12 days in North Carolina Itinerary

12 days in North Carolina Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in North Carolina Itinerary

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

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.
On the 18th (Thu), take in the waterfront at Jennette's Pier.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Nags Head trip itinerary planner.

Dayton to Nags Head is an approximately 5.5-hour combination of taxi, flight, and car. You can also do a combination of taxi, flight, bus, and car; or drive. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Dayton in July since evenings lows in Nags Head dip to 73°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Fri) so you can drive to Raleigh.

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

2
nights
Raleigh

Raleigh ©
For those not from the South, Raleigh might be one of the region's better-kept travel secrets.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Sat): admire the masterpieces at North Carolina Museum of Art, then admire the natural beauty at Sarah P. Duke Gardens, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Duke University Chapel, and finally walk around Pullen Park. On the 21st (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: engage your brain at Marbles Kids Museum, get a new perspective on nature at North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, then identify plant and animal life at Fletcher Park, and finally trek along Neuse River Trail.

To see ratings, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Raleigh online attractions planner .

Getting from Nags Head to Raleigh by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and flight; or do a combination of car, bus, and train. In July in Raleigh, expect temperatures between 90°F during the day and 71°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sun) to allow time to drive to Wilmington.

Things to do in Raleigh

Parks Museums Childrens Museums

Side Trip

Durham
Highlights from your plan
Sarah P. Duke Gardens ©
Sarah P. Duke Gardens
Neuse River Trail ©
Neuse River Trail

1
night
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 22nd (Mon): observe the fascinating underwater world at North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, stop by Cape Fear Spice Merchants, then learn about all things military at Battleship North Carolina, and finally test your team's savvy at popular escape rooms.

To find reviews, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Wilmington online holiday planner .

You can drive from Raleigh to Wilmington in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. July in Wilmington sees daily highs of 89°F and lows of 73°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Mon) early enough to travel to Charlotte.

Things to do in Wilmington

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Fun & Games

Side Trip

North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher
Highlights from your plan
North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher ©
Room Escape Games
Battleship North Carolina ©
Battleship North Carolina

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.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Tue): get lost in a book at Billy Graham Library, then stop by The Village Store, and then look for all kinds of wild species at The Lazy 5 Ranch. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: see the interesting displays at NASCAR Hall of Fame, then test your problem-solving skills at Escape Kings, and then find something for the whole family at Carowinds.

To see ratings, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Charlotte tour website .

Traveling by flight from Wilmington to Charlotte takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. July in Charlotte sees daily highs of 90°F and lows of 70°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Wed) early enough to drive to Asheville.

Things to do in Charlotte

Theme Parks Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

The Village Store, The Lazy 5 Ranch
Highlights from your plan
Escape Kings ©
Escape Kings
Billy Graham Library ©
Billy Graham Library
Carowinds ©
Carowinds

3
nights
Asheville

Asheville nestles between two major mountain ranges in the scenic western section of North Carolina.
Change things up with these side-trips from Asheville: Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park (in Chimney Rock), DuPont State Recreational Forest (in Cedar Mountain) and Zipline (in Lake Lure). There's lots more to do: let your taste buds guide you at a local gastronomic tour, sample the tasty concoctions at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Tours & Tastings, hike along Bearwallow Mountain, and explore the wealth of natural beauty at The North Carolina Arboretum.

To find photos, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read Asheville tour planner .

Traveling by car from Charlotte to Asheville takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of flight and car. Traveling from Charlotte in July, things will get little chillier in Asheville: highs are around 84°F and lows about 65°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sat) early enough to drive to Cherokee.

Things to do in Asheville

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Tours & Tastings, DuPont State Recreational Forest, Zipline, Bearwallow Mountain, Blue Ridge Pkwy
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 28th (Sun): try your luck at Casino at Harrah’s Cherokee, then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and then take in the exciting artwork at Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the sheer force of Dry Falls, brush up on your knowledge of spirits at Elevated Mountain Distilling Co., and then see the interesting displays at Wheels Through Time Transportation Museum.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Cherokee visit planner.

Getting from Asheville to Cherokee by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi. In July in Cherokee, expect temperatures between 83°F during the day and 62°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Cherokee

Adventure Tours Outdoors

Side Trips

Maggie Valley, River Rafting & Tubing, Dry Falls
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Dry Falls ©
Dry Falls

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