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Old 02-13-2014, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Lake Arlington Heights, IL
5,479 posts, read 11,499,292 times
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The wife wants to explore NC the last week of March for Spring Break. She wants to combine fun activities with also getting a feel for the area to see if she would like to relocate. Our 7th grader will be with us. I'm thinking Asheville, Charlotte, Triad, Triangle and beach. We have 5/6 solid days. We are outdoors types, enjoy hiking, nature and I'm a big road and mountain biker. We will have a dog with us as well. Museums are nice if the weather is bad, but otherwise being outdoors is our thing. And of course the 2 "girls" like to check out unique shops. I'll go with for about 30 minutes but in the past I have given them a few hours to shop while I cycle.

What are some suggestions of places to see and explore? Is the trip too large- do we need to weed out a stop or 2?

Thanks!
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:50 AM
 
Location: The 12th State
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Vacationing and seeing area for relocation leads to false insecurities. A area maybe great for vacationing but your not going to be able to get a feel what area is like living on a day to day basis.

North Carolina coast line is huge so I am going to go with beaches near Wilmington the distance from Asheville to Wrightsville Beach non stop is about six hours.
Triad consist of three major cities and Triangle used to be three major cities and large suburbs same for Charlotte.

If your just vacationing you could do it as one city per day if your planning to relocate you might want to narrow down to get most out of your trip.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:32 AM
 
5,412 posts, read 6,155,600 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cubssoxfan View Post
The wife wants to explore NC the last week of March for Spring Break. She wants to combine fun activities with also getting a feel for the area to see if she would like to relocate. Our 7th grader will be with us. I'm thinking Asheville, Charlotte, Triad, Triangle and beach. We have 5/6 solid days. We are outdoors types, enjoy hiking, nature and I'm a big road and mountain biker. We will have a dog with us as well. Museums are nice if the weather is bad, but otherwise being outdoors is our thing. And of course the 2 "girls" like to check out unique shops. I'll go with for about 30 minutes but in the past I have given them a few hours to shop while I cycle.

What are some suggestions of places to see and explore? Is the trip too large- do we need to weed out a stop or 2?

Thanks!
You are not going to be able to see anything but our highway system if you try to do all that in 5 or 6 days. You need to weed out about 4 stops to be honest. Do you want to see the mountains or go to the beach? Pick one and go from there.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Winston-Salem
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I agree that you need to narrow down your target geographic area. You can get some great ideas from Our State magazine.
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Old 02-14-2014, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Lake Arlington Heights, IL
5,479 posts, read 11,499,292 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyKayak View Post
Vacationing and seeing area for relocation leads to false insecurities. A area maybe great for vacationing but your not going to be able to get a feel what area is like living on a day to day basis.

North Carolina coast line is huge so I am going to go with beaches near Wilmington the distance from Asheville to Wrightsville Beach non stop is about six hours.
Triad consist of three major cities and Triangle used to be three major cities and large suburbs same for Charlotte.

If your just vacationing you could do it as one city per day if your planning to relocate you might want to narrow down to get most out of your trip.
Thanks for all the replies. Definitely understand the difference. This is more of a did we get enough good first impressions to explore more type of trip. I have visited on business a few times about 12 years ago and have neutral memories of Charlotte and Triangle. My roots are here and unless I'm "blown away" am unlikely to leave until I'm closer to retiring (12-15 years) DW has a case of "Grass is Greener" probably enhanced by hating the typical months of cold and snow up here. Kind of like our own version of the HGTV show "Love it or List it". Climate and access to more outdoor recreation year round are the only draw for me right now possibly followed by lower COL and taxes.
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:17 AM
 
Location: My House
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I'd do Asheville through the Triangle. The beach isn't likely to be a place you'd relocate TO and the Triangle to beach stretch is the longest one with no sizable stops. From Asheville to the Triangle you'd have pretty frequent stops if you are hitting Charlotte and the Triad along the way.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Chapelboro
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How many days do you have total? Will you be driving from IL? It's about a 10 hr drive straight w/ no stops according to google maps, so I'd imagine you'd want to stop somewhere en route if so.

