Updated: Jul 19
I get it - planning a family vacation can be stressful! From making sure you packed enough snacks to baby's favorite stuffy, the list is long before you even begin to think activities. Who really has time to research activities? So that's where we are here to help...
We are a local family who loves to spend our free time exploring all that the surrounding cities have to offer so we can pass the best suggestions off to you.
Updated in February 2023, here is my current favorite obsession when it comes to packing a weekend full of activities in when staying Marion, NC:
Brackettown Farms - This one does require a bit of thinking ahead - BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. A private, non-profit petting zoo, just 8-miles from camp. You don't want to miss the opportunity for this up-close-and-personal tour with Miss Nicole and all her furry friends! Your family will be talking about the close encounters for days!
Brackettown Farms - for reservations: 828-925-1070
Marion Wing Company - wings, craft beer & mac ’n’ cheese…what more can a family ask for!
Dive right into camp life with a bonfire and s'mores!
Breakfast (and some optional entertainment):
Lucky Strike Breakfast & Gold Panning - Just 2 miles down the road you can grab a tasty diner breakfast and try your hand at striking it big!
Cedar Creek Stables - One hour and one and a half hour trail rides through the creek and on wide mountain trails. One Hour-$50. 1.5 Hour-$70
Roaring Fork Falls + Buck Creek Trout Farm make for a full day of adventure...
Roaring Fork Falls - Easy to reach falls that's extremely kid and dog friendly. About a half mile hike leads to 100-foot cascades.
208 Busick Work Center Rd, Burnsville, NC
Dinner + Entertainment Packed into One:
Buck Creek Trout Farm - The catch-out pond is a wonderful place for family fun; catch your fish and eat it too. They provide fishing poles, and bait. This is fun fishing for any age or skill level. No fishing license is required.
Buck Creek Trout Farm : 74 Rainbow Trout Dr, Marion, NC 28752
Simply grab a chair, relax with a cold one and let the kiddos play in the river; grill out dinner and call it a day! We love having our guests hang around and enjoy the grounds!
Want to catch a quick hike before jetting out of
Tom’s Creek Falls - a simple 1.5 mile (very easy) round-trip hike to a beautiful 80-foot waterfall. Great for a family hike!
Tom's Creel Falls - Toms Creek Falls Trail, Marion, NC
Some other honorable mentions, these may be a bit farther than you're looking for, but on the chance you're in the area anyway, here are some of our other absolute favs:
WhistleHop Brewery - Located in Fairview, just south of Asheville, you can actually take a very scenic 1-hour drive through back roads to get here. Located amongst a couple old train cabooses, this is the brewery of all breweries when it comes to family entertainment. There is a rotating food truck, but more importantly your kids will stay entertained for hours with: a soccer field, corrugated pipe slide, mini putt putt course, giant yard games, and so much more. It's our go-to when we want to relax and the littles need to get our the wiggles!
Hands On! Children's Museum in Hendersonville - For a rainy day, this is a no brainer. With an indoor water table, "Tiny Kids Hike" to an indoor slide, tons of STEM activities and more, all children will be entertained! Even my 14-month old was engrossed in the water table for at least two hours.
Summer and Fall, The Orchard at Altapass is a don't miss! Pick your own apples or enjoy their freshly baked apple pie. Most Saturday and Sundays they have live music in the pavilion from 2-4pm. Visit their website for ongoing activities. Orchard at Altapass (pictured below):
Linville Caverns - Courtesour and experienced guides take you into the subterranean world, giving you the history of the caverns and allowing you to view the grand work of nature. They invite you to experience the beauty of these age-old mountains from the inside!Read about the experience on Kidding Around Greenville's Website
If you make it there, it's worth the drive over to Linville Falls as well!
Lake Lure Beach - Public beach surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. Admission: Adults $10, Kids 4-12 $8. Kids under 4 - free. More info here.
WNC Nature Center, Asheville - daily animal programs, interactive Nature Play areas, and hands-on learning activities.
If you're looking for a family friendly camping or glamping vacation, look no further than Gold River camp + cabins. Located in Marion, NC, at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains and just 45-minutes from Asheville, we are not short of activities. If you need additional suggestions, don't hesitate to reach out, I have activities to recommend in Chimney Rock, Lake Lure, Hendersonville, Burnsville, Asheville, Morganton and Hickory - all within an hours drive!