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Renting a Vacation Home {The Beas Nest}

This month we traveled to Charleston, SC for a fun vacation on the beach. (you can see all my recommendations here) Last summer, during our first visit to Charleston, I had posted a photo on my Instagram asking for any recommendations others may have. Mary Jo (@port2palm) commented back with her list which then started up the conversation about The Beas Nest, the vacation home she owns in Charleston. Little did I know that this conversation would soon lead to a friendship and the generous offer of letting my family rent her beautiful home for a week. As much as I have a love/hate relationship with Instagram, I am truly thankful for the life-long friendships it has created.

The Beas Nest is located right on the Isle of Palms in Charleston, about a block from the beach. This was incredibly convenient with kids because if we forgot something one of us could just run back really quick to grab it from the house. I also loved that I could go back to the house to let Emery nap while the others could stay and play through the afternoon.

Our family has traveled many ways– hotels, a cruise ship, a camper, and renting a home. Hands down the best way to travel with kids is to rent a vacation house.

Adelyn has always been a pretty easy going and travels really well. Traveling with Emery is a little more different as she does thrive on a set routine and being in a familiar environment. When we rent a home while on vacation, Emery sleeps better because I think it is a more “home-like” space for her. I also like that if she does have a hard time falling asleep, we don’t have to worry about neighbors in the room next to us having to listen to her cry.

When renting a home, there are also many awesome amenities that come in handy with kids as well. Having a kitchen to make meals or store food is so nice. I never thought I would like having to cook while on vacation, but we notice that we come home not feeling so sluggish and bloated if we don’t eat out for every meal. In Charleston, we ate out every night for dinner but made sure to always eat breakfast and a few lunches at the house. We just make sure that once we arrive to the vacation house, we find the nearest grocery store to stock up on a few groceries for the week. A few tips for this is to just buy what you would usually eat at home– eggs, granola, toast, and yogurt were good options for us. And not buy too many things so that you are having to throw groceries away at the end of the week. You can always go back to the store if you run out of something!

Another great amenity was having a laundry room to do a couple loads throughout the week. This also helped with packing and not knowing if I was taking enough clothes. Just knowing I could always run a load of laundry helped to not over pack or wonder if I was under-packing.

The Beas Nest in Charleston was the perfect place for our group of 9 to stay. We all had our own bedroom and bathroom which was great when just needing rest for a bit in the afternoon or if someone wanted to sleep in later than the others.

Also, can I mention that pool? We definitely spent more time in the pool than at the beach because the water was so nice and it was conveniently placed right in the center of the home. So while some played in the pool, others could be lying on a beach chair, eating at the dining table, or sitting in the living room watching tv. It was all open so we felt like we were together all the time with having lots of space to play.

The Beas Nest has an amazing history and so much beauty that you can read/see here. We cannot wait to go again!

Renting a home is one of the best decisions we made while traveling with kids. I hope that if you are trying to decide if that is the right move to make with upcoming trips, that this post helped! Sites that can also be used to rent a home include ones such as Airbnb or HomeAway.

Have you rented a home when traveling? What was your experience like?

A Family Vacation Guide: Charleston, SC

A couple weeks ago we made our second trip to Charleston, SC for a fun family vacation! We absolutely fell in love with the city of Charleston our first trip, and how family friendly everything was, so we decided to book a second trip. Last time we went, we stayed on Daniels Island, but this time we rented a home on the Isle of Palms. I can’t wait to show you the home we rented, but I’ve decided to give it a post of it’s own because it’s that amazing.

I have received many messages asking questions about Charleston and what we recommend of things to do, where to eat, what to make sure to see, etc. I’ve compiled a list of our favorite family friendly choices that we found on our second vacation to Charleston!

You can also find my other post on Charleston from last summer here!

TO SEE:

There is charm and beauty on every corner in Charleston but there are definitely some “must-see’s” when you go!

