There is no better way to pass a dreary winter afternoon than vacation planning for spring break or summer, so, lets do this.
Blowing Rock, NC
We can’t bear to let a summer go by with out visiting Chetola in Blowing Rock, NC. Chetola is a old-school mountain resort in the mountains of North Carolina. It is a 2.5 hour dive from Raleigh (perfect). It is a great location for couples or families with children ranging from babies – I’m not sure because we haven’t maxed out yet.
The Chetola resort offers three kinds of accommodations: a very fancy Inn, a hotel, and lots and lots of 1, 2, and three bedroom condos. We always stay in the condos. (but once we were walking though the Inn, and Dolly held the door open for a worker and they returned with a warm cookie they were distributing to the rooms, so warm cookie fancy) Chetola is perpetually offering stay 2 nights, get the 3rd free, which is their best deal. Each condo has a full kitchen. I LOVE being able to make simple breakfasts, and pack lunches (or dinner) allowing us to eat out one GREAT meal a day. Always my ideal situation. And there are lot of excellent restaurants in Blowing Rock — nice pay off. You can see the condos when you are booking on line. They are individually owned and decorated so each one is different. They are not fancy but very cozy and clean with a nice vibe. Very enjoyable.
People around us pull fish out every two minutes (and I am for once not exaggerating on this) and we’ve caught ONE in all our visits! What is wrong with us, we don’t know. Same bait, same poles.
The grounds are, by far, the best part.
- Indoor swimming pool and hot tub
- Tennis Courts (bring your own rackets or rent them)
- Lake with canoe and paddle boats (where you sit and pedal with your feet, yes?)
- Fishing in a stocked pond (bring your own gear or rent)
- Walking and biking trails
- Spa (massage, pedicure etc)
Miraculously no one has ever fallen out of a boat here, though we’ve had some close calls.
In addition they have several family programs at night where they provide the supplies, you provide the kids. S’mores by a campfire where they bring the fixings, firewood, water, and baby wipes, yes, please. Fishing lessons, where someone else can be held responsible for the fact our family can NOT catch fish, I can see the beauty in it. (we do our best to make up for it with crabs!)
- Outlet shopping
- Grandfather Mountain
- Numerous hikes
- Stocked fishing lakes (if you’re staying at Chetola you won’t need these)
- Tweetsie Railroad Amusement park
- sooo may good restaurants that are extremely accommodating and welcoming of children despite being NICE.
There are many fantastic restaurants, but two I must mention. Not to be missed.
Storie Street Grill. Modern American, all time favorite. Ask to eat on back patio if weather is nice — more room for the kids. They don’t have a kids menu but will happily split entrees or sandwiches for them (And then you get to taste more food — a great gift of parenthood)
Comeback Shack. A burger joint, possibly our favorite ever. Hit it on the way in or out of town (or both, yes!)
An interesting note about Blowing Rock is they are VERY enthusiastic about children. It seems everywhere we go people are stopping us to tell us what a blessing children are, how happy they are we have them (?) and this doesn’t happy in many other cities (I’m sure this is surprising to you, no.) Its actually kind of fun once you get over how unusual it is.