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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Camping in Greenville, SC: 12+ Campgrounds that Are Perfect for Kids

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Want to go camping near Greenville, SC with kids? When it comes to hitting the Great Outdoors with your kiddos for an unforgettable camping adventure, there are lots of wonderful options for you to consider! Our area abounds with family-friendly campgrounds from the primitive to the RV type. Travel a little further for more wilderness or sandy beaches. Read on to learn more about some of our readers’ favorite spots!

For even more outdoor adventure ideas see our page: Things to Do Outside

Camping in Greenville, SC

Explore and Enjoy Some Family Fun: South Carolina Day Trips

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Looking for South Carolina day trips? While we love Kidding Around Greenville, we also love kidding around other areas of South Carolina. If you are looking for some South Carolina day trips that are perfect for families, we have you covered! Check out our list of nearby family-friendly destinations for your next day trip.

As awesome as Greenville is (yay, Greenville!), sometimes we want to take our family to a new experience in a different place. Personally, I hate packing for overnight trips, so day trips are a perfect compromise.

After polling Kidding Around Greenville’s Facebook followers and questioning a few long-time natives, we have compiled a list of the most recommended day trip locations, all within easy driving distance of Greenville.


Take on a New Challenge at The Escape Game: Concord, NC

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Love a good puzzle challenge with the family? The Escape Game at Concord Mills recently opened with 5 escape room challenges for your friends and family to conquer. All five rooms differ with regard to difficulty and the number of players able to play together, so groups big and small, and beginner or more seasoned escape room players, will all find a game that’s right for their group.

The Escape Game: Concord invited us out to try a game so we could share the experience with our readers.

The Escape Game in Concord Mills

Three of my kids, aged 10-13, and I got to play the Playground Escape Game and we had a blast! It was a very cooperative game and really required us to divide and conquer and help each other to solve all the puzzles in time.

The game was full of surprises and we won’t share all the details, so you can enjoy the game yourself. But here’s how our experience went.

The Escape Game at Concord Mills

The Escape Game is located between the movie theater and Dave & Busters at Concord Mills. If you head towards the movie theater parking lot and then keep going around towards Dave and Busters, you’ll see The Escape Game, painted black and white, on the exterior of the mall. You won’t need to walk through the mall to get to The Escape Game, but there’s an entrance in the mall, too!

When you arrive you’ll check in with your name, if you’ve made reservations in advance. This is recommended, by the way. Then, if you haven’t filled out a waiver, there’s a quick form to fill out on a tablet kiosk. Then, you’re ready to go.

Your guide will walk you to your game and welcome you to the space. A movie intro will play on the screen above the door and you’re off.

Waiver kiosk and merchandise in the Escape Game lobby

The Playground

Our game, Playground, set us up as 4th-grade students on the very last day of 4th grade. But our teacher wouldn’t let us out until we had completed all the tasks on the report card. Each lit up as we completed them during the game, helping us keep track of where we were and how many more puzzles were yet to be solved.

Up to 12 players can play this game, so I was a little nervous about how the 4 of us would do. We’re not exactly expert escape room players. But our game guide helped us out from time to time with clues on the video screen and little tips to let us know if we were headed in the right direction or not. Which, was super helpful and helped keep the game enjoyable and not frustrating.

The Puzzles at The Escape Game

The puzzles we had to solve were all themed by school subject, fitting with the 4th-grade classroom experience. The way information was displayed and hidden for each problem varied greatly. Some clues had us bouncing between rooms as they were opened and some of it was hidden in plain sight and required some deduction and logic, and maybe a little math to find the solutions. Each problem worked together to get us the information we needed to escape that fourth-grade class.

There were lots of fun little surprises along the way, that I, at least, have never seen in an escape room before. My kids really enjoyed those surprises.

Celebrating our escape at The Escape Game, Concord

Mom Review: The Escape Game: Concord, NC

We had a great time playing Playground. Escape rooms are a great family activity for families, especially with hard-to-please tweens and teens and I would definitely would recommend playing a game at The Escape Game. Our game was really well done and we enjoyed working together to solve it and escape.

In my opinion, I don’t think kids much younger than 8 or 9 would be able to contribute much towards solving the puzzles and they might get bored. Although one nice thing about Playground is that there are a significant number of tasks that require collecting objects and younger kids could certainly help with that. But, suffice it to say, these are really geared toward older kids and adults.

