12 days in North Carolina Itinerary

12 days in North Carolina Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Carolina vacation planner

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Route & dates

12 days in North Carolina Itinerary

Start: Houston
Fly + Drive:  6​h 15​min
1
Asheville
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Cherokee
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  4​h 30​min
3
Wilmington
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
4
Nags Head
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h
5
Greensboro
— 1 night
train:  1​h 45​min
6
Charlotte
— 2 nights
Fly:  5​h
End: Houston

3
nights
Asheville

Asheville nestles between two major mountain ranges in the scenic western section of North Carolina.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Asheville: Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park (in Chimney Rock), Zipline (in Lake Lure) and DuPont State Recreational Forest (in Cedar Mountain). Next up on the itinerary: savor the flavors at Food & Drink, indulge your thirst for a good beer at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Tours & Tastings, admire the natural beauty at The North Carolina Arboretum, and cruise along Blue Ridge Pkwy.

To find reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Asheville trip planner .

Houston to Asheville is an approximately 6.5-hour combination of flight and car. You can also do a combination of flight, taxi, and bus; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time (CST) to Eastern Standard Time (EST) is 1 hour. Plan for little chillier temperatures traveling from Houston in August, with highs in Asheville at 82°F and lows at 64°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Cherokee.

Things to do in Asheville

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Blue Ridge Pkwy, Zipline, Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Tours & Tastings, DuPont State Recreational Forest
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Blue Ridge Pkwy ©
Blue Ridge Pkwy
The North Carolina Arboretum ©
The North Carolina Arboretum

2
nights
Cherokee

The center of Cherokee culture in the eastern part of the country, the town named after this Native American tribe serves as a base camp for hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Sat): try to win big at Casino at Harrah’s Cherokee, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then look for gifts at Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual. On the next day, examine the collection at Museum of the Cherokee Indian, then examine the collection at Wheels Through Time Transportation Museum, and then admire the sheer force of Dry Falls.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Cherokee day trip tool .

You can drive from Asheville to Cherokee in 1.5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of bus and taxi. In August, plan for daily highs up to 82°F, and evening lows to 61°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Wilmington.

Things to do in Cherokee

Museums Tours Adventure

Side Trips

Wheels Through Time Transportation Museum, River Rafting & Tubing, Dry Falls
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Museum of the Cherokee Indian ©
Museum of the Cherokee Indian
Dry Falls ©
Dry Falls

2
nights
Wilmington

Wilmington ©
Holiday in Willington to discover a charming coastal city filled with azalea gardens, historical neighborhoods, and cozy cafes.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Mon): test your problem-solving skills at popular escape rooms, then brush up on your military savvy at Battleship North Carolina, then stop by Old Books on Front Street, and finally get your game on at Battle House. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, then stroll through Wrightsville Beach Municipal Complex, and then indulge your thirst for a good beer at Broomtail Craft Brewery.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Wilmington online road trip planner .

You can do a combination of car and flight from Cherokee to Wilmington in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Cherokee in August; daily highs in Wilmington reach 88°F and lows reach 72°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Nags Head.

Things to do in Wilmington

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, Wrightsville Beach Municipal Complex
Highlights from your plan
Battle House ©
Battle House
Room Escape Games
Battleship North Carolina ©
Battleship North Carolina

1
night
Nags Head

Nags Head ©
Most visitors take a trip to Nags Head to enjoy the beach, but this Outer Banks town offers more than just waterside entertainment.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Wed): visit a coastal fixture at Bodie Island Lighthouse, explore the striking landscape at Jockey's Ridge State Park, then steep yourself in history at Wright Brothers National Memorial, and finally pause for some photo ops at The Monument to a Century of Flight.

To see photos, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Nags Head trip planner .

You can drive from Wilmington to Nags Head in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of flight, bus, and car. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Wilmington in August: highs in Nags Head hover around 83°F, while lows dip to 72°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Greensboro.

Things to do in Nags Head

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

The Monument to a Century of Flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial
Highlights from your plan
Wright Brothers National Memorial ©
Wright Brothers National Memorial
Jockey's Ridge State Park ©
Jockey's Ridge State Park
Bodie Island Lighthouse ©
Bodie Island Lighthouse

1
night
Greensboro

Greensboro ©
Greensboro is a city in the U.S. Start off your visit on the 15th (Thu): steep yourself in history at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, then get curious at Greensboro Science Center, then view the masterpieces at Ambleside Gallery, and finally examine the collection at International Civil Rights Center & Museum.

To find reviews, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Greensboro trip itinerary maker app .

You can drive from Nags Head to Greensboro in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, flight, and train; or do a combination of car, flight, and bus. In August, plan for daily highs up to 85°F, and evening lows to 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Thu) early enough to take a train to Charlotte.

Things to do in Greensboro

Museums Parks Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Greensboro Science Center ©
Greensboro Science Center

2
nights
Charlotte

Charlotte ©
A rapidly growing city in central North Carolina, Charlotte is the state's largest urban center and a major regional hub for finance, industry, technology, and entertainment.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Fri): get in on the family fun at Carowinds and then identify plant and animal life at The Lazy 5 Ranch. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: test your problem-solving skills at Escape Kings, get lost in a book at Billy Graham Library, and then see the interesting displays at NASCAR Hall of Fame.

To find reviews, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, read Charlotte vacation site .

Getting from Greensboro to Charlotte by train takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 88°F in August, and nighttime lows around 69°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Charlotte

Theme Parks Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

The Lazy 5 Ranch
Highlights from your plan
Escape Kings ©
Escape Kings
Billy Graham Library ©
Billy Graham Library
NASCAR Hall of Fame ©
NASCAR Hall of Fame

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