After we returned from Palo Duro, I had the itch to get out of Texas and knew we needed to find somewhere a little further away to travel to. I knew I wanted to be on the road Father’s Day weekend just like the last several years for the change of scenery and I went back and forth with a friend about meeting in the mountains or at the beach. We finally decided on a trip to the mountains of NC. We found an awesome AirBnb that we could share and loaded up to make the 14 hour drive there! Cooler loaded down and car filled up with snacks, we made the trek across the lower southeast USA.
Since my three kiddos had not been to Louisiana, Mississippi, or Alabama; we planned some strategic stopping points along the way in order to mark them off of our family United States map (this trip marked states 28-30 for the kids and I, and states 19-23 that we have visited with E & B)! We stopped to picnic in Louisiana and visited the battle grounds in Mississippi. Our Alabama stop consisted of a short mountain hike and drive as we made our way to Rock City on the border of Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia. There we wound our way through some twisty roads in order to see views of 7 different states at once (however, I couldn’t tell you where one begins and one ends). The views were beautiful.
We also made a stop at McKays Used Books in Chattanooga. If you ever find yourself passing through Tennessee, you don’t want to miss out on stopping at one of these warehouse sized bookstores. They are worth putting a mask on for and my kiddos enjoyed browsing and picking out a few new books for the road trip! It was our first trip into a store in 3 months and was worth the wait!
Since we shared an Airbnb in NC, it was by far the nicest place we have stayed to date, and happened to be located right on a small waterfall. Limited phone and internet service for the week made for some excitement, but once again we came prepared to cook our own meals and enjoy our time with friends.
We made a couple of day trips to see local waterfalls that were only a few miles from our house. Cullasaja Falls can be viewed from the road as it’s a bit of a dangerous hike. Bridal Veil is a waterfall that you used to be able to drive under, but is now blocked so you can only walk through. Dry Falls is a fantastic waterfall that you can hike down to and walk under, ducking into caves to stay out of the spray of water! Dry Falls was by far the kids favorite to visit as they loved the caves!
We even took the kids gem mining at a local shop just down the road from where we were staying. And one day we drove into Bryson City to do the train museum scavenger hunt and have lunch outdoors in the little town. The middle of the week we took all the kids on their first white water rafting trip and they got to experience one Class 3 rapid which made for a lot of excitement!
On our last day we drove to Black Rock Mountain State Park in Georgia to do some hiking and see the waterfall there! This waterfall was down about 20 flights in elevation and was not nearly as exciting to see as the others we had visited, but the exercise was good for everyone!
The rest of the time we spent playing games in the house and enjoying the waterfall. The kids enjoyed skipping stones and jumping rocks around the fire pit almost every day of our trip!
Our trip home consisted of a stop in Nashville to have another picnic with friends who are stationed at Fort Campbell and then a stop in Arkansas for dinner! I love getting the opportunity to travel with friends and family and having friends living all around the country who we can stop and see along the way is a huge bonus to traveling! With family in NC this is definitely a trip we will making again in the future with new stopping places along the way!