We escaped! The Escape Game, Concord Mills

More Rooms to explore at The Escape Game

We got to peek inside a couple of the other new rooms at The Escape Game!

  • Prison Break: 60 minutes to escape prison. Difficulty 9/10, for up to 8 players
  • The Depths: A secret underwater lab? Difficulty 7/10, for up to 8 players
  • Special Ops: A mysterious market…. Difficulty 8/10, for up to 8 players
  • Gold Rush: Time to find some gold. Difficulty 7/10, for up to 8 players
  • Playground: Escape the 4th grade, can’t be that hard, right? Difficulty 6/10 for up to 12 players
The Depths, Escape Game
Sneak peek: The Depths at The Escape Game, Concord

Tickets for The Escape Game

Tickets are $34.99. Smaller groups may end up together, so if you’d like to book privately, for only your group, you can purchase the entire room beginning at $280. Of course, the other option is just to make sure you bring enough friends to fill the room.

More to Do: Concord Mills

Being located in Concord Mills, a large mall, you could easily turn your visit into a full day. Concord Mills has an aquarium, an arcade, movie theater, lots of shopping, and places to eat.

Our family went to the Lego Store and then decided to drive over to SunFlour Baking Company for lunch, which is a family favorite just about 15 minutes from the mall.

Take Your Family on a High-Speed Adventure at ZMAX Dragway in Concord, NC

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Thinking about a visit to ZMAX Dragway in Charlotte, NC? When is the last time you stood up to watch something go 300 mph? Been a long time or maybe never? Then you should plan a trip to the ZMAX Dragway for an NHRA National Event.

We got a chance to visit for the NHRA Carolina Nationals and couldn’t believe all the things we got to experience. And the best part? Kids are FREE. So your 300 mph family adventure just got a lot more budget-friendly. Here’s everything you need to know.

This post contains affiliate links.

The next NHRA event at ZMAX Dragway is coming soon! Get tickets now for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals: April 28th – 30th, 2023

Thank you to Explore Cabarrus County for providing tickets so we could bring our readers this review!

entrance to ZMAX Dragwa

Swim, Paddle, and Relax at These Lake House Vacation Rentals in the Carolinas

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Ready for a break and thinking about looking at lake house rentals? SC and NC have some of the best lakes to retreat to. We have a list of amazing homes on lakes that you can rent for your next family vacation! Loaded with peace, tranquility, and amenities for the family, these lake house vacation rentals are perfect for a spring break trip or a weekend away.

These lake home rentals are all nearby in North Carolina, South Carolina, or Georgia.

Lake House Rentals in the Carolinas

Apparate to a Fantasy World with these Themed Vacation Rentals

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Did you know you can vacation in a fantasy world with a themed vacation rental? If you are looking for a way to escape to another place, away from reality, these rentals will let you do just that. There’s a place for you to lay your head whether you dream of hanging with wizards, jumping to light speed in space, or joining some Hobbits for a second breakfast.

Leave behind your cares while living in a fantasy world at one of these amazingly themed vacation rentals; you won’t ever want to leave. 

Themed Vacation Rentals

26+ Fun Day Trips for Spring

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With spring break around the corner, Kidding Around Greenville gives you a list of fun day trips not too far from home. To make room for some unpredictable weather, we have separated the list of spring day trips into two main categories: indoor and outdoor.

To help in your trip planning, we have also listed a summary of driving times in the end. Before going, just be mindful of operation hours. Lastly, don’t forget to take photos and tag us on social media! For more Day Trip ideas see our Day Trips Near Greenville page.

Spring Day Trips Near Greenville, SC

On-location | Visiting Spots Seen On The Netflix Show Outer Banks in Charleston, SC

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Are you a fan of the show Outer Banks? Film location for the Netflix series is actually Charleston, SC. You may be surprised to learn; you don’t have to leave the state of South Carolina to visit John B.’s hideout or the other locations seen in the Netflix show Outer Banks. We went on the hunt for John B. and the wreck of the Royal Merchant, and you can reap the benefits and set off on this tour of Outer Banks filming locations.

So, if you’re wondering about the Outer Banks film location, we have everything you need, right here.

Shem Creek, Mount Pleasant

Bringing The Outer Banks To Charleston

One of the phenomenons resulting from an international pandemic, everyone was binge-watching the same shows simultaneously. Even people who had never binged a show or hardly watched TV, were now discovering the joy of watching 12 episodes of a show all at once. So while the entire nation seemed to be trying to solve what happened to Carole Baskin’s husband, some of us had moved on to the next show.

