RVing in North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Mountains
Updated: Oct 21, 2021
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Being from Florida, we have vacationed many times in North Carolina; and while we repeated a few of our favorite haunts, we discovered a few new favorites this time around. There are so many things to do and see in North Carolina that our recommendations could be endless, so we have decided to compile what we have learned on this trip and on previous trips to compile one list that incorporates all of our favorites collected over the years.
We are going to start with where we stayed, which is now our top pick of where to stay when RVing in NC. The KOA Asheville East https://koa.com/campgrounds/asheville-east/. We selected a site on the lake in the back and decided to not have a site with full hookups, only 50 amps and water because they will come each morning with a honey wagon to empty your tanks. Not only was the site beautiful and campground situated close to so many places we wanted to go, but the service was some of the best we have received at a campground (Thank you Erica S for recommending this location to us). We were within an hour drive of most places we wanted to visit and the nearest town of Black Mountain is the next up-and-coming town in NC full of locally owned shops and restaurants.
Sites to see: Number 1 on our list is The Biltmore https://www.biltmore.com/. If you are planning to head there in summer, be sure to buy your tickets ahead of time as they tend to sell out every day. The tour of the house is interesting and provides some amazing mountain views, but we absolutely loved touring the grounds, gardens and trails on the property. Between the town of Biltmore Village and the Biltmore attractions, you could easily spend 2 days in this area enjoying all that it has to offer.
We are a family that loves hiking and the next on our list place to go is Dupont Forest https://www.dupontforest.com/explore/triple-falls/. This forest offers multiple hiking trail and waterfall options as well as a covered bridge that sits atop High Falls. The locations to explore the falls and take photos were plentiful. The trails were family/pet friendly and easy to walk. The most difficult part of the hike was the staircase back up from Triple Falls. Triple Falls is one of the largest and most impressive waterfalls I have seen on the east coast. Check out our YouTube video to see more. We were unaware of how many trails and waterfalls were available so we were not prepared to make an entire day of it and did not get to explore all the possibilities so this is a park we will definitely return to in the future.
Another great hike and waterfall was Catawaba Falls https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/nfsnc/recarea/?recid=81789. This was located very close to our campground and the favorite amongst our kids. There is not a single picture anywhere on the internet that does it justice and the images I looked at while deciding to go almost swayed me not to go. We stopped and picked up subs at the most amazing sub shop along the way called Old School Subs https://oldschooldelisubs.com/. A picnic table at the entrance allowed for a picnic before beginning our hike. The entire hike was filled with little spots to explore and enjoy with the waterfall acting as the grand finale. I will not spoil any of it so that you can enjoy this hike with 0 expectation just like we did.
If you have time for the drive, then Grandfather Mountain and Linville Gorge should be included on your places to see list. We love Grandfather Mountain because it offers so much to do, wildlife viewing, hiking, dining, gift shops, ice cream, amazing views and a suspension bridge for those with no fear of heights. Linville Gorge is also a great spot for waterfalls and gorge viewing. Parts of this hike and be a bit more moderate but most of it is easy and friendly for all ages.
There is one spot in N.C. that we love so much, we have visited there 6 times and that is the town of Chimney Rock. As we walked in to town we decided to stop at The Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery. How I have missed this place the last 5 times is beyond me. We picked up a beer at the window and then headed out back to sit on the patio overlooking the French Broad River. We made it no further the rest of the day. We sent out kids off to explore and enjoy ice cream while we sat there and dreaded the clock ticking away at how much time we would have left in this piece of heaven. We loved it so much that we stayed for dinner and begrudgingly peeled ourselves from our seats as it grew later and we knew it was time to head home. If there is one thing you do for yourself, it is to drive to Chimney Rock and visit this establishment. What a treat. There is so much more to do in the town of Chimney Rock such as visiting the park and taking the elevator to the top of Chimney Rock or Hiking to Hickory Nut Falls so if you plan to do any of this, then we recommend the brewery is your last stop.