Best Day & Weekend Trips to Plan This Fall From High Point
It's officially fall--which means now is the perfect time to plan fun family activities. From the mountains to the beach to major cities, North Carolina has something for everyone to enjoy. Check out our list of best day and weekend trips to plan this fall from High Point, North Carolina!
Western North Carolina
Distance from High Point: about 2-3 hours depending on destination.
The scenic views in the western part of North Carolina can't be beat, no matter the season. Whether you want to sightsee or simply just embrace the great outdoors, there is plenty to explore in the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains.
- Grandfather Mountain: At an elevation of 5,946 feet, Grandfather Mountain is the highest peak of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This globally recognized nature preserve is set within this environmental habitat for native wildlife such as deer, black bears, bald eagles, and cougars. Visitors can cross the Mile-High Swinging Bridge and get an adrenaline rush while you walk across. Not a fan of thrills? You can tour the onsite Nature Museum!
- Blue Ridge Parkway: People from all over the country flock to the Blue Ridge Parkway every year to get an up-close look at the vibrant leaves as they change color. The open Parkway spans 469 miles and includes hiking and camping trails. Whether you are in Asheville, Boone, Linville, or more-- you’ll have an incredible view that will take your breath away.
- The Biltmore: In 1889, George Vanderbilt began building his "country home"-- over 4-acres of space, including 35 bedrooms and 43 bathrooms. Now the estate in Asheville is home to Antler Hill Village & Winery and the 4-star luxury Biltmore Inn among other attractions. More than 1,000,000 visitors tour the estate each year. The Biltmore is great if you’re feeling a romantic trip with your significant other!
Distance from High Point: about 1.5 hours (~75 miles)
Charlotte, NC is the largest city in the state and a major commercial hub. In addition to many museums (Levine Museum of the South, Carolinas Aviation Museum, Charlotte Museum of History, and more), the city offers:
- U.S. National Whitewater Center: This non-profit outdoor recreation facility turns any day into an exhilarating experience. Visitors can hike, mountain bike, rock climb, or take part in water sports such as whitewater rafting, kayaking, and canoeing. This is a must-do if you are looking for some adventure!
- Carolina Raptor Center: This living avian museum sits on 57-acres and houses approximately 1,000 injured or orphaned raptors annually. Visitors can view over 25 species of raptors in the zoo-like setting.
- Carowinds: Located on the border of North Carolina and South Carolina, this 398-acre amusement park is entertaining for the whole family. Major attractions include the Intimidator coaster, WindSeeker, and Carolina Harbor Waterpark! It’s best to visit in the spring and fall.
Distance from High Point: about 4 hours (~250 miles)
When the weather begins to warm up, Emerald Isle is a great place to soak in some rays. Visitors can rent beach houses and condos, or spend the day lying on the golden sand of Emerald Isle Beach. Afterwards, sun-kissed visitors can head to Emerald Forest Putt-Putt or grab an ice cream cone at the Sweet Spot. Other activities include:
- Water Boggan of Emerald Isle: Kids and adults love riding the largest water slide in the Crystal Coast. There is also a wading pool for little ones and lounges for those who prefer sunbathing.
- Crystal Coast EcoTours: Groups can explore secluded barrier islands and seagrass meadows during full, half-day, and two-hour tours. Lucky visitors may even see dolphins.
Distance from High Point: about 3 hours (~210 miles)
Wilmington, NC makes for a great weekend trip for the family. Not only is this scenic city right on the Cape Fear river, but it’s also right on the coast. Enjoy the sand at Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, or Surf City, or take a stroll on the riverwalk. Some other fun activities include:
- Take a tour of famous filming locations: Are you a big television and movie fan? If you are, you might recognize some of the famous filming locations in Wilmington, NC! With big productions such as One Tree Hill, Dawson’s Creek, Iron Man 3, Safe Haven, We’re the Millers, and much more, Wilmington has been coined ‘Hollywood of the East!’
- Fort Fisher Aquarium: This is a great activity for families looking for both an exciting and educational adventure! Discover aquatic life at free daily dive shows and encounter animals such as stingrays, alligators, and more!
- USS North Carolina Battleship: Are you a big history buff? If so, the USS North Carolina Battleship is a must! Discover and build personal connections with our history by steering the battleship, starting her engines, and even firing her guns!
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