Post # 1
I have convinced DH to go to North Carolina for our one year anniversary/honeymoon because we never got to take one.
Neither of us have been there, so I’m looking for ideas/advice on places to go, things to see, where to eat, etc. We will be driving and staying in hotels (DH doesn’t like bed & breakfasts and he won’t stay in a cabin). Basically my dream day would be sitting on adirondack chairs on the beach, and his would be driving through mountains, so I’d like to do a mixture of both. We love to drive around and explore, so we have no problem going from town to town and will probably stay at a different hotel each night.
Any bees who live in NC/honeymooned there/vacationed there have any advice?! I have never planned a trip before and am overwhelmed with where to start!
oh also, we have a modest budget…and treat the hotel as a place to sleep and, although want it to be clean/nice…we won’t be spending all that much time there so we don’t neEd anything fancy and $500 a night!
Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions!
Post # 3
How long will you be going, and when? I’ve vacationed on the Outer Banks for most of my life and have spent a few vacations in the mountains as well. My suggestions depend on how much time you have!
Post # 4
@OldMrsMcDonald: thanks for the response! We will be going towards the end of September. I think we will leave the 20th and take 2 days to drive, so I plan to have 5 full days in NC. The state doesn’t seem TOO big so I’m hoping its not too far of a drive between the beach and mountains?! Again, thanks so much for your help!
Post # 5
Wrightsville Beach and Asheville. It’s 5-6 hours drive in between them but you will not be disappointed. You might even spend a day in the middle like Charlotte, there’s tons of stuff to do there.
Post # 6
@Ashley_P: Thank you! I’ve seen Asheville pop up quite a few times in my searches so I think that will be a for sure stop!
Post # 7
@FunfettiCupcakes: Definitley go to Biltmore, then if you want mountains you can go to Boone, its a college town but theres a bunch of things to do. Charlotte is a good one day stopping point, its the most metropolitian area in NC. Then as for beaches you can’t go wrong with Wilmington (another college town mostly), Morehead City/Atlantic Beach or even the Outerbanks if you don’t want any tourist stuff, just beach pretty much.
Post # 8
@seabunny: is Biltmore near Asheville? I think I’ve seen that come up a lot in my searches as well.
Any suggestions from anyone on specific activities, places to see, eat?
Post # 9
@FunfettiCupcakes: Having lived in NC, I second @Ashley_P: with Wrightsville beach (Topsail Beach is nearby also) and Asheville. The Outerbanks are great, but will make for a slightly longer drive to the mountains, plus most of the rentals in the Outerbanks are houses. Wrightsville Beach has a number of hotels-check tripadvisor for ratings.
My hubby and I were married in Asheville, so I love Asheville. The Biltmore is in Asheville, but it’s very pricey (~$45 ticket) The admission gets you into the house and their winery. The tastings at the winery are free and you can sample as many of their wines as you want. Hiking anywhere in the Blue Ridge mountains is beautiful, Mount Mitchell, Chimney Rock and Grandfather mountain are nearby. We liked the hike at Max Patch, but that’s a bit further away from Asheville. There are also a number of waterfalls that you can drive to see that have some short hikes with them. There are a number of good places to eat in Asheville. We also really liked the French Broad Chocolate Lounge.
Happy to share more, just let me know. 🙂
Post # 10
I live in NC. Some of my favorite places here are: Holden Beach (very private & laid back atmosphere), Maggie valley, and Asheville (As many have said) & if you’re a shopper, Asheville Mall is enormous! :). Grove Park Inn is gorgeous, although it is pricy to stay there; maybe y’all could do a couples massage there? You must go to blue ridge park way!
Post # 11
I grew up in Asheville and really love it. Aside from the hiking and Biltmore House, I highly recommend driving on a bit of the Blue Ridge Parkway and also stopping by the Arboretum and eating downtown. There are some great restaurants and microbreweries there!
If you need something else to do in the middle of the state, maybe swing by Asheboro and visit our zoo. It’s a natural habitat zoo (one of the largest, I think) and it’s simply beautiful. There’s a lot to see, but lot of walking.
Wilmington and Nag’s Head are my favorite places on the coast 🙂
Post # 12
Asheville is awesome! My fiance grew up there. The Biltmore is definitely worth a trip if you are at all interested in history/architecture/gardening. Do the self guided tour of the house, it’s really cool. If you buy tickets ahead if time online you get a bit of a price break.
Hiking along the blueridge parkway is wonderful, there are some gorgeous waterfalls to visit. In face, even if you don’t like to hike, driving the parkway is worth it.
If you like beer, you’re going to the right place! There are sooo many craft breweries in the greater Asheville area.
Eat at Tupelo Honey, its famous and really good. Also, a restaurant called The Laughing Seed. It’s vegetarian, but so yummy! My carnivore fiance loves it.
Downtown Asheville in general is pretty cool. It has a great vibe; tons of bars, coffee shops and interesting little stores to explore.
Post # 13
Now I am thinking we should stay 2nights in Asheville…seems like the place to go, and I think it will be DH’s favorite stop! So the blueridge parkway is like a scenic highway? We love to go on drives and check out the scenery, so it sounds perfect.
@StarryNight2011: YES share more!! Any specific suggestions for wrightsville beach? I do want to relax there, but DH cannot relax and always has to be doing something so I won’t get to lounge all day long! Lol. Also, you had me at chocolate 😉
@kyn0809: Ahhh DH will not be happy you told me about the mall!!!! Shopping is one of my favorite things lol
Thanks so much for all of the replies-I am getting to excited about this trip! I’ve been wanting to go to NC for quite a while now! (I think I read too many Nicholas Sparks books!)
oh and 1 more question, what’s the weather like there end of September?
Post # 14
I LOVE Asheville…stayed at the Hotel Indigo downtown for an entire month during training for work….best month of my life! Blue ridge pky is a must!
Post # 15
@FunfettiCupcakes: Living in NC, I must say I’m biased, but great choice!
If you decide that you HAVE to go to the Outer Banks, if you did a day or two in Manteo/Nags head, you could then drive to Chapel Hill (3.5 hours, which is where I live :p ) – it’s the same distance to go from Wilmington to Charlotte. Wilmington to Chapel Hill is even shorter, about 2.5 hours I believe? And then 3.5 hours from Chapel Hill to Asheville.
HOWEVER – my advice to you is to spend your entire time in Asheville. There is MORE than enough for you two to do in 3 days to one week. DF and I have a friend there and have visited 3 times and STILL haven’t seen a third of the things we want to. You’d save money not having to worry about gas, and you’ll likely be less tired since you won’t have to worry about trying to cram everything into one to two days. In Asheville you could hike some of the many glorious trails, go driving on the Parkway, visit the Biltmore house (which really should be done in two days if you want to see it all), wander around the amazing stores downtown, see people drumming in the squares, eat at some of the awesome locally sourced eateries, go dancing at night, shop the mall or the giant shoe store, swing by the Zoo in Asheboro, I mean you have so many options in the mountains!
Perhaps next year or the year after you could come back and spend a few days on the beach!
Post # 16
@Minnow: I was just telling DH that it seems like Ashville has so much to do that we should spend more time there! I really did have my heart set on the beach…is Wrightsville beach in the outer banks? Or are all the beaches considered the outer banks? I’m just wondering if there are any that would be a shorter drive, even to spend one day there. My DH isn’t the beach type so it was a compromise to each do what we would love the most! So I don’t want to miss my opportunity! Lol