At the beginning of the 2020’s pandemic, my friend and I were simultaneously binge-watching shows. So when he suggested the Outer Banks, he said it was a teen show and didn’t seem interested. A show that combined a murder mystery with a treasure hunt in a setting that was familiar to me?

I was quickly hooked on this who-done-it! I love exploring places and going off the beaten path. These locations were a mixture of familiar and way off the beaten path (for me, at least). It didn’t take long for me to get invested in the character’s search for answers. Producers chose Charleston, South Carolina, to use a fictional town in the Outer Banks of North Carolina in response to political issues in North Carolina.

Charleston SC

If you’re planning a visit, check out our Guide to Charleston, SC, before you head out! You’ll find other fun things to do and suggestions for enjoying the city!

On Location in Charleston For Season 1 of Netflix’s Outer Banks

The “Summer Winds” hotel that John B. and Pope break into in the first episode is a real hotel where you can stay. You can book room 229 at The Creek Side Lands Inn to stay in the room where filming took place. However, if you plan on escaping out the window as they did in the show, I need to warn you that the awning was never there, so you’ll need to have an alternate escape route if the bad guys come back to the room.

UNC chapel hill set at the galliard center
The Galliard Center / UNC-Chapel Hill Set

You can recreate Sarah and John B.’s trip to the show’s version of UNC-Chapel Hill by hopping on the Carolina Belle for a ride around the harbor. After strolling through Washington Square Park, be sure to stop at Ben Silver for some dapper outfits. Then head to the Gaillard Center, the UNC-Chapel Hill Law Library, for the show’s purposes. Sadly this means you won’t be able to go upstairs and look for the clues that lead to a treasure but don’t worry; we can tell you where to find Platt 9.

widows house on location
Crain Widow’s Home

The spooky *Crain widow’s home was rumored to have needed very little done inside to it by the scenery team. It really looks like that! This might be where the similarities end, though. The home’s top floor was added in post-production, and while the home does have a crawl space, those scenes were filmed in a soundstage.
*The house is occupied, and out of respect for the residents, I have removed the address for the season 2 update.

Tanney Hill Plantation, the home of “Kook Princess” Sarah Cameron, was home over 200 years ago and is now on the register of historic places. Lowndes Grove is a wedding and event venue that is right on the water. The property’s rich history spans a revolutionary war invasion, the arrival of Charleston’s World’s Fair, and a visit from President Theodore Roosevelt.

charleston wreck of the richard and charlene
The Wreck of The Richard and Charlene

On Location in Mount Pleasant For Season 2 of Netflix’s Outer Banks

A lot of the scenes shot by the docks, you might recognize if you’ve followed our tips for Free and Low-Cost Things To Do In Mount Pleasant. Shem Creek is a beautiful place and one we usually find ourselves at every time we visit Charleston. If you like fresh seafood and want to see the spot where dockside scenes were filmed, Geechie Seafood is the place you should head.

The restaurant that Kiara’s parents own is, in reality, The Wreck Of The Richard And Charlene. The restaurant is a seafood lover’s dream. The seafood exclusive menu includes shrimp, crab, scallops, and fish. Served up with low country-style side dishes. They even have boiled peanuts!

obx on location

The Kildare County Sheriff’s station and the buildings you see in later episodes where John B. is on the run occur in The Old Village Of Mount Pleasant. Pop into the Pitt Street Pharmacy, the neighborhood drugstore complete with a soda fountain, for an old-fashioned root beer float, milkshake, or lunch.

mount pleasant soda fountain
Chicken Salad Sandwich $3.75 / Pitt Street Pharmacist & Chase Stokes / BLT $4.50

Finding The Outer Banks on The Barrier Islands of Charleston, SC

If you were hoping to get all dressed up and head to “Midsummers,” you’ll need to make reservations for the Kiawah Island Golf Resort. This beautiful resort has 10 miles of private beach on one of the prettiest stretches of coastline in the state. The property includes three pools that accommodate families very well and is located next to one of the Top Ten Beach Locations in the US.

The “Boneyard” island where the Pogues and the Kooks have a keg party is actually Hunting Island. The South Carolina State Park has campsites and five miles of beach. The island is also home to the 160-year-old Hunting Lighthouse. It is the only lighthouse in the state that is accessible to the public. The lighthouse is where John B. and Kiara find a clue his father left behind for him.

