Archive for the ‘North Carolina’ Category

postheadericon Cumberland Island

 

 

cumberland-island-ruins

 

 

Cumberland Island, Georgia

Georgia’s largest barrier island, free from cars, where the horses roam free! 

 

 

cumberland-island-ruins

 

What is Cumberland Island?

Cumberland Island is a preserved barrier island on Georgia’s southern coast and one of the few places in the world where you can see wild horses roaming free.  It feels like you step back in time as you take in the remote and undeveloped land, tour the ruins, and relax on the pristine beach.  It’s a nature lovers dream.  A photographers paradise.  A history buffs classroom.

 

Cumberland Island has been on my list for some time.  We’ve visited most of the major coastal cities between North Carolina and Florida, but had yet to make arrangements to visit Cumberland Island.  In part, it was probably because it takes a little more planning than just going on a weekend trip exploring a city.  To visit Cumberland Island you must made advanced reservations on a ferry (unless you’re lucky enough to know someone that can take you there by private boat or if you’re staying at the Greyfield Inn).   The reservations can be made up to six months in advance and often fill up since the public access limit is only 300 people per day.  I’m always hesitant to plan something that far in advance, but I’m so glad I did because it was a day we’ll never forget!

 

 

 

The Wild Horses at Cumberland Island

The main reason we wanted to visit was to see the wild horses on Cumberland Island roaming free.  We were not disappointed!  Within the first few minutes of our arrival we were shocked to a large group of horses, including a baby, grazing in the field near the crumbling ruins of a Carnegie mansion.  We were in awe watching them do their thing as if nothing or nobody in the world existed!

 

Cumberland Horse

 

Horses on Cumberland Island

 

Horses

 

 

 

Cumberland Island Horses

 

 

Horses on Cumberland Island

 

 

Visiting Cumberland Island with Kids

 

 

my girls

 

cumberland-island-horse

 

cumberland-island

 

Without a doubt this will probably be one of the most natural places you’ll ever visit!  It’s a true blessing to be able to witness a place so untouched and unspoiled in todays day and age!

 

The Sand Dunes

Shame on me for not taking more photos of the dunes and beach, but hauling our stuff through the sand and over those dunes was quite a task!  However, trust me when I say that you’ve probably never seen dunes like these before.  The soft-sand path to the tranquil and deserted beachfront bring you over some of the tallest and most beautiful sand dunes we’ve ever seen!

 

cumberland-island-sand=dunes

 

*I packed a soft roller cooler to carry all of our drinks, lunch, towels, etc. and for the most part the ground was hard and it was manageable.  When we got closer to the beach the sand got softer and it became more difficult.  Next time we will all just carry a small backpack with our own stuff!

 

The Beach

The hard-packed sand beach stretches on and on as far as you can see and is completely untouched by any development.  You’ll walk over the dunes via a wooden boardwalk, but otherwise it’s completely natural!  Here is where we truly relaxed.  We spread a blanket down and the kids frolicked in the waves.  They saw a dolphin close to shore and they had a blast looking and finding sand dollars!  In the hustle and bustle of life it was so refreshing to just sit still and take it all in.  It’s what life is all about folks!

 

cumberland-island-beach

 

Just when we thought we saw it all we were in awe yet again!  As we were stepping out of the wide open space on the waterfront we entered an enchanted forest-like path though the campground and we were definitely not prepared for the beauty of the live oak and palmettos that surrounded us!  As campers (camper campers, not tent campers) I must say that this is one of the most beautiful campgrounds I’ve ever seen.

 

cumberland-island-live-oak

cumberland-island-campground

 

Cumberland Island Campground has both developed and wilderness camping available.  Visit their page for more info!

 

Things to Know

  • The only way to get there is by ferry or private boat.
  • You must take everything you need with you.  Food, drinks, sunscreen, etc.  There are no concessions.
  • You must take all of your trash off of the island with you.  There are no garbage cans.
  • Make sure to wear comfortable shoes.
  • Pack bug spray.
  • Plan on walking the island or taking a guided van tour.
  • Bikes are available to rent on a first come first serve basis.
  • Pack a camera and make sure it’s charged!

