Top 10 Weekend Getaways in North Carolina

Last Updated on April 19, 2023 by Nikki Jain

The Best Family Getaway Ideas in the Old North State

Whether you think of lush rolling mountains or charming, sun-soaked coastlines North Carolina is sure to leave an impression. It is a state of rich history, incredible natural beauty, and quite a few attractions that draw the masses. Here you can spend a relaxing weekend with nothing but the wind and trees around you, or spend your days immersing yourself in the fun of a big city. There is so much to explore in a state this great you might just need a list.

Check out the top 10 weekend getaways in North Carolina to find your little slice of paradise.

Best Weekend Getaways in North Carolina

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1: Charlotte

Adobe Stock/SeanPavonePhoto

As one of the most notable cities in all of North Carolina, Charlotte is not to be missed! And with good reason--- there is so much to do here. So much that no list would be complete, but we can at least tackle some of the highlights, like the NASCAR Hall of Fame, or the U.S. National Whitewater Center.

There’s also a hands-on museum named the Discovery Place Science and even a theme park. Yes, Carowinds is Charlotte’s very own, thrill-seeking, scream-yielding, sun-soaked, fun-packed adventure. If you’re looking for a weekend you won’t forget: look to Charlotte, North Carolina!

Address: Charlotte, NC

Also Read: Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Charlotte, North Carolina

2: Asheville

Flickr/Jennifer Boyer

Located by the western portion of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is one of the best weekend getaway destinations. It is a lively town, known for eccentric and unique art scenes as well as rich history saved from the ages. The Folk Art Center is an excellent showcase of all the intricacies that make Asheville what it is. Visit the Biltmore for a tour of a massive old mansion, or take a hike through the Pisgah National Forest. Asheville is also home to over 430 acres of gardens and nature trails found at the North Carolina Arboretum.

Address: Asheville, NC

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Asheville, North Carolina

3: Raleigh


New adventures in North Carolina’s capital! Raleigh is the proud home to some of the best parks in the state. The Pullen Park is known for dazzling, scenic views and even features a carousel. The William B. Umstead State Park is an extensive, sprawling expanse of land that can truly make your jaw drop.

If you’re all hiked-out, then check out some things to make your head spin instead. The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and the North Carolina Museum of the Arts are two top destinations in the city. Both feature some unique, inspiring exhibits and can really make your stay in Raleigh memorable.

Address: Raleigh, NC

Also Read: Raleigh, North Carolina Top 10 Attractions

4: Wilmington

Flickr/damian entwistle

A city with history and soul! Wilmington is known for a few different things, and each one is remarkable. For example, there is the Battleship North Carolina on display and strolls through the Bellamy Mansion Museum. Gaze at the beauty of the Airlie Gardens or take your thrills and seek out the Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park. The great thing about Wilmington is that it is so diverse, and offers plenty of recreation activities for everyone in the family.

Address: Wilmington, NC

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5: Durham

Flickr/Warren LeMay

Primarily known as a research and technology hub, Durham is a city of a hundred wonders. Here you can access your intellect at the Museum of Life and Science, or ponder some great philosophies at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. For as committed to the focus of technology as this city is, it is also dedicated to preserving natural beauty. Best exemplified in the likes of Eno River State Park and the Falls Lake State Recreation Area, Durham is nothing short of stunning.

Address: Durham, NC

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6: Greensboro

Flickr/Warren LeMay

Greensboro is a great weekend getaway! This is a place where you can relax your mind as you embrace all the excellence of something new. The Greensboro Science Center is a massive, inclusive aquarium, zoo, and museum all wrapped up into one unforgettable experience. Greensboro is also the proud home to some of the best exhibits, museums, and reenactments of the civil war. As a city of so many attractions, it should come as no surprise that Greensboro is a popular North Carolina favorite.

Address: Greensboro, NC

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7: Winston-Salem

Flickr/Susan Smith

Winston-Salem is one of the most populated cities in all of North Carolina. It is also a frequently visited destination for tourists of just about all ages. The museums here are historic, and often housed in the original, brick and fireplace homes of the ages. The parks are well maintained, well-loved, and embraced by tourists and locals alike. And the education is vital as the Kaleideum North science center and Nature Park gets kids excited to learn something new.

Address: Winston-Salem, NC

8: Cary

Flickr/Sergey Galyonkin

If your ideal weekend getaway means a whole lot of relaxation, then Cary is the place for you. Most of its famous attractions are found somewhere in the wild. And while it is no secret to tourists, it also doesn’t experience an exhausting influx all too often. Check out Lake Johnson, or take a sailboat out on Lake Crabtree County Park and figure out what makes Cary such a staple mark.

Address: Cary, NC

9: Wake Forest

Wake Forest
Flickr/Susan Smith

Calling all adventurers! Wake Forest is one of the best weekend getaways in North Carolina for those looking to get their thrill on. Hike, bike, run, jog, or bird watch in the E. Carroll Joyner Park, or check out the exhibits at Hill Ridge Farms. Not enough to get the blood pumping? Great! Try Go Ape Zip Line & Treetop Adventure out for size. Here you’ll zip through some North Carolina wilderness and straight into the best vacation ever.

Address: Wake Forest, NC

10: Wrightsville Beach

Wrightsville Beach
Flickr/Jon Curnow

The coast is calling! Why not answer it at Wrightsville Beach? You really can’t go wrong with a nice vacation on the water, but why not go for the best? Wrightsville is known throughout the state for being one of the best locations for that sand beneath your toes and gently lapping wave’s goal. Here you can lie out under the warming sun or take a dip in the Atlantic. There’s even a historic boardwalk found on the beach that was built in 1939 and still stands today.

Address: Wrightsville Beach, NC

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