North Carolina Ranked 4th Best State to Take a Summer Road Trip

I've said for a long time that North Carolina has a lot going for it. We have the mountains, the coast, vineyards, golf courses, history, delicious food, and a diverse culture. There is no shortage of things to do here. WalletHub recently ranked North Carolina as the 4th best state to take a road trip this summer. It was a top state for road trip travel ranked behind the states of Oregon, Utah, and Washington. In this study, Wallethub compared the 50 U.S. states based on 22 key metrics to find the most fun, scenic, and wallet-friendly road-trip destinations. The data set ranges from the number of attractions to road conditions to costs. N.C beat out Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana, Texas, and Virginia as the best Southern state to take a road trip. 

Source: WalletHub

North Carolina is divided into very specific regions. The terrain is different all over the state. We have  over 70 public airports. If flying in on an International flight then Charlotte, N.C, or  Raleigh, N.C. are your best bets for cities to arrive into with the least amount of connecting flights. You can rent a car and be on your way to see North Carolina.

Arriving in Charlotte, known as North Carolina's Queen City, will put you closer to our mountains and piedmont regions. From Charlotte, you about two hours from Asheville, N.C. and the scenic Biltmore Estate. Charlotte has a great amusement park called Carowinds, professional sports team,  NASCAR Hall of Fame Museum. and an outdoor rafting center.  It's also close to the quaint town of Salisbury, NC where the popular drink Cheerwine was invented.

Arriving at  Raleigh-Durham-International airport will bring you closer to our coastal regions and Piedmont. From Raleigh, you can get to Wilmington, N.C. in two hours, the Southern Outer Banks in three hours, the Brunswick beaches in three hours, and the Outer Banks in three and half hours. The towns of Greensboro and Winston-Salem are just over an hour away.  Kitty Hawk is known as the place where the Wright Brothers were first in flight.

Love to relax around vineyards and enjoy wine? Then you may want to visit the Greensboro-Winston-Salem area and visit the Yadkin Valley vineyards. It's the only area in North Carolina where the soil can grow grapes comparable tho those found on the West Coast and in Europe. This is area is now producing some award-winning wines.

Love Craft Beer? North Carolina ranks high in craft beer production. You can go just about anywhere in our state and find a local brewery. Asheville, N.C, Charlotte, and the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill areas have the most breweries in a concentrated area.

Do you love  PBS and the show, "A Chef's Life?" then take a road trip to Kinston, N.C. and dine at Vivian Howard's restaurant, "A Chef and A Farmer.".  Reservations are a must, and if you want to go a weekend night, you need to make those reservations several months in advance.

Love history? We have historic sites in almost every town in North Carolina. Raleigh is our state capital.  New Bern, N.C. houses Tryon Place, the former NC Governor's Palace when we were a colony. New Bern is also the site of where the drink Pepsi was created. The waterfront towns of Edenton and Beaufort had pirates walk the streets. We have battlefield sites, and even a museum devoted to actress Ava Gardner, who was born in the North Carolina town of Smithfield.

If you are a golfer, you may want to visit our Sandhills region in Southern Pines where some may say there are more golf courses than people.  That's not really true, but this terrain is filled with sand, pine trees, and is home to a PGA golf course. Southern Pines is located about 30 minutes from NC Zoo in Asheboro, N.C.  This area is also known for its beautiful pottery.

Ideas for a road trip in North Carolina is endless. I also love the mountain town of Blowing Rock where you can walk across the swinging bridge at Grandfather Mountain. The Blue Ridge Parkway runs through our North Carolina mountains. You can hop on it near Asheville, N.C and take it the Boone area. The Indian reservation, Cherokee, N.C. takes you to the Smoky Mountain National Park. In Franklin, N.C., you can take a scenic rail ride on the Smoky Mountain Railroad.

Map  of North Carolina _Great State to Road Trip

I am not a travel agent, but I know North Carolina well. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Visit my OutaboutNC social community to see where locals like to go and you can also follow my own Instagram account.

Visit the blog's Book a Hotel tab on my site so you can begin to plan your North Carolina adventure now. You will be glad you came to visit. Request your map from NC DOT. 

These are some North Carolina cities that you may want to make for your hotel base:

Charlotte, N.C
Asheville, N.C.
Highlands or Cashiers, N.C.
Cherokee, N.C.
Boone, N.C.
Blowing Rock, N.C.
Winston-Salem, N.C.
Greensboro, N.C.
High Point, N.C.
Durham, N.C.
Chapel Hill, N.C
Raleigh, N.C.
Southern Pines, N.C.
New Bern, N.C.
Wilmington, N.C.
Southport, N.C.
Kinston, N.C.
Edenton, N.C.

Happy road tripping!

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