 

 

 

 

 

 




postheadericon Camping in Boone, NC – A Family Stay at Flintlock Campground

flintlock-13

 

Flintlock Campground

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains and only minutes away from downtown Boone, North Carolina, Flintlock Campground has all of the camping amenities for a wonderful family stay.  Whether you’re looking for tent camping near Boone, NC or plan on taking your RV, this place can accommodate you.  A refreshing mountainside stream runs through the park and we had a wonderfully relaxing weekend sitting by the stream listening to the rushing water!  The kids enjoyed getting in and wading in it and every so often a mischievous chipmunk would pop out seeing what we were up to!  The park also has a volleyball net and playground!

 

Back-In RV Site at Flintlock Campground

Back-In RV Site at Flintlock Campground

 

 

Creekside Campfire

Creek side Campfire

 

On-Site Creek

On-Site Creek

 

Rustic Camping Cabins

Rustic Camping Cabins

 

 

 

Roasting Marshmallows

Roasting Marshmallows

 

 

Exploring the Creek

Exploring the Creek

 

 

 

Cell Service:  Great

Public Rest Rooms:  Clean

The Good:  Everything was perfect.  We had a hard time pulling ourselves away from this campground to explore all of the fun things to do in the area including Grandfather Mountain, Tweetsie Railroad, Linville Caverns, Blowing Rock, and Boone.  We ventured a little farther away and rode the Virginia Creeper Trail, too!

The Bad:  Nothing.  This campground made our list of places to return to next year.

 

Things to Do near Flintlock Campground

Flintlock in only minutes from all of the action in Boone, NC.  It has gem mining within walking distance and is just a short drive to many mountain attractions including Grandfather Mountain, Tweetsie Railroad, Linville Caverns, and Blowing Rock.  If you’d like to take a day trip I’d suggest riding the Virginia Creeper Trial in Virginia!

 

Grandfather Mountain

Grandfather Mountain

 

Grandfather Mountain

Grandfather Mountain

 

Getting Ready to Ride the Virginia Creeper!

Getting Ready to Ride the Virginia Creeper!

 

Beautiful Barns along the Virginia Creeper

Beautiful Barns along the Virginia Creeper

 

Green Cove -  A great place to stop along the Virginia Creeper

Green Cove – A great place to stop along the Virginia Creeper

 

On the Bridge at Grandfather Mountain

On the Bridge at Grandfather Mountain

 

 Flintlock Campground

171 Flintlock Campground Drive, NC Hwy 105

Boone, NC 28607

828-963-5325

For info on camping rates visit their page here.

Disclosure:  This campground has no idea who I am.  I paid in full and had such a great experience I wanted to share it with my fabulous readers 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




postheadericon Symmes Chapel aka {Pretty Place}

pretty-place

 

There are no words for how beautiful this chapel is!  It sits atop of Standing Stone Mountain and offers breathtaking views as far as your eye can see!  It also marries more than 100 couples per year, wow!

If you’re visiting Dupont State Forest it’s only a short drive away.  It is located at the YMCA Camp Greenville in Cleveland, SC.

Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon Campfire Lodgings ~ Review by Travel and Photography Today

Campfire Lodgings

 

Campfire Lodgings Mountaintop Camping – Asheville, NC

Located just minutes from downtown Asheville, NC, Campfire Lodgings was a perfect place for our first trip in the new travel trailer!  It offers paved back-in sites with full hookups and each site has a grill and picnic table.  The premium sites have a million dollar view (pictured above) and the other sites are just a short walk from the open common area so everyone can enjoy it.

Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon North Carolina Winery: Elkin Creek Vineyard

Elkin Creek Vineyard {Photo Essay}

 

Elkin Creek Tasting Room

 

Elkin Creek Vineyard is located in Yadkin Valley Wine Country, just one hour north of Charlotte and only 20 minutes from the Virginia border!

Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon Charlotte, North Carolina {Photo Tour}

Charlotte, NC

 

Represents Industrial Growth!  Located at Bank of America Plaza on Tryon St. in Uptown.

Represents Industrial Growth! Located at Bank of America Plaza on Tryon St. in Uptown.

 

Notice the side of the building resembles a quilt?  African American women would make quilts that had hidden messages in them to help the slaves escape.

