suggestions for N. Carolina trip?

Old Jan 5th, 2006, 06:13 AM
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suggestions for N. Carolina trip?

We would like to go to N. Carolina this summer. We'll start our trip with a visit to relatives in Knoxville, then would like to spend about 4/5 days in the mountains, followed by about a week of relaxing beach time.

We will be traveling with kids, so we don't want to move too often. Looking for a small town in the mountains to use as a home base for that portion of the trip. Ideal would be a small, walkable town with some things to do in town and some things nearby. We like light hiking (kids again), small museums, old houses, any outdoor activities, good casual dining. We mostly just want to see this part of the country - it looks beautiful in photos.

Also looking for a beach town (would be willing to go outside of N. Carolina, maybe further south).

Any suggestions on where to start looking? Thanks
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Old Jan 5th, 2006, 06:16 AM
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The South Carolina beaches are much easier to get to than the NC beaches from the mountains of NC.

The Charleston beaches are just four hours away.

Asheville would be a good place to make your home base.
 
Old Jan 5th, 2006, 06:35 AM
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I agree about Charleston. As to the mountains check Brevard, NC. It is a small town with an easy access to I-26 which takes you directly to Charleston, SC. It is close to Asheville and Hendersonville and withinh easy drive from Knoxville, TN. From TN you can take a drive on Blue Ridge Parkway all the way from the Great Smoky Mountains NP. It is located right in the mountains close to the endless activities for kids including talking trees trail, forest trails (long and short), waterfalls, fish hatchery with special programs just for kids.
Are you looking for cabins, inns, B&B, hotels, motels? I don't know what's there besides Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express but my sisiter just moved there so I could ask.
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Old Jan 5th, 2006, 08:50 AM
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I was also thinking about Brevard for the mountains. Lots of great waterfalls and hiking around. While I have never driven from the mountains to the coast, since I live in the middle of NC, I think the others made a great point about SC versus NC. Charleston would be perfect. It has tons to do for adults and kids, but the beaches are generally peaceful and relaxing. Stay at the beach and drive into town when you want to do something else.
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Old Jan 5th, 2006, 09:32 AM
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Agree with the others about locations. Not too far away from Hendersonville is the Carl Sanburg house. To tour the house costs a couple of $ (under $5 I think).

Lots of waterfalls in the area.
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Old Jan 5th, 2006, 10:39 AM
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I forgot about Carl Sandburg's with the goat farm. When we visted there were many kids playing with goats. Isn't there a water sliding on a rock near Brevard and tubing?
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Old Jan 5th, 2006, 10:41 AM
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I should add that there is fee only for touring the house but trails and goat farm are free.
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Old Jan 5th, 2006, 01:32 PM
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Here's another vote for the Asheville/Charleston option. Arguably the best of both mountains and beach that the carolinas have to offer.

The Isle of Palms/Wild Dunes beaches are very near Charleston, and they are beautiful. Charleston itself is the best southern city. Period. IMHO of course
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Old Jan 5th, 2006, 02:56 PM
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Thanks for all the quick replies - you've definately helped me narrow the search.

To answer Pat2003, we would prefer a cabin or cottage, but not sure one would be available for less than a week stay. We'll have our three kids (ages 12, 8, and 3) with us.

