Romantic, Food and Adventure Tours of North Carolina

Charlotte NC ToursRomantic, Food and Adventure Tours of North Carolina

Charlotte NC Tours helps you explore the city by way of tours on a Segway, bike, bus and more

Visitors to our state quickly realize there's plenty to do in North Carolina. To the east, we border the Atlantic Ocean and boast the Outer Banks, Wilmington and Crystal Coast. Travel west and you’ll arrive in the mountains, where there lie havens like Asheville and the Great Smoky Mountains. In between, the urban areas of Charlotte, Raleigh and Winston-Salem offer up great amenities and cultural attractions.

And just as varied as this state is, so are many of the tour operators that have created entertaining and unique ways to experience our cities and towns. Here are more than a dozen tours, showcasing everything from beer and cuisine to waterfalls and wild horses.

Get a Taste

An obsession with fresh ingredients combined with a diverse ecology means the food scene in North Carolina continues to gain accolades and returning visitors.

Downtown Durham Walking Food Tour
Food tours are a smart bet when traveling because they allow you to squeeze in as many restaurants in a few hours as you typically would in an entire weekend. The small group size of this tour provides the perfect way to gain intimate knowledge of the city, its foodie culture and historic buildings in a fun, relaxed setting. Plus, you’ll get to burn off some of those calories as you stroll between five to six stops, ranging from a burger joint to Italian to Japanese cuisine.

People walking through Brightleaf Square in Durham

The Downtown Durham Walking Food Tour begins at Brightleaf Square

Charlotte Brews Cruise
When you have a perfect 5-star rating on TripAdvisor, expectations run high, yet the Charlotte Brews Cruise continues to deliver time after time. Guests enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of three breweries and sip on 12 to 15 beer samples. And since the Queen City ranked as the fifth fastest-growing beer city in 2015, you know the stiff competition means your suds will be on point.

No Taste Like Home
Asheville, Highlands
Although the days of having to be a hunter or gatherer are long gone, there’s something special about scavenging for your own food – or maybe it’s just the amazing mountain scenery that abounds in Western North Carolina. This tour explores The Katuah Bioregion surrounding Asheville, home to the greatest diversity of wildlife on Earth outside of the tropics. Providing tours for two decades, No Taste Like Home has been featured in Condé Nast Traveler, Southern Living, USA Today and Travel+Leisure, among others. All tours include a wild foods tasting or meal post-excursion.

Get Active

With mountains, a robust yoga community and an abundance of watersports, our active communities are ready for your exploration.

Edge of the World Whitewater Rafting
Banner Elk
Your family, loved ones, or group of friends won’t soon forget a whitewater rafting experience, especially when it includes Class I, II and III rapids, and about four hours on the water. A home-cooked meal mid-paddle and guides who double as comedians make for quite possibly the highlight of your next vacation. Tours run Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Land of Waterfalls Tour
Transylvania County
The name of this tour comes from the destination’s tagline, highlighting the 250-plus waterfalls within its 381 square miles. Many of the waterfalls you’ll visit are located on private land or off the visitor route, and the four-hour window allows for ample photo ops and time for dipping your feet (or more) – weather and bravery permitting.

French Broad Falls and Mill Shoals

French Broad Falls and Mill Shoals are two of the many waterfalls to explore in Transylvania County

Segway Tours
Choose from six different Segway tours - one to two hours long - that focus on Uptown, markets, museums and parks, food, haunts or historic neighborhoods. Rated the No. 1 outdoor activity in Charlotte on TripAdvisor, this tour will have you cruising through the city on motorized wheels after a quick one-on-one training session with your experienced guide.

Time for Romance (yet Family-Friendly)

Slow down and focus on each other with these beautiful, awe-inspiring tours.

Great Smoky Mountain Railroad Tour
Bryson City
Although generally touted as a family-fun experience, you and your sweetie will also adore the chance to sit back and watch the beautiful scenery of the North Carolina Smoky Mountains. Enhance the experience by opting for The MacNeill Uncorked specialty car, an adults-only first class tour that includes six wine tastings and local cheese samples. This is also a great way to soak in the stunning fall foliage in Western North Carolina, with October being the prime month for viewing colors.

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad train over river

Choose from one of several scenic tours on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Corolla Wild Horse Tours
Many movies and TV shows have been filmed in this area, including the romance Nights In Rodanthe, and it’s easy to see why once you experience Corolla firsthand. From an open-air truck, you’ll see the Wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs frolic on the uninhabited beaches, including Carova Beach, spanning 7,500 acres while your guide shares local lore. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, too.

Horsedrawn Tours
Throw your cares out the window, better yet, carriage, and enjoy a leisurely ride through the quaint, coastal city of Wilmington. You can also feel good knowing that this company takes pride in rescuing abandoned or abused horses and providing them a better lifestyle, only working one week per month.

Horse-drawn tour in Wilmington

Wilmington and Beaches CVB

A horse-drawn carriage tour is a great way to experience Wilmington's charm

Learning – with a Side of Fun

A traditional walking or trolley tour can be a great way to learn about a city, but these jaunts add in a dash of the unexpected alongside memorable tales.

LaZoom Comedy Bus Tours
Relish real belly laughs on this never-a-dull-moment comedy city tour. Characters jump out of the bushes, wear outrageous costumes and encourage alcoholic consumption – you can even bring your own cooler on board. LaZoom also offers haunted and beer tours that both still put comedy first.

Lookout Cruises and Waterburg Tours
Take your pick between a relaxing sunset cruise with Lookout Cruises or an hour-long nature and history tour through Waterbug Tours. As one of the oldest towns in North Carolina, there’s plenty to learn in this cute coastal setting. Plus, boating is a big part of the culture thanks to marinas dotting the shoreline and wildlife playing in nearby Rachel Carson Reserve and barrier islands; Duke University’s marine lab is even located here.

Boat tour and wild horses in Beaufort

Waterbug Tours offers a narrated wild horse, nature and history cruise in Beaufort

Winston-Salem Ghost Tour
While you can find ghost tours offered in many of our cities, Winston-Salem is considered by many to be the most haunted city in the state. Almost as interesting as the ghost stories will be your “kooky and spooky” tour guide, who performs his role with gusto and is the author of Haunted Charlotte. Wear comfortable shoes for exploring the Old Salem section of the city including an abandoned bed-and-breakfast.

Shawndra Russell is a travel writer and novelist based in Asheville and has written for Forbes Travel Guide, BeerAdvocate and Travel+Leisure.


There’s much to see and do in North Carolina, so read on.

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