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Old 09-23-2013, 05:07 PM   #1
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Default Ideas for Day Trip to NC Mountains

Thinking about taking my wife and 3 year old (almost 4) up to the NC mountains on a weekend day in October. We usually have the funds to do a 3 to 4 day trip to a friend's cabin we rent in Saluda, NC, but we don't have the funds to do so this year. So looks like a day trip will be all we get to do. We like to enjoy the fall foilage, pick apples (usually Hendersonville off 64), and do easy outdoor things because of the little guy. I'm just wondering what other fun activities we can do in only a day's time. We'll probably leave early morning and get back late night, so that will at least give us a little more time. Not looking to drive more than 3 hours each way. Haven't been much further than Asheville in a long while, and only been towards Western NC when driving to Gatlinburg area. Any decent hiking trails, waterfalls, fun kid friendly places, etc? Any ideas would be appreciated!
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Old 09-23-2013, 05:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ideas for Day Trip to NC Mountains

Grandfather Mountain-more than 3 hrs

Train rides

Head over to Tweetsie in Blowing Rock-more than 3 hrs but good family fun
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ideas for Day Trip to NC Mountains

I like the train rides too. Check out the Great Smokey Mountain Railroad. I've done the Bryson City to Dillsboro round trip and the one where you raft the Nantahala and take the train back. Both are fun, although the rafting might not be suitable for a young child and might be too cold depending on when you're going.

I enjoy Hendersonville too. The apple festival is good, although I think that's already occurred this year.
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ideas for Day Trip to NC Mountains

I've taken both the Tuckasegee River and the Nantahalia Gorge trips on the GSMRR. I recommend the Tuckasegee River trip because you travel through more open country and have a better view of the mountains.

Reservations can be made by calling the RR. All the info is on their website.

http://www.gsmr.com/

The drive from Lexington to Bryson City is about 220 miles, so allow 4 hours each way from Lexington. The train leaves at noon and gets back at 4:00. If you leave at 6:00 AM, that will get you there with plenty of time to park, have lunch, and check in for the train. If time allows, you can take in the Gift Store and Train Museum. They have a huge train layout that will keep your youngster spellbound.

Unfortunately, the steam engines are out of service, and it is doubtful they will be back anytime soon. The total cost to repair and rebuild them is just too much for the railroad to foot.
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ideas for Day Trip to NC Mountains

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Originally Posted by 2000grad View Post
Grandfather Mountain-more than 3 hrs

Train rides

Head over to Tweetsie in Blowing Rock-more than 3 hrs but good family fun
6 hours in a car with a 3 year old....that's brutal.
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ideas for Day Trip to NC Mountains

Brevard for the Brewery tour and also the Fish Hatchery which the kid will really enjoy. There are several short hike waterfalls nearby as well.

http://www.blueridgeheritage.com/att...enter-wildlife

http://www.oskarblues.com/about-us/oskarbluesbrevard/
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:39 AM   #7
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Default Re: Ideas for Day Trip to NC Mountains

dupont state forest near hendersonville... or pisgah national forest near bervard both have beautiful areas with pretty easy walking trails.. and they both have some nice waterfalls as well ... you could go up on the blue ridge parkway in pisgah too for some nice views ... one of my favorite bbq places of all time is in brevard actually... asheville has a neat downtown area ...but with a younger child dupont may be your best bet
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:26 AM   #8
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Default Re: Ideas for Day Trip to NC Mountains

Thank you all for the suggestions. I had already been looking into Pisgah and Dupont, but wasn't sure if I could fit everything in being that I have only one day. And by that time it will be getting dark earlier as well. Looks like Hwy 276 through Dupont and on up to Pisgah is a nice drive. Although instead of going all the way up to Pisgah, we can stay around Dupont and find some enjoyable trails/falls there, and then maybe I can hit Hwy 64 and take it to Hendersonville to get some apples. I think we went to that Grandads's Apples place not to long ago. It was fun but crowded as hell. Of course that's what I get for going on a weekend, but that's the only time we had and will have this year. I noticed Chimney Rock is on up 64 as well. Anybody been there lately? Looked on their website but couldn't get a feel on whether it was worth visiting or not?

