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: Midland
Fly + Drive:  9​h 30​min
1
Cherokee
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Asheville
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
3
Charlotte
— 2 nights
Fly + Drive:  4​h 30​min
4
Nags Head
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
5
Raleigh
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
6
Wilmington
— 2 nights
Fly:  7​h 45​min
End: Midland

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.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Thu): try your luck at Casino at Harrah’s Cherokee, then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then take in the exciting artwork at Elizabeth Ellison Gallery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: admire the sheer force of Dry Falls, examine the collection at Wheels Through Time Transportation Museum, and then take an in-depth tour of Mountain Farm Museum.

For more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Cherokee online route planner .

Midland to Cherokee is an approximately 9.5-hour combination of flight and car. You can also drive. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Midland to Cherokee due to the time zone difference. In September, Cherokee is a bit cooler than Midland - with highs of 79°F and lows of 57°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Asheville.

Things to do in Cherokee

Museums Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Bryson City, Dry Falls, Wheels Through Time Transportation Museum
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Mountain Farm Museum ©
Mountain Farm Museum

2
nights
Asheville

Asheville nestles between two major mountain ranges in the scenic western section of North Carolina.
On the 7th (Sat), explore the wealth of natural beauty at The North Carolina Arboretum and then cruise along Blue Ridge Pkwy. Keep things going the next day: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks and then indulge in some culinary diversions at a local gastronomic tour.

To see photos, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Asheville vacation planning app .

Traveling by car from Cherokee to Asheville takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. September in Asheville sees daily highs of 79°F and lows of 59°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) so you can go by car to Charlotte.

Things to do in Asheville

Outdoors Tours Scenic Drive

Side Trips

Blue Ridge Pkwy, Zipline
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Blue Ridge Pkwy ©
Blue Ridge Pkwy
The North Carolina Arboretum ©
The North Carolina Arboretum

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.
On the 9th (Mon), look for all kinds of wild species at Latta Plantation Nature Center & Preserve, get lost in a book at Billy Graham Library, and then find something for the whole family at Carowinds. Keep things going the next day: get curious at Discovery Place Science, examine the collection at Carolinas Aviation Museum, and then get your game on at Escape Kings.

For maps, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Charlotte day trip planning app .

Traveling by car from Asheville to Charlotte takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of car and flight. In September, daytime highs in Charlotte are 83°F, while nighttime lows are 63°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Tue) so you can travel to Nags Head.

Things to do in Charlotte

Museums Childrens Museums Theme Parks

Side Trip

Latta Plantation Nature Center & Preserve
Highlights from your plan
Escape Kings ©
Escape Kings
Billy Graham Library ©
Billy Graham Library
Carowinds ©
Carowinds

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 11th (Wed): visit a coastal fixture at Bodie Island Lighthouse, take in the dramatic natural features at Jockey's Ridge State Park, then contemplate the long history of Wright Brothers National Memorial, and finally appreciate the history behind The Monument to a Century of Flight.

To see photos, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Nags Head online trip planner .

Do a combination of flight and car from Charlotte to Nags Head in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight, bus, and car. Traveling from Charlotte in September, Nags Head is a bit warmer at night with lows of 69°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Wed) early enough to drive to Raleigh.

Things to do in Nags Head

Historic Sites Nature Parks

Side Trips

Wright Brothers National Memorial, The Monument to a Century of Flight
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.
On the 12th (Thu), get a new perspective on nature at North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, admire the masterpieces at North Carolina Museum of Art, then admire the natural beauty at Sarah P. Duke Gardens, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Duke University Chapel. On the next day, hike along Neuse River Trail, walk around Pullen Park, then get curious at Marbles Kids Museum, and finally identify plant and animal life at Fletcher Park.

For reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Raleigh attractions site .

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. Traveling from Nags Head in September, Raleigh is little chillier at night with lows of 63°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) so you can go by car 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

2
nights
Wilmington

Wilmington ©
Holiday in Willington to discover a charming coastal city filled with azalea gardens, historical neighborhoods, and cozy cafes.
On the 14th (Sat), steep yourself in history at Airlie Gardens, have some family-friendly fun at Battle House, then learn about all things military at Battleship North Carolina, and finally look for gifts at Old Books on Front Street. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: test your problem-solving skills at popular escape rooms, don't miss a visit to Riverwalk, and then get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.

To find more things to do, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, read Wilmington road trip tool .

Getting from Raleigh to Wilmington by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 84°F in September, and nighttime lows around 68°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Wilmington

Fun & Games Zoos & Aquariums Historic Sites

Side Trip

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

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