Winter vacation spot in NC area?
October 13, 2010 10:34 PM   Subscribe

We will spending Christmas in family in the Raleigh-Durham area and would like to take a couple of vacation days somewhere within driving distance (maybe 8 hrs max). We are not skiers and tend to prefer low intensity vacations - a few things to do and lots of time to unwind. Any suggestions?
posted by metahawk to Travel & Transportation around North Carolina (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Would you like mountains without skiing? Boone and Blowing Rock are both about 200 miles away; the exact journey time will depend on the weather. Boone's going to be quiet because App State is on vacation, but it's pretty. There are cabin rentals a-plenty all around there, as well a bit further on between Linville Falls and Grandfather Mountain, which is where a whole lot of Christmas trees are being harvested right now.
posted by holgate at 10:58 PM on October 13, 2010

Best answer: There are oodles of vacation destinations within an 8-hour drive of Raleigh-Durham. The beach is wonderful that time of year although, given the unpredictability of the weather, I would recommend picking a place around Charleston SC (which should be about a 4-hour drive IIRC). Kiawah, Seabrook, Isle of Palms all have condos and/or houses available for rent and the standard one-week minimum stay is usually limited to summertime.
posted by DrGail at 3:45 AM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Richmond, Virginia and thereabouts is about a 3 hour drive from Raleigh and has a great art scene and lots of history for families to explore. INRich is a web-based goings-on magazine of Richmond.
posted by shortyJBot at 4:12 AM on October 14, 2010

posted by southeastyetagain at 5:10 AM on October 14, 2010

If you want unwinding, rentals on the beach will be a lot cheaper at that time than they are in the summer season. I'd head out to the Outer Banks. There won't be much to do there but unwind. If you want a bit more choice for restaurants and that sort of thing, maybe Wilmington--it's just a 2.5 hour drive from RDU.

Heading to Asheville or somewhere up in the mountains and getting a cabin would serve the same purpose.
posted by hought20 at 5:35 AM on October 14, 2010

Washington DC is about 4 hours North. Winter is a great time to visit - less tourists. Added bonus of most of what you want to do (museums, monuments, etc) being free.
posted by COD at 5:47 AM on October 14, 2010

Manteo is awesome, and it's right on the sound, and close to the beach. Plus there is the aquarium nearby. Just do not stay at the Duke of Dare Motel!
posted by wrnealis at 6:04 AM on October 14, 2010

Best answer: "Washington DC is about 4 hours North."

Having been bi-statally married in RDU and Washington DC, this is easily 6 hours if there's traffic. Which is still very doable, but be aware.

Williamsburg is close and super-fun, my husband and I often went there when living bi-statally. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:30 AM on October 14, 2010

A few things to do and a lot of time to unwind:

Wilmington. There's a battleship done up as a museum to itself, which is pretty good. There are beaches nearby. The usual tourist destination accoutrements. Outer Banks are NOT nearby.

You could probably find a nice B&B somewhere in the Uwharries of central NC, take a day for the NC Zoo in Asheboro, maybe find nice things to look at.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:36 AM on October 14, 2010

The Outer Banks is gorgeous in the winter, and it's a super-easy drive from Raleigh/Durham: hop on 64 East and drive until you hit water. I specifically recommend the Kitty Hawk/Kill Devil Hills area and Hatteras Island. I used to live in Rodanthe (at the northern end of Hatteras), and December was my favorite time of year there--and not just because there were significantly fewer tourists. Many restaurants and tourist attractions will be closed, but there will still be plenty of good places to eat and lovely things to wander around and see, including the Wright Brothers museum and the Hatteras Lighthouse (the lighthouses on Bodie and Ocracoke Islands might also be open, but it's best to call and check).
posted by rhiannonstone at 10:49 AM on October 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: We ended up being offered use of a timeshare at Myrtle Beach, SC. Thanks for all the suggestions!!!
posted by metahawk at 4:28 PM on November 13, 2010

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