North Carolina October 05, 2017
10 Things To Do In North Carolina When You Thought You’ve Done Everything
When planning a weekend away in North Carolina, we’re pretty blessed to have two solid options – the mountains or beach. While there’s a whole world between the two and new things discovered each day… at some point every North Carolinian will get the feeling there’s nothing new to see. Even the familiar can feel exciting in North Carolina, if you know where to look.
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. Go on a zipline adventure
If you're tired of seeing North Carolina from ground level, take to the sky and fly above the trees at one of the many zipline adventures offered through the state. With the leaves reaching their peak,
The Gorge Zip Line
is simply unforgettable.
2. Find a new way to enjoy the water once temperatures drop
You might not be able to hop in and take a swim, but lakes, rivers and the ocean are still so calming and beautiful. Take a long fall walk on the beach, kayak on the intracoastal or rivers, even find some perfect lakes for hiking around. We've already
found one for you
and it's breathtaking in October.
3. Take a walk in the park
While parks are simple and perfect for a stroll, some are above the others in terms of what they offer. Pullen Park in Raleigh is home to a vintage carousel built in 1900 by Salvatore Cernigliaro of the Dentzel Carousel Company (and one of only 25 left today), a mini-train, mini-paddleboat station for little ones, a pond with adult-size paddleboats, plenty of green space and playgrounds.
Read more about Pullen Park
4. Visit a cider mill
While craft breweries are the place to be on the weekend, North Carolina's cider industry is slowly catching up and (even better) using locally-sourced apples from the seventh largest apple producer in the country. You don't have to be in the heart of North Carolina's apple country (Hendersonville) to taste great cider, although Flat Rock is great. Get some craft cider at Black Mountain or even shop and sip at Old Cider Mill.
Read our guide to North Carolina cideries
5. Hike to the top of an abandoned fire tower
We hike plenty of mountains here in North Carolina, but for hundreds of years and prior to the advances of modern technology -- those mountains, and their unpredictable fires, were monitored by 'watchmen' who spent weeks in fire towers. Today, many of these former fire towers remain in good condition and provide some seriously stunning views. One that is an easy trek, still in good condition and the tallest USFS fire tower at a total of 70 feet tall is just off the Parkway!
Read our guide to Fryingpan Tower
6. Visit a butterfly garden
There's something simply magical about butterflies, but we really only get to witness them in the summer months. At Durham's Museum of Life and Science, the Magic Wings Butterfly House is one of the largest on the east coast and home to over 50 different species.
Read our guide to Magic Wings
7. See how it's made
We enjoy delicacies like chocolate, cheese, even Moravian cookies come Christmas; but it's even more fascinating to see how they're made. From salty to sweet, factory tours are a unique peek inside the inner-workings of some of your favorite creations. This is a great activity for kids, families, groups and even curious adults.
Read our guide to 4 must-take factory tours
8. Travel back in time
While there's no literal time machine, many of North Carolina's cities and towns are like a literal time capsule. If you've never walked the cobblestone streets of Bath, you're missing out. If you've never heard ghost stories of Wilmington's past, you might be in for a surprise. If you've never witnessed a Revolutionary War reenactment at Tryon Palace, what are you waiting for! You'll feel like you're walking through the past in these
eight historic towns.
9. Change your adventures to night
With the time changing soon, night will takeover with darkness creeping in around 5 p.m. (ugh). Yet, winter is a great time to take advantage of the extended darkness with a variety of night-centric activities. From driving to the country and curling up in blankets counting stars, visiting the Bare Dark Sky Observatory, and even getting spooky and trying to see the Brown Mountain Lights...night owls and non-night owls will find new adventure in these
six nighttime adventures.
10. Go ghost hunting
It's officially October (or as I like to call it, Halloween season) which means all things spooky are a must! While there's your fair share of fictional haunted houses to get a good scare, it's always scarier in real life. From a road that leads nowhere, haunted ghost towns, even a haunted restaurant...there's plenty of real-life ghost hunts to be had in North Carolina, you might even see one for yourself!
Here are the
eight best places
to spot a ghost in North Carolina.
How fun are these! I want to do all of them, right now! Which ones have you done? Any ideas of your own you’d like to add?