12 days in North Carolina Itinerary

12 days in North Carolina Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Carolina trip itinerary builder

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Make it your trip
Drive
1
Bryson City
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Highlands
— 2 nights
Fly
4
Charlotte
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Blowing Rock
— 3 nights
Drive

S M T W T F S
2
3
4
5
6
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12
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Bryson City

— 2 nights
The location of an old Cherokee village, Bryson City embraces a quiet side of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Fri): take an in-depth tour of Swain County Heritage Museum, then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, then learn about winemaking at Deep Creek Winery, and finally take in the dramatic scenery at Mingo Falls. Keep things going the next day: examine the collection at Smoky Mountain Trains Museum, contemplate the long history of Oconaluftee Indian Village, then see the interesting displays at Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and finally look for gifts at The What's Hot Shop.

To find ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, use the Bryson City online journey maker.

Asheville to Bryson City is an approximately 1.5-hour car ride. Expect a daytime high around 82°F in August, and nighttime lows around 61°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) so you can go by car to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Things to do in Bryson City

Museums · Outdoors · Adventure · Tours

Side Trip

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

— 2 nights

A Wondrous Diversity of Life

Great Smoky Mountains National Park contains some of the highest mountains east of the Mississippi River, but it's the ease of access that makes this national park the United States' most visited.
On the 9th (Sun), take in the awesome beauty at Clingmans Dome, then cruise along Newfound Gap Road, then pause for some photo ops at Rockefeller Memorial, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Roaring Fork. Keep things going the next day: admire the sheer force of Laurel Falls, stroll through Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, and then walk around Chimneys Picnic Area.

To find reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Great Smoky Mountains National Park trip tool.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is just a short distance from Bryson City. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Bryson City in August since evenings lows in Great Smoky Mountains National Park dip to 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Highlands.

Things to do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trip

Highlands

— 2 nights
Highlands is an incorporated town in Macon County in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Kick off your visit on the 11th (Tue): take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Sunset Rock and Ravenel Park, then take in the dramatic scenery at Dry Falls, then take in the dramatic scenery at Bridal Veil Falls, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Highlands Biological Station, Nature Center and Botanical Gardens. On the 12th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the dramatic scenery at Glen Falls, then discover the riches below the earth's surface at Jackson Hole Trading Post & Gem Mine, then explore the striking landscape at Cullasaja River Gorge, and finally admire the sheer force of Bust Your Butt Falls.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Highlands trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

Traveling by car from Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Highlands takes 1.5 hours. Plan for little chillier temperatures traveling from Great Smoky Mountains National Park in August, with highs in Highlands at 82°F and lows at 61°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Wed) early enough to catch the flight to Charlotte.

Things to do in Highlands

Parks · Nature · Wildlife

Charlotte

— 2 nights

The Queen City

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 13th (Thu), stop by PuckerButt Pepper Company, then get in on the family fun at Carowinds, then get lost in a book at Billy Graham Library, and finally test your team's savvy at Escape Kings. On the 14th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: walk around Freedom Park, examine the collection at Levine Museum of the New South, and then see the interesting displays at NASCAR Hall of Fame.

For maps, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Charlotte holiday planning website.

Getting from Highlands to Charlotte by flight takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of car and bus. Traveling from Highlands in August, things will get a bit warmer in Charlotte: highs are around 88°F and lows about 69°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Blowing Rock.

Things to do in Charlotte

Museums · Theme Parks · Parks · Fun & Games

Side Trip

Blowing Rock

— 3 nights
Blowing Rock is a town in Watauga and Caldwell counties in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Start off your visit on the 15th (Sat): take a pleasant ride with Vx3 Trail Rides, go deep underground at Doc's Rocks Gem Mine, and then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the awesome beauty at Grandfather Mountain, then admire the majestic nature at Julian Price Memorial Park, then explore and take pictures at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park, and finally indulge your thirst for a good beer at Blowing Rock Brewery.

To see reviews, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Blowing Rock driving holiday planning site.

Traveling by car from Charlotte to Blowing Rock takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from Charlotte in August: high temperatures in Blowing Rock hover around 76°F and lows are around 59°F. On the 17th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive back home.

Things to do in Blowing Rock

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Historic Sites

Side Trip

North Carolina travel guide

4.4
History Museums · Specialty Museums · Zipline
The Tar Heel State
A top destination for a holiday in nature, North Carolina provides a seemingly endless variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain climbing, and skiing. While the state's rural regions offer a taste of traditional Appalachian music and culture, its increasingly diverse big cities feature modern skyscrapers, renowned museums, and historical neighborhoods perfect for sightseeing tours. The coastal region, famous for its year-round temperate climate, attracts millions of annual visitors, making North Carolina the sixth most-visited state in the country. Though it's hard to find a quiet time of year in coastal North Carolina, the state's inland areas retain many secluded corners where you can experience the laid-back Old South atmosphere.