Asheville with Little Ones
I dedicate this post to my friend Veronica and her little one.
Are you thinking of taking your little ones to Asheville, North Carolina? You should! This area is perfect for kids. There is lots to do for kids and the whole family. So let’s start planning your trip.
Where to Stay
You are going to want to book a cabin and not a hotel. To get the full mountain experience for your kids, I suggest you rent a cabin through AirBnB.com, VRBO.com, or homeaway.com. This give you a change to get into nature with your kids!
Everyday we would take a walk around the cabin roads and “pick up treasures”. These “treasures” were fall leaves, acorns, rocks, pine cones and other native nature objects that we were able to teach our kids about. We live on the beach, so this was something new and exciting to them. We reviewed shapes and colors as we picked up treasures and got some fresh mountain air!
Now you want to venture down from the mountain cabin into the local towns. Asheville is a bustling city with lots to do and great places to eat!
Where to Eat & Drink
A great place to get that morning pick me up is “Old Europe Coffee & Pastries” . It does have an old “european inside asheville” feel to it. I’m not sure which is better, the brewed coffee or the pastries. There are savory breakfast pastries that are freshly baked each morning. There are also sweet treats like the “made fresh daily” macaroons! We tried the chocolate and the strawberry and they were heavenly.
I have to mention another coffee shop called “World Coffee” & Sky Bar. They serve coffee from all over the world in every type of form you can imagine. They also have the sweetest cinnamon roll you’ve ever licked! Grab a strong cup for yourself and a treat for the kids! *Bonus: they have many dairy free options!
One of the best places that I found to grab a bite to eat was a place called “Farm Burger”. This place only serves grass fed fresh ground beef. I hear the burgers are delightful but I was more interested in their crazy salad. It’s called the Superfood Salad with farm goddess dressing! It has lacinato kale, roasted carrots, caramelized onions, dried cranberries, golden beets, tahini dressing, honey cinnamon pecans, and sprinkles of nutritional yeast on top! It was like eating the rainbow.
*ALSO WORTH MENTIONING*
There is a kid friendly play area inside the restaurant where the walls are chalkboard and the area is sounded by bar tables for the parents to sit and watch the kids. It was pretty incredibly genius and every restaurant should have this!
(As you can see it used to be a bocce ball court but when I visited they were already painting and constructing it into a kids area.)
What to Do
Just outside of the main city is the Asheville WNC Farmers Market. This huge indoor FREE farmers market is a true farmers market. Real farmers, with dirt still on their overalls will sell you the freshest produce and meats you can find. There are also artists that sell all kinds of crafts. It’s important to teach kids where their food comes from and how hard farmers work to provide our food!
For some upscale shopping and restaurants, check out the Grove Arcade. This is a beautiful indoor mall set in an architectural gem right in the heart of the city! It reminded me of Union Station – simply gorgeous! My kids enjoyed being indoors on that cold day that we were there. It was warm and toasty in the mall. It also had the cleanest public restrooms.
Do your kids like to make noise? Mine do too! Kids are more than welcome to join the weekly Asheville drum circle. Every friday night 6p-9p, weather permitting, there is a public drum circle that meets in Pritchard park. It is more active in the summer and early fall, and after 7:30pm. Everyone is welcome to bring an instrument or a drum and join in on the public musical experience.
If you are looking for a way to calm down your children, there is a wonderful salt cave in the downtown Asheville area. They host a Kids Quiet Play Session on Sunday mornings. It’s from 9am – 9:45am. Inside of the “cave” there is a giant man made salt room. With 20 tons of pure pink salt, they have sustained a perfect climate by maintaining the specific temperature and humidity levels found in a naturally occurring cave.
The salt in the caves come from three mines in Poland, from over 500 meters below the earths surface. It is anti-bacterial, uncontaminated by dirt, and is free of toxins and pollutants. The health benefits are astounding. For a full read on the caves and the healing properties (and how they benefited my family) CLICK HERE to read my post.
You can also book private sessions in the caves, couples massages, yoga, sound healing, reiki therapy or my personal favorite – the Kids Quiet Play Session. My kids loved it. They definitely came out with a more calm demeanor and Daisy’s wet cough cleared up the next day.
The small SMALL small town of Black Mountain is just 20 minutes outside of Asheville. It’s perfect if you are looking for a more country antique type of town. The downtown area has a small park and few street shops to walk down. They are beautiful and the antique stores are unique. Be sure to write your name in the sign in book at the Cherry street Antique store.
The general store will make you feel like you’ve time traveled to the 1940s! There are toys from older eras that kids are encouraged to try out. There is also an ice cream shop across the street called “Kilwins” that will let your kids try every flavor with incredible patience and service! The fresh waffle cone was really good. Overall, the little area of Black Mountain is worth passing by with the kids.
Be sure to drive through the Pisgah National Forest and the Blue Ridge Parkway! There are visitor centers with kids activities and MANY hikes to try out. There is one particular hike that is perfect for families. It’s the hike to Catawba Falls. The hike is short and non strenuous.
I highly recommend it for anyone, from little kids to the elderly! My kids hiked the whole way! (Says this proud Momma!) Round trip is less than 3 miles, but the falls are magnificent! You can’t believe that something like this is hidden in the forest.
Just take a look! (Put this address into your GPS to find the beginning of the trail: 3074 Catawba River Rd, Old Fort, NC 28762)
Are your kids more indoorsy? Make a stop to the Asheville Museum of Science. It’s brand new! It’s seriously cheap! The entry prices are promotional right now, Adults are $6, kids are $5.25, children under 3 are free. Learn about the Appalachian forest, planets, dinosaurs, and more.
*There is a tourist attraction in Asheville that I did not visit but its worth mentioning because every told me to do it. The Biltmore is a breathtaking old mansion with 30+ rooms that are perfectly preserved. It’s the largest “home” in America.
The entire estate is about 8000 sq feet. It’s very pretty and a lot of people get married here. It costs $75 to get in, so we passed. It didn’t seem like a fun activity with a 2 yr old and a 4 yr old for the price. But maybe when they are older, we will go back and spend a day exploring the grounds.
With all that there is to do in Asheville, North Carolina you might forget to do the most important thing: Stare mesmerized at the natural beauty of the smokey mountains. Each sunrise and sunset is special.
Teach your babies how important it is to put your phone down and just stare in silence at God’s beautiful creation.