4 road trips you can take from Charlotte, North Carolina

Jul 15, 2020

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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.

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Looking for a mountain escape? Try Boone, North Carolina

Driving time: Two hours

(sshepard/Getty Images)
You’ll get a 360-degree view of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the Mile High Swinging Bridge in Boone, North Carolina. (Photo by sshepard/Getty Images)

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

Johnnie Mercer's pier in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. (Photo by Chad_Talton / Getty Images)
One of my favorite beaches within driving distance of Charlotte is Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. (Photo by Chad_Talton/Getty Images)

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

(Photo by Caitlin Riddell/The Points Guy)
The Omni (Photo by Caitlin Riddell/The Points Guy)

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

(Photo by CynthiaAnnF/Getty Images)
With over 24 golf courses to choose from, Hilton Head is the perfect spot for a quick (Photo by CynthiaAnnF/Getty Images)

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 

Bottom line

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

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