4 road trips you can take from Charlotte, North Carolina
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
There is a lot to love about Charlotte, North Carolina. I’ve lived here for a couple of years now, and I’m always finding new hidden gems. While learning how to travel during coronavirus, I’ve realized that most (if not all) of my travel throughout the rest of 2020 will be domestic. This means I get to explore more of the places near home I’ve yet to see and revisit my favorite spots.
Today, I’m walking through four underrated spots within a four-hour drive from Charlotte.
Want more travel tips from TPG? Sign up for our daily newsletter.
Looking for a mountain escape? Try Boone, North Carolina
Driving time: Two hours
If you’re looking for a mountain getaway, Boone is an excellent choice. It’s a short two-hour drive from Charlotte, and it has pretty much everything you could want out of a quiet weekend getaway.
During the summertime, you can go hiking, kayaking, fishing, ziplining. Boone is also home to Grandfather Mountain and Mile High Swinging Bridge — the highest suspension footbridge in America.
But in my opinion, it’s best in the winter. It’s in the Blue Ridge Mountains, perfect for skiers and snowboarders looking for a closer getaway than Vail this season.
Need a relaxing beach weekend? Check out Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
Driving time: Three and a half hours
When you think of Carolina beaches, your first thought is probably Myrtle Beach. And while that is a popular tourist spot, I’ve always been a bigger fan of Wrightsville Beach farther north. The water is cleaner and the beaches are generally a little less crowded.
Related reading: Is now a good time to plan a trip to the beach?
There are plenty of places to rent right on the beach. But with Wilmington just a few miles away and plenty of public access points, you can also find lodging in town without sacrificing beach access.
Those interested in WWII history can also explore the Battleship North Carolina, which is docked along the Cape Fear River.
Interested in unique breweries? Hit up Asheville, North Carolina
Driving time: Two hours and 15 minutes
Fun fact: Asheville has the most breweries per capita in the United States. But the small town has a lot more to offer than just the great beer scene (though if you’re in town, I highly recommend getting a flight at Wicked Weed Brewing)
You’ll find plenty of unique shops to visit downtown — including one of my favorite independent book stores, Firestorm Books & Coffee. If you’re into art, the River Arts District houses artist studios in former factory buildings while downtown is home to beautiful architecture and plenty of galleries to visit.
Asheville is also nearby the Biltmore Estate, the historic family home of the Vanderbilts. The 8,000-acre estate has pretty much everything you could want in a getaway, including a winery, gardens, historical sites, a spa and a village to explore.
Want to play a round? Visit Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Driving time: Three hours and 45 minutes
Another coastal getaway on this list is Hilton Head Island, home to more than two dozen championship golf courses. Casual golfers can play a round, amateurs looking to improve their swing can check out a class, and PGA fans can time a trip to watch a tournament.
Of course, there’s more than just golfing at Hilton Head. There are a number of family-friendly parks, playgrounds and beaches. Renting bikes and kayaks is also popular to explore the island and its waterways.
Hilton Head is also the most points-friendly destination on this list. You can stay at the Marriott Hilton Head or Westin Hilton Head Resort and Spa for just 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per standard night. There’s also Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort, though it’s typically hard to find availability.
Related reading: Hilton Head for families: What to see and where to stay
All of these spots are on my destination list for 2020 — I actually got to visit Hilton Head with a couple of friends just a few weekends back.
Roadtrips are a great way to still quench the thirst to travel if you’re a little hesitant to fly right now. Just make sure that you’re using a great credit card for gas and maximizing your hotel or Airbnb bookings.
Featured image by Sean Pavone/Getty Images
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: Up to 100,000 bonus miles
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,040
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X miles on United® purchases
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80K bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, an additional 20K bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months
- $250 Annual Fee
- Earn 3X miles on United® purchases, 2X miles at restaurants, on select streaming services & all other travel, 1X on all other purchases
- Earn 3X miles on United Airlines purchases
- Earn 2X miles at restaurants and on select streaming services
- Earn 2X miles on all other travel
- Earn 1X mile on all other purchases
- Each year, receive a $125 credit on United® purchases and two 5k-mile anniversary award flight credits. Terms apply.