15 days in North Carolina Itinerary

15 days in North Carolina Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Carolina trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Highlands
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Asheville
— 5 nights
Fly
3
Wilmington
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Manteo, Roanoke Island
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Corolla
— 2 nights
Drive to Norfolk, Fly to San Diego

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Highlands

— 2 nights
Highlands is an incorporated town in Macon County in the U.S. state of North Carolina. On the 16th (Fri), admire the majestic nature at Gorges State Park, admire the sheer force of Whitewater Falls, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Highlands Biological Station, Nature Center and Botanical Gardens. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the awesome beauty at Whiteside Mountain, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Sunset Rock and Ravenel Park, then admire the sheer force of Dry Falls, and finally take in the dramatic scenery at Glen Falls.

To see reviews, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Highlands trip planner.

San Diego to Highlands is an approximately 8-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from San Diego to Highlands, you'll lose 3 hours due to the time zone difference. When traveling from San Diego in October, plan for a bit cooler days in Highlands, with highs around 70°F, while nights are colder with lows around 44°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sat) so you can go by car to Asheville.

Things to do in Highlands

Parks · Nature · Wildlife

Side Trips

Asheville

— 5 nights

Land of the Sky

Asheville nestles between two major mountain ranges in the scenic western section of North Carolina.
Visiting Soco Falls and Waterrock Knob will get you outdoors. Do your shopping at Grovewood Village and Barber Orchard Fruitstand. Explore Asheville's surroundings by going to Hendersonville (Burntshirt Vineyards & Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards) and Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site (in Flat Rock). There's still lots to do: surround yourself with nature on Tumblestone Tours and Transportation, get outside with Outdoor Activities, view the masterpieces at Downtown Asheville Art District, and look for gifts at New Morning Gallery.

To find maps, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, read our Asheville road trip website.

Traveling by car from Highlands to Asheville takes 2 hours. Expect a daytime high around 70°F in October, and nighttime lows around 47°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Thu) to allow time to fly to Wilmington.

Things to do in Asheville

Shopping · Museums · Tours · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Wilmington

— 3 nights
Holiday in Willington to discover a charming coastal city filled with azalea gardens, historical neighborhoods, and cozy cafes.
For shopping fun, head to Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center or The Veggie Wagon. Get some historical perspective at Poplar Grove Plantation and Fort Fisher State Recreation Area. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Wilmington: Holden Beach (in Holden Beach), Oak Island Beach (in Oak Island) and Spas (in Surf City). There's lots more to do: steep yourself in history at Bellamy Mansion, take a stroll through Downtown Wilmington, and find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area.

To find photos, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Wilmington trip itinerary builder.

You can fly from Asheville to Wilmington in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Asheville in October, with highs in Wilmington at 77°F and lows at 57°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) so you can drive to Manteo.

Things to do in Wilmington

Historic Sites · Museums · Outdoors · Parks

Side Trips

Manteo, Roanoke Island

— 2 nights
Manteo is a town in Dare County, North Carolina, United States, located on Roanoke Island. Start off your visit on the 26th (Mon): contemplate the long history of Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 27th (Tue): enjoy the sea views from Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse, stroll through Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, and then identify plant and animal life at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.

To see ratings, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Manteo trip planner.

Traveling by car from Wilmington to Manteo takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of bus and car. When traveling from Wilmington in October, plan for a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Manteo: temperatures range from 72°F by day to 60°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Corolla.

Things to do in Manteo

Parks · Historic Sites · Museums · Nature

Side Trip

Corolla

— 2 nights
A trip to Corolla will add a bit of slow-paced fun to your Outer Banks holiday.
On the 28th (Wed), contemplate the long history of Whalehead Club, take an exotic tour of Back Country Safari Tours, and then kick back and relax at Carova Beach. On your second day here, trek along Currituck Banks Reserve, tour the pleasant surroundings at Currituck Beach, and then stroll through Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education.

To see photos and tourist information, read Corolla trip planner.

You can drive from Manteo to Corolla in 1.5 hours. In October, plan for daily highs up to 76°F, and evening lows to 56°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Corolla

Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Beaches

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.