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Hi there, we are Tanya and Harry, a husband and wife team that specializes in fine art film photography and providing timeless imagery for the contemporary couple.

Meet the McSweens

things to do in Asheville, NC

We live in the Mountains of Western North Carolina…Appalachia if you will. And we legit live where many people choose to vacation. The heart of the Appalachian Mountains has droves of waterfalls and mountaintop views and not to mention Asheville, a tiny little gem of a city, and super fun. We want to share with you some of our favorite things to do in Asheville and the surrounding areas.

First, let me let you in on a little secret, we love living here! This summer we took our kids on several adventures, some were not without tears and being freezing cold, but adventures nonetheless. Both Harry and I grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta. While we love being in the city and all the amenities that come with the city, good restaurants, shopping, etc. Our wanderlust is definitely quenched living in the mountains, and we are never more than a two-hour drive from our friendly neighborhood Target!

city to backcountry adventures

So one of my favorite days this summer started how all good adventures should with a trip to Vortex Doughnuts in Asheville. If you haven’t been you should. Their vortex doughnut with an iced chai tea latte is my favorite! After we had our fill of Doughnuts we made our way to Skinny Dip Falls off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Hands down so fun! Hands down so COLD! A haven of multiple cascades and pools, we had so much fun exploring these falls.

After we got dry and warm again we headed to Black Balsam Knob for a PB&J picnic dinner. We were in a fog most of the time which no one seemed to mind. This kind of adventure is my son’s favorite, hiking and exploring above the trees, always on a mission to get somewhere (even if he had no idea where he was going). We snuggled in our blankets and ate our dinner without the epic view you can normally see from being up so high, but fun regardless. And a wonderful reprieve from the summer heat, being 4000 feet higher in elevation than we normally are.

our own backyard

There are several hidden gems in our own backyard. We live in the Nantahala National Forest and it is so fun! Taking day trips to the waterfalls on the upper Nantahala River and playing in the water is one of our favorite things. Family friends came along for some of our adventures, time we cherish so much. Blackberries run wild through the Nantahala River Gorge and we just love filling our bellies with fresh blackberries while we swim.

We are also not far from the Ocoee River in Tennessee…I told you, we live in the best place ever! The kids loved going to the Ocoee River and jumping rocks where the 1996 summer Olympics were held, while the river was off of course! Literally minutes down the road from our house there are cornfields, woods, and creeks to be explored. If you can find adventure in a cornfield, mostly because your mom is a little crazy, you can find adventure anywhere.

Enjoy some of our favorite photos and memories from this summer!

Box of Vortex Doughnuts on picnic table in Asheville NC Photo Chocolate Doughnut on little girls face in Asheville NC photo Little girl laughing in hammock upside down in Asheville NC Little boy hanging upside down in hammock in Asheville NC Kids smiling in front of graffiti wall in Asheville NC photo Kids running at camera in front of graffiti wall in Asheville NC photo sisters hugging in front of graffiti wall in Asheville NC photoSkinny Dip Falls Family in front of water fall photoSkinny Dip Falls Black and White of Little girl holding her daddy's hand looking at camera photoSkinny Dip Falls Little girl looking up rocks Photo Skinny Dip Falls kids smiling in the falls Photo Skinny Dip Falls little girls smiling on rocks Photo Skinny Dip Falls little boy looking through his legs upside down Photo Skinny Dip Falls stack of rocks in front of water fall and kids in front of graffiti wall in Asheville PhotosSkinny Dip Falls Blue eyed little girl with blonde hair looking off Photo Skinny Dip Falls sisters laughing and brother shivering in front of water fall Photo Skinny Dip Falls Black and white of siblings tickling each other Photo Black Balsam Knob Three Siblings holding hands smiling on rock Photo Black Balsam Knob Little girl in tall grass with blue hair bow and pink dress Photo Black Balsam Knob Little girl picking flowers Photo Black Balsam Knob little girl with and orange wild flower Photo Black Balsam Knob little girl smelling an orange wild flower Photo Black Balsam Knob black and white of little girl Photo Black Balsam Knob little girl in tall grass looking back at the camera Photo Black Balsam Knob little girl in tall grass looking at the ground with blonde hair blowing in the wind Photo Black Balsam Knob three little kids huddled under blankets smiling eating sandwiches Photo Black Balsam Knob little girl in a pink striped dress eating a sandwich Photo Black Balsam Knob Black and white of little girl looking at the camera PhotoBlack Balsam Knob mom and son wrapped in a blanket smiling at the camera PhotoBlack Balsam Knob mom snuggled with three kids PhotoBlack Balsam Knob little boy kissing mom on the cheek Photo Black Balsam Knob Black and white of little girl looking over her shoulder back at the camera PhotoBlack Balsam Knob little girl looking over her shoulder making a silly face PhotoBlack Balsam Knob black and white of little girl laughing in the grass PhotoBlack Balsam Knob little girl with blue eyes laying in grass looking at the camera PhotoNantahala Lake Little girl smiling with pink flowers and dock out the the lake photos Nantahala Lake kids in life jackets sitting on a rock photo Nantahala Lake kids in life jackets getting in the water photo Nantahala Lake dad holding daughter in one arm and holding other daughters hand wading in water photo Nantahala Lake little girl smiling in life jacket in water and little girl sunbathing on rock photos Nantahala Lake little boy in life jacket smiling at camera in front of rock photo Nantahala Lake little boy holding four rocks he found in his hands photoNantahala River Best friends standing on rocks at the top of a waterfall photo Nantahala River best friends standing on rock and family photo on top of rocks in front of waterfall photos Nantahala River little girl in life jacket smiling big holding a stick photo Nantahala River group of little kids with SUV in the background photo Nantahala River purple flower photo Nantahala River little girl in front of waterfall on a bridge holding a flower in her swim suit photo Nantahala River little boy smiling sitting on bridge in front of water fall photo Nantahala River best friend group sitting on bridge in front of water fall photo Nantahala River blonde headed little boy licking sucker photo Nantahala River kids playing int he water in life jackets photo Nantahala River little girl in life jacket with a stick photo Nantahala River little boy in life jacket smiling big photo Nantahala River black and white of little girl picking flowers photo Nantahala River little girl and little boy hugging photo Nantahala River little hands picking blackberries photo Nantahala River little girl with bouquet of wildflowers and purple wildflower photos Nantahala River black and white of little girl covering camera lens photoLittle boy in front of rocks and weeds at the Ocoee River Photo Little girl holding dress and three kids hugging at the Ocoee River Photos three kids on bridge holding hands at the Ocoee River Photo Sassy little girl with hands on her hips in the rain at the Ocoee River Photo Little girl smiling in a cornfield photo Little girl twirling in a cornfield barefoot photo Little girl spinning in a cornfield barefoot photo Little girl twirling in a cornfield barefoot photo Little boy laughing in a cornfield photo sisters hugging and smiling at the camera in a cornfield barefoot photo Little girl running through field barefoot photo

Are you planning a visit to the North Carolina Mountains? We would love to chat with you about how we can be a part of the fun. Send us an email through our contact page we would love to chat.