If a long drive outside of the city sounds worse than the vacation itself, then head West to Gastonia, NC. The quaint town may be small but there is something for every visitor. From Cavendish Brewing for all you craft beer lovers and Crowders Mountain for those looking for adventure with a view, Gastonia makes for the perfect stop on your stay-cation itinerary. Head 9 miles east back towards the city and stop by Muddy River Distillery in Belmont for a tour and a taste from North Carolina’s oldest (legal) rum distillery.
Distance from the QC: 23 miles
Must Visit: Cavendish Brewing
Charlotte may not be close to a beach but that doesn’t mean you aren’t within driving distance from one of America’s favorite beach towns, Charleston, SC. For a beach day that ends with a night out, head to Folly Beach. It may take a while to get there but you’ll find the lively beach full of tourist and locals alike. After a day in sun, head to Taco Boy for dinner (Mexican street corn and a frozen screwdriver are highly recommended) and the Surf Bar for some music and drinks.
Distance from the QC: 211 miles
Must Visit: City Market
Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Boone, NC has the freshest mountain air that will take the most indoorsy person and turn them into an outdoorsy adventurer. You’ll find activities for all seasons, but Boone is also home to scenic drives, gem mines and the Hickory Ridge Living Museum where Daniel Boone hunted and camped. You’ll also be able to check out Boone’s breweries, like Booneshine Brewing Company and you can’t go to Boone without dining at the Gamekeeper Restaurant, which specializes in local game.
Distance from the QC: 101 miles
Must Visit: Gamekeeper Restaurant
If you are a movie buff looking for a weekend getaway, then head to Lake Lure, NC. Lake Lure has been the filming location for movies like Forrest Gump and Dirty Dancing. The city even commemorates Dirty Dancing with a festival every year, but incase your trip doesn’t fall on the celebration day, there are plenty of other amazing things to do in Lake Lure. Take a stroll across the Flowing Bridge or spend the day on the lake with Lake Lure Adventure Company. End your trip by cozying up in a cabin on the water and take in the beauty of Lake Lure.
Distance from the QC: 91 miles
Must Visit: Lookout Brewing Company
If a weekend trip to Nashville isn’t in the cards then head about 2 hours North to Asheville, NC. Asheville is slowly becoming the next music city with over 20 different music venues and the up and coming town is one of the hippest places in North Carolina. You’ll find the city buzzing with festivals, Foodtopians (what they call their foodie scene), 30+ breweries and enough outdoors activities for all kinds of adventurers. After one trip to Asheville it will become your home away from home.
Distance from QC: 131 miles
Must Visit: Biltmore Estate
Downtown Greenville, SC has gone through a revitalization and is becoming one of the go-to destinations for travelers of all kinds. You can’t miss out on the local beauty of South Carolina and the Foothills Trail is a must see. The trail falls between the state line and the waterfalls and view are well worth the hike. Other than being an outdoors haven, Greenville is also a foodie paradise. You’ll find a variety of cuisines and price points and to make things super easy, here are some food itineraries from Greenville locals.
Distance from QC: 103 miles
Must Visit: Dark Corner Distillery
Wilmington, NC is a beautiful waterfront city that is home to three island beaches that may turn your next weekend getaway into a weeklong vacation. Explore the city’s historic district that spans over 230 blocks of churches, classic architecture and antebellum homes. You can stroll down the beach boardwalk, visit the Aquarium or dine at one of 174 locally owned restaurants, but one things for sure is that Wilmington will become your frequent weekend getaway destination.
Distance from QC: 199 miles
Must Visit: Airlie Gardens
Whether you go 30 minutes away or 3 hours, a weekend getaway is a great way to explore new places and experience new things. But if you haven’t finished exploring the Queen City, check out these 7 Charlotte Must-Do’s in 7 Days.
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