If you’re looking to get away from the city and visit one of the most beautiful places in North Carolina, then bookmark this page. From seaside villages to port cities, beaches that stretch for miles and national forests, there’s plenty of corners to explore in the Carolinas hat offer cooler spots and awe-inspiring nature. Here’s 7 perfect summer destinations you can visit in the Carolinas.
1. Morehead City
A port city in North Carolina off at the coast. 5 and a half hours away from Charlotte, Morehead City is a great spot to enjoy live music and enjoy fresh seafood. Go shopping, hit up one of the many restaurants and bars available, or go shopping at a small local boutique.
2. Cape Lookout National Seashore
One of the Carolina’s stunning reserves, there’s plenty to do. Climb to the top of Cape Lookout’s Lighthouse (pictured above) for stunning views or look out at the stars. Did you know Cape Lookout is now considered a dark sky park for its stunning views of the milky way? The islands are also a great spot for fishing, camping, and “birding,” or bird watching. Make a weekend out of it because this iconic spot is over 6 hours away from Charlotte by car.
A 3 and a half hour drive is definitely worth it to Wilmington, a gorgeous port city on its own that’s close to Cape Fear Coast beaches like Wrightsville and Carolina. There’s always fun activities going on in the city like the Fireworks by the Sea and Boardwalk Blast to the Cape Fear Blues Festival. Don’t forget to take a stroll along the riverwalk, voted as one of the best in the nation.
If you’re in the mood for a quiet vacation full of stunning and pristine nature, then visit the Outer Banks that are along the Atlantic Ocean. It’s got over 100 miles of seaside villages, small towns, and shorelines that stretch, seemingly, infinitely. Go sailing, fishing, paddle boarding, and much, much more. A 6 hour drive from Charlotte that’s well worth it.
5. Hilton Head Island
Head 4 hours down into South Carolina to visit this gorgeous seaside village that offers a taste of low country. Over 12 miles of beaches that have been ranked as #1 and #1 in Travel+Leisure, and offers arts+culture, water sports, and restaurants.
6. Pisgah National Forest
A departure from the beaches are the Appalacian Mountains, a beautiful stretch of hiking trails, trees, rivers, and waterfalls. Only 2 and a half hours away form Charlotte, Pisgah National Forest has some amazing place to cool off. From Looking Glass Falls to Sliding Rock which are both two great and beautiful spots to take a dip.
7. Ocean Isle Beach
Welcome to Ocean Isle Beach, a cute seaside village that’s around 3 and a half hours away from Charlotte. Have fun with the family in town by visiting the Museum of Coastal Carolinas or the Ingram Planetarium or kick back at the pier where you can fish or take a stroll. For those looking to enjoy the ocean, you can rent a boat or kayak or go wander around the tides for signs of sea critters. When you get hungry, try a restaurant like Inlet View Bar & Grill that’s got great views of the harbor.