16 days in Chicago & North Carolina Itinerary

16 days in Chicago & North Carolina Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States route builder

Make it your trip
Bus to Dublin, Fly to Chicago
— 5 nights
Bryson City
— 2 nights
— 3 nights
Blowing Rock
— 1 night
— 2 nights
— 2 nights
Drive to Norfolk, Fly to Dublin, Bus to Belfast



— 5 nights

Windy City

A huge and vibrant city, Chicago is home to top-notch theaters, shops, museums, galleries, and restaurants.
Chicago is known for museums, parks, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the world behind art at The Art Institute of Chicago, enjoy breathtaking views from Skydeck Chicago - Willis Tower, admire the striking features of 360 Chicago Observation Deck, and get interesting insight from Tours.

For where to stay, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Chicago journey builder.

Belfast, UK to Chicago is an approximately 12.5-hour combination of bus and flight. The time zone difference moving from Greenwich Mean Time to Central Standard Time is minus 6 hours. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Belfast in July: high temperatures in Chicago hover around 33°C and lows are around 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Fri) so you can catch the flight to Bryson City.

Things to do in Chicago

Museums · Parks · Childrens Museums · Zoos & Aquariums

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 16th (Sat): get outside with Nantahala on the Fly, then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then head outdoors with Carolina Outfitters. Keep things going the next day: contemplate the waterfront views at Santeetlah Lake, take a memorable drive along Cherohala Skyway, and then stop by Bryson City Outdoors.

For more things to do, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Bryson City itinerary maker app.

Traveling by flight from Chicago to Bryson City takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and car. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Chicago to Bryson City due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Chicago in July, Bryson City is slightly colder at night with lows of 19°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) so you can go by car to Asheville.

Things to do in Bryson City

Outdoors · Nature · Tours · Scenic Drive

Side Trips


— 3 nights

Land of the Sky

Asheville nestles between two major mountain ranges in the scenic western section of North Carolina.
Change things up with these side-trips from Asheville: Miller's Land of Waterfall Tours (in Rosman), Crystal Mountain Gem Mine (in Brevard) and DuPont State Recreational Forest (in Cedar Mountain). There's still lots to do: admire all the interesting features of Blue Ridge Pkwy, indulge your thirst for a good beer at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Tours & Tastings, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and discover the riches below the earth's surface at Elijah Mountain Gem Mine.

For other places to visit, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, use the Asheville online road trip planner.

You can drive from Bryson City to Asheville in 1.5 hours. July in Asheville sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 21°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Blowing Rock.

Things to do in Asheville

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Scenic Drive

Side Trips

Blowing Rock

— 1 night
Blowing Rock is a town in Watauga and Caldwell counties in the U.S. state of North Carolina. On the 21st (Thu), take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Grandfather Mountain, walk around The Valle Crucis Community Park, and then take a memorable tour with Tours.

To see reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Blowing Rock trip planning site.

Traveling by car from Asheville to Blowing Rock takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from Asheville in July, you will find days in Blowing Rock are slightly colder (30°C), and nights are about the same (19°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Thu) early enough to fly to Raleigh.

Things to do in Blowing Rock

Wildlife · Parks · Tours · Adventure

Side Trips


— 2 nights

City of Oaks

For those not from the South, Raleigh might be one of the region's better-kept travel secrets.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Fri): get outside with Capital Area Greenway, then look for all kinds of wild species at Fletcher Park, then get a new perspective on nature at North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and finally trek along Neuse River Trail. On the 23rd (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: deepen your understanding at Duke University, then admire the natural beauty at Sarah P. Duke Gardens, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Duke University Chapel.

For other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Raleigh vacation planning website.

Traveling by flight from Blowing Rock to Raleigh takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and train. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Blowing Rock in July; daily highs in Raleigh reach 38°C and lows reach 25°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sat) early enough to go by car to Corolla.

Things to do in Raleigh

Parks · Outdoors · Museums · Trails

Side Trip


— 2 nights
A trip to Corolla will add a bit of slow-paced fun to your Outer Banks holiday.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Sun): see exotic creatures in open habitats at Back Country Safari Tours, visit a coastal fixture at Currituck Beach Lighthouse and Museum, then take a memorable tour with Tours, and finally take a memorable tour with Tours.

For other places to visit, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Corolla day trip website.

Drive from Raleigh to Corolla in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of bus and car. In July in Corolla, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 26°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Corolla

Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Adventure

North Carolina travel guide

Historic Sites · 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.