From Beaches to Mountains: Our 7 Best Day Trips from Raleigh and Triad, NC!

From Beaches to Mountains: Our 7 Best Day Trips from Raleigh and Triad, NC!

If you're thinking of moving to Raleigh or Triad, NC, you've chosen well! These are some of the hottest cities in North Carolina and the nation, and not just for the perfect summer and fall weather. If you are moving during the summer and fall seasons, you’ll have endless options for outdoor recreation to enjoy, from beaches to mountains. With its central location, it’s especially a great place to live for North Carolina day trips. Here’s a list of the best day trips from Raleigh, NC and the Triad for you to consider once you’ve moved to one of our many communities in the Raleigh and Triad area.  

What are the Best Day Trips from Raleigh and Traid?

1. Wrightsville Beach

Often voted at the top of best beaches in NC, Wrightsville Beach is just a little over 2 hours from Raleigh and over 3 hours from Triad and a very short drive to downtown Wilmington. There’s so much to do here, you could easily turn your day trip into a weekend getaway. From parks and gardens to watersports and cruises, it’s more than just a place to sun tan and swim. Wrightsville Beach is approximately 4 miles long and well-known for its strong surf. Check out the dozens of adventures to be had here.

2. North Topsail Beach

North topsail beach

If your idea of best day trips includes tons of relaxing, North Topsail Beach is the place to go. While there are still multiple fun activities around, it’s best known for its laid-back, peaceful vibe. The town’s motto is Nature’s Tranquil Beauty after all. Between the gorgeous sunrise and sunset, you can take part in a range of activities like deep sea fishing excursions, learn to stand-up paddleboard, fish at the Seaview Pier, and much more. Make sure to look out for the range of wildlife in North Topsail Beach such as sea turtles and dolphins as well as occasional bald eagles and alligators in the backwaters. This beach is approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes from Raleigh and 3 hours and 23 minutes from Triad and is a whopping 26 miles long.

3. Carolina Beach

Like Wrightsville, Carolina Beach is one of the best beaches in NC due to its many fun activities. The atmosphere is very lively and colorful with visitors and residents alike taking advantage of all the amenities like shopping, parks, trails, dining, historic sites, water activities and tours, and much more. It’s located just over 2 hours away from Raleigh and over 3 hours from Traid and about 20 minutes south of Wilmington. A few top things to do to make it one of your best day trips yet is visiting the Carolina Beach State Park (a 761-acre park with 9-mile hiking trails and native Venus flytraps), take a Tasting History Tour (learn the history while savoring local flavors from Carolina Beach and Kure Beach), play at the Trinity Disc Golf Course (a free 9-hole disc golf course). There’s so much to do here!

4. New Bern, NC

New bern nc

About 2 hours southeast of Raleigh and over 3 hours from Triad, is the second oldest town in North Carolina, New Bern. New Bern is beloved for its rich history and relaxed atmosphere. It’s a riverfront town nestled in the confluence of the Neuse and Trent Rivers. This charming town offers many attractions fit for a great day trip from the hustle and bustle of Raleigh. Some highlights include the gardens at the North Carolina History Center, the 157,000-acre Croatan National Forest, and the historic homes at Tyson Palace. You can also travel by trolley or horse-drawn carriage throughout the historic district or visit the slew of art galleries, museums, and shops.

5. Pilot Mountain State Park

Pilot Mountain State Park is a 3,703-acre park at the amazing Pilot Mountain. This mountain was left after millions of years of erosion to the surrounding peaks. It’s a great spot for experienced mountain climbers to climb and rappel from the historic mountain. The quartzite Monadnock mountain and park offer many summer and fall activities. Near the Yadkin River, you can enjoy hiking, horseback riding, paddling, and fishing. There are also designated sections for camping and picnicking. This state park is roughly 2 hours and 20 minutes from Raleigh and 51 minutes from Triad.

6. Falls Lake State Recreation Area

Falls Lake State Recreation Area could be considered more of an afternoon trip since it’s only about 30 minutes away from Raleigh and an hour and a half from Triad, however, it’s still worth adding to our best day trips list. It has 7 access areas giving you plenty of ways to travel to it and many fun experiences at each entrance. There are over 300 campsites available for overnight stays. Make sure to stop by in the fall when the migrating monarch butterflies add to the beauty of the lake. Falls Lake State Recreation Area offers more than your typical hiking, swimming, and fishing activities. You’ll also enjoy a visitor center with exhibits and access to the concession stand as well as kayak, canoe, and paddleboard rentals from the privately owned marina nearby.

7. Eno River State Park

Eno river state park

Another nearby park about an hour away from both Raleigh and Traid,  is the Eno River State Park. Like Falls Lake State Recreation Area, this park offers multiple access areas along a river and is along the Mountains-to-Sea State Trail. It’s best known for its beautiful scenery, which is why it’s favored by birdwatchers and photographers. Some quick facts: the park is made up of 4,900 acres, the river is named after the Eno People, and was established with the help of the Eno River Association and the Nature Conservatory to protect and preserve the land and river. Fishing is by far the most popular activity due to the shallow waters and ample fish species. Another favorite is taking guided hikes available year-round.  

Connect with Dream Finders for Homes for Sale in Raleigh, NC

Dream Finders Homes wants you to enjoy the best life there is in an area that gives you access to all of the things you love. And we’re proud to say that our homes for sale throughout the Raleigh area do just that. You’ll find a variety of communities to fit every lifestyle and budget, whether it’s a master-planned community of single family homes or a quaint community of townhomes. Browse our Raleigh communities and let us know if you have any questions. We can’t wait to help you find the right home and plan one of your next North Carolina day trips.

Categories: Raleigh NC