8 Dreamy Overnight Experiences in North Carolina

Regardless of whether vacationers ride their motorcycles, sip some vino or go sailing before hitting the sack, they’ll find themselves surrounded by memorable digs here. After a night at one of these eight dreamy destinations, it may be hard to wake up and get out of bed.

1 Retro Vibes: Mother Earth Motor Lodge

front of Mother Earth Motor Lodge
Mother Earth Motor Lodge

1 Retro Vibes: Mother Earth Motor Lodge

KinstonSee on mapSee on map

If pop art took the form of a hotel, it would be this throwback delight with Route 66-style neon signage, Mad Men-esque furnishings, and a pool with multicolor lights that glow among the surrounding palm trees and miniature golf course. Reopened in 2017, the motor lodge is just steps away from sister establishment Mother Earth Brewing, plus chef Vivian Howard’s dining gem Chef & the Farmer. (The fried collards are a big hit.)

2 Royal Treatment: Graylyn

Graylyn (photo: Visit Winston-Salem)

2 Royal Treatment: Graylyn

Winston-SalemSee on mapSee on map

A freezer stocked with ice cream around the clock is just a taste of the perks at this 1920s-era estate, now a hotel and conference center. Guests feel like they’ve arrived at Downton Abbey when a butler greets them at the castle-like Manor House. Intricate details include hand-painted tile marble tubs in some rooms.

3 Elevated Boutique: The Monte Vista Hotel

3 Elevated Boutique: The Monte Vista Hotel

Black MountainSee on mapSee on map

Though older than 100, this Blue Ridge retreat has never looked better. Polished hardwood floors and tasteful antique accents lend a homespun vibe in the 1937 Wing, while the 14-bedroom Lodge provides the perfect spot for family reunions. On-site Milton’s restaurant serves authentic Southern comfort cuisine (and fabulous libations).

4 Float Through The Evening: Bayonet Enterprise Cruises

family on a Bayonet cruise
Bayonet Enterprise Cruises (photo: Onslow County Tourism)

4 Float Through The Evening: Bayonet Enterprise Cruises

Jacksonville See on mapSee on map

Retired Marine Lance Ledoux and wife Marilyn helm overnight New River voyages on their yacht so you can kick back and enjoy onboard dinner, drinks and cozy accommodations in one of two guest staterooms. A provided kayak allows for you and your sweetheart to do some independent exploring on the water too.

5 Bring Your Honey: The Hive

5 Bring Your Honey: The Hive

WilmingtonSee on mapSee on map

Just a few of the sweet touches at this new suite-only property in the heart of town: honeycomb-shape decor, spa-like showers and luxe linens. Each stay includes complimentary snacks and beverages that you can enjoy while catching a flick on the 55-inch 4K TVs.

6 Biker Bunking: Ironhorse Motorcycle Lodge

6 Biker Bunking: Ironhorse Motorcycle Lodge

StecoahSee on mapSee on map

After a serpentine ride on the nearby Tail of the Dragon (318 curves along an 11-mile stretch of US-129), motorcyclists unwind at campsites, in Old West-style cabins and bunkhouses, or even in covered wagons. When dusk arrives, swap cycling stories by the creekside firepit.

7 Pinkies Up: The Ivy

7 Pinkies Up: The Ivy

WarrentonSee on mapSee on map

Raise your English china teacup to a delightful stay during afternoon teatime in this 1903 Queen Anne inn. New proprietors Mike and Karen Kelley (who is originally from Essex, England) have added tasteful touches of British refinement throughout the four-guest-room property.

8 Sips in The Branches: Treehouse Vineyards

Couple enjoying wine on treehouse balcony with green trees and grounds to the right
Treehouse Vineyards

8 Sips in The Branches: Treehouse Vineyards

MonroeSee on mapSee on map

Quality time and bottles of wine are guaranteed at this 200-year-old family farm. (The on-site winery opened in 2010.) Take your pick of two overnight treehouse options: the cozy 300-square-foot Papa’s Dream or the newer – and more spacious – Horsefeathers Hideaway. A third treehouse named Date Nite makes for a carefree evening of vino and views.

Dream up your next getaway by exploring all of the spectacular lodgings, restaurants and attractions featured in The Official 2021 North Carolina Travel Guide.

Updated April 30, 2021
About the Author

Jess Hoffert

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