One of our family goals for this year had been to travel more, together. With that in mind and knowing that a new school year was coming, we packed up and headed on our annual #BlueSummerTour and made our way from the Florida coast line all the way to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and back again. With our oldest, Aliyah, spending time in Michigan with family, we thought is was the perfect excuse for a family adventure to go see her (and cheer her on in her horse camp and horse showmanship competitions, that girl has a serious love for horses!).
While we’re serious lovers of water, we just can’t imagine driving through the mountains without staying a bit for more of those sweeping views of the Smokey Mountains. Though our stay was just a quick overnighter, hiking was at the top of our list… in my opinion, it’s the best way to take it all in! Here’s a quick recap of our trip to Asheville, NC.
We’re so grateful to our friends at Omni Grove Park Inn for making this stop in the mountains possible. We’re always fans of Omni properties for our family travel and hadn’t yet made it to this particular location… it’s stunning! And of course, with all the hiking, climbing, chasing and swimming we do with our wee ones, having a comfortable place to rest and refresh is key.
(Now that’s some good sleep!)
Of course, our first stop was the closest hiking trail, and Craggy Pinnacle Trail in the Great Craggy Mountains was sure to deliver on those sweeping views we were after! It’s just a 20-30 minute (or so) hike to the top under a canopy of tree cover. The boys did great with it, hopping over tree roots, rocks and steps, while I carried Aria up in our Chicco carrier. At each clearing they would ask if it was the top as the views were already gorgeous, but our famous words for the afternoon were, “almost there!” I’m glad I had Aria close to me, because once we made it to the top, the edges came quick and fast! I think next time we’ll pack a little picnic and enjoy the views a little longer.
In town is the cutest main street, teaming with good food, delicious dessert and great vibes. After dinner at Farm Burger, we ventured into French Broad Chocolate Lounge for dessert and coffee…. both I highly recommend!!! There were SO many places to try, and honestly, finding good food is one of the highlights of travel for me; I just wanted to stay and eat all day!
The next morning we ventured on a little trail hike (okay, really it was a walk) and made our way to the pool, all the while enjoying the mountain views. I have to say, there’s just something about being out in the fresh air with my family, taking in the sights of this world around us… it reminds me of how small we are and yet how blessed we are. It opens us up to perspective, culture, grace and change.
Here’s a little look at our quick 24 hours in Asheville through our Instagram Stories!
Side note: We’ve been on the hunt for another vehicle lately (our last one was getting really unreliable!). A big thank you to Kia Motors that let us give this Kia Sorrento one big test drive for the trip. We loved it, and in fact, we loved it so much, we ended up getting one of our own after this trip!!! Crazy right?
Is traveling with kids tiring? You bet it is! But I’ve also found that having these times and experiences together brings us closer as a family. We definitely have our own fair share of fiascos and cranky episodes, but they are always outweighed by the lasting memories!
We are looking forward to getting back to the Smoky Mountains soon! Have you been to Asheville? We were there in a whirlwind and I’d definitely like to make it back there… if you have recommendations, please leave in the comments!
While we received a complimentary stay at the Omni (one of our favorite brands of hotel properties) and partnered with Kia Motors for the road trip, all opinions and words are my own.