Family Vacation Mode: Here’s the Ultimate Road Trip in North Carolina

A family road trip is always an exciting adventure, especially if you plan to visit interesting and scenic places. Aside from a summer or winter vacation, a great time to be on a road trip adventure is during the fall, when the leaves change their color. The countryside is blanketed with different red, brown and yellow hues.

North Carolina is one of the destinations for people who want to enjoy the colors of fall covering the countryside. But what are the best places to visit for fall foliage in North Carolina? How much does your family need to prepare to go to these places, and what do you need to bring when planning a road trip during the fall?

This article is a comprehensive guide for families planning a road trip to North Carolina during the fall. You’ll get information about destinations, costs, things to bring, and reminders you must keep in mind when planning your next road trip adventure.

A road trip is also an excellent chance to get away from the rigors of daily life and spend time meditating and relaxing. You can use this opportunity to try out CBD-based oils to help you relax, release stress, or manage anxiety and depression. Check for recommended products to help you feel more relaxed during your trip.

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Top North Carolina Destinations for the Family During the Fall

A family trip must always be memorable and become a core moment in your household. Your kids will remember a memorable road trip experience all of their lives. When the time comes that they will have their families, they will replicate that experience with their kids.

But, before you think about the far future, allow this article to help you plan your road trip during the fall season. This write-up promotes North Carolina because the following locations are among the most memorable areas to admire autumn foliage.

North Carolina is a tourist destination for people who love autumn. Its vivid landscape, lush with miles of trees, change color every fall, and it’s a sight to see. If you’re among those people who love the cool and majestic autumn season, then read on.

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Other Top North Carolina Destinations for the Family

The Pisgah National Forest

The Pisgah National Forest is packed to the brim with fascinating natural sights and exciting outdoor activities that are perfect for the whole gang. Pisgah National Forest is a wonderful place to visit with your children and/or spouse if you all enjoy spending time in nature. 

This national forest features a plethora of whitewater rivers, cascading waterfalls, and hiking trails, making it an ideal destination for families looking for an unforgettable outdoor experience. It takes less than an hour to drive to this location from Asheville; however, visitors are encouraged to stay in one of the forest’s family-friendly campgrounds, such as Davidson River or Lake Powhatan.

The Omni Grove Park Inn

There’s a reason the Omni is considered one of the top family resorts in North Carolina, it has everything you need and more. This resort is well-known for the breathtaking scenery and luxurious amenities that it provides, making it an excellent choice for a vacation with the whole family. 

The Omni Grove Park Inn is a wonderful option for North Carolina families looking for a relaxing and opulent getaway that is close to the state’s attractions. This remarkable resort provides a restorative escape for anyone who wishes to get away from the monotony of daily life by providing breathtaking views, first-rate service, and luxurious accommodations. 

The resort also features a multitude of amusements that are appropriate for families, such as swimming pools, a playground for younger children, a golf course, and a racquetball court. Take a break from your never-ending responsibilities and make use of the resort’s babysitting services if you are traveling with a couple of young children (infants or toddlers). In this way, you will be able to unwind and take advantage of the resort’s many relaxing amenities, such as the world-class golf course and the spa that is located on the premises.


Are you looking for activities that are incredibly enjoyable to participate in with your children in North Carolina? Everyone in your family is sure to have a good time in Charlotte thanks to the city’s many attractions geared toward families, including its world-famous theme park. 

Families who enjoy having a good time will find a variety of thrilling activities waiting for them in Charlotte. Carowinds is a world-famous theme park that is renowned for both its thrilling roller coasters and its family-friendly attractions, and it is the perfect place to kick off your vacation with your loved ones. After that, take some time to explore the city’s other attractions, including the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the Discovery Place Museum, both of which are suitable for families. 

During your time in Charlotte, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to go to ImaginOn. It is a one-of-a-kind educational library that has separate sections dedicated to children and teenagers. In addition, the theater, animation studio, recording studio, and multimedia workstations make education an enjoyable experience for students.


If you are looking for fun family vacation ideas that won’t break the bank, Durham can give you an unforgettable family vacation that is easy on the wallet. With its affordable hotels and budget-friendly attractions, Durham can give you a vacation that your family will never forget. 