Notice the side of the building resembles a quilt? African American women would make quilts that had hidden messages in them to help the slaves escape.

St. Peter's Episcopal Church

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church

 

 

Skyline of Charlotte, NC

 

The colorful artwork, which some refer to as “Bobbins,” creates a whimsical entry plaza for Time Warner Cable Arena. The piece highlights the Carolinas’ textile history and celebrates its craft and ceramic traditions.

The colorful artwork, which some refer to as “Bobbins,” creates a whimsical entry plaza for Time Warner Cable Arena. The piece highlights the Carolinas’ textile history and celebrates its craft and ceramic traditions.

 

Wachovia Atrium

Wachovia Atrium

 

 

Charlotte, NC

Charlotte, NC

 

 

Mint Museum

 

Mellow Mushroom

 

Located at The Green, a 1.5 acre downtown literacy-themed park with sculptures of giant books, pages, and a walkway of sounds.

Located at The Green, a 1.5 acre downtown literacy-themed park with sculptures of giant books, pages, and a walkway of sounds.

 

Charlotte Sculpure at The Green

 

Ratcliffe's Flowers

 

Located on Trade St. and Tryon St.  The future is represented by a mother and child.  The mother figure emerges from a bower of branches, leaves and flowers of dogwood, which is the state flower.  Stretched between branches is a hornets nest to make it more specific to Charlotte!

Located on Trade St. and Tryon St. The future is represented by a mother and child. The mother figure emerges from a bower of branches, leaves and flowers of dogwood, which is the state flower. Stretched between branches is a hornets nest to make it more specific to Charlotte!

 

Industry represented by a woman millworker, recalling Charlotte's early textile factories.  The secondary figure at her knees represents the children who labored alongside their parents in the mills during the days before enactment of child labor laws.

Industry represented by a woman millworker, recalling Charlotte’s early textile factories. The secondary figure at her knees represents the children who labored alongside their parents in the mills during the days before enactment of child labor laws.

 

An African American man represents the builders of the first railroads in Charlotte, begun in the 1850's, leading to the city's status as a transportation hub.  The number 1401 commemorates a steam locomotive named "Charlotte" which once pulled trains through the city.  A second element picturing an eagle with feathers encircling its back represents air transportation!

An African American man represents the builders of the first railroads in Charlotte, begun in the 1850’s, leading to the city’s status as a transportation hub. The number 1401 commemorates a steam locomotive named “Charlotte” which once pulled trains through the city. A second element picturing an eagle with feathers encircling its back represents air transportation!

 

Charlotte, NC

 

Uptown, Charlotte, NC

 

walkcharlotte

 For more information on Charlotte or to download a walking tour map visit www.Charlottesgotalot.com

 

 

postheadericon Snow Tubing in North Carolina

Snow Tubing

 

One of the greatest things about living in central North Carolina is the close proximity to the mountains and the beach!  Within just a few hours you can be soaking up the rays or speeding down the slopes.

Here are 8 different ski/tubing resorts within just hours of Charlotte, NC.  Most operate from late November through mid-March and openings largely depend of the weather conditions so check each website for accurate operating days and times.

*I have not visited these attractions (except Jonas Ridge) and they’re in no particular order*

Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon Triple Falls ~ Asheville Waterfalls ~ {Photography}

 

Triple Falls is located in Dupont State Forest, 40 miles southwest of Asheville, NC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good To Know:

 

  • You may recognize this waterfall from the widely popular movie the Hunger Games.  This particular waterfall has the scene where Peeta is hiding in the mud and Katniss finds him.
  • Sky Top Orchard is nearby and a great place to pick apples (seasonal).
  • For the outdoorsy types, I highly recommend camping at Black Forest Family Campground if you plan on exploring the area!
  • If you’re visiting in the summer and want to plunge into the icy mountain water check out Sliding Rock, A Natural 60 ft. Waterslide in the NC Mountains
  • Also visit High Falls and Hooker Falls which are on the same hiking loop!  I wrote about all three a few years ago!  Visit that post here.

 

     


    postheadericon Snow Tubing @ Jonas Ridge

    Jonas Ridge Snow Tubing Read the rest of this entry »

    postheadericon A Snowy Day in NC {Wordless Wednesday}

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