Arts / Culture / History, Family Fun, Festivals / events, Food and Wine, Mountain Adventures, North Carolina, Resorts, B&Bs, Inns, Romantic get-a-ways

Holiday Splendor in Asheville, NC

Asheville is an all-year-round destination, but during the holidays, this North Carolina mountain town sparkles with extra fun activities for the entire family.

CHRISTMAS AT THE BILTMORE

“Christmas at the Biltmore” is a one-of-a-kind event that draws visitors from all over the country for its two-month long celebration (Nov. 4th to Jan 8th ). Take a self-guided audio tour of this elaborately-decorated French Renaissance chateau featuring 55 hand-decorated trees, 25,000 ornaments and 100,000 holiday lights, or book a special holiday candlelight tour at night. In addition to house tours, there’s a plethora of other holiday events on the estate property including food, music, wine tastings, shopping, and even carriage rides. https://www.biltmore.com/things-to-do/events/christmas/

NATIONAL GINGERBREAD COMPETITION

One of the “sweetest” events of the holiday season is the “National Gingerbread Competition, which is held at The Omni Grove Park Inn. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, gingerbread artists of all ages compete for more than $40,000 in cash and prizes. Guests can view the displays and winners in person from Nov. 28th to Jan. 2nd  or watch “The Twelve Days of Gingerbread” on the hotel’s Facebook page @omnigroveparkinn from Dec. 1st to 12th.https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/asheville-grove-park/things-to-do/gingerbread

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum

WINTER LIGHTS AT THE NORTH CAROLINA ARBORETUM

Don’t miss the winter extravaganza of light, art and music at the North Carolina Arboretum’s “Winter Lights” show. Walk through the rainbow arch into glowing landscapes with several new-themed displays including winter wildlife, colorful butterflies and a giant daisy garden. In addition to lights, there are plenty of family activities including hot chocolate and s’more making stations for kids. Adults can enjoy craft beers while walking through the gardens. (Nov. 18th –Jan.8thhttps://www.ncarboretum.org/winter-lights/

WINTER HIKES AND WATERFALL

Another reason visitors love Asheville during the winter holidays is the opportunity to get outside. With mild daytime temps in the 50s and 60s, the Asheville area offers a wide variety of winter hikes for the entire family. The “Moore Cove Falls Trail” is an easy .7 mile trail that ends in a 50-foot plunge waterfall over a dramatic rock ledge. Visitors can even walk under the ledge behind the waterfall. For more winter hike suggestions see https://www.exploreasheville.com/stories/post/5-great-winter-hikes-near-asheville-nc/

(This article first appeared in Allegiant Airline’s in-flight magazine, Sunseeker, Winter issue 2022-23. I am a freelance writer for Allegiant and this is reposted by permission.)

Family Fun, Food and Wine, North Carolina

Calabash, NC: A Coastal Adventure

Calabash Riverfront. (Photo by Sandra Chambers)

Located just 30 minutes north of the hustle and bustle of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, lies a quaint fishing town that has garnered the moniker of “The Seafood Capital of the World” for once having 30 restaurants within a square mile. It is also the birthplace of Calabash-style seafood.

Calabash Oysters (Photo by Sandra Chambers)

In addition to its great seafood, Calabash, North Carolina, is a fun day trip offering a picturesque waterfront lined with shrimp boats: a marketplace that features works by Carolina artists: a block-wide mercantile offering a variety of unique wares as well as a Christmas shop; a local creamery dipping up delicious homemade ice cream and boat tour adventures. 

To read the entire article click here

Disney, Entertainment & shows, Family Fun, Florida, Resorts, B&Bs, Inns, Uncategorized

Epcot’s Multi-Year Transformation

(David Roark, photographer)

EPCOT is undergoing one of the largest transformations of any Disney park in history. It was due to be completed by the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World on October 1, 2021, but was delayed because of COVID. Many of the new rides, experiences and restaurants are now open and several more are due at EPCOT to open summer of 2022. One of the most anticipated rides at EPCOT, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, opens May 27th. This new family-thrill coaster takes guests on an intergalactic chase through time and space. The coaster rotates 360 degrees, features the first reverse launch on any Disney coaster and will be one of the longest fully enclosed coasters in the world. 

Check out my full article here.

Arts / Culture / History, Family Fun, Food and Wine, Georgia

Visit Georgia’s Family-Friendly Island

Tybee Island, GA

Tybee Island has a laid-back, low-key feel reminiscent of a 50’s and 60’s beach town replete with quaint cottages, mom & pop eateries and a wide five-mile long sandy beach with plenty of space to park an umbrella and chair, build a sandcastle or toss a Frisbee.

Beautiful Tybee Island offers an abundance of fun adventures for every member of the family, including beach and water sport enthusiasts, history buffs, nature lovers, seafood aficionados and shoppers.

Read the entire article at https://travelthesouthbloggers.com/visit-georgias-family-friendly-tybee-island/

Arts / Culture / History, Entertainment & shows, Family Fun, Texas

A Magical Day at the Magnolia Market in Waco Texas

Magnolia Market front of building

 

If you were a fan of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper,” then you’re familiar with Chip and Joanna Gaines’s, Magnolia Market at the Silos. Since its opening in 2015, the two-and-a-half acre property in downtown Waco, Texas, has become much more than a store—it has become a significant destination.

I recently had a fun day exploring all that Magnolia’s had to offer. Driving to the location, visitors first spot the two iconic grain silos. Across from them is the 20,000-square-foot Magnolia Market. The property also contains a bakery, a garden and garden shop, and an outdoor area with artificial turf where the entire family can toss a football, play corn-hole, eat a picnic lunch, or just enjoy the laid-back vibe. Be sure to snap a selfie in front of the famous silos and red vintage truck with the Magnolia Market sign bolted to it. 

To read my entire article go to TraveltheSouthbloggers.com.