About Melanie F
Lives in Chicago, Illinois
Since Jul 2010
I took my first plane ride at a mere two weeks of age and have been passionate about travel ever since. A published poet and working journalist, when not traveling I'm obsessing about where to go next, or writing about where I've been.
Gardens, National Parks
Bodies of Water
Geologic Formations, Waterfalls
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Any visit to Asheville absolutely must include a day at the Biltmore Estate. Not only is this America's largest home, but it's also one of the most beautiful you'll ever see. The kids will be fascinated touring the mansion (with its 250 rooms, 65 fireplaces, 43 bathrooms, and a private bowling alley!), and the whole family can have fun exploring the beautiful grounds. What's more, there is a special audio tour just for kids!
During any kind of vacation, it's always nice when the kids can be kids for awhile, and Asheville's Fun Depot is a perfect place for just that. With indoor go-karts and bumper cars, mini-golf, mini-bowling, an arcade, a climbing wall, and more, the entire family can let loose and share some laughs.
The North Carolina Arboretum is beautiful (and educational) all year round. Its 400 acres have hiking and biking trails, bonsai plants, a stunning 'Quilt Garden,' and so much more. There are also often family-friendly programs on offer.
Beaver Lake is a perfect place to enjoy the day in Asheville with the family. You can do some hiking, fishing, boating, and nature watching against this stunning backdrop — all sure to create unforgettable memories of your stay in Asheville.
Video games may be the current hot trend for kids, but everyone loves pinball! Visit the Asheville Pinball Museum to reminisce about your own glory days as pinball wizards, and to introduce the kids to a more interactive way to have fun with a game. All games are set up for free play, so you can enjoy 30 pinball machines made between the 1960s and 2003.
Located in downtown Asheville, Colburn Earth Science Center is a great place to learn, explore, and play. The interactive exhibits cover everything from climate change to the mining history of North Carolina, and there are a number of gems, minerals, fossils, and more to examine.
What's better than taking in the majesty of a waterfall? Actually 'falling' with it, of course! Think of Sliding Rock as a sort of natural slip-and-slide: You can slide down the waterfall and into its pool at the bottom. It's great fun for the entire family and created entirely by Mother Nature herself!
A 6.5-acre park right in the heart of Asheville, Pack Square is a place to play and learn a little about history all at once. The public square, which has been an Asheville focal point since the town's 1797 inception, was named after George W. Pack, who donated the land and helped fund the Vance Monument that towers over the area. The park has undergone many changes through the years, so it is both quaint and fascinating today, home to a wide range of buildings from Neo-Gothic to Art Deco, with trees and a fun fountain for the kids to play in.