The city of Durham is an excellent location for low-cost family vacations that are packed with fun activities for the whole gang. You can get a great education at the city’s botanical garden, which is also home to some fantastic galleries, all without spending a fortune. It also provides reasonably priced lodging and meals for families that are in town on vacation. 

The Duke Lemur Center and the Museum of Life + Science are two of our top picks for places to visit in Durham that come highly recommended by us. While the Duke Lemur Center is home to the largest collection of lemurs in the world, the Museum of Life and Science features dozens of interactive exhibits for visitors to explore.

The Boone

There is no question that a weekend spent in Boone, which is friendly to families with children, is one of the state’s top weekend destinations. The beautiful natural scenery, variety of opportunities for outdoor recreation, and fun amusement park make Boone an ideal place for a family vacation. 

The Tweetsie Railroad is sure to win the hearts of children everywhere thanks to its well-known kid-friendly steam-powered train. In addition, adults will take pleasure in the breathtaking views offered by Grandfather Mountain and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The Outer Banks

Your family is in for a treat when they visit the Outer Banks, where they can enjoy themselves at the beach while also taking some time to unwind. The Outer Banks are the place to go if your idea of a perfect beach vacation involves a mix of both relaxing and exciting activities. Because this place has such a long history as well as a wide variety of water activities, it is extremely unlikely that you will become bored here. 

In addition to that, it provides convenient access to some of the best family vacation destinations close to North Carolina, such as Virginia Beach. You can see a herd of wild horses if you go to the Corolla area. An expertly-led tour is the best way to get the most out of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If you have a four-wheel-drive vehicle, another option is for you to enjoy a do-it-yourself tour of the Corolla.

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The Asheboro

Animal and nature lovers will find Asheboro to be a little paradise right here on earth. The well-known North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro is the most common reason for a family vacation to the city. It is the largest walk-through zoo in the world. However, there is more to the town of Asheboro than just its wildlife refuge. 

There are many museums and other attractions that are appropriate for people of all ages. From Asheboro, you should do a little bit of exploring. An enjoyable time can be had by all members of the family out in the countryside thanks to the abundance of picturesque country churches and quaint little farms in the surrounding area.

Grandfather Mountain

Grandfather Mountain is a majestic mountain that towers over the Northwestern area of North Carolina. It’s full of biodiversity and a forest that changes into acres upon acres of colorful autumn leaves. The place is part of the Southern Appalachian Biosphere Reserve of the United Nations. The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation preserves this tourist destination.

The mountain is located in U.S. 221. It’s approximately two miles north of Linville and a mile south of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The park keepers advise not to rely on GPS systems when navigating to the location as it will lead you to shortcuts that often bring travelers to remote locations.

If you’re to bring an RV, it mustn’t be longer than 28 feet. Hinged vehicles are not allowed. There are no shuttles in the nature park, so there will be a bit of walking if you visit the places of interest.

You can hike or walk on the trails, visit the hanging bridges, and the curve made famous by the movie Forrest Gump. The park also has daily activities and an open area for picnics.

Chimney Rock

This massive park is a tourist spot for people who wants to enjoy the reddening leaves of fall. Chimney Rock is one of North Carolina’s parks with great views and an elevated rock platform that overlooks the entire area. The color changes peak in October, and many visits the place to witness this seasonal change in different kinds of trees in this park.

There are many places to see in this park, like the “opera box,” which is an elevated platform that overlooks the entire area. From this vantage point, you can view the entire park and see all the trees burst into different colors as summer turns to autumn and winter.

Biltmore Estate

The Biltmore Estate is the most luxurious location on this list. It’s owned by the Vanderbilt family and was their residence until it became a national landmark and a tourist destination in North Carolina.

Your family will enjoy the different itineraries in the estate, like horseback trail riding, family fun on biking trails, playgrounds, farmyard visits, and the wonders of the world attraction, which is filled with models of famous landmarks of different countries.

Nantahala Gorge

This gorge has a railway line where you can ride and enjoy the scenery. But if you’re visiting in an RV, you can enjoy the fall foliage in that area as it’s lush with Sugar Maple Trees that turn fiery red during fall.