So, if you have a full week, Sat to Sun, leave Sat morning, overnight in Lexington KY or somewhere, then arriving in Asheville on Sunday. Spend Monday exploring Asheville and stay another night. Tuesday take a leisurely drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway to Blowing Rock/Boone and spend a night there. Explore around there on Weds. Weds afternoon drive to Charlotte (about 2 hrs) spend the night in Charlotte. Explore Charlotte on Thursday. Spend another night in Charlotte. In the morning, drive to Raleigh (3 hrs), stop in Winston-Salem & Greensboro if interested in the Triad, spend Friday night in Raleigh. Sat morning, explore a little around Raleigh before heading up to Lexington or wherever you plan to overnight midway (5 hr drive). Finish the drive home on Sunday.

It's a bit whirlwind, but it could be done if you cut out the beach. If you want to do the beach, I'd probably go from Asheville to Charlotte, to Wilmington, to Raleigh, back to IL, and cut out the Boone/Blowing Rock stop.

It really doesn't sound like a great vacation to me. The touristy spots in NC are the mountains and the beach. It's a bit whirlwind for exploring different areas of the state, too. Maybe just do the mountains and Charlotte? Then you could spend some time really having a vacation and doing fun stuff like hiking instead of just driving from one destination to another.

With just a mountains/Charlotte vacation you could leave on Sat, spend one night en route, get to Asheville on Sunday and spend Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights, giving you plenty of time for an outdoor activity filled vacation; leave the mountains on Thursday morning, spend Thursday afternoon exploring Charlotte, leave Friday morning for home, spending one night enroute and arrive home on Saturday.
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:35 PM
 
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I'm not sure why anyone would tell you to go to Asheville for spring break...its cold there...your 7th grader would HATE IT.

Here's what I'd recommend....assuming you are flying. Fly into Charlotte and plan on making a loop. Spend your first night in Charlotte, then drive to Wilmington for 2 nights...then drive to Raleigh and spend a night, and then back to Charlotte.

If you can fly into Charlotte AND fly out of Raleigh, then do that.

In the three cities, I'd recommend checking out these things...

Charlotte...take in a Bobcats game downtown or some other event and explore the downtown (they call it uptown)...you can just stay uptown and walk around. You can also take the light rail to the Southend area.

Wilmington...stay at the Hilton downtown, explore the Cotton Exchange, take the water taxi to the Battleship, check out the Serpentarium, eat on the waterfront. Spend another day at Wrightsville Beach, check out the local spots...Tower 7, the surf shops, and eat along the Intracoastal in front of all the boats. Bluewater is pretty good. if you want to shop, Mayfaire is an outdoor shopping center, with a movie theater, etc..

Raleigh...honestly, you can check out a museum, but they will be VERY underwhelming if you are used to Chicago...I'd stay near Chapel Hill and head over the Franklin St...it gives you a good feel of a college town, has some interesting spots just walking up and down the street.

I think that's your trip with a 7th grader.
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:19 PM
 
Location: My House
34,846 posts, read 33,875,568 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HP91 View Post
I'm not sure why anyone would tell you to go to Asheville for spring break...its cold there...your 7th grader would HATE IT.

Here's what I'd recommend....assuming you are flying. Fly into Charlotte and plan on making a loop. Spend your first night in Charlotte, then drive to Wilmington for 2 nights...then drive to Raleigh and spend a night, and then back to Charlotte.

If you can fly into Charlotte AND fly out of Raleigh, then do that.

In the three cities, I'd recommend checking out these things...

Charlotte...take in a Bobcats game downtown or some other event and explore the downtown (they call it uptown)...you can just stay uptown and walk around. You can also take the light rail to the Southend area.

Wilmington...stay at the Hilton downtown, explore the Cotton Exchange, take the water taxi to the Battleship, check out the Serpentarium, eat on the waterfront. Spend another day at Wrightsville Beach, check out the local spots...Tower 7, the surf shops, and eat along the Intracoastal in front of all the boats. Bluewater is pretty good. if you want to shop, Mayfaire is an outdoor shopping center, with a movie theater, etc..

Raleigh...honestly, you can check out a museum, but they will be VERY underwhelming if you are used to Chicago...I'd stay near Chapel Hill and head over the Franklin St...it gives you a good feel of a college town, has some interesting spots just walking up and down the street.

I think that's your trip with a 7th grader.

Spring break is another reason to avoid the beach if they really want to check out the area for a potential relo.

Just a thought. I agree that the mountains will be a bit chilly, but they'll be warmer than Chicago.
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Lake Arlington Heights, IL
5,479 posts, read 11,499,292 times
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Great ideas. Thanks! Keep the suggestions coming. Will be driving to save on airfare and car rental. Might leave Friday night and drive a few hours to make Saturday an easier day.
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