Packing up our family of six (two adults, two kids, and two dogs) for our first adventure since moving to South Carolina, we decided to hit the road and head to Asheville, NC.
Heading Northwest, from Charleston, up I-26 W just over four hours away lays this small mountain town that acts as a fantastic backdrop for exploring. With all that is going on, being stuck at home for so long, and just in need of a change in scenery, this was the perfect place to start. It was the perfect distance that it felt like a true adventure!
On our way to Asheville, we made sure to include some stops so that we could stretch our legs, allow our two dogs to explore and eat along the way. Our first stop was the Battle of Musgrove Mill State Historic Site, our third South Carolina State Park out of 47, where we ate lunch, hiked the 1.0 mile British Camp Trail and learned along the way. Honestly, I wish we would have planned to stay longer. When you walk the 1-mile path, it takes you to the stream and you can walk out on the rocks. The kids didn’t want to leave. You can even get fishing rods from the park to borrow and get in some fishing while you are there.
From there we made our way into North Carolina to Sky Top Orchard to pick our own apples, indulge in their apple cider doughnuts, and sip their hard cider in both apple and cherry. *Tip: get the donuts last. Make your way around the orchard, get your tickets to use the apple cannon, purchase a basket that you can fill with apples, and walk around. The view is amazing and so many opportunities for amazing pictures. There are also ducks and other animals to see and feed down by the cannon.
Then, after the kids are done picking apples and you have all you need, head to the big playground. My suggestion is to have someone watch the kids and the other person go get donuts and hard cider. Sit at the picnic tables, eat and drink up and watch your kids have so much fun while you fill up for the rest of the trip.
From there we headed to Pisgah National Forest where we took in the natural wonders of Looking Glass Falls and Sliding Rock. Honestly, this was kind of a lot to do in one day. We were getting to the point of exhaustion but I really wanted to fit in as much as we could. You can easily get in Looking Glass Falls and Sliding Rock at the same time and both are absolutely worth it.
After that, we picked up dinner from the Universal Joint Asheville to take to our Retro Camper that we booked through AirBNB. I never imagined that a camper would be my first choice but I thought it could be super fun and different for the family.
The next day we went to the Biltmore Estate, which was such a highlight of our trip. It was absolutely breathtaking. We opted out of the audio tour because, with two younger children, I wasn’t sure what they would take in. Instead, we read of the pamphlet that came with it and walked into each room and talked about what we were learning. The Biltmore Estate itself could be an all-day trip. You can walk, bike, see animals, go to the winery, explore, eat. You can literally do everything there.
However, we wanted to continue exploring and my husband loves a good beer so we left and went into downtown Asheville where we went to Wicked Weed Brewing for dinner and a nice beer and cider. From there you can take a quick stroll up the street, see shops and stop for dessert at the Double D’s Coffee & Desserts. It is a big red double-decker bus with a super cute outdoor eating space.
The last thing we did on our trip but honestly, the most memorable was the hike to Craggy Pinnacle. You can put Craggy Pinnacle in your GPS and it will take you right where you need to go. You drive way up to the top of the mountain and then you get out and hike by foot to the top. There is a little space at the top where you can sit, take pictures, and just take in the amazing view. The kids, who originally whined about hiking all the way to the top, got to the top, saw the view, and were amazed themselves.
Looking back, I would have brought up some drinks, a snack, and sat there to watch the sun completely set. It was by far one of the best views I have ever seen. It was magical.
The trip was great and after we got home we had the kids journal all that we did. They are still talking about the views from the mountain and the time they went down the natural waterslide.
If you want to see more pictures and videos from our trip, you can go to my Instagram account @farindoran and click on my North Carolina highlights!