Asheville with a Baby or Toddler

Asheville with a Baby or Toddler

Asheville, North Carolina is a great place to visit with your baby or toddler.  With so many great outdoor activities in the area that you can do on your own time schedule, Asheville is logistically an easy place for families with a baby and/or toddler to visit.  After recently visiting Asheville with our baby (9 months old) and toddler (2.5 years old), we learned a lot about spending time in Asheville with littles.  Further, to make the most of our time in this outdoor-centric city with our baby and toddler, we compiled insight about visiting Asheville with little kids from as many local parents and fellow traveling parents as possible.  We loved exploring Asheville with our kids and know our ‘Asheville with a Baby or Toddler’ guide below will help you enjoy your time here with your baby and/or toddler too.    

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We took this trip when our toddler was 2.5 years old and our baby was 9 months old.  For more information on exploring with a baby, please see our Top 10 Baby Travel Tips, How to Hike with a Baby, 5 Top Baby & Toddler Flying Tips and Flying with a Baby posts. 

Asheville with a Baby or Toddler: What to Do?

Honestly, in Asheville, everywhere we went and everything we did, our kids felt welcomed.  The laid back and inclusive vibe of the city makes it such a great place to visit with your baby and/or toddler. Below are some of our favorite, extra kid friendly, Asheville activities. 

Drive Blue Ridge Parkway

Asheville with a Baby or Toddler

Our first Asheville with a baby and/or toddler recommendation is to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway. The sweeping mountain views along this drive are majestic. Further, at most of the pull-offs along the parkway, there is space for your toddler to run and play and/or for your baby to crawl around while you take in the vast mountain vistas. Be sure to pack a picnic lunch/snacks to enjoy with your baby and/or toddler while taking in the pretty views. 

Note: The Blue Ridge Parkway runs both east and west from Asheville.  We recommend heading east to access some of the best trails.  To drive along the route we recommend, program your drive on your GPS to Graveyard Upper Falls Trail.  

Cost: Free

Hike on Blue Ridge Parkway

Our next Asheville with a baby or toddler recommendation is to stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway to hike with your kids. Hiking is one of the best ways to explore the mountains in the Asheville area with your baby and/or toddler. Hiking allows you complete time independence so you can explore at the pace you need. Listed below are some of our favorite family friendly Blue Ridge Parkway hikes.

Asheville with a Baby or Toddler

Easy Waterfall Hikes Blue Ridge Parkway

  • Skinny Dip Falls (0.9 mile, out & back, 180 feet of elevation gain, pictured above)
  • Looking Glass Waterfalls (0.3 miles, out & back, 36 feet of elevation gain)
  • Moore Cove Falls (1.2 miles, out & back, 154 feet of elevation gain)
  • Sliding Rock (0.3 miles, out & back, 19 feet of elevation gain)

Moderate Waterfall Hike Blue Ridge Parkway

  • Graveyard Upper Falls (3 miles, out & back/loop, 320 feet of elevation gain, pictured above)

We hiked to several other spots while in Asheville with our baby and toddler as well. See our Top 3 Asheville Hikes for more information on these.  We would not say these hikes are necessarily baby or toddler friendly due to some extra scrambling but manageable to hike with a baby and/or toddler depending on your comfort/hiking experience. 

Cost: Free

Day Trip to DuPont State Park

Our next Asheville with a baby or toddler recommendation is to drive an hour Southeast of Asheville to visit DuPont State Park.  This park offers family friendly hiking to several different waterfalls.  It also offers a natural splash pad (a calm area of water at one of the waterfall bases), great for your baby and/or toddler to play.  

High Falls, Triple Falls & Hooker Falls Hike

At DuPont State Park, there are several hiking options.  We opted to hike to High Falls, Triple Falls and Hooker Falls trail. This route is about 4.5 miles round trip with 490 feet of elevation gain and you see 5 different waterfalls along the trail.  The path is well groomed and easy to hike. Each waterfall on this route is unique. High Falls is the most impressive and has several viewing points including at the base.  Triple Falls is three waterfalls that run together. Hooker Falls is the smallest of them all but there is a calm area of water at the base of the waterfall where the kids (or adults) can play in.  We did not stay at Hooker falls overly long though because our kids started to eat the sand like it was going out of style.  Reality! 

Route & Alternatives

Asheville with a Baby or Toddler

There are several options for hiking the route we did. We recommend parking at the main visitor center for DuPont State Park and starting the hike from there. First you’ll hike to High Falls, then Triple Falls and finally Hooker Falls.  We then recommend retracing your steps to return to the visitor center. 

Alternatively, you can hike to just Hooker Falls from the Hooker Falls parking lot.  This hike is 1 mile round-trip with 140 feet of elevation gain. If you plan to spend a lot of time playing in the sand and calm water at this waterfall, this may be your best option.  You also could just hike to High Falls and/or Triple Falls.   As you can gather, there are various hike options to suite your level of fitness and what your family will enjoy most at DuPont State Park.

Cost: Free

Outdoor Patios 

There are so many cool outdoor patios that are baby and toddler friendly in the greater Asheville area.  One of our favorite patios was at Foothills Grange.  This casual outdoor bar/eatery has a fun setting with string lights, industrial style porch coverings and a huge outdoor sand pit for the kids to play.  The outdoor sand pit was a real hit with our toddler and our baby thought it was fun too.  We’ve never seen such a large sand pit before and this unique offering earns it a spot in this guide.  

