We took the kids to North Carolina in October for a trip and we fell in love. The fresh, cool air, lack of cell phone service and ease of being outside on hikes had our hearts in full on swoon mode. When we asked the kids where they would want to go for a summer trip, the immediate response of “mountains in NC” had us booking the trip! We decided to try out the Blowing Rock/Boone area this time because we visited for one day in October and we loved it. The food scene was great (that is a big factor for us!) and there are tons of things for us to do as a family. We booked the trip and it was pure magic.
Our drive was almost 8 hours, but thanks to my sweet mother-in-law, it was made much easier by a care package she created for Evan and Edie. Each hour, on the hour, the kids opened up a small package. She had highway bingo, dry erase boards, connect the dot or word search books, stickers, snacks and pokemon cards for them. They couldn’t wait to see what was next and the drive literally flew by.
We made it to Blowing Rock just in time for our 1:30 PM lunch reservation at The Village Cafe. It is the cutest little restaurant tucked back behind the main road and the food was wonderful. I ended up getting a veggie omelette, but the real star was the homemade toasted fugasa bread. This bread melted in your mouth and was absolutely wonderful!
After lunch, we headed to our cabin in the mountains! Here is the cabin that we rented: Carolina Cabin Rentals- Top of the Rock. It was the most magical spot- we woke up in the clouds and had the best sunrise and sunsets. We would absolutely rent the same place if we came back to this area.
I am not going to breakdown our trip day by day, but will share the food and activity highlights for you!
Things to do:
- Park hop! We hit so many different parks while we were visiting. The kids thought that it was so much fun to run around and check out new places. Here are our favorites:
- The weather wasn’t fabulous when we were there, but we managed to do two hikes with the kids. They are both kid friendly and safe.
- Visit all the fun Mast General Store’s
- We did the one in Boone and Valle Crucis. The kids came home with Jacob’s Ladder’s and mood rings. These shops reminded me of stores that I went to growing up and we had such a great time looking at all the toys, kitchen gadgets ( I got a peanut butter mixer!) and books.
- Doc’s Rocks Gem Mining
- The Children’s Playhouse
- This is the most incredible indoor play space. It was a little young for Evan, but they had a rock climbing wall downstairs that he loved. It poured down rain the day that we went here and it was ideal to keep them kids having fun and playing.
- Foggy Pine Books
- Cutest bookstore we have ever seen. They have fresh brewed coffee, new books, used books and two kittens that live there: Oscar and Jane. The kids kept begging to go back and we found the most unique books there.
- Bolick and Traditions Pottery
- I am obsessed with ceramics and pottery and this shop had such a variety of different pieces. Just loved this shop and the owner so much.
Where to eat:
- Juice Boone
- This was such a find! We had beautiful pitaya bowls, green smoothies, cookies and cream smoothies, ginger shots, raw balls, pressed juices and even some Coconut Cult yogurt! I could have moved into their swinging hammock and never left!
- Local Lion
- Homemade donuts (they make everything as a gluten free option, too!) and incredible coffee. Parking was kind of tough, but worth it! We loved the lemon cream donut and the maple glazed donut the most.
- Stick Boy Bread Company
- Incredible breads, coffee, baked goods and smoothies. This place was a FIND! I got their in-store ground peanut butter, beautiful pottery mugs and my best friend a bag of coffee. I could have spent all morning in there. Would 10/10 recommend this place to you guys!
- Our Daily Bread
- We ended up here two different times for lunch. The service is wonderful and loved all the incredible plant based options. Also, the magic bars are a must! They are the most decadent dessert square ever! We had one and brought one to my mother-in-law. While we ate there, I had their vegetarian chili one day and it was SO good. The spice and seasoning were spot on. The next time we ate there I had the loaded lentil soup. Heaven.
- Melanie’s Food Fantasy
- We lucked into this spot thanks to a recommendation from a friend. This restaurant supports what is locally grown and available and in-season. I had an incredible herbed omelette with stewed apples and toast with apple butter. The herbed omelette had a blend of fresh and dried herbs with diced tomatoes. It was such a flavorful blend. Adored each bite!
- Lost Province Brewing Company
- This was a fun place to go with the kids. They have and open kitchen with huge oven for pizzas and they have windows on the second floor that look down on the actual brewery. One thing I learned on this trip was that when it comes to food in boone and blowing rock there is a huge emphasis on what is in season. For dinner here, I had the wood fired green beans with some kind of a mild chili and their “seasonal side” was a sauteed chard with cabbage and dried cherries with almonds. Simple flavors but really well done! Michael loved the beer selection here, too.
- Wild Craft Eatery
- We ate outside at this incredible restaurant! The menu was INSANE! So many fun options for the plant lover in me. Michael and I shared the yellow garam masala curry over jasmine rice. The curry flavor was spot on and the veggies were perfect! We tend to share meals out a lot because we end up leaving feeling a lot better than if we both ate our own plates. Also, we always know there is more food available if we need it, so rather than waste food by over ordering, we share plates a lot when we travel. Especially when bringing home leftovers isn’t really an option.
We left our hearts in NC after this trip and when we woke the kids up to go home, Edie cried. She was not ready to leave our little spot on the big mountain and I wasn’t either. Hope that this post helped to answer many of the questions that I had during and after our trip. If I left anything out that you want to know about or have any questions for me, just let me know!
Happy Tuesday, friends!