Waterfront Park – An eight-acre park that is linear to the Charleston Harbor is a great after dinner activity as it is just a walking distance from many restaurants downtown Charleston. The pineapple water fountain is fun as well as watching the boats come in and out from the harbor.

Rainbow Row – You can’t visit Charleston without seeing these famous brightly-colored homes.

Boone Hall Plantation – One of the days we were in Charleston had cool weather so instead of hitting the beach or pool we decided to go to a plantation. We chose Boone Hall because it was the closest to where we were staying but Charleston is full of other beautiful plantations as well. The girls had fun exploring the butterfly gardens, getting ice cream, and visiting the kittens and horses at the farm. The plantation is gorgeous and so full of history. There are many tours to do while visiting– we signed up as soon as we arrived to do the house tour and the property tour. The home tour was cut short as Emery was just about to loose it so I left with the girls to go get an ice cream cone. My husband enjoyed the tour though! We also did the property tour on a tractor-pulled-wagon that Adelyn LOVED and thankfully put Emery to sleep.

(classic fam photo- a tired, shoeless Emery)

To see next time:

Angel Oak Tree – The spectacular tree is on our list for next time as we would love to pack a picnic and go sit under it’s large, shady limbs. Believe to be over 1500 years old, it definitely is a wonder to see.

Middleton Place/Gardens: Middleton Place is an 18th century rice plantation of 65 acres of America’s oldest landscaped gardens, the Middleton Place House Museum and the plantation stable yards. I know the girls would enjoy seeing all the flowers and cute farm animals here!

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens – the most popular plantation in Charleston and selected as “Americas Most Beautiful Gardens”

TO DO:

Isle of Palms Beach – We have visited other beaches that you can read about in my post from last summer, but this trip we only went to the Isle of Palms beach. It is our absolute favorite beach because it is very family friendly. Close restaurants to grab lunch, you can call ahead to have them set up chairs with umbrellas here, and decent public restrooms with showers to rinse off.

Isle of Palms Marina – The highlight of our trip was renting a boat from this marina and taking it out for a day. We were able to go see different parts of Charleston including the Ravenel bridge and Fort Sumter. We then docked our boat at shrimp row and ate outside at the Water’s Edge restaurant. After hopping back on the boat in the afternoon, we took it to a little island that you can only boat to and found some of the best shells we have ever found. We also saw lots of dolphins which was so neat!

King Street –  lots of shopping and boutiques

Charleston City Market – vendors selling locally made items

To do next time:

Horse Carriage ride around the historic parts of Charleston

Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum – something that is on the hubby’s list

South Carolina Aquarium – a great activity if it rains

TO EAT:

 There is one thing that Charleston does not lack in and that is food. Hands down some of the best food. Here are my recommendation. All are kid-friendly unless noted!

Long Island Cafe  – the fried shrimp was a hit at our table. They have great breakfast too.

The Refuge – good food, service was a bit slow

Page’s Okra Grill – if you want Southern food, you will find it here. Lots of food and very inexpensive.

Husk – This is my favorite restaurant in Charleston and is one of the highest rated ones. The menu is based upon what the chef is making for the day and most ingredients are sourced locally. Our first visit we ate here at lunch-time as it seems to be more family friendly during the day and at night turns into more of a nicer restaurant. They do not have a kid’s menu but at lunch there were items such as cornbread, grill cheese, cheeseburger etc.  Garth and I had fun sneaking away while my mother-in-law watched the girls on this trip so we could go here for a date night. I highly recommend Husk!

Poogan’s Porch – This is a nicer restaurant as well, but it does have a children’s menu and accommodates children well. The food and atmosphere is great with a fun Charleston feel.

5 Church – a restaurant in an actual old church, with beautiful stain glass windows and hand painted ceilings. Everyone loved their meal in our group and even some said it was their favorite in Charleston. There is not a kids menu here but we went for an early dinner while it was not busy so they were able to accommodate the girls and make them what they wanted. (Mac and cheese & grilled cheese– their meal may have been even better than mine)

Charleston Crabhouse  – a good place to take the family, it’s more loud inside than most places we ate at which can be a plus while dining with kiddos.

