High Times: A Family-Friendly Guide to Asheville

From outdoor adventures to the behemoth Biltmore Estate, Asheville is tops for traveling with tots and a great spot to keep cool. Read on for our picks for this pinnacle of family fun.

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Soak in the Scenery 
Chimney Rock State Park is just 25 miles from Asheville and well worth the short drive. You and the kiddos will love the beautiful scenery, walking trails and even a gorgeous waterfall. And bonus points for efficiency; you just crammed a lot of mountain beauty in to one day trip!

Details: Chimney Rock State Park, 431 Main St., Chimney Rock, NC, 828-625-9611, chimneyrockpark.com

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Set Up Camp 
The Brookstone Lodge makes a lovely base camp for your brood. It’s located near the Biltmore Estate, but is just a hop, skip and a jump (or a short drive) away from the Blue Ridge Parkway and situated close to downtown Asheville’s many attractions. What we love about the Brookstone, is that it’s lovely amenities would be perfect for a just grown up getaway, but it’s fun, family friendly demeanor is evident. You’ll find families splashing in the indoor pool and plenty of kiddos in line for a waffle at their free breakfast buffet.

Brookstone Bonus: Two words: Fun Depot. Yes, this hotel is next door to a kids dream come true: golf, climbing walls, laser tag, arcades and much, much more. ‘Nuff said.

Details: Brookstone Lodge, 4 Roberts Rd., Asheville, NC, 828-398-5888, brookstonelodgeasheville.com 

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Go Wild
Has your kiddo been asking, “What does the Fox say?” What about wolves, bobcats, cougars and coyotes, too? Western North Carolina Nature Center hosts over 60 species of animals native to Southern Appalachia and will bring your little critters face to face with wildlife.

Details: Western North Carolina Nature, Center75 Gashes Creek Rd., Asheville, NC, 828-259-8080, wildwnc.org

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Grab a Bite
Your kiddos might think they are in heaven when they get a load of Asheville Brewing’s Millroom, a dine-in movie theater which serves up yummy pizza, burgers and nachos, and for mom in dad, you guessed it, hand-crafted micro brewed beer! You’re always sure to find a family friendly flick, and if this was not good enough, guess what; the patio is dog friendly too!

Details: Asheville Brewing, 66 Asheland Ave, Asheville, NC, 828-255-4077, ashevillebrewing.com

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Treat Time 
Head over to Mast General Store and step back in time. Restored to its1940’s heyday ambiance, here you will find over 500 old-fashioned candies, toys and perfect souvenirs. Much more than a candy pit stop, you have to put this on your list of must-dos for its uniquely North Carolina charm.

Details: Mast General Store, N. Carolina 194, Valle Crucis, NC, 828-963-6511, mastgeneralstore.com

Have any Asheville favorites? We’d love to hear in the comments below.

—Candice Rose

Photos courtesy of Asheville’s Fun Depot, Chimney Rock Park, WNC Nature Center and Mast General Store via Facebook and Mark N. via Yelp

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