Are you still trying to figure out where to take the family this summer? Are you eager to try something different besides the beach? If you answered yes to those questions then I have a unique getaway for you that would be perfect for a family vacation this summer. It is Asheville, North Carolina.
Nestled in the Blue Ridge mountains and about a six-hour drive from Richmond this funky western North Carlina mountain town has lots to offer. My family went there last summer and absolutely loved it. Here are some unique things we enjoyed on our getaway:
1. Cute Shops and Great Food
Asheville’s downtown area is amazing and is full of so many adorable shops (the jewelry options were incredible) and tons of cute cafes and restaurants. Park your car and you could easily spend a day just walking around downtown. One of our favorites was Double D’s, a coffee shop in a double-decker bus! Board the bus, order a drink and sit on the upper level of the bus to enjoy a fun coffee experience. Can you imagine how much fun my then two -year had on the bus?! Another spot that was one-of-a-kind was a cafe offering Indian street food called Chai Pani. They served americanized Indian food and it was delicious. The downtown area also has some rooftop bars with sweeping views of the mountains. We had a happy hour experience like no other here at one of the hotel’s rooftop lounges. The list could go on and on from cool breweries to a board game cafe! Asheville’s downtown definitely delivers on originality.
2. Swimming in the Mountain Streams
Just a short drive from Asheville and your family can splash around in the mountain streams. A super fun activity we did was visit Sliding Rock. Sliding Rock is a waterfall about 45 minutes from Asheville where visitors can slide all the way down the waterfall into a plunge pool below. This activity is geared towards older children that are good swimmers and can bear the nippy mountain waters. Wait your turn and slide down the slippery rocks into the icy mountain waters. Talk about a rush! Once we finished at Sliding Rock we found another spot right off the road where there was a mountain stream people could swim. My daughter didn’t care about the cold water at all and loved splashing around in the refreshing stream. Definitely a lot different from the warm ocean water but a nice change and no worrying about jellyfish!
3. Music on the Streets
Another perk of the downtown area is seeing musicians playing right on the street. As you breeze in and out of shops and restaurants the streets are filled with the sound of music. We got to experience a lot of bluegrass music for free. My daughter loved these little impromptu concerts. Asheville definitely has some amazing talent.
4. The Biltmore Estate
Probably the most recognizable attraction in Asheville and one that is definitely worth a visit (it is a bit pricey though) is the Biltmore Estate. America’s largest estate is not just for adults as there are numerous ways kids can explore this amazing place too. Kids can enjoy a guided tour of the estate, an ice cream parlor, a toy shop with old-fashioned toys and games, a petting farm, and a playground all in one day! While visiting the estate, Mom and Dad can enjoy some wine at the Biltmore winery while the kids sip on complimentary grape juice. Definitely a wonderful experience for all!
So, if you want to take a break from the beach this summer, consider checking out Asheville, North Carolina. It really is a city that won’t disappoint and would be a unique getaway for your family!