We don’t get to experience the fall the way it should be here in Florida, so we like to do a little Smoky Mountains vacation to Bryson City, NC every year. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the season! This year we picked pumpkins right off the vine, mined for gems, went fishing and just enjoyed spending time with family while taking in the beautiful scenery. We were hoping to take the train to the Peanuts themed Great Pumpkin patch, but they weren’t doing it this year so we will have to save that for next time!
On Top of Old Smoky
A cold front came through on the weekend we were there and the weather was perfect! The leaves were all changing and falling and the air was crisp and cold. It finally felt like fall. We stayed in a cabin on Baines Mountain and had an amazing mountain view. Apparently this cabin really gets around because several people on Facebook said they had stayed there themselves! We’ve stayed at a couple other places on the mountain over the years, but this one is my favorite.
A Real Pumpkin Patch at Darnell Farms
One of our trip highlights is always a visit to the pumpkin patch at Darnell Farms. There was a little less to do on the farm this year- last year they had a sunflower field and corn maze. But it is still fun to take the hay ride to the pumpkin patch and pick your own pumpkin off the vine! They have a bunch already cut and scattered about, but there are plenty still growing for real. They also have a little tractor pull ride for the kids while you are waiting.
Mining for Gems at Ruby Mine
Last year we did the Nantahala Gem Mine so this year we gave the Nantahala Gorge Ruby Mine a try. Both seem pretty similar as far as prices and the size the bucket, and they are located right down the road from each other. We got a family bucket for $45 and that kept us pretty busy and we got a good haul of stones. My son was way more excited about it this year and carried his baggie of stones around for the rest of the trip. They did a good job of going through all of our finds afterwards and explaining what each one was.
Besides gem mining and pumpkin picking, we did a bit of relaxing and taking in the gorgeous mountain scenery. Overall it was a great trip and we look forward going again next year.
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