The best time to visit Nantahala Gorge is from October to November, when the leaves gradually turn into a vibrant red hue. Your family will find it a nice place to stop over and an excellent addition to a trip through North Carolina.

Blue Ridge Parkway

The place is often called “America’s favorite drive” because of its popularity among many road trip lovers throughout the country. The whole area is just a highway that twists and turns around the mountains that has memorable picturesque points where you can stop and admire the view. It’s a nice drive-by tourist area where you spend time with the family in your RV or camper.

During the fall season, this parkway gives a great view to motorists of acres of tree-filled land slowly changing color from green to yellow and red. It’s a sight, especially for leaf peepers eager for this time of year.

Cherohala Skyway

The Cherohala is called a skyway and the “drive above the clouds” because of the elevation of this road which rises to 5,400 feet above sea level. As you drive through this 36-mile skyway, you’ll see a birds-eye view of the countryside full of trees changing colors in the fall months. The place is perfect for RV road trips as you can always park your vehicle and enjoy the view.

DuPont State Park

DuPont is a 10,400-acre park filled with foliage that turns into glorious colors when the fall season comes. The area is also called the “land of waterfalls” because not only will you be treated with fall foliage, but you’ll also get to enjoy the majestic waterfalls located in this state park.

Linn Cove Viaduct

The Linn Cove Viaduct is a 7-mile section of the Blue Ridge Parkway with a fantastic mountainside view. It winds around Grandfather Mountain, which makes it accessible to road trip adventurers wanting to spend the fall season admiring fall foliage while on the road.

Planning Your Family Road Trip Adventure to North Carolina

Now that you have a list of great locations to visit when you take your family on a road trip during the fall, planning is the next thing to do.

When planning a family vacation, you don’t just pick a vacation spot and hope everything goes well. It would be best if you made the most of your precious vacation time to make it memorable for everyone.

The internet is a treasure trove of valuable tips and advice on planning a memorable road trip adventure with the family in North Carolina. But you don’t need to go through many websites to get the best advice.

Here is a list of the best advice from different vacation planners on making your RV road trip a memorable experience.

Who will go on this road trip?

When you plan a road trip, you’ll need to know who will come and how many. If you’re going with the immediate family, you may only have four or five individuals.

But if you plan to invite your friends and extended families, your plans might need to change. So, before booking, see first who will join your escapade.

How much is the budget?

The budget is directly related to who will join your vacation and where you plan to go. When you want a road trip vacation to North Carolina, you’ll need to rent or buy an RV or camper. Next is to determine how much money you’ll need to pay for admissions, parking, and campsite fees. Finally, you need to calculate the mileage of the entire trip and know how much you’ll spend on gas.

It’s not advisable to go on vacation on a tight budget. You’ll never find the fun you want when you’re always thinking about how much you’ve spent already. Save money to budget your vacation.

An expert tip from travel gurus is to plan a budget of around $1,000 for a week-long road trip to cover all the major expenses. But this amount will change depending on your travel preferences. It’s much cheaper than the $150 per person budget for vacations with hotel reservations.

What do you need to prepare for a road trip?

You’ll need a lot of things when you’re planning for a road trip adventure. You’ll travel to different locations and may spend more than one day on the road. It means you’ll need to prepare the following:

  • Food and water: You need food even if you have money to go to restaurants—stock up on food you can eat on the road. You’ll find it convenient to quickly whip up a meal while driving than do multiple stopovers whenever you feel hungry.
  • Gas: You will need to stock up on gasoline. Most of the locations you’re going to are mountainside areas. Have a few gallons of gas ready so you can always fill up your depleted gas tanks, even in the middle of a mountain drive, or maintain enough fuel to get to the next gas station.
  • First aid: There’s nothing wrong with being safe. Never forget to bring first-aid kits on your road trip. Hospitals and clinics may be miles from a mountaintop.
  • Extra money: You never know when an emergency might happen. You’ll need to buy or pay for something like repairs, tire blowouts, or pay fees or tolls. You’ll also need pocket money for snacks, souvenirs, and other miscellaneous expenses.
  • Spare parts and tires: You’ll need spare parts in your trunk so that when something wrong happens to your vehicle, you can make the necessary repairs even if you’re in the middle of a mountain pass.
  • What places do you want to visit?

