Downtown Hendersonville NC Gets A Gem Mine

Pisgah Forest Gem Mine Hendersonville NC

Exciting things are happening all around Hendersonville North Carolina, and becoming a kid-friendly place is a top priority. When you look at other places around Western NC, including Asheville, there is not much to do for kids. But take a simple walk down Main Street in Downtown Hendersonville and watch their little eyes light up!

You have Hands On which is a fun experience where you can take the kids for exhibits, classes, and events. Then you have the Mineral & Lapidary Museum where you can get a sort of science tour of raw minerals from the earth, polished gemstones, and other finished products. Then last but not least, you have the ECCO Aquarium where you can see about 24 exhibits and tanks featuring turtles, sharks, lizards and more. And let’s not forget the Dancing Bear, which is one of the best toy stores we have ever been in. But beware, kids are known to get stuck in there.

Hendersonville NC Gem Mine

Now the Pisgah Forest Gem Mine is opening up on Main Street, and this kind of makes it all come full circle. The place is currently under construction so don’t go just yet. Stay tuned for more information. Many fun hours of kids entertainment can now be experienced in Downtown Hendersonville North Carolina!

A Family Tradition – Grandad’s Apple Farm in Hendersonville NC

Grandad's Apple Farm and Pumpkins in Hendersonville NC

Today was the time when our family heads out to Grandad’s Apple Farm in Hendersonville North Carolina. Over the past few years, this has become a family tradition for us. This year there was only a handful of us, as some had prior commitments, and others had to work. But we have learned that as a family, we must make great memories while we still can, so heading out to this farm is more than just about apples.

Apple Picking at Grandad's Apple Farm in Hendersonville NC

We walked, talked, enjoyed the sun, escaped to the shade for a few, hung out by the lake, played by the cornfield, had some fun in the playground area, met some other nice folks, and took home two bags of apples to make all sorts of delicious desserts.

Grandad's Apple Farm Hendersonville North Carolina

I just love looking out across this huge cornfield, taking a deep breath, and gazing upon the mountains that rise into the sky.

Golden Delicious Apples in Hendersonville NC

There we plenty of choices when it came to apples, although certain ones like Pink Lady and Candy Crisp were not ready yet. You can see our photo about those on the AskHendersonville Facebook Page. The apples pictured above were called Golden Delicious, and once you bite into them, you will know how they got the name.

Statues at Grandad's Apple Farm in Hendersonville NC

And although we took photos and made memories all over the farm, there we also several statues that you could take a photo with. Grandma and her butler are located right at the barn entrance, and the gorilla and bear are in the kids playground area. Oh, and the barn has just about everything you can imagine making with apples. From ice cream, to bread, to pastries, and even some bottled hard cider to take the edge off.

So if you are looking for a great spot to take the family, or spend time with friends; this is a must-have experience if you are in the Hendersonville and Western North Carolina area.

Also… see the Tractor Ride Video on Facebook!

Elijah Mountain Gem Mining

Elijah Mountain Gem Mine Hendersonville NC

I have a secret. It’s kind of embarrassing for me to admit this but It’s time I finally come clean. Every time we travel in North Carolina, I just have to stop and do it. Just anticipating the weight of the bucket excites me. What treasures are lurking inside I wonder. The ice cold water flowing in the flume and rushing over my manicured fingers panders to the little girl in me. I plop a handful of soil from my bucket onto the screen and lower I it into the water, ahhhh, a huge sigh of relief…I’m gem mining AGAIN!

There it is, I love gem mining. I found a gem of a mine at Elijah Mountain Gem Mine in Hendersonville. You are transported back in time and for a brief moment you feel like you’re are a real prospector mining for real gem stones. You might find Rubies, Sapphires, Emeralds, Quartz crystals, Citrine, Amethyst, Garnets, Aventurine, Sodalite, Peridot, Opal, Fluorite, Aquamarine, Topaz, Peacock Copper or even gold depending on the bucket of fun you purchase. And don’t worry about the weather ruining your mining plans since they have outdoor water flumes and indoor flumes that are open daily. So, if the family is getting cabin fever, this the perfect little jaunt to take.

