Recharge With A Weekend Getaway
Need a change of scenery from the hustle and bustle of life? Want the kids to unplug from their devices for a while and connect together as a family?
Enjoy an easy scenic hike, go apple picking or antiquing, pitch a tent, or explore the local shops along a charming Main Street.
We’ve chosen 6 destinations, all within a 4 hour drive from Charlotte, where you can experience a fantastic weekend getaway, whatever the season, whatever the reason.
6 Destinations Your Family Will Love
Each of these destinations offers something different- whether you're looking to escape to a fun mountain town, visit a national park, catch a show, or simply relax at the beach.
No lodging research needed or activities to plan out-- it's all covered in detail, saving you time and effort that you would rather spend on your vacation, not planning it.
We've Made It Easy For You
Need some destination ideas? Too busy to read through a million blogs and guidebooks to plan a family trip? Don’t worry, it's already been done for you.
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.
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.
Enjoy the wide, 10-mile long beach and 30 miles of paved bike trails. Kiawah also has a pool (open through November), 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, quaint shops, a craft brewery, and the famous Barter Theater. Catch a show at the Barter and stroll around Abingdon's historic downtown.
Seek more adventure biking the Virginia Creeper Trail (a 34 mile rails- to- trails pathway) or hiking the trails at Grayson Highlands State Park, famous for its soaring views and wild ponies. You'll find plenty to do! 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.
Brevard is 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 a such a fun outdoor town and possibly the most underrated compared to its neighbors. Its downtown is filled with quaint shops and restaurants, and the Great Smoky Mountain Railway train depot is right in the heart of it. Take the kids on a scenic train ride through the North Carolina mountains along the Nantahala and Tuckasegee Rivers, across valleys, and through tunnels.
Within a 20 minute driving radius of downtown Bryson City, you have lakes to canoe, rivers to raft, and hikes to waterfalls. Plus, a brewery, a fantastic pizza place and other good restaurants, a bookstore, and an excellent outdoors store- all found in an easily walkable downtown. You just can’t beat it. View this itinerary.
1 hour and 40 minutes from Charlotte
Calling all foodies and outdoor lovers! Greenville, SC has been on the trendy radar for some time, appearing in multiple travel magazines and blogs for its vibrant food scene and beautiful use of the riverfront downtown.
Take a hike or bike the Swamp Rabbit Trail, a 20 mile paved bike trail running through downtown, leading to fun food stops along the way. Nearby state parks have hiking trails for those who need their mountains. View this itinerary.
A Bonus Destination!
Great Smoky Mountains National Park--3 hours and 57 minutes to Elkmont Campground
Visit a national park and enjoy all of the activities while the kids earn their Junior Ranger Badges. 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 Smokies saw approximately 11.3 million visitors. That being said, you can strategically visit this beautiful park and avoid many of these crowds. We use our local knowledge to give you the inside scoop on how to avoid the tourist bottlenecks.
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.
New Book on Amazon!
The North Carolina mountain towns of Asheville, Brevard, and Bryson City provide the perfect combination of outdoor fun, terrific local restaurants and craft breweries, and charming downtowns.
They offer a fantastic family getaway in any season. Enjoy easy scenic hikes, float a river, go mountain biking, try apple picking, pitch a tent, take a train ride, or explore the local shops along Main Street. These North Carolina mountain towns have it all!