Western North Carolina Family Adventure Vacation Guide
Ready to get your family out of the house for a fun family adventure vacation? Western North Carolina is the perfect place to visit! First, book a family adventure with us on our Treetops Park, Asheville Ziplines, Kid Zip or Kolo Bike Park.
Asheville Ziplines– Have a zipline adventure set amongst the canopy of our 150 + year old oak trees with views of downtown Asheville. Our zipline rangers lead and (back you up) on your trip through our tree-lined course. Ages 8 and over can zipline on our Asheville Zipline Canopy tour with 2 choices: a 3-hour tour with 11 ziplines and 3 sky bridges (including our 1,200 foot side-by-side lines) or a 2-hour abbreviated tour with 7 ziplines and 1 sky bridge. Either trip starts with an extensive ground school, so you can practice on the ground, then a start on our 3 bunny-slope ziplines. Zipliners must be between 70 and 250 lbs and ages 8-12 require an adult escort.
Kid Zip is our Zipline Park built for ages 4 to 10 to fly between sailed platforms over a meadow. The Ziplines start at ground level and build speed and height up to 25 feet high. (Kids who are nervous about the height, can exit in the middle of the course.) It is a perfect activity for those who don’t weigh enough to make it through the Asheville Zipline Canopy Course, but who are ready to fly through the air. Ages 4-6 must have an accompanying adult escort who is under 225 lbs. Ages 7-10 are required to have an adult monitor watching. The inclusion of this kid-oriented adventure experience makes the ACA a must-do for anyone looking for a true family adventure vacation.
Asheville Treetops Adventure Park is a family aerial playground for ages 4 and over. We offer 7 aerial trails with over 77 fun challenges like swinging bridges, a hang glider, a sky kayak and a turtle swing. While you traverse the trails, you are clipped in with our smart-clips and full body harness. Or ages 4-6 use a smart roller. Either way, you are continuously connected to our trails while you are in the air. Ages 4-6 start on the Purple Trail on the ground, then can choose between our Green and Blue beginner trails that are 10 feet off the ground. Older kids and adults can choose between appropriate trails which go up to 50 feet in the air. The Treetops Park is a great family or group activity as everyone can choose their level of adventure and still be in the same area encouraging and laughing with each other as obstacles are conquered. Adult escorts are needed for kids and the weight limit is 265 lbs.
Kolo Bike Park is the first bike park in Asheville to offer 4 miles of trails, 2 pump tracks, multi-lane jump line, skills park, and challenge elements scattered through our 100-acres. Mountain bikes are available to rent to use on property or to take off property. And year-round youth mountain bike skills sessions are offered by our experienced instructors.
Whitewater Rafting is offered by our sister-company Wildwater, who has been offering guided adventures in the south eastern mountains of the US for over 50 years. Their Nantahala Gorge and Pigeon River Gorge locations are the closest to Asheville and offer Whitewater Rafting for ages 4 and over, Kid Zip (ages 4-10), Zipline Canopy Tours (ages 8+), Jeep Tours, and Lodging. Check them out Spring to Fall for more family adventures.
Then, check out other fun family adventure vacation activities to do in Asheville:
Biltmore Estate– don’t just visit the house, check out the farm, hiking or biking
WNC Nature Center – home to 60 species of wildlife that live or have lived in the Southern Appalachian Mountains
Trolley Tours of Asheville – check out their 90-minute overview tour, ghost tour or take advantage of their hop-on hop-off tour
The Flying Bike– electric bike tours of Asheville or rentals for all ages
NC Arboretum– spend a few hours or a day walking through the lovely gardens, exhibits and 10 miles of trails
Asheville Pinball Museum – play old pinball machines
Asheville Tourists Baseball – enjoy a fun evening of baseball Spring and Summer. Games are full of fun activities and of course great baseball!
Splasheville is Asheville’s play-in downtown interactive water fountain at Pack Square Park with 21 jets of water that run in 12 combinations.
Asheville Urban Trail is the downtown walking tour of the city’s history. Stand in Thomas Wolfe’s shoes. Or get your photo with the famous Flat Iron or dance with the Appalachian Stage. Downloadable map is here.
Other near-by family-oriented adventure destinations:
Chimney Rock and Lake Lure
Chimney Rock State Park– spend a few hours or a few days hiking the trails, splashing in the bottom of the 404-foot waterfall or enjoying the view from on top the rock!
Lake Lure Beach and Tours – rent a pontoon boat for the day or play at their beach
Dupont State Forest – hike, bike or just play in the falls
Pisgah Forest Gem Mining– 2 locations with one downtown Hendersonville
Bearwallow Mountain– great hike with kids!
Sliding Rock – water slide on massive boulders! But get there early! Sometimes they close when its too crowded.
Nantahala River Gorge
Wildwater Rafting/KidZip/Ziplines – just 1.5 hours from Asheville, this outdoor playground has many options including rafting, ziplines and a Raft-n-Rail trip up the Nanty Gorge via the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad and back down by raft!
Great Smoky Mtn Railroad – ride the train up and down the Nantahala Gorge
Museum of the Cherokee Indian – experience the 11,000-year-old Cherokee story with intriguing displays and interactive video. It is a very entertaining experience for all ages.
Oconaluftee Indian Village – then visit the reenactment of a true Cherokee Indian Village
Check all websites for reservations and open hours as COVID-19 operating procedures are in effect in North Carolina, including wearing face masks!