The Sandburg home sounds great - we've seen his home in Illinois.
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Old Jan 5th, 2006, 04:08 PM
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you might consider Waynesville NC - about 30 min from Asheville - you are close to Great Smoky Park, Lake Junaluska and they have a wonderful public indoor pool w/ slide - great for kids. Also on the lake you can do paddle boat rides.
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Old Jan 6th, 2006, 06:57 AM
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Here's another vote for the Asheville areaand/or Charleston.
I'd recommend Black Mountain, NC. http://www.visitblackmountain.com/ It's a small town about twenty minutes out of Asheville. It's got coffee shops, art and crafts shops, antique shops, and restaurants yet is very small and walkable. It's within easy driving distance of a lot of attractions like the Blue Ridge parkway, Biltmore etc. I have to admit I didn't actually stay there when I visited - I was in Asheville - but I plan to stay there next time. I recommended it to friends who stayed at the Monte Vista hotel and liked it a lot.
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Old Jan 6th, 2006, 08:33 AM
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There is indeed a water sliding area. It is called Sliding Rock and is in the beautiful Pisgah Forest, just down the road from one of the areas most beautiful and accessible waterfalls - Looking Glass Falls. See the following for a photo: www.ncwaterfalls.com/sliding_rock1.htm
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Old Jan 6th, 2006, 01:19 PM
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Like Lisa I enjoy Black Mtn as well - they do have a small lake in town and a well-kept public pool adjacent to the lake which would be fun for the kids so add that to the mix for Waynesville vs Black Mtn
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Old Jan 6th, 2006, 03:39 PM
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I have two suggestions for a stop in between the mountains and the beach. In High Point, there is an excellent furniture museum, where you can learn about how furniture is made. Lots of hands on activities for the kids. In Asheboro, between Greensboro and Charlotte, is the N. Carolina zoo. It's one of the best in the country, very spacious with a beautiful setting against the pine forested hills of the piedmont.
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Old Jan 8th, 2006, 07:09 AM
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While the Zoo in Ashboro and the Furniture Museum are excellent attractions, they would be hours out of the way for buttercup.
 
Old Jan 8th, 2006, 07:23 AM
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If you are doing Asheville to Charleston, my suggestion would not work for you. However if you are open to another idea, you can take I-40 E from Asheville/Black Mountain to Winston-Salem just over 125 miles away. (I-40 runs straight from Asheville to Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach by the way) Old Salem is the premier tourist attraction in North Carolina. It is a refurbished (as opposed to built from scratch, you will see many of the original buildings) community dating from the mid-1700's. The majority of the buildings are staffed by artisans and guides in period costumes. All are very well versed in the period of the 1700-1900's. It is an outstanding opportunity to view living history. Within the same area are Bethania and Bethabara. These towns were first settled by Moravians coming down the Great Wagon Road from Pennsylvania. The settlements were planned carefully and well documented. The Old Salem area is on a much smaller scale than Williamsburg and is very manageable for a day's visit. If furniture is your thing the Southeastern Center for Decorative Arts in Old Salem is an exceptional resource. If you decide to put Winston Salem in your itinerary, please post a message. There are several of us who live nearby willing to offer suggestions of hotels, restaurants, and other points of interest. Enjoy your visit to North Carolina. It is a beautiful state.
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Old Jan 8th, 2006, 07:42 AM
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I should also mention the Children's Toy museum which abuts Old Salem. If you are just zipping through for the day there are two quite good restaurants very close by. Opie's in the old train station and for a somewhat more casual meal, Mary's Of Course. Directions to either can be obtained at the Visitors Center in Old Salem. See www.oldsalem.org For a great breakfast treat buy some Moravian Sugar Cake at the Winkler Bakery in Old Salem. Ollie's Bakery about a block away offers a wide range of European breads and desserts. Again, directions to either easily obtained at the visitors center.
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Old Jan 8th, 2006, 04:13 PM
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ttt
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Old Jan 9th, 2006, 10:08 AM
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Topping for Buttercup
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Old Jan 9th, 2006, 10:37 AM
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We've done similar trips--went to Knoxville to visit grandparents, then driven to Asheville. Just 25 miles outside of Asheville, your family would enjoy Chimney Rock. It has several hiking trails that are fun to do with kids. Also, there are stops along the Blue Ridge Parkway where you can hike down to the riverbeds.

We like the Black Mountain area near Asheville. In August they have a Sourwood Festival with outdoor BBQ, craft vendors, etc.

The Biltmore Estate is one of the main attractions in Asheville; however, admission can get pricey. The Biltmore Village is just outside of the estate and is a cute historic walking town with boutiques, galleries, and restaurants.
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