Ingles Open Road at Tweetsie Railroad
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I’m Chris Bainbridge and I love the Carolinas. This is an amazing place to find adventure in all shapes and sizes – even in our changing world. Ingles has sent me on a mission to bring you the very best of what our beautiful home has to offer – food, fun, nature music, and more. All affordable, and all out of the ordinary. This is The Ingles Open Road.
Whether you’re singing along to “Snow” with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye riding the rails through “White Christmas” or turning the pages of “The Polar Express”, trains have a nostalgic connection to Christmastime. Well, today we’re taking a trip back into my childhood and diving headlong into the Christmas season – right here at Tweetsie Railroad.
Tweetsie Railroad’s history dates back to 1866 when its namesake locomotive got its start making the journey between Johnson City, Tennessee and Cranberry, North Carolina. The steam engine had an interesting journey over the years, even falling into the hands of Christmas carol icon Gene Autry. But eventually it wound up right here in Blowing Rock, North Carolina.
The Tweetsie name comes from the distinctive steam whistle that would echo through the mountains. Tweetsie Railroad became the first theme park in North Carolina in 1957. And today it’s still going strong – with a very special holiday treat for its guests: Tweetsie Christmas.
This is perhaps the most wonderful time of the year to visit this fun-filled destination. With fun and exciting holiday shows, classic amusement rides, and visits with St. Nick himself, it’s a joyful experience for kids young and old.
And of course, it wouldn’t be an Ingles Open Road if we didn’t talk about the food. Homemade fudge, hot chocolate, funnel cakes, and even smores gathered ‘round the fire.
But the iconic centerpiece of any visit to Tweetsie Christmas is of course the 3-mile train ride. Here you travel through the twists and turns of a holiday wonderland as you take in nearly a million Christmas lights.
This is a magical experience. I remember coming here as a kid with my family and the excitement of cowboys and train robbers. But it was never anything like this. Being here in the evenings and taking in the gorgeous glow of these lights amazing.
Whether you’re coming up for the night from Asheville or Johnson City, or making it a weekend in Blowing Rock traveling from Atlanta or Knoxville, there is so much here to experience and explore.
So, hitch up the family sleigh and guide your ride to Tweetsie Railroad. You can plan your visit online at Tweetsie.com. Your weekend is waiting… on the Ingles Open Road.