As the most central region in North Carolina, the NC Triad serves as the perfect launchpad for trips both east and west, north and south. Close enough to drive to major cities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia, we are perfectly situated for all kinds of weekend trips that won’t break the bank.
Whether you want to take a romantic city getaway with a loved one, explore family fun attractions, or have a beach day with friends, it’s all here waiting for you within driving distance of the Triad. Explore some of our best day trip ideas below to start planning your next weekend getaway.
The NC Triad’s central location means that it’s ideally situated amongst a variety of exciting cities within driving distance. Below are just a few of the metro areas within close reach:
With hiking, camping, lakes, beaches and more all within driving distance of the Triad, you can easily have an adventurous weekend getaway close to home. Looking for a beach trip? Drive a few hours south to Wilmington or Myrtle Beach, where you can enjoy miles of sandy beaches, family fun boardwalks, oceanside eats and live entertainment. Camping enthusiasts can pick a new place to stay every weekend throughout the warmer months, all the way from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Outer Banks. For an authentic backpacking experience, the 2,000-foot-deep Linville Gorge offers challenging trails and gorgeous views with free camping on weekends through October. Located a short three-hour drive from the Triad, Carolina Beach State Park is perfect for a beachy camping trip. Not a fan of roughing it in a tent? This park also offers small camper cabins so you can bunk in comfort.
For hiking, camping and more, the Triad is home to four state parks – Hanging Rock, Pilot Mountain, Haw River and Mayo River. Meanwhile, Uwharrie National Forest offers camping, off-roading, fishing and more. You’ll find another six state parks within a two-hour drive or less: Stone Mountain, Morrow Mountain, Lake Norman, Eno River, New River and Jordan Lake. To take in the beauty of nature, try a scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway or visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Browse our Outdoor Adventure page for more local suggestions.
Want to take your family on a weekend getaway? The Triad is the perfect starting point for various kinds of family-friendly trips across the state and beyond that won’t hurt your budget. Visit Safari Nation’s giant indoor obstacle course and zipline for high-speed thrills, or the huge Wet ‘n Wild Emerald Pointe waterpark for nonstop fun. Animal lovers will enjoy the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, while sport-fan families will enjoy a day at the ballgame with Minor League Baseball teams the Dash in Winston-Salem or the Grasshoppers in Greensboro.
Just a few hours east is the Outer Banks, a beautiful destination with a reputation for its family-friendly offerings. For families with older children, the Smoky Mountains are a great option for whitewater rafting, hiking and camping outings.