North Carolina Tourist
|Lake Lure as seen from Larkin's Restaurant|
|Tunnel to the elevator that takes you to the top of Chimney Rock|
After lunch, we hiked for a short while at Chimney Rock state park. http://www.chimneyrockpark.com The great thing about this park is that it has an elevator that takes you to the stunning view about 24 floors up (equivalent) so even if you have a small child, you get to see something. And don't miss out on the bathrooms- someone painted all of them like murals of the park itself, which all of us thought were worth a visit! There's even a nice gift shop with ice cream at the top.
|waterfall painted behind the toilet|
|hawk looking very real!|
From the top, there are a few additional trails you can take to see the surrounding area, and on the way is the opera box and the devil's head. Then if you go back down the elevator to the parking lot, you can hike the easiest trail to the waterfall, which happens to be one of the highest in the eastern USA. Of course Omar couldn't resist jumping in the falls once we got there and it was cool clear water- very refreshing. I joined him and it was wonderful!
This was a great stop on the way to Asheville where we had hoped to do a portion of the blue ridge parkway, but we were unlucky with weather there and it was too wet and cloudy to see anything. Instead we took a bus tour of the city and enjoyed the day sightseeing from under an umbrella. We learned that Asheville was a resting stop on the journey from New York to Florida in the early days, so they have a portion of the city which is fashioned after New York city so the people passing through would feel at home and hopefully stay longer, spend more money, etc. The street musicians play guitars, but also dulcimers and accordians there. There is also the most unique coffee shop built into a double decker bus. It was a great couple of days!
|Opera Box view|
|Pool at the falls|
|a rainbow appeared at sunset|
|Easy access to the falls|
|the park fashioned after central park- but MUCH smaller|
|Omar splashing in the falls|
|street musicians were plentiful|
|Loved this coffee shop!|