The fish hatchery/wildlife, brewery, and railroad things sound pretty fun, but I don't know if I want to drive that far and be stuck doing that for too long. I guess I'm trying to stick to one general area and find multiple things to do. Again, thanks for all the great suggestions.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:13 AM   #9
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Default Re: Ideas for Day Trip to NC Mountains

fish hatchery is 30 minutes and you've done all it has to offer if that long, brewery tour lasts about 20 minutes and then you can either leave or go relax for a minute and drink the beer they produce and both of those are also pretty much free of charge
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:28 AM   #10
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Default Re: Ideas for Day Trip to NC Mountains

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Originally Posted by b381l View Post
6 hours in a car with a 3 year old....that's brutal.
I've done it...it's not 6 in a row. Try 8
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:54 AM   #11
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Default Re: Ideas for Day Trip to NC Mountains

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fish hatchery is 30 minutes and you've done all it has to offer if that long, brewery tour lasts about 20 minutes and then you can either leave or go relax for a minute and drink the beer they produce and both of those are also pretty much free of charge
Okay, so if the fish hatchery and brewery are in Brevard, then i should be able to take Hwy 276 up through Dupont, make a stop or two there for trails/falls, head on to Brevard, then back up Hwy 64 to Hendersonville for apples, and then decide what to do from there. Has anyone been through Greenville to get to 276? Don't think I've been that way before and I'm wondering if going up I-26 and then back down would be easier and quicker than going up through Greenville and/or Clemmons.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:56 AM   #12
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Default Re: Ideas for Day Trip to NC Mountains

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I've done it...it's not 6 in a row. Try 8
We are going to Disney for a long weekend the first week in December. That should be a fun ride. Making sure I have plenty of Scooby Doo and Jake and the Neverland Pirates movies. haha
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:13 PM   #13
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Default Re: Ideas for Day Trip to NC Mountains

Another possibility is the Biltmore House, especially if you have never been there when it is decorated for Christmas. That is a must see, and given all the decoration, the youngster would enjoy that. You can get discount tickets at AAA. The convenience to the interstate makes the drive there and back quite easy.
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:00 AM   #14
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Default Re: Ideas for Day Trip to NC Mountains

Wooly Worm Festival in Banner Elk, I went to school there, and its quite nice, and very young child oriented. It's Oct 19-20. Boone is also just a stones toss away. Plenty to see or do around there.

http://www.woollyworm.com/
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Old 09-25-2013, 01:13 PM   #15
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Default Re: Ideas for Day Trip to NC Mountains

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Originally Posted by kick_ball View Post
dupont state forest near hendersonville... or pisgah national forest near bervard both have beautiful areas with pretty easy walking trails.. and they both have some nice waterfalls as well ... you could go up on the blue ridge parkway in pisgah too for some nice views ... one of my favorite bbq places of all time is in brevard actually... asheville has a neat downtown area ...but with a younger child dupont may be your best bet
THIS...Dupont park is fairly easy trails for the payoff. Parts of both The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans were filmed there. Here is the link to their webpage: http://www.dupontforest.com/
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Old 09-25-2013, 01:50 PM   #16
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Default Re: Ideas for Day Trip to NC Mountains

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Originally Posted by SpuroftheMoment View Post
We are going to Disney for a long weekend the first week in December. That should be a fun ride. Making sure I have plenty of Scooby Doo and Jake and the Neverland Pirates movies. haha
Mine will be 7 and 23 months when we make the trip in November. I have some great ideas to keep them in the Disney moment while you are going down...depending on the age.

Shouldn't be a problem with your child's age
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Old 09-25-2013, 02:13 PM   #17
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Default Re: Ideas for Day Trip to NC Mountains

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