Here’s an “easter egg” hunt for. There’s a scene with Upstate Native Actress Brook Sill; see if you can find her. [clue: she’s not a Pogue]

The location of John B’s Shack has eluded fans. However, a set designer did confirm it was on John’s Island. Unfortunately, it is only viewable by boat in a residential neighborhood in the Seccesionville Historic District of James Island.
Keep reading for a way to see it!

Last But Not Least…

One of the most iconic spots from the show is the old church that John B uses as a hiding place. The church is about an hour from Charleston and was my favorite location to try and find. But, I’ll tell you, it wasn’t easy. It’s located in the sleepy town of McClellanville, where if you take a wrong turn, you’ll see the evidence of alligators on the side of the road. The alligator part of the hunt was so jarring that we had to keep making u-turns to look again.

Once you discover the tucked-away location of the Old Bethel AME Church, it will have been worth it. But, unfortunately, the day we went, it was raining, that plus the wildlife we had witnessed just minutes before kept me in the car.
*Please, be respectful if you do visit. After the popularity of the show brought it to the attention of social media, it got vandalized. So last year, the church boarded up the building to protect it.

Robin with Adventure Harbor Tours gave me this bonus tidbit of info recently- The pawn shop in season 1 is located on the same street as two of the restaurants I recommend below. Here’s another tip! Contact Adventure Harbor Tours if you want to see that “only accessible by boat” location of John B’s waterfront home. They conduct a seasonal Outer Banks Location Tour, and it’s the best way to see places from the water that aren’t otherwise accessible. Plus, Charleston Harbor is a beautiful place to see by boat!

When this article was originally published in 2020, I had recommended visitors stop while in the town of McClellanville and enjoy lunch at Boats N Hoagies. Sadly, this popular spot was dependant on tourism traffic to the small town and didn’t make it through the events of the last year.

There are several highly recommended spots in McClellanville to check out, and this cute town deserves an entire day of exploration, so enjoy dinner before you head out!

Season 3 of Netflix’s Outer Banks

The season 3 released in February 2023.

Get Your Gear: Gifts for the Outer Banks Fan

This section contains Amazon Affiliate links. Kidding Around earns when you purchase through these links.

Volcom Men’s Outer Banks X Netflix OBX Jj Reversible Bucket Hat

Outer Banks TV Show Socks

Pogue LIfe Outer Banks Shirt

Volcom OBX Pogues Party Blanket

Volcom Women’s OBX Netflix OBX Kiara Fleece Short

Outer Banks Faces Poster

Vintage Outer Banks Shirt

There’s Some Truth To The Plotline Of Netflix’s OBX!

If you think that the plot line to this show could never happen, you’re probably right.

However, fans of the show are often surprised when I tell them that The Royal Merchant was a REAL ship. The Merchant Royal was lost at sea, with a gold bounty with an estimated value in excess of 1.5 billion dollars in today’s money. Thus, making it the most valuable ship ever to be lost at sea.


The captain of the 40 member crew – was a Limbrey.

The inconsistent part of the OBX plotline is the location where the ship went down. Salvage crews have searched in vain for the sunken ship for years. Then, a few years ago, a fishing vessel pulled up what is believed to be the anchor of the Merchant Royal off of the coast of Cornwall, England. The ship had been dragging its nets for several hours and claimed they had no idea when or where the anchor had originally been located.

Either way, that gold treasure won’t be washing up on the coast of the Carolina’s anytime soon. Sorry.

I think it makes for an exciting vacation activity to visit the places you’ve seen on TV. Last year I covered the places you could visit in Georgia where another Netflix hit is filmed, Stranger Things.

Want to visit the real Outer Banks, NC? We have all the info on that too!

Evening skies at a beach in Outer Banks, NC

Want to visit the real Outer Banks, NC? We have all the info on that too!

Kidding Around Guide to OBX

A Travel Guide To Myrtle Beach, SC: Things to Do, Where to Stay, and Places to Eat

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Planning a family vacation to a great beach in SC? Myrtle Beach is a clear favorite, and it is easy to see why. As one of the most popular beaches for vacationing in SC, Myrtle Beach offers top-notch hotels and resorts along with tons of family-friendly activities along the Grand Strand. So we’ve gathered up reviews and coverage from Kidding Around into one convenient guide! Our guide includes places to stay, where to dine, fun activities, and more to help you create the perfect vacation.

