NC Summer Getaways: Take your Pick!
With summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to start mapping out vacations! Whether your preference is a day trip, a long weekend, or longer, North Carolina has endless opportunities for you to spend this summer exploring. And, for those lucky enough to live in a newly built JSJ Builders home, access to the open road has never been easier. Point west and find the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains. Point east and get those toes in the sands along the pristine beaches of the Outer Banks.
Ramping up for summer vacations is the perfect reason for a day trip to knock the dirt off those traveling tires.
- Start local with a visit to the North Carolina Museum of National Sciences. Located in Raleigh, this museum offers learning opportunities about the state’s ecosystems and wildlife via interactive displays. Spend a day discovering the wonders of North Carolina and then plan a longer adventure based on your favorite finds!
- Spend the day soaking up the sunshine on the water. Purchase a day pass for either Jordan or Falls Lake, pack a beach bag, and a picnic lunch, and secure a spot at one of the many designated swimming areas. Make sure to bring a frisbee and a great book as you create off-the-grid memories. Search the skies for bald eagles as they prep their nests for summer!
- If ocean water is preferred, start early with a quick drive to the Wilmington area. This favorite location has highlights beyond the beaches with its picturesque Riverwalk and the USS North Carolina just waiting for visitors. Wrightsville Beach stretches for miles with gorgeous views of the Atlantic Ocean.
- Take a trip to Wilson, NC for an out-of-the-box experience. The Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park draws visitors nationwide and North Carolinians are so lucky to call it a hometown gem! Simpson began making giant “kinetic sculptures” as a retirement hobby and continued until his death in 2013, leaving a living art legacy of over thirty whirligigs, some taller than 50 feet.
For a long weekend, North Carolina offers a diverse range of destinations. It may be hard to pick just one, so plan a few over the warm summer months!
- Asheville, NC is home to the famed Biltmore Estate, the largest privately-owned home in the United States. While the Biltmore may be most known for its holiday decor, summer months bring the surrounding gardens to life.
- Chimney Rock State Park is hot to the iconic Chimney Rock overlook. Breathtaking views await visitors and are accessible via either a hike or an elevator. Combine rambling hiking trails with postcard-worthy views for an unforgettable weekend.
- The Blue Ridge Parkway is well-known for hikers, nature lovers, and even those who love the feel of the open road. Whether explored on foot, on two wheels, or on four, the parkway is sprinkled with quaint towns and must-see mountain overlooks. Popular stopping points include the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or Blowing Rock.
- For a long weekend on the coast, visit the Outer Banks, a line of barrier islands packed with history. Bookmark hours of relaxation with stops at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Jockey’s Ridge State Park, or the Wright Brothers National Memorial.
- Lovers of classic rock should plan a few days in Charlotte to check out Peter Frampton in concert at Charlotte’s Skyla Credit Union Amphitheatre. Frampton will play two shows the last weekend in June. Other summer shows include Louis Tomlinson, formerly of One Direction, and Jason Mraz.
Fair warning, after a few hours in any of those magical spots planned for only a long weekend, you may find yourself tacking on days for an extended vacation. This is the draw of North Carolina’s many getaways as they hold the attention of visitors for weeks at a time, quickly turning from a “few days” event to a family summer tradition.
- Beach houses abound up and down the coast of North Carolina, especially along the Crystal Coast. This 85-mile stretch between Cape Lookout and the New River is a popular place to put down beach blankets as the beaches are so easily accessible. There are lighthouses waiting to be explored around every corner and opportunities for kayaking, surfing, or fishing should not be missed. Wander through the quaint streets of Emerald Isle or Beaufort and find a new favorite restaurant. Chances are, you’ll begin planning next year’s visit before this one even ends.
- For mountain lovers, the Blue Ridge Parkway can easily turn from a daylong drive to a week of rejuvenation. Charming cabins dot the mountains just waiting for suitcases to be unpacked and for trails to be explored. The Great Smoky Mountains are packed with wildlife and waterfalls. All it takes to find beauty is a pair of stable hiking shoes and, perhaps, a brand-new walking stick purchased from the local General store.
- North Carolina is also well known for a plethora of beautifully maintained campgrounds thanks to its thriving State Recreational Parks program. Across the state, campgrounds are waiting to host visitors, whether traveling by tent, RV, or even those needing a rental. Take a week, take some firewood, and enjoy a day of swimming or hiking wrapped up with smores at the campfire.
Spring has sprung in central North Carolina which means now is the time to map out summer itineraries. The hardest part of this task will be deciding just which direction to go! Why choose? Residents of brand-new homes built by JSJ Builders are perfectly located for day trips, long weekends, or memorable vacations - all to locations that are easily accessible and unforgettable.