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Whats best for school aged kids?

chicagoland
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Whats best for school aged kids?

We will be driving from Illinois Mid July to go to a tournament in Greenville SC. There is so much we have never seen in this area of the country and are having a hard time deciding. Should we head down south to visit Charleston and Myrtle Beach?(although kids have been to Sanibel and Ft Lauderdale area beaches) Or enter into North Carolina and visit mountains. Any suggestions for scenic routes, unique kid friendly things to do (age 10,9 &7). We are overwelmed.Thanks for any ideas.

NC
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1. Re: Whats best for school aged kids?

The mountains would be more on your route. Pigeon Forge, TN has TONS of things your kids would enjoy. In the NC mountains, just driving the Blue Ridge Parkway and hiking and looking at waterfalls, etc.. is fun.

You could also swing by Tweetsie Railroad In Blowing Rock, NC - great fun for kids that age. Also, Ghost Town in the Sky and of course - Cherokee, NC to soak some Indian culture and fun. Google those and take a look.

Best wishes.

Raleigh, NC
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2. Re: Whats best for school aged kids?

Charleston is wonderful but July is absolutely the worst time of year to go. By contrast, it is a wonderful time to visit the mountains. Cool with lots of activities. Coming from Illinois, the western mountains may be more convenient but I think the Boone/ Blowing Rock area has a little more to offer. It is about three hours from Greenville, whereas Hendersonville/ Brevard/ Asheville might be only one. By the way, I think you will love Greenville. It is one of the most overlooked cities in the country-a great downtown.

Greensboro, North...
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3. Re: Whats best for school aged kids?

Asheville, NC is only a couple of hours from Greenville, SC. Check out Biltmore Estate in Asheville. What is your driving route? The Charlottesville, VA area is very nice. Check out Wintergreen Resort, in Nelson County VA. There's a lot to do there for adults and kids, if you have time to hang out for a couple of days. It will be much cooler there than on the coast. Wintergreen has hiking, swimming and wineries nearby. Maybe you could rent a condo for a couple of days and hit the "reset" button on being in a car together. Just a thought, without knowing how much time you've alotted for the trip. The other suggestions here are also great. Can't go wrong. Have a great trip.

Clemmons, North...
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for North Carolina, Winston Salem
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4. Re: Whats best for school aged kids?

Your kids are at the perfect ages to have a real blast in the NC mountains. Here are just a few suggestions (google for more info):

--Spend a day or two in Asheville. There's so much to do there. You could tour the Biltmore House, then spend the afternoon walking around the shops downtown. See http://www.exploreasheville.com/index.aspx

--Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway (www.blueridgeparkway.org). You can go either direction from Asheville for stunning views and points of interest.

--go up towards Bryson City to raft the Nantahala River (noc.com/index.php/nantahala-river-white-wate…) or ride the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (http://www.gsmr.com/).

--Visit Grandfather Mountain and its mile-high swinging bridge.

--Visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Here's a link with lots more info about our mountains:

visitnc.com/journeys/highlights/blue-ridge

Charlotte, NC
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5. Re: Whats best for school aged kids?

If planning a scenic route, try:

http://www.freetrip.com/cgi-bin/autopilot2.pl

Of course you can change it, start over, modify, add campgrounds, hotels, etc. This is just an idea. I use it a lot - if enough time pick scenic rather that toll routes...

Tennessee
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for Chattanooga, Blowing Rock, North Carolina Mountains
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6. Re: Whats best for school aged kids?

The Boone-Blowing Rock is a perfect stop for your family. It will be cooler also. That would be a nice break. 1 Saturday a month during the summer, there is Art in the Park in Blowing Rock. This is also a fun playground for children.

I will post a few suggestions for you to look at. You can see if they would fit your needs.

www.blueridgeparkway.org

www.grandfather.com

www.mastgeneralstore.com

www.southernhighlandguild.org

www.tweetsie.com

www.blowingrock.com/chamber.php

www.visitboonenc.com

www.mountainsofnc.com

chicagoland
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7. Re: Whats best for school aged kids?

These are all such great suggestions...now it will be hard to narrow down. I of course love the idea of river rafting....never have gone...nor my husband....but I worry my kids my freak out a bit.....though my youngest (y 1/2) loves roller coasters....

Tennessee
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8. Re: Whats best for school aged kids?

There is alot of river rafting in both Tennessee and North Carolina. When the olympics were in Atlanta, The Ocoee, 30 miles from Chattanooga, was the sight for the rafting events.

Blacksburg
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9. Re: Whats best for school aged kids?

Take your children to Old Salem in Winston Salem, NC.

Also take them over to the Reynolda House and Gardens.

They will love it.

Hillsborough, North...
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10. Re: Whats best for school aged kids?

If the route you decide to take should take you near Pigeon Forge, TN, which would be on the way to Asheville (probably) you should go to Dollywood. It is Dolly Parton's theme park celebrating mountain heritage. Some of it is a bit more cliche than I personally like but it is a great size with a good assortment of ride including a whole slew of which you will need a change of clothes for (you get wet - very wet - I've never gotten that wet before even in a shower wet!). Its got enough to keep you busy for a whole day but you can easily get your fill in one day too. There is also a water park (if they didn't get you wet enough) that could take up a part of a second day.

The area is a big old tourist trap in a lot of ways but can be fun if you do a bit of sorting.

I don't know how far in advance you have to reserve, but you might want to check out LeConte Lodge. Its on a mountain top that you have to hike up to. No electricity - the food for the lodge is packed in by llamas.

Edited: 14 May 2010, 20:50