Touring North Carolina and the Virginias - Go Wandering

Touring North Carolina and the Virginias

By Mallory Corbett |
Touring North Carolina and the Virginias
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There is always something new to discover in North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. These three states may not be at the top of your bucket list, but you shouldn’t underrate them. If you are road tripping through any of these three states, here are some of the top places to consider adding to your itinerary.

Asheville, North Carolina

Hands down, the number one place to visit in Asheville is the Biltmore Estate. It is said to be the largest home in the United States and has a winery, miles of trails, stunning gardens, and more. You will be in awe as you tour this massive estate, so be sure to visit it at least once in your lifetime.

Lake Lure, North Carolina

Travel Southeast from Asheville to get to Chimney Rock State Park. The hike up to the top of Chimney Rock is picture-perfect, and there are other family-friendly trails nearby to keep children engaged. Rock climbing is another thing that you can experience here if you’re feeling adventurous.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Continue your journey East from the state park and stop by Charlotte. One of the top attractions here is the Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary. Guests can feed birds and interact with them up close when they visit. If you enjoy bird watching, there is no better place to see rare bird species all in one place.

Another fun thing to do in Charlotte is Summer Pops in Symphony Park. Here, you can listen to live music and enjoy a lovely concert in the fresh summer air. Honestly, there’s so much to choose from in Charlotte that you could easily spend a few days in this city alone.

Fayetteville, North Carolina

Arnette Park is said to be one of the best parks in the region. There is plenty of space to enjoy fun in the sun, plus picnic tables or pavilions are available for visitors to have a bite to eat. If you like disc golf, bring your discs and try their challenging 18-hole course for yourself. The park sits next to the Cape Fear River and is open daily from 9 am to dusk in the summer, and 9 am to 4 pm in the winter.

Raleigh, North Carolina

Take a thrilling ride on the Go Ape zipline course. This zipline is excellent for families with older children. They have smaller ziplines that are suitable for younger children too. It is open annually from March 2 through November 30. Even if you have a fear of heights, don't let that stop you from getting a bird's eye view of the forest on their incredible zipline course.

Daleville, Virginia

If you love listening to nature, part of the Appalachian Trail cuts through here and leads across Tinker Creek. The entire trail spans over a dozen states, but this is a perfect area to explore if you want to venture outside. 

Natural Bridge, Virginia

Take a 30-minute drive on Interstate 81, and stop by Virginia’s impressive natural bridge. Cedar Creek has carved out this limestone arch over hundreds of years. At over 200 feet in length, this is North America’s largest natural bridge and is truly a wonder to behold.

Luray, Virginia

Continuing on Interstate 81, the Luray Caverns has to be one of the most alluring attractions in the state. These caverns are a National Natural Landmark and are one of the biggest cave systems available to tour. It is one of the few caves that are fully ADA accessible, and as a bonus, you can visit three additional attractions with the purchase of your cavern ticket. These attractions include The Car & Carriage Caravan Museum, Shenandoah Heritage Village, and Toy Town Junction. This is a great way to pass the time while visiting Virginia.

Jollett, Virginia

Located just south of Luray, the Shenandoah National Park is one of the top National Parks to visit. The most popular trails in the park are pet-friendly. There are hundreds of views to see, and many hikes are short enough for a day trip. You can also camp here, but be aware that the fall season is when the park gets the most crowded.

Mount Vernon, Virginia

Make your way to Northeastern Virginia and tour George Washington’s estate on the shores of the Potomac River. This is one of the most scenic attractions in the area and offers an educational experience for all visitors. It is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm and features several buildings, museum exhibits, and gardens to explore.

Davis, West Virginia

The Blackwater Falls State Park is about a 3-hour drive west of Mount Vernon, Virginia, and features the Blackwater and Elakala waterfalls. Blackwater Falls is accessible year-round and is about 60 feet tall. Feel free to extend your stay in one of their cabins or the cozy lodge to enjoy all the sights.

Cass, West Virginia

Venture south to Cass, where you can take a scenic train ride up to Bald Knob, the third-highest point in West Virginia. Guests will take the Durbin Greenbrier Valley Railroad system on a 4.5-hour trip and experience what it’s like to be on a steam locomotive. This is a great way to do some sightseeing without having to make multiple stops while driving.

White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

Come and see what the Greenbrier has to offer. This resort hotel has hosted over two dozen presidents and several foreign dignitaries over the years. If you can’t stay at the hotel, you should participate in at least one of their indoor or outdoor activities. It will be in your best interest to book your activities in advance so you can reserve your preferred date and time slot. Choose from over 50 fun attractions, including carriage rides, geocaching, horseback riding, glass blowing, paintball, escape rooms, and more.

Charleston, West Virginia

Just off of Interstate 77, walk along Charleston’s Capitol Street in the downtown historic district. Trees provide shade over the stunning brick sidewalks, and there are multiple historical buildings to see. Expect to find boutiques and other unique places to shop while you’re here. Capitol Street also has an ice cream shop and plenty of local restaurants. 

Rowlesburg, West Virginia

Lastly, we couldn’t mention West Virginia without mentioning a white water rafting trip. The Cheat River offers sections that are perfect for beginners and experts alike. Consider booking a river rafting tour if you’re the adventurous type. It can be quite a thrill to take a guided river rafting tour. 

We hope you enjoy a road trip through the Eastern United States at some point. You could easily create an itinerary focused solely on historical sites in this region, or do a variety of activities to keep the trip fun and entertaining. Whether you’re traveling with family or with a group of friends, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia will have something fun for everyone. Click here to view a North Carolina itinerary to give you even more ideas.

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