Jeni’s Ice Cream – a must if you are in Charleston. The most unique, and delicious flavors of ice cream.

Kaminskys – another must for dessert. It is a dessert bar that contains about 20 different desserts in glass display case to choose from. Once the dessert is gone, the chef brings out an entirely new dessert. And let me add, some of the best dessert I have ever had. We went three different times on our last trip!

other amazing restaurants include:

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit

Five Loaves

Island Joe’s (on Isle of Palms, great for a beach lunch)

Poogan’s Smokehouse

Water’s Edge

I will share the rest of our trip next week but I hope you can find some of these recommendations helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to message me! I know you will love Charleston, SC as much as we do! We plan to go back in July so I will continue to update you with more recommendations!

Best of the Beach {Mama + Mini}

This post is sponsored by Aveeno®. All thoughts and opinions are my own and I only partner with brands that I truly love. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!

We returned this weekend from Charleston and it was hands-down one of our most memorable vacations. I can’t wait to share with you all of my recommendation for the charming city of Charleston! Today I thought it would be fun to share a few of our favorite items that we took with us to the Isle of Palms beach everyday!

1 / 2 / 3 /4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

Of course a cute swimsuit, floppy hat, and pink sunnies were a must, but I want to share about the sunscreen we fell in love with this trip too! We were sent the Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sensitive Skin Zinc Oxide Sunscreen SPF 50 to try and I can honestly say we are obsessed with this sunscreen. I love to use the Aveeno cleanser and lotion products on myself so I was really excited to try out their sunscreen.

The first thing I loved about it was that it’s a thicker sunscreen, not runny like most. It was quick and easy to rub into the girls’ skin without leaving a white residue.

A couple other things I love about the Aveeno sunscreen is that it provides broad spectrum protection from UVB & UVA rays, and is formulated with oat to help lock in moisture and sooth delicate skin. The sunscreen is also tear-free, water resistant for 80 minutes, hypoallergenic, and does not contain any dyes, parabens, phthalates, or fragrance.

my swimsuit / her swimsuit

Do you have any upcoming trips to the beach? I hope you can add a few of these favorites to your beach list!

Gifts for Mom

Can you believe it’s already May?!? The month of May is definitely a favorite with Mother’s Day AND our anniversary– celebrating NINE years this month!!! We also have lots of fun trips coming up that we are looking forward to, including a trip to the beach next week! This trip is much needed after watching the snow fall again today. Yes, snow in May…

I thought it would be fun to share a few favorite things I found when shopping for my Mom and MIL (annnnnd possibly a few things I found for myself). Enjoy!

1 /2 /3 /4 /5/ 6/ 7

Have a great rest of your week!

XO

A Party Animal Party

I can’t believe that my sweet Emery is TWO! I had the most fun planning her birthday party this year with the theme, “party animals”! I couldn’t have thought up a better one for her as she loves ALL animals and truly is my little “party animal”.

For her birthday I decided to have the party in the morning for a few reasons.

Reason 1: nap time – I have always planned an afternoon birthday party for the girls and kick myself every time as I realize that it’s right during their nap time, as well as other kids who attend the party. Most families show up late because their child was sleeping or leave early so their child can go nap. So this year I thought, “why not have it in the morning so kids don’t have to miss their nap!?”

Reason 2: a morning birthday party means breakfast/brunch. And honestly that is Emery’s favorite meal of the day so it seemed fitting for her party.

Chicken & waffles were a huge hit! I just stuck frozen Belgian waffles in the oven and ordered a tray of chicken from Chick- fil-a!

milk glasses / straws

When Emery’s friends arrived, they picked out a party hat to decorate however they would like! To make the party hats, I covered regular party hats from Target with kraft paper and hot glued a colored pom-pom on top made by Apricot Polka Dot. I laid out ribbon, stickers, markers, and washi tape for our guests to decorate their party hat! I then ordered these animal masks that they could wear it with their party hat!

