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Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary The Triangle Area
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
650 posts, read 772,271 times
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Day trip from Raleigh to local beaches? My sister, husband and twin 13 yo. girls are visiting for a week right in the middle of July. They would want the beach and a sloppy spoon to eat lunch at. Two things come to mind- I-40 to Wilmington, then Surf City; or Hwy 70 to Atlantic beach. I know Atlantic beach has changing showers but very crowded. What would be the best day trip for parking and the such.
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
16,857 posts, read 21,904,306 times
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I'm sure others will disagree, but I don't consider a minimum of two hours each way kid the hassle and time required for parking to be reasonable for a day trip.

Some of the small coastal towns might be doable. Southport, Swansboro, Bath.
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:44 AM
 
Location: NC
9,034 posts, read 6,072,737 times
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Wrightsville, but you have to leave early to get there EARLY if you want to have reasonable parking. Otherwise, consider dropping everone off near the beach and finding parking. If you have a bike rack for your car, you can bring a bike to ride back into the beach. (Seriously, last year my daughter and I walked over a mile, and that was because we got lucky after driving around for 30 minutes with no spots.)
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
4,343 posts, read 4,957,945 times
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Wrightsville is the easiest, just straight down 40. I did day trips many times when my kids were younger.
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
256 posts, read 468,625 times
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Wrightsville and Carolina are the easiest and have most amenities, but the most crowded and painful parking. Kure Beach is much more open but very few options to eat.

Topsail Beach is good and open, but not much amenities.
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Chapelboro
11,878 posts, read 13,039,795 times
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Carolina Beach is a fun day trip. I just went last Friday with my 14 yr old and we got a parking spot right at the Boardwalk in the middle of the day (we definitely did NOT leave early — had stuff going on in the morning and didn't get there until midafternoon). There were plenty of spots, too. I mean the parking lot had plenty of cars in it, but there were 5 or 6 empty spots too. We were at the public parking near the Hampton Inn in Carolina Beach. I bet it gets really crowded on the weekend because it was plenty crowded on Friday during the day. It really started to fill up about the time we started to leave when it was beginning to get dark and the rides were cranking up. Several people were lurking for my spot when we just went to put stuff back in the car to scout out restaurants. Had to disappoint them because we weren't moving then. We looked at a couple of restaurants w/in walking distance, but they seemed crowded so we did go back to the car and made someone's night when we moved it. Ate at Flaming Amy's Burrito Barn in Carolina Beach. Fun place and I recommend it, but it is driving distance from the beach, rather than walking.

Carolina Beach is not my favorite NC beach — too busy for my taste for a vacation if I'm paying to rent a place —but for a day trip it was fun. Got our Britt's Donuts, too!

Next time I think I might try Fort Fisher for a quieter area.

We have also done Wrightsville as a day trip during Spring Break and Topsail/Surf City as a day trip pre-Memorial Day so we could take the dog. Don't go to Wilmington to go to Surf City. You want to get off 40 at Wallace and take 41 and 50 down to Surf City.
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:20 PM
 
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
19,916 posts, read 29,729,051 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poppydog View Post
Carolina Beach is a fun day trip. I just went last Friday with my 14 yr old and we got a parking spot right at the Boardwalk in the middle of the day (we definitely did NOT leave early — had stuff going on in the morning and didn't get there until midafternoon). There were plenty of spots, too. I mean the parking lot had plenty of cars in it, but there were 5 or 6 empty spots too.

.
This is good info as I'd like to get there for a day trip this summer.
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Old 07-03-2018, 01:25 PM
Status: "In the bunker" (set 16 hours ago)
 
Location: Carolina Shores NC
7,678 posts, read 9,203,691 times
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Day trips to Kure and Fort Fisher were the best. He got out of Raleigh around 4:30 or 5:00 am, and got back home close to midnight. Great memories!
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Old 07-03-2018, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
5,464 posts, read 3,788,167 times
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I agree with Fort Fisher - I like Wrightsville but during peak season it's just not worth the hassle (and parking is free at Fort Fisher)
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Old 07-03-2018, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Chapelboro
11,878 posts, read 13,039,795 times
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Well, like I said we didn't manage to get down there until the afternoon because too much stuff going on in the morning, so it's possible parking would have been tighter earlier, but it really wasn't an issue when we drove in. I just pulled in the first parking lot I saw by the boardwalk and there were spots. Probably was around 3pm. Spent the afternoon and ate dinner and came by home by around midnight. We're a night owl family so worked for us. It's light until 8:30, so we had a nice time on the beach.
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