Cost: Varieties depending on what you eat/drink

Asheville with a Baby or Toddler: Where to Eat?

There are so many eateries in the greater Asheville area that are baby and toddler friendly.  Honestly, anywhere we ate, the staff was kind to our kids.  The laid back vibe of Asheville made them feel welcomed at any restaurant so we would recommend really eating anywhere your adult heart desires.  That being said, below are two of our favorite restaurants we visited with the kids that had some extra kid friendly touches. 

The Bush Farmhouse 

Asheville with a Baby or Toddler

The Bush Farmhouse has yummy upscale South African food yet the atmosphere is casual and the outdoor patio area is really neat. The main reason we recommend visiting this spot with your baby and/or toddler is because the patio area has tons of kid friendly features.  There is an enclosure where there are giant pigs, chickens and ducks, which our toddler loved. There are also some old school toys/rides for the kids to play on.  They had a retro airplane ride that our toddler wanted to ride on again and again.  

We were worried this place may be too upscale for our kids and that was not the case at all.  To our delight, it was one of the most kid friendly places we ate at while visiting Asheville.  The food was delicious here, the outdoor space was super cute and the kid-friendly touches all made eating at this restaurant a real highlight during our visit to the Asheville area.  

White Duck Taco

Another great place to eat in Asheville with your baby or toddler is White Duck Taco. This casual taco joint on the river checks all the boxes. The patio area overlooking the river has plenty of green space for your toddler to run and play. Our daughter could not get enough of ‘playing’ the corn hole game they have outside either. The variety and uniqueness of the tacos on the menu is also a huge selling point. There are various ethnic food inspired tacos from curry to Korean to classic. They had a chicken and cheese quesadilla on the menu that our kids enjoyed too. We liked this place so much that we considered coming back another time to try more tacos and enjoy the patio, even on our short trip.  

Note: You may have to wait in line for 15-20 minutes to order during peak time. After ordering though, the food comes fast. With tacos being pretty quick to eat, there is constant turnover in seating. We had no issue finding a place on the river to sit and enjoy our tacos.  Alternatively, have one person wait in line while the other grabs a spot by the river with the kids. 

Asheville with a Baby or Toddler: Where to Stay? 

We recommend staying at the Dancing Bear Getaway in nearby Black Mountain while visiting Asheville with your baby and/or toddler.  This 3 bed, 2.5 bath home has a plethora of toddler/baby friendly amenities that make the home perfect for you and your little ones.  There is a pack n play, booster chair and baby gate all to use during your stay at the home.   Further, the large closets in two of the bedrooms easily accommodate a pack n play so if you are looking for your little one to have their own quiet space without using an entire room, this is perfect.  Our friends staying with us and ourselves were able to do this with our babies and this made the home feel like it had 5 bedrooms instead of 3.  There is also laundry available which every parent knows is a huge help when traveling.  

Further, the outdoor space at this rental is on point.  There is an illuminated fire pit, hot tub and two different porches to utilize.  Our toddler loved the front porch and hot tub.  The hot tub was also a great spot for us to enjoy as adults after the kids went to bed.  The location of this house rental is prime as well.  It is only a 3 minute drive to downtown Black Mountain and a 10 minute drive to Asheville.  The hosts of this home, Carolyn and Brian, are also so helpful and kind.  We highly recommend staying here!  Check out the Dancing Bear Getaway website for the most up to date availability and read our full Dancing Bear Getaway review here

Asheville with a Baby or Toddler FAQS

Is Asheville Stroller Friendly? 

Other than the hiking trails, yes.  If possible, we recommend you bring a stroller and a baby carrier to Asheville with your baby and/or toddler.  The stroller will be handy exploring anywhere downtown and the carrier will be helpful on the trails.  

Stroller Recommendation

When choosing a stroller, opt for a narrow stroller that easily goes in doorways. We love the Graco Ready2Grow Double Stroller. It’s narrow, allows a carseat to be clicked into it, gives the option for our toddler to ride on the platform in the back and has a huge basket underneath. It’s our go to travel stroller.  And reasonably priced! 

When walking around the city with our kids in the stroller, we use the Tushbaby to carry our baby and/or toddler if they are not having the stroller.  This makes carrying both of the kids around SO much easier and was the perfect adjunct to our double stroller. Further, when we need one of our kids to sleep in the stroller, we recline them back and place the blackout CoziGo over them to give them a dark place to rest. 

Carrier Recommendations

We recommend using Ergobaby Omni 360 Cool Mesh Baby Carrier for a baby less than 12 months and this Structured Backpack Carrier once the baby is older than a year for hiking.  See our Hiking with a Baby guide for more on hiking with your little.   

Are Asheville Restaurants Kid Friendly?  

Yes!  Even restaurants we thought would not be kid friendly were accommodating to our kids.  

Is Asheville a Kid Friendly City?

Yes!  The laid back vibe of this outdoor centric city makes it a great place to visit with kids.  Everywhere we went with our kids in Asheville, people were so nice. We never felt like they were too loud or in anyone’s way.  Thank you Asheville for making us feel welcome!  

We hope this guide helps you plan your trip to Asheville with your baby or toddler.  We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment! See our 4 Days in Asheville, Weekend in Black Mountain and Top 3 Asheville Hikes for more Asheville travel tips and ideas.

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