I used this tutorial to make the party hats for the plastic animals!

For the party favors, I filled mason jars with animal crackers and printed out these tags to tie around the lid!

animal heads / woolie ball garland / felt party hats

Party Details:

 animal heads

woolie ball garland

honeycomb decor

straws 

 paper plates

pom-poms for party hats

felt party hats on animals 

plastic animals 

A huge thank you to my friend Mel, who made the amazing cake! She has made all of the girls’ birthday cakes and we joke that she is in it until their wedding day cake!

Happy Birthday Emery Jane! You are the silliest, sassiest and sweetest little girl and we are so blessed to have you in our lives. We love you to the moon!

Spinach & Bacon Quiche

For Christmas morning I made this quiche and it was so good that I have been making it frequently on weekend mornings. With Easter this weekend, I thought it would be a good recipe to share if you are still trying to decide what to make for brunch. My plan is to make them Saturday and re-warm on Sunday since the hustle will be real that morning with an Easter egg hunt, getting dressed, and out the door to church. While the quiche is best straight from the oven, it still tastes great re-warmed!

Ingredients:

6 large eggs

1 1/2 cup half-and-half or milk

2 cups packed freshly chopped spinach

1 pound bacon cooked and crumbled

3/4 cup swiss cheese

1/2 cup cheddar cheese

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crust

(optional) 1 tablespoon chopped onion

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine the eggs, half-and-half, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender.

Layer the spinach, bacon, and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust, then pour the egg mixture on top.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the egg mixture is set. Cut into wedges and serve!

egg board//rolling pin//russet measuring cups//nut bowl

p.s. all four of the items listed above are 20% today with code (discount reflected at checkout)

What are your plans on Easter Sunday? Do you plan on making brunch or going out to eat?

Have a great week!

Easter Basket Favorites

Easter is just right around the corner and I finally finished the girls’ Easter baskets. I thought I would share a few of the favorites I found this year to fill their baskets!

1  // 2 // 3 // 4 //5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

Next week I am going to attempt dying eggs with the girls using natural food dyes. Here is a little inspiration I have found from Pinterest. I will let you know how it goes. I can only envision little hands stained pink and my kitchen also looking like a dyed easter egg.

Images via Pinterest

I’ll be pinning more Easter ideas so come follow me here! I am also planning on using these rose gold storage baskets for the girls’ Easter baskets! They are the perfect size and I plan on using them for book and toy storage when Easter is over! Hope you are having a great week!

A Toddler Diaper Bag

I recently cleaned out my diaper bag and realized that things like pacifiers, 200 bibs, stale baby puffs, and teethings rings probably weren’t needed anymore. (Cue the tears)  The girls are only 21 months apart so I feel like I have always been packing a diaper bag for a baby. With Emery turning two next week, I can officially say that we are now packing a toddler diaper bag. And soon, very soon, I may not even need to pack diapers. So while repacking my bag, I thought it would be fun to share what I have found handy in our current toddler diaper bag.

Fawn Design diaper bag – Hands down the best diaper bag EVER. Loving the new spring colors, especially this color “bloom”!

Tote Savvy diaper bag insert – fits in just about any bag I own to add more pockets for organization

Annie’s Fruit Snacks & Pure Growth Organic Snacks – these snacks are our current favs to pack!

Ello water bottles for kids –  I love the size of these water bottles as it carries just enough water to get us through our errands. It is an open spout so Emery is still learning how to drink from it but is getting the hang of it without too many spills. This water bottle is also perfect for helping littles learn how to drink from a cup as well! It also locks which is helpful too!

sunglasses – These Anthropologie sunnies are a new favorite pair–and they are cheap!

Ready for Anything Pouch – this awesome little pouch can hold your cell, credit cards, lip gloss, check book, pen, etc.– honestly it’s a mom’s dream come true. If I am shopping sans kids, it’s nice to just run in with this so I don’t have to carry a huge bag in.

