Day Trips in North Carolina
Day trips in North Carolina can be filled with historic and exciting attractions great for the whole family. From the Eastern Shore region of the Outer Banks, to the Western Appalachian Mountain region, use our guide below to discover fun and affordable day trips in NC. For more day trip ideas nearby, check out what Tennessee, the “Volunteer State”, offers here.
Day Trips in NC
Below we listed some of the best day trips in NC.
Outer Banks – While the Outer Banks are a popular destination for a beach vacation, there are several fun activities to check out for a day trip. Make a stop at The Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills to see where Wilbur and Orville Wright piloted the first powered airplane flight in 1903. Tickets are free for kids under 16 years-of-age, and are only $4 for individuals 16 years-of-age and older. While you’re at the Outer Banks, it’s worth exploring the tallest brick lighthouse in America at Cape Hatteras. The iconic black and white spiral landmark is worth the climb – you’ll have a great view and it only costs $8 for adults and $4 for seniors. They even offer full moon climbs May through October!
Linville Caverns – Head west to Marion and go cave exploring! Linville Caverns, North Carolina’s only show caverns, is an ideal destination for visitors of all ages. You’ll enjoy the views of Humpback Mountain and have an opportunity to explore the splendor and wonder nature created “inside a mountain”. Admission to Linville Caverns is free for children under 5 years-of-age, $6 for children 5-12 years-of-age, $8 for adults, and $7 for seniors.
The North Carolina Zoo – If you love animals and enjoy exploring nature, make sure to plan a trip to the North Carolina Zoo located in Asheboro. Get up close and personal with wildlife and enjoy the glorious garden. The North Carolina Zoo features 500 acres of exhibits carefully constructed to resemble natural habitats, allowing you to experience Africa’s grasslands to North America’s arctic coast in one day. Admission for infants 2 years-of-age and under is free, children 2-12 years-of-age is $8, senior tickets are $10, and adult tickets are $12.
The Biltmore House – Looking for some historical perspective? Discover the great Biltmore house, America’s largest home, located in Asheville. With 250 rooms and an 8,000-acre backyard, visitors can explore the history and magnificence of this great American estate. Self-guided daytime tours for adults start around $59; but if you plan ahead and purchase your tickets online more than 7 days in advance, tickets are only $44. Here you can also catch a summer concert, tour the winery, enjoy a relaxing trail ride, and more!
NASCAR Hall of Fame– NASCAR is one of the most popular sports in North Carolina, which makes visiting the NASCAR Hall of Fame, located in Charlotte, a must for the whole family! Visitors can tour the Great Hall—an area which features rotating displays and lively video scenes and graphics; Glory Road – a banked ramp featuring 18 historic cars; High Octane Theatre – a 278-seat theater featuring a 64-foot-wide projection screen with surround sound; and more. You can also see how NASCAR teams prepare for races behind the scenes in an exhibit called “Race Week”. The Hall also features a café and gift shop. Tickets for adults are $19.95, $17.95 for seniors and military, and $12.95 for children 5-12 years-of-age.
Whether you’re planning an end-of-summer family vacation somewhere local or across the globe (check out our list of Top Affordable Day Trips), Mariner Finance is here for your financing needs! Contact your local Mariner Finance branch to speak with a knowledgeable member of our staff and get the money you need today!
get personal finance tips,
and seasonal offers.
Sign up for the Mariner Finance newsletter.