine Mountain Lodge)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Mountains > Lake Toxaway
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Lake Toxaway
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Remember that sense of wonder and adventure that gave childhood its magic? Well, get ready to feel it again. Escape to a storybook place guaranteed to exceed your expectations. Your family can unplug and reconnect with one another in an environment free of digital distractions. Earthshine is "unforgettable." ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Earthshine Mountain Hotel Lake Toxaway

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