Spotted Zippered Pouch – Gimme ALL the cute pouches. A toddler diaper necessity.

Gotta Go Buffalo – cutest book ever. I love to always pack a small board book and switch it out for a new one every couple weeks. Books can usually buy me some extra time if we are somewhere with a wait like the  doctor’s office.

Tegu Magnetic Blocks – an easy and entertaining toy to pack.

Parasol Diapers – These have been a recent find but I am loving how absorbent they are and the most adorable prints!

Water Pure Wipes – I use wipes for more than just a diaper change– messy faces, spills, sticky hands, etc. These wipes are COMPLETELY chemical free, 99.9% water and .01% citrus extract. And I may add the softest wipes I have ever had experience with. These are wipes I don’t think twice about using to wipe messy faces or hands.

Tubby Todd Dream Cream – We live in a climate where we are constantly having to moisturize our hands. This dream cream is a favorite to pack for them and myself.

Gathre Changing Mat – the BEST leather changing mat ever! And this new floral print?!? LOVE!

I hope you can find some new favorites to pack in your diaper bag from this list!

What are you currently packing in your diaper bag??

Toddler Travel Tips

1. Senny Books: We had a three hour flight recently and this Senny Book kept Emery (who is almost 2) occupied for most of the flight. This little busy/quiet book is a MAJOR win for our upcoming trips this summer. A Senny Book is a book made out of different textured fabric and other materials such as buttons, snaps, and zippers to help your child develop their gross and fine motor skills. This sensory toy is also perfect for working on color recognition, cognitive skills and imagination. My girls love the garden page in their book where they can pick the veggies and put them in the basket. It’s the perfect travel size and weighs almost absolutely nothing– so easy to pack for traveling.

2. Dr. Pops suckers: I almost always have a sucker in my bag for “emergencies” when we are out and about. If I can tell that one of the girls is on their last leg, and about to completely lose it–a sucker seems to always save the day. When we fly, I usually just have the girls take drinks from their sippy cups during take-off and landing to help with their ears and the changing altitude, but sometimes they aren’t thirsty so I offer them a sucker to help with this. I recently found these little tricky pops that the girls still love even though they don’t know they are actually good for them. They are all natural, with no artificial colors or flavors, and no preservatives or sugar. Made with real honey & eucalyptus oil AND they give them a daily dose of vitamin C while helping their immune systems.
3. Babyganics antibacterial travel wipes: I really try to keep the girls hands germ free as much as possible while traveling. Aiports just gross me out, especially this time of year when every sickness out there seems to be circulating. When we get our seats on the plane, my husband and I always make sure to wipe down our seats, trays in front of us, back of seat–pretty much anywhere we think that the girls might touch during the flight. These wipes are antibacterial, safe for kids, and awesome for just clean-ups too. On our last trip, there were multiple times that restrooms were out of soap, so I was thankful to have these to wipe their hands until we could actually get to a sink with soap.

4.play wallet: I saw this idea on Pinterest about a year ago and we still take these wallets with us when traveling. I found clearance wallets at Target for the girls, or the one I linked on Amazon is only like $10. I filled the girls wallets with old club cards, empty gift cards, and play money. Emery especially loves to take the cards all out and put them in different slots and Adelyn just begs her dad to give her real “dolla” to put in hers. Easy to pack and easy entertainment.

5. Snacks are a must when going anywhere with kids. I buy different things every time we travel, but always take fruits snacks–never forget the fruits snacks. I typically try to buy items that won’t get too sticky, are easy to clean, somewhat healthy and filling, and maybe contain a little protein. I found a few that I have bought on Amazon from our past trips which are all linked here: Pure Organic banana and strawberry sandwiches, dried apple crisps, almond butter packets, Bobo’s Oat Bars, dried coconut chips, fruit/veggie packets, variety nut packets, and fruit snacks.

