we rented the cutest cabin in Blowing Rcok, NC. the views from the backyard were breathtaking, the cabin was cozy and quaint with everything we needed, and the backyard even had a fire pit where we roasted marshmallows and sang songs with the kids (while they held on to us for dear life, scared of the "real, real hot" fire) most importantly, little man fell in love with his cousin. they are the best of friends!
Blowing Rock is known to be and has been voted "Prettiest town in North Carolina" and it really is. And only 13 minutes down the road is Boone, NC where Appalachian State University and everything young and hippie is (great shops, great food).