Have You Planned Your Summer Vacation?
Spring flowers are blooming, the days are getting warmer, and the kids are counting down to summer break--all signs that it’s time to start thinking about that summer vacation.
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Too busy to read through a million blogs and guidebooks to plan a family trip? Don’t worry, we’ve already done it for you.
Simplify Your Life
Simply Awesome Trips offers family trip itineraries to destinations near and far. Everything you need to know: where to sleep, eat, and play! All organized into detailed day-by-day plans.
6 Destinations Your Family Will Love
To minimize the number of “Are we there yets?" from the back seat, here are six destinations within 4 hours driving distance of Charlotte.
Each of these destinations offers something for everyone- whether you're looking to escape the heat in a cool mountain town or relax at the beach.
No lodging research needed or activities to plan out- it's all covered in detail saving you valuable time and effort.
Where To Stay, Eat, and Play
Johnson City, TN
--3 hours from Charlotte
Johnson City is a small town in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, and their logo aptly states “start your adventure here.”
It’s a great hub for biking, hiking, and even exploring a fossil site. A revitalized downtown offers terrific restaurants and breweries in a quaint setting. It’s a place where you can spend a day hiking the Appalachian Trail over numerous mountain balds with amazing 360 degree views, bike a local family-friendly bike path, or tour a fossil dig site. And from all of these activities, you can easily return to town for lodging, a local craft beer, and a great meal. View this itinerary.
Kiawah Island, SC
--3 hours and 51 min. from Charlotte
Kiawah Island is located about 45 minutes south of Charleston, SC. It is a developed island but has so much natural beauty and wildlife. No chain hotels or hi-rise buildings here! You will see alligators and even possibly a bobcat on the dunes. It has a wide, 10-mile long beach and 30 miles of paved bike trails. It also has a pool, playground, disc golf, and a nature center that offers many programs like kayak tours. You can be as lazy as you’d like or as active. View this itinerary.
-- 3 hours from Charlotte
Abingdon, Va is a beautiful, quaint town in southwest Virginia. It has terrific restaurants, walkable streets, a craft brewery, and the famous Barter Theater.
For families, Abingdon stands out for two reasons: biking the Virginia Creeper Trail (a 34 mile rails- to- trails pathway) and hiking the trails at Grayson Highlands State Park, famous for its soaring views and wild ponies. View this itinerary.
--2 hours and 20 min. from Charlotte
Brevard, NC is a charming mountain town filled with shops (including a great toy store), restaurants, antiques, and art galleries. It’s located just 33 miles from Asheville. It’s also home to Dupont State Forest, which offers plenty of hiking and mountain biking trails to explore.
The Hunger Games movie was filmed in Dupont and you can visit Triple Falls, the most recognizable mountain scenery in the movie. View this itinerary.
Bryson City, NC
-- 3 hours from Charlotte
Bryson City is another fun outdoor town and possibly the most underrated. Its downtown is walkable with quaint shops and restaurants, and the Great Smoky Mountain train depot resides right in the heart of it.
Within a 20 minute driving radius of downtown, you have great lakes to swim or canoe, rivers to raft, and hikes to waterfalls. Throw in a brewery, a bookstore, an outdoors store, and good restaurants-all downtown. You just can’t beat it. View this itinerary.
2 hours and 8 minutes from Charlotte
Asheville makes for a terrific family weekend. It's an architecturally appealing, fun, artsy town with great restaurants and what seems like a craft brewery on every block. It’s also surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains with scenic hikes and has a river perfect for floating. Make downtown your base camp so you can easily walk to interesting shops, breweries, and restaurants. View this itinerary.
A bonus destination!
Great Smoky Mountains National Park--3 hours and 57 minutes to Elkmont Campground
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park ("The Smokies") spans both Tennessee and North Carolina and is one of the most visited national parks in the country. Last year, the park saw approximately 11.3 million visitors. That being said, you can strategically visit this beautiful park and avoid many of these crowds.
In this itinerary, you'll find a selection of the best easy family hikes and other fun activities found in the Townsend, TN side of the park. Lodging and dining recommendations, maps, and more--everything you need to know for a fantastic family vacation. View this itinerary.
Hop On A Plane Destinations
Feel like adventuring out west to Yellowstone National Park or Zion National Park? Perhaps a bucket list trip to Paris or Athens? We've got it covered. You'll find more destinations on our website. Many itineraries are free and all are less than $10.