6. When we travel, I always make a trip to the dollar store before to buy cheap toys that will entertain them during the trip but can be thrown away when we get home. I have recently found a few great small travel toys on Amazon that we pack in the girls’ backpacks each time we go on a trip: tangle fidget toys, doodle pro clip on, baby travel flash cards, scratch art on-the-go, reusable puffy mermaid sticker set,

7. Ziplocks are such a lifesaver when traveling with kids. I pack all of their outfits in gallon sized ziplocks so that I can just grab a bag for each day from our suitcase. I also use the ziplocks in my carry-on bag to separate different items so they can be reached easily. One bag with diapers, wipes, and changing pad, another with all the snacks/suckers, one with antibacterial wipes, hand sanitizer, chapstick, comb, and pony tail holders, and the last one with their toys. I also pack a few extra bags for dirty diapers to be thrown away in, if one of the girls didn’t finish their snack or breakfast, or if we need to collect trash.

I hope you can find a few of these items helpful for your next trip! What tips do you have for traveling with kids?

Family Travel Guide: Asheville, NC

We recently took a family trip to the south to visit my husband’s brother in Knoxville, TN. It was a jammed packed week of seeing lots of new places as we traveled to three different states and stayed in four different places–but we had the greatest vacation as a family. We flew into Atlanta as we found cheap flights and drove up to Knoxville where we stayed with Garth’s family for a couple days.

After just a few days in Knoxville, we then drove up to Sevierville, TN to stay a night at the Wilderness at the Smokies,  an indoor waterpark. We couldn’t believe all the things that Sevierville offered for families to do and will definitely be making a trip back when the girls are older. You can see all the attractions here. Before making it to Sevierville, we drove up to Cades Cove to explore as well and it was incredible. I can only imagine what it looks like in the summer. Daffodills were just starting to bloom and the rolling hills were beginning to turn green. As we drove through we saw turkeys and deer, but in the summer it’s very common to see lots of black bears. Cades Cove is in the Smokey Mountains so the scenery is beautiful and it was once home to numerous settlers who’s homes and churches are still standing. These are all open to the public to explore inside which was so neat to see these incredible structures dating all the way back to the 1800’s. Also, if you are in Sevierville, please do yourself a favor (if you love Mexican food) and eat at El Paso. Please. It was hands down some of the best Mexican food we have ever eaten.

Where to Stay

Once in Asheville the next day, we checked in early afternoon to our hotel and made some dinner reservations for the evening. We stayed on the Biltmore estate at hotel called the Village and would highly recommend this place for families. It was just built a little over a year ago, so everything was very new and clean. The Village had such a neat atmosphere with a modern farmhouse feel throughout the hotel and rooms. White barn doors to the bathroom, a trendy coffee shop called “The Kitchen”, and an actual farm on the hotel property were just a few of my favorite things. It was walking distance to shopping, an ice cream shop, and even a winery. Our stay also included breakfast at their restaurant, and I am still dreaming about their pecan waffles–so good! If you stay at a hotel on the Biltmore property, you also get free admission your entire stay to the Biltmore which can save you quite a bit because I believe tickets run about $50 a person (lower for children).

The Biltmore

Most of our stay in Asheville was experiencing The Biltmore. If you aren’t familiar with The Biltmore, it was George Vanderbilt’s 8,000-acre estate–the largest home built in America with over 250 rooms. It is spectacular and is something that I believe everyone should see sometime in their life. It reminds me of chateau’s that I visited in France so it gave me a major travel-bug to go back to Europe soon. Come to find out through the tours that the Biltmore was actually modeled after French Renaissance chateaus and they brought workers from Europe to build it.

