Eight Ideas for Family-Fun Spring Break Day Trips and Short Getaways
For Asheville area students, this has been an unusual school year. Many have been relegated to remote learning and are stuck indoors staring at a computer screen for several hours a day. When the days are short and the weather frightful, these days can feel long and dark. Most of this list will focus on getting outside.
1. Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge
There is no shortage of fun to be had in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville, TN. There is also enough space in the area to maintain social distancing guidelines. A few of the spots you and your children will enjoy include:
- Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
- Ober Gatlinburg
- The Island in Pigeon Forge
- Gatlin’s Fun Center
- Gatlinburg SkyLift
- The Track
- So much more
Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are close enough that you do not have to spend all week in the area. You can save some of the excitement for next year.
2. Cade’s Cove
In the heart of the Smokies, a visit to Cade’s Cove almost guarantees you will see fascinating wildlife. You can drive the 11-mile loop and take time to stop and hike. It is important to read park guidance and practice safely, especially around the area’s many black bears. Cade’s Cove is in the direction of Gatlinburg, so you may want to make it part of your Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge trip.
3. Charleston, South Carolina
Founded near the turn of the 18th century, Charleston is replete with opportunities to connect to the history of our nation. It is less than five hours away; however, you can almost count on it being warm by the time we reach spring break. You can tour the city by horse and carriage, find plenty of great restaurants and shopping, and take an early-season walk on the beach.
4. Local Day Hikes
Within just a short drive of downtown Asheville, there are hundreds of miles of hiking trails. Some areas to try in early spring include:
- Crabtree and Linville Falls
- Craggy Gardens
- Dupont State Forest
- Rainbow and Turtleback Falls
- Max Patch
You might consider visiting some or all of these trails and trail areas during spring break, then again just before summer to see how they change with the season.
5. South on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Have you ever gone south on the Blue Ridge Parkway? This spring break might be the perfect time to take a short road trip. Heading south, you will find multiple tunnels, 360-degree views, and Mount Pisgah. Grab a bite at the Pisgah Inn to fuel your hike to the top of the mountain.
6. North on the Blue Ridge Parkway
North on the Parkway will take you to Craggy Gardens and access to Mount Mitchell near Asheville. As you travel farther, you will reach Linville Falls, Grandfather Mountain, the Linn Cove Viaduct, and eventually Blowing Rock and Boone. Your family could easily make a day trip to Boone on the Parkway and take in much of what makes our area special.
7. Local Camping
Campgrounds will begin to open as we approach spring break. If your family is ready to spend a night or two outdoors, early spring may not be as crowded in popular areas as it will be in summer. However, it can be quite chilly at night, even in April, so make sure you plan ahead. Alternatively, you might use this part of the season to do some backyard camping to help your children prepare for a more adventurous trip later.
8. Oconaluftee Visitor Center
Just down the road in Cherokee, you will find the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. A visit here almost guarantees a view of one of the only elk herds in our area. Throughout the area, there are plenty of hiking trails and sights to see. Bring a picnic and make a day of visiting the Smokies.
This list is not all -inclusive. You may already have ideas for how you will spend spring break with your little ones. We would love to hear your plans. We have been fortunate to maintain in-person learning throughout this school year due to our small class sizes and our team’s tireless efforts to ensure the safest possible learning environment. If you would like to know more about our Christian private school in Asheville, please contact us.