North Carolina Adventure Vacations
Discover the beauty of the Appalachians on an awe-inducing drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway…
North Carolina has something to offer for all sorts of adventurers. From expansive, rugged landscapes perfect for hiking to charming brick-and-mortar downtowns, there’s lots to explore in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the western side of the state.
Indulge your senses: Feel the wind on your face as you stand on an overlook in the Blue Ridge Mountains; smell the clean, wet air rushing down from a waterfall nestled in the woods; see history unfold before your eyes as you discover the incredible Biltmore Estate; hear the welcoming southern drawl from the locals; and taste the satisfying down-home barbeque.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT NORTH CAROLINA?
Our trips typically visit the rugged western mountainous side of the state. This means the “best time” to travel will greatly vary by the season. Read on below for more information on when the best time to visit is and what sort of weather this region of North Carolina experiences.
North Carolina by the Seasons
North Carolina is blessed with all four seasons and diverse weather affects the mountainous region. The Blue Ridge Mountains see snow in the wintertime, and lots of rain in the spring and summer. In high elevations, humidity is less of a factor, but other areas may feel muggier. Overall, the state experiences weather that typically mirrors the regional geography running southwest to northeast.
Fall (Sept to Nov)
Fall is a comfortable season on average and strikingly the most beautiful time of the year. The trees of the Blue Ridge Mountains and beyond are painted in rich reds, oranges, and yellows. Temperatures range from 60-75 degrees fahrenheit, sometimes dropping to the 50s, with humidity lessening and prevailing winds picking up. Planning a trip during this season will call for a few layers and definitely a camera to capture the gorgeous scenery.
Winter (Dec to Feb)
Winter temperatures can vary quite a lot, anywhere between 20 degrees and 55 degrees fahrenheit from December to March. Snowfall is common in the mountain territories that reach high elevations, accumulating an average of 50 annual inches at most at Grandfather Mountain. By mid-February, wintertime is just about over.
Spring (March to June)
Springtime sees warm days sometimes reaching 80 degrees fahrenheit with the sun waking up after wintertime and cool nights. The wildflowers like the iconic mountain laurel and rhododendrons will be in full bloom and the greenery is absolutely epic. The colors begin to blossom around May or mid-June and last until fall.
Summer (July to Sept)
Summers can get sultry and wet especially along the coast, with temperatures reaching around 90 degrees for a high in July. The humidity is more notable than the temperature during this season, however.
WONDERING WHAT TO PACK ON YOUR NORTH CAROLINA VACATION?
Pack for the Weather
Layer up! Depending on the season, you’ll want a light jacket or sweater that you can remove when the sun comes out. Rains can be unpredictable in the mountains, so you want to be ready! Take a small pack to store your rain jacket in when it’s dry and warm outside. A heavier coat is better for the winter, with some snow boots that are easy to walk in.
Flip flops are nice for the beach, but a simple pair of sneakers or hiking boots are nice for walking downtown or in the mountains. Wool socks are best for hiking. Comfortable shorts or jogger pants are great for biking.
Your hikes are short on our North Carolina trips, but they’re tough! You’ll want to rehydrate as much as possible, so bring one or two lightweight water bottles or a water bladder pack.
Pack Skin Protection
Either sunscreen or a light long sleeved shirt to block UV rays is nice for when you’re up in the mountains or on the coast. Sunglasses or a baseball cap are helpful wherever you’ll be adventuring, too — especially when you break from the treeline atop a gorgeous overlook of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
TRAVEL TIPS FOR VISITING NORTH CAROLINA
Embrace the hospitality
You’ll notice quickly the friendly atmosphere that surrounds the people in North Carolina. While there are quite a few transplants, natives to the state are easy to spot as they will have impeccable manners and a warm attitude. Stuff happens real slow.
Be prepared to learn
There’s lots of history in North Carolina so keep your listening hat on as you learn! Explore America’s largest home that’s over 130 years old; the Blue Ridge Mountains are the oldest in the world; discover the downtown of Asheville, known as the “Paris of the South” full of art history.
Keep your ears open and stay hungry
Bluegrass music was born in the mountains of North Carolina. Asheville is a big arts and music hub, so the sights and sounds of the area are truly some to write home about. The state is also home to the barbeque, which is a noun and not a verb. Whole pigs are served with pulled pork ready to eat. Yum!