North Carolina June 15, 2017
10 Out Of This World Summer Day Trips To Take In North Carolina
When it comes to North Carolina it’s completely understandable to have your usual beach, mountains, and state park day trips. Sure, nature is gorgeous and amazing but sometimes it’s all about digging a little bit deeper to uncover true gems in the Tar Heel state. These 10 day trips are the perfect mix of natural beauty, whimsy, fun, and history.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Slide down an exhilarating natural waterslide
The 60-foot sliding rock has long been a popular destination for those looking for a rush of adrenaline away from the waterpark. This natural waterslide pumps out 1,100 gallons of water per minute, propelling you down the rock and into the 8 foot, very chilly splash cool. This is a great day trip if you're looking to splash in a natural swimming hole, plus you're in a prime location for plenty of more adventure.
Get more information on Sliding Rock
2. Hop on board
If you're wanting to explore remote sections of North Carolina, choose the comfort of rail travel. Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers the classic Nantahala Gorge Excursion or the Tuckasegee Excursion. Throughout the year themed train rides (like the moonshine excursion or Wizard of Oz) make things extra special. Each excursion offers its own unique slice of beauty and exploration.
Read all about Great Smoky Mountains railroad
3. Outer Banks Scenic Byway
We recently named this the Day Trip of a Lifetime and for good reason. Spanning 138 driving miles and 25 ferry miles, the OBX Scenic Byway beautifully transports you from Dare County all the way to the Crystal Coast. While it's recommended you space out the drive over a few days, each day offers something different. From riding with the ocean on one side and sound on the other, crossing over stunning bridges, witnessing wild horses, historic lighthouses and quaint coastal towns; it truly is a once in a lifetime drive.
Read all about the OBX scenic byway
4. Eat ice cream on a farm
Ice cream is a summer staple but take it to the next level and visit Maple View Farms. This gorgeous ice cream shop on a farm puts you right in the middle of the action and also offers a wide-assortment of award-winning ice cream flavors as well as fresh dairy products to take home.
Read all about Maple View Farms
5. Walk across the gorgeous Flower Bridge
As the original connecting point for Lake Lure and Chimney Rock, the 1925 three-arch bridge once faced demolition until some inventive preservationist found a new way to save it. Today the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge spans across the Rocky Broad River and features several different flower sections as well an herb garden. Maintained by a group of dedicated volunteers the "Gateway to Somewhere Beautiful" is a true hidden gem hiding in the foothills.
Read all about the flower bridge
6. Check out tobacco barn art in the middle of nowhere
Cameron native David Ellis decided to breathe artistic life back into his hometown by painting abandoned tobacco barns in bright, colorful paintings. He and his group of recruited New York City artists were deemed by locals as the 'barnstormers.' Today, their work can be scene throughout the small town with rumors of the group popping in every few years to revitalize their work or add more to the collection.
Read about the barnstormers and how to find them
7. Spend a lazy day on one of the best beaches in America
Making this year's coveted Dr. Beach, Best Beaches in America list, Ocracoke's Lifeguard Beach secured a third spot and even placed first in 2007. This half-mile beach was noted for its clean water, pristine white sand, gorgeous dunes and no commercial high rise development in sight.
Read all about Lifeguard Beach
8. Check out some of the largest trees in the eastern U.S.
The 3,800-acre Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is home to some of the largest and oldest contiguous tracts of old growth forest in the Eastern United States. The diverse forest is home to some trees that are over 400 years old and is dedicated to the famous poet known for his beautiful prose on nature. Today, visitors can take the Poplar Cove Loop Trail to see some of the oldest trees, some reaching 100 feet high with a 20 foot circumference!
Read all about Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest
9. Float down a natural lazy river
Sure, lazy rivers can be found at pools and waterparks but adventuring down a natural Lazy River is SO much better. From the French Broad, Dan River, or Deep Creek; there's plenty of places to peacefully float while taking in stunning scenery...sometimes the current can even get a bit fast making portions a tad thrilling. If you're looking for a great option in the mountains, check out
10. Go to a bacon-themed restaurant
While food hype tends to replace itself (i.e obsession with pizza becomes 'taco Tuesday') one fad that has yet to die out is bacon. Can you blame it though? If you have that one friend (or it's you) who is absolutely obsessed with bacon, Crispy's Bar and Grill in Kannapolis is the place for you. It's a bacon-lover's dream come true.
For more information on Crispy's read our article
Now that’s a summer list packed full of unique fun, which ones have you done and which ones are top of your list? Any you’d add?