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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: JustGettingStarted1980 on June 01, 2016, 11:34:09 AM

Title: What should I see? Camping in Shenandoah and the Smoky Mountains!
Post by: JustGettingStarted1980 on June 01, 2016, 11:34:09 AM
Hello wise world traveling Mustachians!

Going on a camping trip with wife and 2 young boys age 3 and 5 pretty soon. Plan on spending 1 night in Shenandoah, and then 4-5 nights in the Smoky Mountains with Asheville, NC as a hotel base when we need to clean up a bit.

I'd love to hear some "highlight" recommendations from those of you are familiar with these areas.

Much appreciated,

JGS
Title: Re: What should I see? Camping in Shenandoah and the Smoky Mountains!
Post by: FLBiker on June 02, 2016, 08:39:42 AM
We got married in the Smoky Mountains, and my favorite hike was Chimney Tops.  The scrambling at the end might be a bit much for 3 - 5 year olds, though.  My daughter is just 1, so I don't really know what kids are capable of at that age.  It's still a great hike, though.  Porters Creek was also a very nice hike.

And Cades Cove was cool, but I hear the traffic can be crazy there.
Title: Re: What should I see? Camping in Shenandoah and the Smoky Mountains!
Post by: JustGettingStarted1980 on June 02, 2016, 12:56:50 PM
Thanks, will put those on the list.

Any "can't miss" stops in Asheville or local state forests?

Title: Re: What should I see? Camping in Shenandoah and the Smoky Mountains!
Post by: Melf on June 02, 2016, 01:34:40 PM
Mount Mitchell is a neat stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  It's just north of Asheville.  It's a pretty short, paved hike from the parking area up to the observation area at the top so the kids should handle it with no problems.  Beautiful view for miles around if the weather is good.  It's the highest point east of the Mississippi. 

Downtown Asheville is pretty neat too for looking around.  The Grove Park Inn is just outside of Asheville.  Beautiful old place if you like that kind of thing.  Of course, Biltmore Estate is there too but not sure the kids would be into that.  I've never been but my g/f has. Costs as much as an amusement park to get in these days I think.

Most of the campgrounds along the BRP are good.  You can find private campgrounds as well.  It's a lot of area to cover down that way though.  The closer you get to Smokey Mtn National Park, the busier the traffic normally gets though.....especially if it's around a holiday.
Title: Re: What should I see? Camping in Shenandoah and the Smoky Mountains!
Post by: JustGettingStarted1980 on June 02, 2016, 02:23:44 PM
Thanks, this is good stuff! Maybe I'll post some pics when I get back.
Title: Re: What should I see? Camping in Shenandoah and the Smoky Mountains!
Post by: davisgang90 on June 02, 2016, 03:22:29 PM
This site has tons of hikes in SNP, all over VA/WV/MD and they are adding NC too.  Highly recommend.  Ranks the hikes by difficulty, views etc.

http://www.hikingupward.com/

Title: Re: What should I see? Camping in Shenandoah and the Smoky Mountains!
Post by: chasesfish on June 02, 2016, 04:52:53 PM
Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway is nice.  Lots of things to do including some good, easy hikes.

Completely agree and grew up near the base of these mountains.  One note, this is 4 hours from Asheville, longer if you take the parkway
Title: Re: What should I see? Camping in Shenandoah and the Smoky Mountains!
Post by: Smokystache on June 02, 2016, 04:59:36 PM
Downtown Asheville is pretty neat too for looking around.  The Grove Park Inn is just outside of Asheville.  Beautiful old place if you like that kind of thing.  Of course, Biltmore Estate is there too but not sure the kids would be into that.  I've never been but my g/f has. Costs as much as an amusement park to get in these days I think.

Most of the campgrounds along the BRP are good.  You can find private campgrounds as well.  It's a lot of area to cover down that way though.  The closer you get to Smokey Mtn National Park, the busier the traffic normally gets though.....especially if it's around a holiday.

Agreed - downtown Asheville is great. So many restaurants and craft beer options. I've been to Biltmore - thought it would be silly, but it is amazing. This was pre-kids, so I'm not sure how your kids would react.
Title: Re: What should I see? Camping in Shenandoah and the Smoky Mountains!
Post by: JustGettingStarted1980 on June 02, 2016, 05:36:31 PM
Downtown Asheville is pretty neat too for looking around.  The Grove Park Inn is just outside of Asheville.  Beautiful old place if you like that kind of thing.  Of course, Biltmore Estate is there too but not sure the kids would be into that.  I've never been but my g/f has. Costs as much as an amusement park to get in these days I think.

Most of the campgrounds along the BRP are good.  You can find private campgrounds as well.  It's a lot of area to cover down that way though.  The closer you get to Smokey Mtn National Park, the busier the traffic normally gets though.....especially if it's around a holiday.


...one way to find out. watch out biltmore

Agreed - downtown Asheville is great. So many restaurants and craft beer options. I've been to Biltmore - thought it would be silly, but it is amazing. This was pre-kids, so I'm not sure how your kids would react.
Title: Re: What should I see? Camping in Shenandoah and the Smoky Mountains!
Post by: Dee18 on June 03, 2016, 02:59:00 PM
We loved eating at White Duck Taco, casual and not expensive.