Thinking of a family vacation to North Carolina?
My family did a fantastic summer road trip across North Carolina. We traveled from the Outer Banks to Raleigh to Carrabus County to Charlotte to Transylvania County to create this North Carolina Travel Guide for visiting North Carolina with kids.
In a nutshell, North Carolina is a fantastic destination for a family vacation. Whether you fancy beaches and nature or culture and action, you won’t have to rule anything out.
Nags Head, Outer Banks:
The first stop of our trek across North Carolina was the Outer Banks, namely Nags Head NC. The Outer Banks consists of roughly 200 miles of barrier islands and sand dunes that stretch from the Northern Beaches (at the North end, natch) down through to the Cape Hatteras lighthouse at the tip of Hatteras Island. The real danger of going to the Outer Banks at the start of your trip is not wanting to leave.
Visiting Raleigh with Toddlers and Kids:
On day four of our road trip across North Carolina, we packed up and left Nags Head in the Outer Banks and headed west for Raleigh. The drive was a pretty easy three hours. It was tough leaving the beach, but we were pleasantly surprised after arriving in Raleigh and discovered a state capital that was bustling and bursting with charm and character.
Carrabus County – Where Racing Lives:
Next stop on our trek across North Carolina was Concord, a suburb about 20 minutes away from Uptown Charlotte that is home to Charlotte Motor Speedway. We had a blast on our Charlotte Motor Speedway tour, once we dragged the kids away from Great Wolf Lodge and me away from Concord Mills Mall, that is 😉 You don’t have to be a NASCAR enthusiast to appreciate dropping the hammer around the race track!
24 Hours in Charlotte, North Carolina with Kids:
We drove in from Concord after sneaking a bit more shopping after breakfast, and made it to “Uptown” Charlotte by lunch. A little stroll capped off our visit before we headed to our hotel and onward to the amazing U.S. Whitewater Center. Our first (and only, really) impressions of Charlotte? This is somewhere we’d like to come back to and stay longer. A good climate means farm-fresh food, active and healthy people, and a great mix of old and new people, places, and things. We liked it a lot.
Transylvania County & Earthshine Mountain Lodge:
We capped off our road trip across North Carolina with two days at Earthshine Resort, and no one is more surprised than me by how much we adored this area. I definitely consider myself a city girl, but I really miss the Appalachian landscape. The drive from Charlotte to Brevard was around 2.5 hours. There weren’t that many towns along the way, so your best bet is to stock up on your snacks before you hit the road.