Hendersonville NC Gem Mine Elijah Mountain

The store is huge and filled with surprises. Right in the center is a faux bridge with a fish pond filled with koi and goldfish. All around the pond are gorgeous rocks and unique pieces of artsy fartsy rock creations.

In the back, you can pick a geode and have a staff member put the geode in this antique contraption that breaks the geode right in half. You end up holding your breathe when they break it open, cuz you have no idea what colors you will find inside your geode. I stood there a good long time just watching the faces of people getting their geode opened. I was clapping with delight and the geodes weren’t even mine.

Okay, deep breath, they have my second favorite activity right there at the mine….feeding baby animals!!! On the right hand side they have rare and unique goats to pet and feed. I squealed so loudly, the woman behind the counter ran over and just gave me food so I could feed the goats. You can actually see the baby goats from the parking lot! You have to see these beautiful animals.

The staff was attentive and made everyone feel right at home the minute they crossed the threshold. It was southern hospitality at its very best. Voted TripAdvisor’s #1 Mine in NC!

Tell’em Chef Knut Meg sent you!!

You can thank me later!

Muah! Till next time!

Karin – adventurer and story teller!!

Follow me on Twitter @karin13773564

Family owned and operated. Wheelchair accessible.

ELIJAH MOUNTAIN – 2120 Brevard Road, Hendersonville, NC 28739

828-692- 6560

Tang Soo!

Ho Sin Sool Dojang in Etowah NC

You could have a sneezing fit of thirty seconds and be completely unaware that you passed Etowah, NC. Since DuPont and Pisgah Forests are right down the road, Etowah gets lost in the shuffle. Honestly, there isn’t much in Etowah; no fancy over the top restaurants or hotels, but there is a sense of community. I hate that some of the businesses get overlooked by locals and tourists because Etowah is small. However, one business in particular, Ho Sin Sool Dojang, has my attention and should have yours, too!

The Martial Arts Dojang offers Tang So Doo, Tai Chi, a Women’s Self Defense Class, Summer Camps and an After School Program. I may be a little biased because I am a “Hendo” inhabitant and my 5 year old attends the Little Ninjas class but, there is something special about Travis Ginn’s Dojang. One word to describe Ho Sin Sool is “heart”. When you speak to the 6 th Degree Black Belt about his lifetime study of Tang Soo Do, he lights up and you know it is one of his purposes’ in life. Travis is able to take his martial arts passion, combine it with his sense of service to the community and make it a very rewarding career. His Dojang is a place where discipline, respect, confidence, spirit and health are promoted. The values that are expressed by the International Master Instructor are shared with students from 3 to 103. Best yet, Travis is very humble about it all, even unaware of his presence and importance to the community. He is just happy to be doing what he is doing.

However, Stacey Barrett, Travis’s fiancée, is aware of what he brings to Etowah and Hendersonville. In fact, the two are teaming up to provide a fun packed summer camp for the kiddos. Camp includes hiking, programs at Carl Sandburg, field trips to the fish hatchery and WNC Nature Center, gem mining, visits from the fire department and police department, and even some rainy day activities at Hands on and Brevard Rock Gym. The couple also works together for an after school program that includes pick up from Glenn C. Marlow Elementary, Mills River Elementary, Etowah Elementary and Rugby Middle School. With Stacey’s background in massage, nutrition and fitness training, it will be exciting to see what the couple will do in the future. As for the present, I encourage people of all ages to see what the Dojang can offer children and adults. Do not be intimidated if you don’t have a background in the martial arts or tai chi, as the environment at Ho Sin Sool is warm and inviting. A student of any age will walk away with confidence and a sense of accomplishment.

Also, see a Video Introduction to Ho Sin Sool Dojang!