North Carolina
Making Memories: A Blue Ridge & Smoky Mountain Expedition With Your Grandchild
Share your passion for the great outdoors with your grandchild as you hike, raft, ride a historic railroad, mine for rubies and learn the story of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains.
Not yet reviewed
Program No. 21361RJ
6 days
Starts at
6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5B 5L 4D
View Full Itinerary
Getting There
See travel details and required documents

At a Glance

Experience western North Carolina with your grandchild and make memories to last a lifetime! Together, learn about the history, science and culture of the rugged and beautiful region that surrounds the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smokies. Field trips all week long will take you inside the earth, down the river, through the forest and back in time as you learn about geology, railroad history, the plants and animals of the forest, Cherokee Nation heritage and much more.
Activity Level
Hike up to two miles on moderate inclines. Walking and standing up to 90 minutes on field trips. Get in and out of raft, use paddles to help steer. Elevations of 2,300-5,500 feet.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Adventures in the outdoors include mining for rubies and other gems at the Smoky Mountain Gold and Ruby Mine in Cherokee and hiking the Appalachian Trail.
  • Experience the history and culture of the Cherokee on a visit to the Oconaluftee Indian Village, complete with a performance of “Unto These Hills,” an outdoor play portraying the unique story of the Cherokee.
  • Journey to Bryson City to explore the Smoky Mountain Trains Museum, then ride the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad across fertile valleys and river gorges to the Nantahala River to go river rafting.

General Notes

Program is for grandchildren ages 10-13.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Freeman Owle
Born and reared on the Cherokee Indian Reservation, Freeman Owle received a master’s degree from Florida State University. After teaching in the Cherokee school system, Freeman now teaches and lectures on Cherokee history and legends throughout the United States. He enjoys stone and wood carving, a legacy of his Cherokee ancestry.
Freeman Owle
Lee Knight
Suggested Reading List
View 1 books