As this pandemic drags on, I am missing travel. We usually are all over the place, tagging along for my kids’ tennis tournaments. Because we are still pretty locked down, it made me think about just how much there is to do in our very own state! No need to travel far at all to do just about anything! I started to do a little mental vacation…..
While North Carolina is an awesome state just about any time of year, it is especially hard to beat in the fall. It’s pretty well known how gorgeous the leaves are in the mountains around Asheville during peak leaf season – people travel from near and far just to see them and hike the plethora of trails complete with scenic views, swinging (scary) bridges, waterfalls and an abundance of cool restaurants and breweries. I remember years ago taking the boys to this swinging bridge. I am terrified of heights and the kids were so excited to do it. Nick had to walk across the bridge with all three boys because I couldn’t do it. I think it was even more horrifying watching them go across without me!
Head east of Charlotte and you’ve got the ocean – cool crisp days on the beach sound about perfect for me. A trip to the Outer Banks to see the horses run free near Corolla is so cool, or maybe we’ll head down to postcard worthy Southport, where several movies have been filmed, and the grandparents live. All awesome getaways.
Right in between the mountains and the beach, a trip to Chapel Hill is awfully easy to visit Alex. I love love love the dumpling place on Franklin Street. Pork Soup dumplings on a chilly day. Yum!
But then I was thinking, how we’ve seen all of those places. I wondered what I’m missing…
I did some searching for Haunted getaways. It turns out, there are quite a few. I’m not sure I’m really that keen on dining with a ghost. I think I’d take the Pork Soup dumplings while dining with my son instead, but it is possible if you’re into that! The Country Squire and Liberty Hall apparently has a ghost who frequents it. People even say while walking near the dartboard, darts have mysteriously been known to fly through the air from no obvious source…yikes!
Other possibilities include the Omni Grove Park Inn, where the ghost of the “Pink Lady” hangs around. She seems to be more of a friendly ghost vs a dart throwing ghost. Other haunted hotels include the Biltmore, which apparently has a bookkeeping ghost (boring) and a lady of the night ghost (could be interesting) and the Grand Old Lady Hotel (seems to have a grab bag of possible ghostly encounters). If we wanted to avoid haunted accommodations, maybe a weekend trip to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse where the eerie ghost ship was sighted and a black cat has been rumored to roam for nearly 100 years. Haunted or not, it is really cool looking,
Even though we are itching for an escapade, sometimes actually going anywhere seems daunting. So I’ve also got some ideas about some local spots. I’ve never been to the Duke Mansion in Charlotte. It even has a creepy history!
Apple picking is possible at several local spots, but one I’ve never visited is actually in York, SC. It’s called Windy Hill and the apples look awesome, but what is really catching my eye is the hard cider and apple cider donuts. The best part is, all of our kids can drive!
We haven’t done the Amazing Maize Maze in years. I wonder if it is still so hard?
I’ve driven near this vineyard many times, but have never visited. Raffaldini Vineyards looks like the perfect spot to spend an afternoon.
For the moment I’m content to do a mental visit to any of these places. I love this state!
Here is some more info about some of the NC “Haunts”: https://www.visitnc.com/story/xZiP/haunted-places-in-north-carolina
Also a great list of more local to Charlotte ideas: https://www.charlotteagenda.com/231187/fall-guide-2020-25-must-do-fall-activities-in-and-around-charlotte/