The best part about living in Charlotte is the easy access to both the mountains and the beach so when the urge to escape hits there are plenty of options.
We didn't have much planned for Memorial Day weekend so on Saturday morning we packed up the car, picked up the grandparents, and hit the road.
Our first stop was Woodlands BBQ in Blowing Rock. This is, hands down, my favorite barbecue restaurant. Their sweet tea is sweet, but not rot your teeth on contact kind of sweet. Their spicy chicken wings are out-of-this-world delicious and the barbecue platters are large enough to feed a small army. The atmosphere is casual, with rolls of paper towels on every table and food served on paper plates. To me, it's worth the almost two hour drive for a meal.
A heavy lunch called for a hike so we hit the road towards Grandfather Mountain. I love that they have trails with varying difficulty levels and the visit can be tailored towards the young and the not so young. ;)
Our first stop inside the park was the Mile High Swinging Bridge. My two year old has no fear and ran right towards the bridge and then proceeded to climb the rocks on the other side of it. Meanwhile, I struggled finding my balance because I wore the wrong shoes.
The view from the top is breathtaking, while the heavy winds can take your breath away when it makes you feel like you're losing your balance and there's no safety net keeping you from falling down the mountain.
If the Mile High Swinging Bridge is the trill part of Grandfather Mountain, then the Wildlife Habitat is the squeal. There's bears and eagles and otters, oh my! Some parts of the habitat were closed for renovation on this visit but it didn't stop Charlotte from squealing with joy when she saw the animals.
Grandfather Mountain holds a lot of great memories. I remember going there shortly after we moved to North Carolina. I remember my grandmother bravely crossing the mile high bridge. I remember going there with Brandon in the fall, shortly after we started dating. And now I will remember my child's first visit there, bravely climbing the rocks and running around the habitat.
Before leaving the park, we loaded up on fudge and decided to drive an hour an a half to Asheville to get dinner at Sierra Nevada brewery, you can read about our experience here.
Have you ever been to Grandfather Mountain? What's your favorite part?