Hop in your car, hit the open road and set out on a weekend adventure. There are plenty of things to keep you entertained in Charlotte like enjoying the city’s hotspots or exploring different neighborhoods around town, but one of the best things about living here is the city’s proximity to so many great road trip getaways.
Whether you’re looking to take a day trip or head out on a weekend adventure, we’ve rounded up 9 must-visit road trip destinations near Charlotte.
1. Ronda, NC
76.5 miles; 1 hr 22 min from Charlotte
Ronda is the ideal spot when you don’t want to venture too far from home. Plan to stop for lunch on Lake Norman before heading up the I-77 to the home of Chianti in the Carolina’s — Raffaldini Winery. Enjoy picturesque views of the Blue Ridge Mountains as you sip on Italian-style wines.
2. Brevard, NC
126 miles; 2 hrs 35 min from Charlotte
Home to some of the best local hiking, biking and waterfalls, Brevard is an outdoor adventurer’s dream. Make a splash at Sliding Rock, dine at Square Root Restaurant and explore the Transylvania Farmers’ Market for your fill of local treats.
3. Asheville, NC
129 miles; 2 hrs 20 min from Charlotte
Asheville has quickly emerged as a road trip favorite, and it’s not hard to see why. Perfectly situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the city is known for its picturesque waterfall hikes, creative arts and music scene, and incredible restaurants. Bonus: treat yourself to a one-of-a-kind overnight stay at Asheville Glamping.
4. Cashiers, NC
157 miles; 3 hrs 18 min from Charlotte
Surrounded by the mountain peaks of North Carolina some 4,000 ft. above sea level, Cashiers is aptly known as the Aspen of the East. Many come to marvel at the natural beauty of this lush area, others to stroll down Cashiers’ postcard-perfect Main Street with an overnight stay at the historic Old Edwards Inn and Spa.
5. Wilmington, NC
203 miles; 3 hrs 30 min from Charlotte
Known for its vast offerings of cultural sites, museums and nature spots, there’s something for everyone in this coastal city towards North Carolina’s southern border. Soak up the sunshine on the white sandy beaches or experience a little adventure while kayaking or fishing in local inlets.
6. Charleston, SC
209 miles; 3 hrs 18 min from Charlotte
For those searching for some good ‘ole Southern charm, Charleston is the place to visit. Here, you’ll find something for everyone — beautiful beaches for relaxing and swimming, rich history to soak in at The Charleston Museum and plenty of antique shops, a world-class food scene, and the historic Charleston City Market to explore during your stay.
7. Savannah, GA
253 miles; 3 hrs 53 min from Charlotte
Idyllic beaches, fresh seafood, a storied downtown, and classic southern food are just some of the perks of a road trip to Savannah. Soak up the rich history of Georgia’s oldest city by visiting local attractions like Forsyth Park, Bonaventure Cemetery and River Street. Pro tip: many say the best way to see Savannah is by foot or via a trolley tour.
8. Lake Oconee, GA
240 miles; 3 hr 41 min from Charlotte
A great place to visit if you’re looking to be near water, Lake Oconee is a marvelous network of waterways, providing a true oasis outside the hustle and bustle of the city. Visitors can enjoy a tranquil day on the lake by boating, canoeing, kayaking, jet skiing, or fishing. And if you’re looking for a weekend of fun and relaxation, treat yourself to a stay at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton Reynolds.
9. Chattanooga, TN
316 miles; 5 hr 52 min from Charlotte
Chattanooga might not have initially been on your road trip bucket list, but once you visit, it’ll keep you coming back time and time again. Located next to the Appalachian Mountains and with the majestic Tennessee River running right through town, visitors can take in the beauty of the city with a number of outdoor attractions including Rock City, Ruby Falls and Lookout Mountain.
Photos courtesy of: Charlotte’s Got a Lot (Ronda, NC); Visit North Carolina (Brevard), Reynold’s Lake Oconee (Lake Oconee), 365 Atlanta Traveller (Chattanooga, TN).