Traveling east on Interstate 40 from Tennessee, you’ll enjoy the scenic beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. This itinerary includes the quaint mountain towns of Waynesville and Cherokee, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, Biltmore, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Chimney Rock, Hickory Furniture Mart and more.
Traveling south on Interstate 77 from Virginia, you’ll pass through Mount Airy, the real-life Mayberry, and the Yadkin Valley, one of North Carolina’s three distinctive wine-grape growing regions. Farther south, explore gem mining history as well as racing’s roots and nature attractions near Lake Norman.
Traveling south on Interstate 85 from Virginia, you’ll explore the heart of North Carolina, from the beauty of the Duke University and University of North Carolina campuses, to the history of the International Civil Rights Museum, Seagrove pottery, the High Point furniture region and more.
Explore Fayetteville and Cumberland County’s rich military history which played a major part throughout the 20th century. You’ll encounter notable sites including Fort Bragg, 82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Museum, North Carolina Veterans Park and other modern military historical places of interest. These various sites spread throughout the county provide insight into the area’s proud military heritage.
Explore five quaint towns within a two-hour drive east of Charlotte to see the official North Carolina State Theatre, a Revolutionary War Battlefield and the largest collection of mammal specimens in the Southeast. While in Shelby, be sure to taste the liver mush, known as “poor man’s pate.”
Enjoy art, science, history and nature in the Triangle cities of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. Dubbed the “Smithsonian of the South,” Raleigh is home to a variety of museums and cultural sites. Durham’s Sarah P. Duke Gardens are a must-see for nature lovers, as is Chapel Hill’s A Southern Season for culinary travelers.
Take a ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad from Bryson City to experience the scenic beauty of Western North Carolina. When finished, visit nearby Maggie Valley, home of the Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum, or Cherokee sites including the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and Harrah’s Cherokee Casino.
Visit the largest manmade lake in the Carolinas, or tour race shops ranging from Evernham Motorsports to Dale Earnhardt Inc. in the area towns of Statesville and Mooresville. A variety of other family-friendly attractions abound just north of Charlotte, including a gem mine, a drive-through safari, a nature preserve and historic sites.
Trace the furniture industry’s roots across the Catawba Valley starting in Hickory, home of more than 60 percent of the nation’s furniture production. Explore galleries representing 1,000 manufacturers at the Hickory Furniture Mart, or visit one of three nearby regional history museums.
Visit the Blue Ridge Foothills to experience the natural scenic beauty and breathtaking views at Chimney Rock State Park, Hickory Falls and Lake Lure, famously featured as the backdrop for Dirty Dancing. Additional area highlights include museums and the quaint streets of Black Mountain.
Step back in time and into the real-life Mayberry in Mount Airy, Andy Griffith’s hometown and inspiration for the much-loved 60s sitcom. Take a guided tour of highlighted sights, or sample the fried pork chop sandwich at the Snappy Lunch. Visit nearby Pilot Mountain for beautiful views and outdoor fun.
* Day trip from Charlotte HTML
The North Carolina Sandhills feature 43 world-class golf courses designed by some of the game’s greatest names as well as bustling villages, accommodations for every taste and a mild year-round climate. It’s easy to understand why Bobby Jones called this “the St. Andrews of United States golf.”
From the classic varietals grown at Rockhouse, to the small, family-run operation at Owl’s Eye, to the nation’s most-visited winery at Biltmore and the unique accommodations at Treehouse, this wine trail offers the chance to see and taste a wide range of North Carolina wines – and enjoy breathtaking scenery along the way.
Enjoy tastes ranging from the sweet muscadine wines of Duplin Winery, the oldest and largest winery in the Southeast, to the expertly crafted wines of Childress Vineyards, including a special offering that pairs flawlessly with local Lexington barbecue. Also along this trail, enjoy live music paired with scenic landscapes at Cypress Bend and Iron Gate Farm.
Visit the state’s first solar-powered vineyard as well as one of the most award-winning wineries on the East Coast. This trail features wines made from native muscadine grapes as well as European-style varieties. Westbend Vineyards also features a microbrewery.
Enjoy award-winning wines and diverse scenic landscapes at these five wineries located in the first of the state’s three American Viticultural Areas. In addition to outstanding wines, the vineyards on this trail feature live music, delicious on-site dining and beautiful scenic landscapes.