We ended our summer vacation with a trip to the North Carolina mountains. We planned our vacation around a trip to Tweetsie Railroad, a wild west theme park located in Blowing Rock, North Carolina.
I’d always wanted to visit Tweetsie Railroad as a child but our family never made it out there so I was very excited to take my own children. We went late summer on a weekday which meant no long lines to wait in and we got to do almost everything, if it hadn’t been for the pesky summer storm.
We started our day with the first train ride of the day on one of Tweetsie’s historic steam trains. The train ride featured cowboys, a wild west performance along the train ride and historical facts about the trains, Tweetsie and the NC mountains. Over the course of our visit we rode the train 3 times and each time the performance was different.
After the train ride and exploring Main Street we hopped up to the County Fair where the boys rode the
Carousel, Ferris wheel, Tilt-A-Whirl and Turnpike Cruisers. (Before getting in line for any rides make sure to check the height requirements so you don’t end up with disappointed little ones.)
From there we walked up the hill to Miner’s Mountain. You can take a bus or the chair lift up the hill but we opted for the short walking path up the hill. At Miner’s mountain the big kids rode the Tweetsie Twister while Abel rode the F-80 planes and boats (which are only for riders 45″ and shorter). We also visited the Deer Park Zoo which has tons of animals you can pet like goats, sheep, miniature horses, llamas, emus and more. We also stopped by the Miner’s Mountain Theater to watch the Tweetsie Railroad Country Clogging Jamboree. That’s when the thunderstorms rolled in and shut down all the rides. (It wasn’t raining but there was lighting and thunder nearby which shut down the rides) It also happened to be lunch time so we stopped at the Miner’s Diner for BBQ sandwiches and hotdogs. Then we watch Hopper and Porter’s Musical Celebration at the Miner’s Mountain Theater and played at the playground until the rain started. We sought shelter in a shop and once the rain let up we made our way to the bus stop and rode down the mountain.
We were hoping the rain would stop and the rides would open up again so we popped into the Tweetsie Palace to watch Diamond Lil’s Can-can Revue and the Magic Show. Finally the rain stopped and we headed down to ride the big train again. (If it’s raining you can see shows, ride the big train, eat or shop.) After our second train ride we looked around the shops. It had been several hours and it didn’t look like the rides would be opening again so we decided ask about the rain check policy.
Tweetsie has a great rain check policy says, “If our rides have to be shut down for the remainder of the day due to rain or thunderstorms, you can get a rain check so you can return to Tweetsie Railroad another day during the current season.” The rides had been shut down for upwards of 4 hours and the park closed in about a hour so they happily provided us with tickets to come back another day.
We only missed a few activities due to the rain but the kids were pretty bummed so I’m glad we had tickets to to come back another and a flexible vacation schedule that allowed us to return.
Two days later we returned to Tweetsie on a foggy and cool day but alas all the rides were open and we were able to spend a few hours in the park. Our second day in the park was a Saturday and there were certainly more people especially because it was Railroad Heritage Weekend which meant there were special exhibits, performances and train rides available. Even with the extra people we still had no trouble getting on ride quickly or participating in any of the activities we wanted to do. We rode Mouse Mine Train, the Chair Lift, Tornado, Free Fall and an extra ride they had called Bikes and Buggys. (I think because the Planes and Helicopter ride was no operational.) We also participated in a Cherokee song and dance performance, tried fudge from Fudge Works, and rode the big train again.
The boys were thoroughly pleased with our visit to Tweetsie Railroad, just check out these photos from our trip…
Disclosure: I received free media passes. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and not influenced by the company.