North Carolina July 17, 2017
Everyone From North Carolina Should Take These 8 Awesome Vacations
We’ve officially reached the peak of vacation season. With summer coming to a close in a little over two months, this is the time to plan out the rest of your trips for late summer and into fall. If you’re new to North Carolina or even a lifetime resident, there are more than a few trips you must do at least once.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Grandfather Mountain
Between a Mile High Swinging Bridge, black bears and other wildlife, hiking trails and stunning views; Grandfather Mountain is a day trip every North Carolinian must experience once. You can drive straight to the top to walk across the bridge and see animal exhibits, or park a bit below and do the Bridge Trail, a quick .8 mile hike that takes you to the top. There's also other hikes along Grandfather for adding adventure to the mix. One such hike could possibly be one of the most intense in the state, consisting of multiple ladders scaling rocking outcroppings.
For more information on Grandfather Mountain,
If you're planning to do the daring Grandfather Mountain Trail, read our guide
2. See as many waterfalls as possible
With over 300 waterfalls in the western region of the state, it can get hard to decide which ones to visit. From waterfall swimming holes, to breathtaking falls that span over 400 ft, to even a walk behind waterfall - there's a lot here. To see some of the best in a weekend trip, follow our
waterfalls road trip.
Looking for more adventure? How about spending two days chasin' waterfalls in North Carolina's
Land of Waterfalls.
3. Hop on Board
From the beloved Tweetsie Railroad, to the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, North Carolina reinvents its locomotive past in modern fashion with unique day trips and remote, mountainside train rides. From family fun, Tweetsie is a great day trip filled with train voyages, Can Can dancers, rides, and even special events to celebrate its 60th anniversary.
Read our full guide to Tweetise
If you're looking for something a bit more grown-up, or more intimate, Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers two stunning trips - the Nantahala Gorge Excursion and Tuckasegee. Read more about GSMR
4. The Outer Banks
What should be a given often comes as an afterthought, or a one-time vacation, for many North Carolina residents. While the Outer Banks offer stunning beauty, it is indeed a journey to get out there and explore all there is to offer. Between wild horses, sleepy beach towns, world-class beaches, and of course, amazing seafood; a week in the Outer Banks should be a priority for any adventurous North Carolinian.
The best way to explore the OBX? Ride along the Outer Banks Scenic Byway, and follow our guide
5. The Blue Ridge Parkway
While we might have hopped on the Blue Ridge Parkway to see fall foliage, or drive from one destination to the next, you can also plan an entire weekend here. Between camping, natural wonders, and stopping in to small mountain towns; there's a lot to see and do if you commit to traversing the whole 469-miles.
Know before you go,
these 16 surprising facts
will forever change how you see the Blue Ridge Parkway.
6. Go camping, or glamping
With so many pristine views and natural wonders, camping is the best way to awaken the adventurer in all of us. If you're more of a primitive type,
these 10 campgrounds
where no reservation is required are some of the best in the state. Looking for something completely different? How about 'glamping' - AKA, fancy camping. The best place to do so is
Sky Ridge Yurts
7. The ultimate hiking trip
Hiking and camping sometimes go hand-in-hand. If you want to really be adventurous, you have the option to spend a long weekend or week along the Appalachian Trail. If you're looking to condense a few hikes into a few days, these
ten easy hikes
span under five miles, allowing you to see a lot in a short amount of time.
Still not sure where to begin,
these 15 hikes
are the best you'll find in the Tar Heel state.
8. Travel along the BBQ trail
In a state famously known for its barbecue, what would be a vacation without it? If you consider yourself a Q-connoisseur,
travel along our delicious BBQ trail
that will give you the best of both East and West.
Well, seems like my North Carolina bucket list just got longer. Any of these you’ve done? Any you’d add to the list?