List all the places you want to visit and make an itinerary. Sudden changes in plans may ruin your budget and leave you stressed out. So, you always make a travel plan, set a budget, and enjoy the ride.

What do you want to do on a road trip?

Aside from planning where to visit, it would help if you planned what you’re going to do when you visit the locations you’ve listed. You need to check out the activities in your chosen locations that will be fun for the family and your kids.

When should I schedule the road trip?

A fall foliage road trip is usually made from October to November. Many will try to start their vacation later in October to ensure that the leaves have changed color and have fallen on the ground.

Each fall foliage location written in this article has excellent autumn forests during October and November. So, you might want to plan your vacation leaves at this time of the year.

Also, you may spend more than one day to a whole week on this road trip, especially if you want to travel to more than one location in North Carolina.

How long will the road trip be?

You need to set a vacation timeframe. It’s crucial as schools may be in progress during your trips, and it may force you to reschedule your vacation or, worse, get it canceled. So, always check the schedule of everyone in the family. See the best time to set a vacation and go for it.

What are the reasons for going on a road trip?

To appreciate a road trip vacation, you need to have compelling reasons.

In this case, a family that loves the color seen in trees during fall is a compelling reason to visit North Carolina and admire the slowly changing landscape. You can only make this trip in a limited time frame, which makes it even more satisfying once you’ve accomplished it with the family.

Bonus Tips to Make Your Road Trip Memorable

Now that you’ve reached the end of this article, you’ll get some bonus tips from people who have experience planning road trips. This article integrates all of the best ideas online into five easy-to-remember tips that will push your road trip from being memorable to a fantastic experience.

Plan where you’re going to eat and make a food tour

If you want to lift your road trip adventure a notch, then include a food tour in your road trip adventure. Include into your itinerary restaurants to visit, food to taste, and festivals to experience when planning your trip.

Food makes people happy, and great food makes people greatly happy. So, if you want to make your vacation memorable, add food to your list of activities, and you’ll never go wrong. You need to add more to your budget, but what’s the budget if you want to give your family the best vacation ever?

Plan to view all the sights when possible

Make sure you enjoy every picturesque sight you come across during your vacation. Don’t hurry. You’re not beating a deadline. You’re doing this vacation to have a break from deadlines. So, make the most out of your RV road trip. When there’s incredible scenery, a picturesque landscape, or a memorable landmark, stop for a few moments and enjoy the view.

Plan to camp or “glamp”

When you want to make sure that your vacation is truly a vacation, add camping to it, and you’re done. When you plan for a road trip, and your trip would last more than one day, allot one night for camping. You can bring tents and camp under the starry autumn skies if your RV is a motorhome.

If camping in the great outdoors is not your thing, you can do an alternative, a “glamp.” It’s a contraction of glamor camping where you go to a rural place in the woods but have all the amenities of modern life.

It might be a cabin in the woods but with internet connections, television, toilets, pizza deliveries, and a picturesque countryside view. There are some places where once you start glamping, you won’t be leaving. It’s such a convenient mix of modern and rural living that you’ll find interesting.

Plan a vlog, take pictures and make memories

You can also document your travels for posterity when you start your vacation. It makes you aware of sceneries, unforgettable moments, and genuine family bonding so you can take photos or videos. Though this might not be for everyone, especially those not into photography or videography, there may be a family member or friend who can do this and make memories.

Mediate with oils and aromas

Another thing you can have time for is time for yourself. As a parent, your time is always for your family or kids. During vacation, everyone is having fun, and there are moments when you can meditate and relax.

You can use oils that you can take to help you get to that relaxing and meditative state. Also, you can shift to aromatherapy, where you can use a diffuser in your tent or inside your RV on a campsite and do some yoga. You’re saying goodbye to mountains of stress.

As a final thought, always ensure that everyone in your family has a good time. This vacation should become a core memory for you and your kids, which will bond you for life, or to the next grand road trip at most, where you’ll out best the last great vacation with a better one. So, always keep the love, stay safe and enjoy the ride.