Travel Guide to Coastal SC: Myrtle Beach

Buffalo Creek Vacations: You Can Sleep in a Caboose Where Buffalo Roam in NC

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Buffalo still roam in this country and while most of them are out West, there are herds that roam free in North Carolina at Buffalo Creek Vacations in Clyde, NC. Less than two hours from Greenville, SC, this vacation destination is close to so much fun, and the property is pretty awesome all by itself. We stayed in a caboose on this beautiful property and have all the details!

Thank you to Buffalo Creek Vacations for inviting us to stay on their property. 

Buffalo Creek Vacations is located in Clyde, North Carolina, about an hour and 45 minutes from the Upstate and right in the middle of so many fantastic places in Western North Carolina like the Biltmore in Asheville, the adorable town of Waynesville, and some of the best hiking trails in the state. But Buffalo Creek has its own claim to fame because they have an entire buffalo herd roaming on their property. 

These are the very same American Bison that roam out West and were once nearly extinct. As guests of Buffalo Creek, you can watch them get fed and just enjoy them doing their buffalo thing while roaming around the private farm. And you can do it all while staying in a decommissioned caboose or a luxury log cabin. We stayed in the caboose and it was super cool and something that a kid (or grownup) who loves trains will go nuts over if they get the chance to stay here. 

About Buffalo Creek Vacations 

Harold Clackett was a UPS driver on Long Island, New York when he decided he wanted to get out of the rat race and find someplace beautiful to retire with his wife, Harriet. He had a love of all things America so decided he would do something about it and raise bison. So he built a log cabin in Clyde, NC, with views of the Great Smoky Mountains, and worked on that big dream of his in 1994.

A decade later, the 40 acres behind Harold and Harriet’s log cabin and bison ranch went up for sale. The Clackett kids – five boys and one girl – and their spouses decided they wanted to expand their dad’s dream and create a vacation rental business, along with the bison ranch. So they bought the land and built beautiful cabins on it. 

Harold is also a train enthusiast. He had lots of model trains in his basement and just loved tinkering with them. So in 2016, the Clackett family bought a decommissioned caboose and had it shipped all the way to the mountains, renovated it, and started renting it out. Then came another caboose and Buffalo Creek Vacations made a national list of the Top 10 coolest places to stay in the country. High-five! 

They have two cabooses for rent and are currently renovating four more. 

Staying in a Caboose 

I love staying in unique rentals and the decommissioned caboose was no exception. This was a really cool experience. 

The caboose rental we stayed in, the Gray Caboose, was part of the Seaboard Coast Line, which operated all along the Eastern Seaboard starting in 1967. I’m fascinated with all things history and loved the story behind the cabooses on the property. 

The caboose is quite large and Buffalo Creek did a pretty amazing job renovating it. It has a full kitchen, bathroom, living room, two televisions, a bedroom with a queen bed, and a loft with another queen bed. The couch folds out to a twin sleeper so in all, the caboose can sleep five people. There is also free wi-fi.

Also, the windows look out on the pasture where the buffalo roam so you can see them right from the caboose! All of the accommodations at Buffalo Creek are pet-friendly. 

The BC Depot 

The BC Depot is right next to the cabooses and houses the game room, the huge model train room, the little shop, and laundry area. 

My kids absolutely loved the game room and one didn’t want to leave. Ever. 

Buffalo Creek has a ping pong table, foosball, a mostly enclosed area with lots of toys for smaller kids, a chess/checker table, and air hockey. You can also hang out there and play a DVD or take one back to your caboose to watch later. They’ve also got a pet turtle in there plus coffee and all kinds of books to read and information about the area to peruse. 

The little shop has all kinds of buffalo-themed goodies like aprons, stuffed animals, socks, shirts, and keychains. Cheryl, one of the owners and the only daughter of Harriet and Harold, will likely be in here and is so friendly and helpful. If you have any questions at all, she will know the answer! 

The Buffalo Ranch 

So Buffalo Creek Vacations is really unique and fun because they are situated on a buffalo ranch and I find these creatures pretty fascinating. They literally roam the property (with fences) and you can see them hanging out and chilling and do whatever it is that buffalos enjoy doing. 

