Charlotte, NC

4 Places to See on a North Carolina Road Trip

Rock a Little Travel

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Looking for a unique and fun road trip destination this year? If so, I'd like to recommend a North Carolina summer road trip.

I think North Carolina is an excellent choice for a road trip destination. It has artsy cities, big cities, and some incredible parks.

This short North Carolina road trip guide is intended to inspire you to visit somewhere new this year. So, if you've never been to North Carolina before, now just may be the perfect time to visit.

1. Asheville

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Asheville is located about 2 hours and 15 minutes west of Charlotte and is a quirky and fun town in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains.

First time visitors will not want to miss the River Arts District or the Downtown Art District. Both of these neighborhoods are packed with impressive street art, galleries, unique local shops, and all sorts of great restaurants and bars.

Since Asheville is also known as one of the best craft beer cities in the country, you'll also want to take yourself on a self-guided brewery tour. You'll find at least a dozen local breweries in downtown Asheville, most within walking distance of another.

If you're a cider fan like I am, you can also check out Noble Cider and Mead or Urban Orchard Cider Co., both of which are also located in or near downtown.

2. Chapel Hill

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Chapel Hill is located just 45 minutes northwest of Raleigh. Chapel Hill is a university town, so it has lots of energy and all kinds of fun things to do.

For first time visitors I recommend stopping by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus. The campus is beautiful and makes a nice place to walk around. You should also make time to visit some of the attractions located there such as the Moorhead Planetarium and Science Center or Coker Arboretum.

In the evening, head out to Main Street for dinner and drinks. Acme Food and Beverage is an excellent choice if you'd like to try Southern American cuisine.

3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park is about 2 hours and 45 minutes northwest of Charlotte near the Tennessee border.

The park is famous for its incredible natural beauty, especially during the fall months when it seems the entire park turns into a dazzling array of golden yellow, red and orange.

Regardless of the time of year you choose to visit the Smoky Mountains, you'll find plenty of fun things to see and do. Popular park activities include nature walks, hiking, camping, biking, and horseback riding just to name a few.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is open year round. If planning on staying over night in or near the park, be sure to make your reservations early.

4. Raleigh

Raleigh is located about 2 hours and 45 minutes northeast of Charlotte and is the state's lively capital city.

I recommend starting your day in Raleigh early with a bike ride, run or walk along the 27.5 mile Neuse River Trail. This paved multi-use trail runs from Falls River Dam in Wake Forest all the way to the Wake/Johnston County line in Raleigh.

In the afternoon, head downtown to Raleigh City Market for lunch. Raleigh City Market is an open air shopping and dining area with local restaurants serving everything from pasta to burgers to ice cream. There are also local boutiques there perfect for picking up a few souvenirs for yourself or friends and family back home.

Afterwards, visit some of the city's best museums including the North Carolina Museum of Art, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences or the North Carolina Museum of History.

In the evening, I would head back into downtown Raleigh for dinner and drinks. For wine lovers I would check out Barcelona Wine Bar, and beer drinkers can head to nearby Crank Arm Brewing Company.

I hope you've found this article on 4 places to see on a North Carolina road trip helpful and that I've inspired you to plan a trip of your own. If you liked this article please consider giving me a follow for more local travel guides such as this one. As always, thanks for reading.

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