North Carolina is packed with incredible destinations for people with a wide variety of different travel styles. You could probably stay in the beautiful city of Charlotte forever and never run out of exciting things to do, but there are so many other incredible places to enjoy in the state. As such, you should consider taking a day trip to find out what you’re missing. Weekend trips are great opportunities to get away for a while, explore other areas, and expand your horizons. To help you plan your next getaway, here are some of the best weekend trips from Charlotte, NC.
Tips before you go:
Before embarking on your exciting adventure, make sure your vehicle is road trip ready to ensure your trip goes as smoothly as possible. Here are our quick road trip tips:
- Visit your local tire shop before you leave to ensure your tires are up for the trip. Pick up a spare tire if you don’t already have one.
- Make sure all the signals and lights in your car are working.
- Check your car’s brakes, fluid levels, and battery.
- Change your car’s engine oil.
Best Weekend Trips from Charlotte
Great Smoky Mountains National Park (152 miles from Charlotte)
If you’re longing to reconnect with nature, there’s no better place in North Carolina than Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A 152-mile drive from Charlotte, the Great Smoky Mountains are considered one of the most beautiful mountain landscapes in the country. This breathtaking natural oasis is replete with wildlife, hiking trails, lush forests, waterfalls, rivers, and a stunning array of wildflowers that will surely take your breath away.
Raleigh (167 miles from Charlotte)
If you consider yourself a foodie, this is the day trip destination for you. Raleigh is known for its delicious cuisine—especially their famous barbecue dishes—as well as their top-notch museums. Here in the state capital, you’ll find the Contemporary Art Museum, the North Carolina Museum of National Sciences, the North Carolina Museum of History, and other cultural gems.
Wilmington (200 miles from Charlotte)
For a taste of some of the beautiful beaches North Carolina has to offer, consider making the drive to Wilmington. This quaint beach town radiates Southern charm, and it’s a short drive from Wrightscille Beach—one of the most accessible beaches in the state. If you’re looking for a more secluded beach experience, you could also consider taking a boat to Masonboro Island reserve, an untouched barrier island near the city. Aside from its beaches, some of the top attractions in Wilmington, North Carolina, include the stunning downtown Riverwalk that overlooks the Cape Fear River, the magical Airlie Gardens, and the USS North Carolina battleship, which was used in World War II.