At 9:30 am every morning, they are fed and guests are invited to watch. Let me tell you – this was entertaining. Feeding the buffalo herd, which consists of more than 35 heads of them, is quite the task. They get fed special pellets once a day and graze the rest of the day in the pastures. To feed the buffalo, Harold, 78, drives the tractor while his wife, Harriet, also 78 years old, and a cousin of the family, Dennis, sits on the front end with the buckets of pellets and dumps them into the troughs. 

Buffalo, which is the nickname of bison, are not typically nice creatures. They are part of the Bovidae family, which consists of cattle and antelope. While they seem like fluffy cows, they can run up to 30 miles per hour and jump straight up six feet, plus they can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and have horns. They can easily run you over and cause serious damage, which is why warnings about staying away from these buffalo are all over national parks where they roam out in Yellowstone. These are the same animals at Buffalo Creek so definitely follow all the signs and don’t think you can go cuddle with these wild mammals. 

Now, back to the feeding of the buffalo by the coolest grandparents I think I’ve met, aside from my own. These two septuagenarians on the tractor feed the buffalo every morning and do it fast and efficiently. If I manage to live to be 78 years old, I hope I can be as fearless and adventurous as these two grandparents.


Jeff, Cheryl’s husband, told me all kinds of cool buffalo facts while we watched Harold and Harriet feed the herd and hold a new baby goat (best day ever honestly). Buffalo are pregnant for about nine months and they rut for a couple months in the late summer and give birth in late spring/early summer. Baby buffalo weigh around 60-70 pounds and put on weight quickly. Their hides are a tan color and then turn brown as they grow older. The hides feel rough and are fuller during the winter. When summer rolls around, the buffalo will rub against trees to shed some of that course fur to stay cooler. 

There are also mini-horses, llamas, alpacas, goats, rabbits, donkeys, and horses at Buffalo Creek Vacations. The alpacas and llamas are sheared once a year for their fluffy fur and the goats make baby goats, which make a lot of people happy. The donkey is one of the guard animals and we got to hear him hee-haw a bunch of times. They are louder than you think! 

Model Trains Everywhere at Agapeland

Harold Clackett is a train enthusiast and over his lifetime had collected a significant number of model trains, which he kept in his basement. When the BC Depot was built, a special room was added for the Smoky Mountain Model Railroaders Club, which is like walking into another world of tiny people, landscapes, and trains. 

The model train room is part of the ranch but a separate fee is charged to enter and explore the room ($10/adults, and $8/kids and seniors). Guests get a reduced rate. 

The room, called Agapeland, currently has nine working trains and I’m guessing about eight or nine separate little worlds – a carnival, a 50s diner, a little town, a mining village, a castle, and several others. I lost count. I was so overwhelmed walking into that room and was amazed at what this model train world consisted of. I’d definitely recommend a stop at Agapeland while you visit. Plus, this is a great stop if you’re in the area. Totally worth it plus you can see the buffalo.

Birthday Parties, Field Trips, and Day Passes

If you want to host a birthday party at Buffalo Creek Vacations, that’s an option. They have a lot of space in the BC Depot and offer opportunities for kids to interact with the animals and see the buffalo. 

In addition, field trips are also offered at the ranch. There’s a lot to see and learn about farming and animals. 

If you’re in the area or want to make a day trip to Buffalo Creek Vacations, they offer a Day-Cation Pass. The pass allows you to watch the daily bison feeding, check out the model trains, do a mini-horse ride, visit the playground and game room, and see all the animals. You also get a free souvenir cup of animal feed to give the goats some treats. The day pass is good from 9 am – Noon and costs $45/adult and $38/child ages 3-17. Be sure to make a reservation ahead of time.

The Playground

The BC Coral is the big playground at Buffalo Creek. It’s an old-school one with wooden bridges, monkey bars, a climbing ball, see-saw, and little zip line. My kids loved it. 

To get to it, you actually have to hike one of the trails, which was definitely fun. It’s uphill on the way there and only takes about 10 minutes to get there from the cabooses and BC Depot. We went before the bison feeding so didn’t have a lot of time. My kids would have definitely stayed longer if I had let them! 

Luxury Cabins

As we didn’t stay in one of the luxury cabins at Buffalo Creek Vacations, I can’t speak directly to those log cabins but we did walk by a couple of them and they look beautiful. All cabins were built almost solely by the family and every luxury cabin is pet-friendly and have pool tables, wi-fi, a private fire ring, and hot tub. 

