Three Days in Asheville, NC with Kids

 chimney rock top

Today I am joining Monday Dreaming with Mara over at Mother Of All Trips.  We just got back from a three day trip to Asheville, North Carolina.  You might be wondering why I am dreaming of returning for another three days in Asheville.  While I was at the Type  A Conference (which was an incredible conference and I have notes and notes to share with you over the next week), my husband and kids explored Asheville.  Although I was glad to be at the conference, as I look at pictures of their adventures I also wish I was able to join them.  I guess we will just have to return so I can take part in the hiking, kayaking, and wandering!

Three Days in Asheville, North Carolina

Day One – The Great Outdoors

chimney rock

Day one began with breakfast in the hotel.  When we look for a hotel, we try to find one that offers breakfast because it helps with the budget!  Make the drive to Chimney Rock State Park.  Chimney Rock State Park is a place where you can spend just a few hours or all day.  My family spent practically all day here!  They hiked both the Hickory Nut Falls Trail and the Great Woodland Adventure trail.  They also explored the nature center.  After a long day of hiking, they just grabbed something quick to eat and headed back to the hotel for some pool time.

Day Two – More Outdoor Fun


On day two, they loaded up with more sunscreen because they were going to go kayaking!  Originally, the plan was to check out Rafting with My Kids but it was about an hour away from the hotel and after their long day yesterday he decided it probably wouldn’t be a good idea.  Instead, they decided to spend the day at the Asheville Outdoor Center.  They spent the morning kayaking the one hour trip.  Both kids got to paddle themselves and my husband said he didn’t really have to do much of the work! 

Know Before You Go: There are several kayaking, tubing, rafting and paddle board options.  They chose to do the one hour kayak option.  Daddy J said the kids had just started really enjoying themselves and then it was over.  He wished he had done one of the longer trips.

The Asheville Outdoor Center also offers gem mining but they decided to skip it because everyone was getting whiny for lunch.  After a picnic lunch in the car, they drove to the Western North Carolina Nature Center.  This nature center offers animal exhibits and hands on learning activities throughout that kept my family busy for several hours.  After dinner, we headed to Pritchard Park to catch a drum circle.

nature center

Day Three – Around Downtown Asheville

After a conference session in the morning, I met up with the family to explore Downtown Asheville.  We hit downtown right at lunchtime so we had a hard time getting into one of the local restaurants.  As we walked past a Jimmy John’s sandwich place, I recalled a friend talking about how great it was.  We had lunch there and for the first time in a long time my family ate their lunch without one complaint!  After lunch, we walked across the street to the Pack Place Education, Arts, and Science Center and played at the Health Adventure*.  The Health Adventure is a children’s science museum with hands on exhibits that entertained the kids for three hours while mom and dad were able to relax.  We have been to lots of children’s museums and although this was one of the smaller ones, it kept the kids entertained the longest!  When we got tired of playing, we wandered down to check out the splash pad in front of the Courthouse and then it was time to head home for dinner!

Spending that third day with my family and looking at the pictures have just made me want to return to Asheville to spend more time exploring the outdoors with them.  More in depth posts on each activity will be posted soon!

 *Disclosure: We were given free admission into the Health Adventure because I was a Type A Conference attendee.


  1. 1

    This sounds so great – I admire your restraint in not sneaking away! I feel the same way you do – Asheville really is a great spot for a family vacation and I’d love to get us all there together.

  2. 2

    I wanted to go to Type A just so I could go back to Ashville again. It is beautiful there. We went when my kids were younger and LOVED Biltmore Estate. Oh.MY. We weren’t sure how the kids would handle it since they were younger, but they loved it too. It is on the top of our all time favorite trips, which may not be saying much because we really have a hard time narrowing that list down. I’ll never forget that while we were on our Rooftop tour my son looked at one of the gargoyles and proudly proclaimed, “Look Mom, the gargoyle is mooning me, I see his butt crack!” Out of the mouths of boys. 🙂

  3. 3

    Sounds like everyone had a good time. Glad you were able to enjoy Asheville.