We had unlimited passes to the Biltmore because we stayed in the Village on the property, so we did the self-guided tour when we arrived. There is also audio tours available which I would love to do next time but with the girls, we knew our time around the Biltmore had to be quick in order for us to avoid any possible melt-downs. Once we walked through the Biltmore, we did the rooftop tour which was also included with our stay at the hotel– or the cost was $19 per person. Again, another reason to stay on the Biltmore property because it does include one free tour of choice. We loved the rooftop tour as it took you places that you couldn’t get to if you didn’t take the tour. It took us out on private balconies and even the attic of the Biltmore. It was quick, which was great with kids but you do have to climb a decent amount of stairs which is something to consider.

**side note: The drive from the hotels on the Biltmore estate to the actual Biltmore home is about 15-20 minutes, its a very scenic drive but something to consider if you are needing to make a certain time for tours.

We took the roof-top tour in the morning, and planned to do the legacy tour where a motor coach takes you around the property in the afternoon. However, we didn’t plan it out well enough around nap-time and Emery was still sleeping so we decided to skip. So while all the girls took a nap, the guys went and did the sporting clays session where they had fun shooting clay targets. After they finished, we took the kids back up to the Biltmore to explore the gardens. Even for February, the grass was turning green and there were tulips and daffodils blooming. There is also an indoor botanical garden which was absolutely beautiful with some of the most interesting plants I have ever seen.

(This tree was called a Puff Ball tree and had bright neon pink puffs all over it. It reminded Adelyn of the Trolls movie so she was convinced there were trolls living inside them)

There is so much to do at the Biltmore but we feel like we missed quite a bit by going in February which is the off-season. There were so many things closed and the weather was chilly and windy. It was so nice to avoid the crowds, but we would love to travel to the Biltmore in the summer so we can do more the outdoor activities they have and see the gardens in full bloom. The morning before we left, we walked down the Antler Village shopping area next to our hotel, which had the cutest little farm full of chickens, goats and donkeys. There is also a fun little shopping area, an ice cream shop, and a winery in this area.

Next time we visit, we would love to take the girls on their horse-drawn carriage rides, try stand-up paddle boarding, and maybe go horse back riding. You can also do hiking, biking, Segway tours, Land Rover tours, tour a winery, or float the river. So much to do at just the Biltmore!

Where To Eat

We loved our included breakfast at the Village hotel in their restaurant called the Village Social. For lunch we ate at The Kitchen, another restaurant in the hotel that had great coffee, smoothies, sandwiches, and salads. For dinner the first night, we ate at Tupelo Honey Cafe and it was so so good. I highly recommend this restaurant for great food and it accommodates kids as well. They had awesome speciality drinks, homemade biscuits with blackberry jam with every meal, and the best southern meals including the sweet potato pancakes & chicken.

For the next night’s meal we ate at Chestnut which was recommended to us for a nicer dinner downtown. I thought it was good, but very overpriced for the amount and quality of food. Our girls were also ticking time bombs because it had been SUCH a long week of traveling and they were so over having to sit down in another restaurant. I would recommend this restaurant possibly sans kids.

After eating at Chestnut, we walked across the street to Double D’s which is a double decker bus that  serves desserts and coffee in. Such a neat concept and the brownie sundae was ah-mazing. The atmosphere was fun, but there is limited seating obviously because it’s on a bus, but if you went in the summer they do have outdoor seating.

The morning before we left, we made a trip to The French Board Chocolate Lounge. A very trendy cafe with a European feel. The girls were in chocolate heaven as they sampled brownies, chocolate cake, and cookies. I got the salted maple hot chocolate and it was the perfect combo of sweet and salty. If you are in Asheville, this place is a must–especially if you are a chocolate lover.

Other recommendations that we missed out on and were top-rated on Yelp were:

White Duck Taco Shop

Wicked Weed 

Corner Kitchen 

& Rhubarb 

With the weather being chilly and windy, we didn’t get to explore the downtown area as much as I would have liked to, but it seemed like there was some really neat restaurants and shops!

The city of Asheville is beautiful and charming– a place that we can’t wait to go back to. I think we will wait awhile until the girls are older and can do more, but I believe this city has many things and sites to accommodate almost any age.

If you have been to Asheville, what other recommendations would you make??