Cabins sleep anywhere from 2 to 14 people so this is an awesome place for a family trip, couples retreat, or even a family reunion or wedding party. 

And if you want a massage, they actually have a masseuse that will come to the property and give you a massage right in the cabin. Heaven.

Nearby Things to Do 

Buffalo Creek Vacations is in such an ideal location that it’s hard to pick one or two things nearby to focus on if you want to do some day tripping. So I’m just going to tell you a bunch of things and you can choose!

Hiking & Outdoor Fun

Max Patch 
This is one of the best spots I’ve ever been to with its 360-degree views of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains. It’s about 45 minutes from Buffalo Creek and the road is really bumpy up there but it’s only about 1.5 miles round trip to get to the bald and…wow. Go for sunrise. 

Waterrock Knob
About 35 minutes away, you can get to the highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Waterrock Knob. Again, sweeping views of the mountains. There are the remnants of an old Cessna plane that crashed there many years ago that you can hike to. Look at a map before you go as it’s a little tricky. But the hike to the Waterrock Knob summit is short but steep. Be sure to visit the Visitors Center there as it has some cool information about the area.

Midnight Hole
This beautiful emerald lagoon is such a nice spot to visit during the summer when you can take a dip in the cold water. Hike a little further up to Mouse Creek Falls for even more beauty. Get there early as the trail is super popular. It’s about a 45 minute drive from Buffalo Creek. 

Cataloochee Ski Area 
Located only 20 minutes from Buffalo Creek in Maggie Valley, you can go skiing, snowboarding, and tubing here during the winter. 

Lake Junaluska
I have yet to explore this lake but it’s on my list. Lake Junaluska is really close to Buffalo Creek, less than 15 minutes away and you can rent kayaks or paddleboards, take a boat tour, walk the trail around the lake or visit the gardens.

Whitewater Rafting 
A short 40-minute drive over the summer will get you to Smoky Mountain Outdoors where you can choose one of two whitewater rafting routes, a less intense ride for younger kids or a more wild one for older kids. 

Kids and adults Whitewater rafting in the Smokies

Towns to Visit

Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge
These two towns are only about an hour and 15 minutes away, which is so perfect because you can enjoy all the cool things to do there and then go back to Buffalo Creek for some rest & relaxation. 

This town has a quaint little downtown where you can shop, eat, and explore. 

Under an hour away, Cherokee has all kinds of neat things to do with your family from the Museum of the Cherokee Indian to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center to see the elk and tour the village. 

The Biltmore in Asheville 
The Biltmore is a half hour away and is easily a day trip. There are the gardens to explore, trails to walk, the House to tour, wine to taste, and the ice cream to eat at the creamery. 

Kidding Around WNC: things to do in Western North Carolina towns

If you need more to do, don’t miss our huge guide Kidding Around WNC.

Buffalo Creek Vacations Review

I thought the caboose rental was super cool and my kids loved the loft, game room, and playground. Learning about the buffalo was certainly a highlight and having that unique experience was pretty amazing. 

We also got to cuddle with a baby goat and anyone who reads my stories knows that baby goats make me ridiculously happy, so that’s a plus. 

I thought the family who runs Buffalo Creek Vacations was just so down-to-earth, welcoming, and happy to answer all my questions. They have been in the hospitality business for about 19 years and have worked extremely hard to make the farm and the experience of the guests all top-notch. 

And really, you cannot beat the location. There are so many things to do not only on the property but within an hour that you cannot be bored. 

Also, the communication from Buffalo Creek Vacation was excellent. I got emails before I was set to go with relevant information. The phone numbers of Cheryl and the other family members on the property are displayed in the caboose and on the front of the shop window so if you need anything at all, the family is easily accessible. 

While I’m not a train enthusiast myself, I still really enjoyed the stay, especially the model trains at Agapeland. If you are a train enthusiast, oh my gosh, you won’t want to leave this place! 

Booking with Buffalo Creek Vacations

You can find Buffalo Creek Vacations on AirBnB and VRBO but you can also book direct, saving you a lot on fees. 

Rates depend upon season and weekend/weekdays and are available to view on their website

For Kidding Around readers, Buffalo Creek Vacation is offering 5% off their rate when you enter promo code KIDGVL.

Buffalo Creek Vacations
13 Caboose Way, Clyde, NC