Nature Center & Asheville

On our third day of vacation and relaxation we decided to take it easy a little. Since yesterday we had an all day adventure, today we wanted to just relax and not plan too much. It was a beautiful day out and perfect temperature to just take in everything around us. First things first, I enjoyed my cup of coffee on the front porch while Brian and Rusty ran around in the yard. It was such a simple sight that brought so much happiness and joy to me. Sipping my warm coffee out of my brand new Wifey mug and feeling the cool wind blow my hair, this was just the most perfect moment. Being out in the mountains, hearing nothing but nature itself and spending time with my two boys, made me realize I wouldn’t trade that day for anything in the world. After having my coffee, we decided to look up some ideas of what adventures we wanted to have that day. After going back and forth on some ideas, we settled on touring Asheville, NC. I have always heard of Asheville being an artsy town and I have always wanted to see it. But Asheville seemed bigger than we thought so we weren’t exactly sure how we wanted to go about touring it. Pick one spot and just start walking? Try and find the most interesting attractions? We pushed it aside when we found out there was a visitor center right in Asheville that we could visit and figure out where to go from there. While we were looking for ideas on Asheville, we came across a link for the Western North Carolina Nature Center, located in Asheville. Not only did it have great reviews, but also the price wasn’t bad either. We decided to head there first and then we would stop by the visitor center.

When we got to the Nature Center it was placed way up on a hill and away from the busyness of the main road. It was interesting to see what seemed to be an abandoned pool at the bottom of the hill, but once we entered the Nature Center’s building we soon found out the news that they will be removing the recreation park pool to expand the little zoo. Never thought a recreation park pool would be located right next to a zoo. We paid our admission and started our journey off with the Appalachian Station, which basically had reptiles, amphibians, and some small mammals. Brian’s not a fan of snakes, so we had to pass through there quickly. Next was the cute little otters. We watched them swim and run around for a little before continuing along the trail. They had a petting zoo, bears, deer, songbirds, birds of prey such as owls and hawks, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, wolves, cougars, and a bobcat. Unfortunately as we made our first round half of the animals weren’t out or too far to really be seen. We made a second round later on but we still weren’t able to see the bears, the coyotes, or any of the wolves, which of course really put me down because of my love for wolves. On one good note the exhibits were decently sized for the animals to roam and have space, but on the other hand we couldn’t see a handful of them because of this. All in all though, the zoo was a really nice trip to take.

After spending a couple hours at the zoo, we decided to head out and find the Asheville Visitor Center. It was pretty easy to find. It was large and there were a lot of pamphlets to choose from. We were staring at the wall of endless adventures and couldn’t decide what we wanted to do, let alone, how we wanted to see Asheville. That was until Brian spotted a pamphlet that caught his eye and made him smile from ear to ear. There was a trolley tour that we could take all through Asheville, seeing the sights and learning about the history. One of the trolleys just left right when we found the pamphlet. There was only one more run and it was in a half hour. At first we weren’t sure if we wanted to wait around for a half hour, but after wandering around a little and thinking about it, we thought, why not. So we bought our trolley tickets and looked around the Asheville gift shop while we waited. Of course I wanted to buy everything that was in that gift shop. After a little while I finally made my decision and we got a couple things. I got a mug of course and a shirt with a wolf on it. Brian got a jacket and we got a sticker for our car and some playing cards with different scenic wonders on them. After looking around the gift shop and looking over the wall of pamphlets again it was time for our ride through Asheville. We waited outside in the warm sun and not long after the bright red trolley pulled up for the waiting group.

We hopped on board and took a seat in the far back where the window was taken out and we could feel the fresh air. Brian was practically jumping out of his seat he was so excited. He’s always wanted to go on a trolley ride and at that moment I was so glad we decided to do it. Our driver was wonderful, funny, and informative. Before we took off he asked where everyone was from. Turns out there were people from all different sides of the U.S. on there. Throughout the tour we went through neighborhoods, downtown, and even some upper scale areas. Hearing the history behind certain areas in Asheville was great to hear. So many little things we couldn’t believe we could actually see and hear about. I loved some of the houses that we passed. They were big and beautiful and just made Asheville seem more like home. There were so many little shops that covered the main strips where people were walking all about. It seemed like Asheville was just a wonderful little town where everyone could feel comfortable and at peace. Not to mention too that Asheville is highly pet friendly come to find out. Even a handful of the restaurants there allow you to bring your dog to dine with you. I just thought that was so cool because if you’re like me, my little pup is everything to me! Hence why he ended up coming on our honeymoon with us. Overall the trolley tour was a really nice adventure. We even got to do a little detour through the more art driven part of Asheville since a train decided to cross our path. If you ever want to visit Asheville, take the trolley tour. We recommend it and you won’t regret it. Enjoy some snapshots I got from our tour!