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6 Unique Day Trips From Charlotte, North Carolina

Everyone needs a day off now and then, a day to just be carefree and not worry about all the stresses of day-to-day life. While some people understand this concept and happily take a day off to recharge their batteries, many of us don’t fully acknowledge that it is more than just staying home from work. Taking a day off to recharge and rid yourself of stress, as well as get in touch with your creative, talented self should be all about changing your environment.  For some, that might mean going for a hike, others might be content taking a long drive, and others still will want to tour a museum or go on a flea market hunt.

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What are some fun day trips to take around Charlotte, NC?

Besides just exploring all that Charlotte proper has to offer, consider taking a day trip to one of these great locations around Charlotte on your next vacation:

  • Land of Oz Park
  • Museum of the Bizarre
  • Uwharrie National Forest
  • Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Davidson
  • Gold Hill

Whatever it is you do to recharge those batteries, there are numerous unique day trips you can take from Charlotte, North Carolina.

For me, the thought of a day trip is all about getting as far away from home as possible. Removing myself from all those have-to things is the only way I can relax and unwind, and I am sure many of you are like that too, so this list is for you!

Land of Oz Park

1007 Beech Mountain Parkway, Beech Mountain, North Carolina 28604

(828) 434-8056

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Everyone loves a great movie, and almost everyone has seen Oz and met Dorothy at least once while watching those shoes click together as we wish for home along with her, but oddly there is a place where you can go and visit Dorothy and all the other characters of the Wizard of Oz.

While at one time this location was a completely functioning theme park, through natural events and disasters, the theme park closed in the 1980s. Since then, parts of the park’s staff have salvaged some of the equipment and get together from time to time for special events.

It’s during these times you can visit and enjoy a lovely Oz-themed festival where you can literally walk those yellow bricks while enjoying vendors, crafts, food, and other festival happenings.

Museum of the Bizarre

201 South Water Street, Wilmington, North Carolina 28401

(910) 399-2641

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If you like odd, and most of us do even though we wouldn’t necessarily admit it to anyone, this museum is all about the oddities of life and exploring them. The science-based museum is great for families or groups, and provides an exciting diversion from the norm in between shopping and a visit to the local beach area.

You can check out Houdini’s Ouija Board and a Unicorn Horn as well as other strange oddities, then head on over to the children’s museum that’s not far away and grab a quick bite to eat before heading home after your day trip!

Uwharrie National Forest

789 Biscoe Road, Troy, North Carolina 27371

(910) 576-6391

Nothing says stress-free like an outdoor adventure. At just over an hour and under seventy-five miles, you can take a hike, watch wildlife and take some fantastic photos.  If that doesn’t suit your fancy while you’re in this national forest you can enjoy the Badin Lake and take a swim or simply admire the forest’s beauty while listening to the sounds of nature.

Hiking trails vary in skill and difficulty level, but there is something for everyone from the novice to the expert. Be sure to follow all rules and regulations while visiting and be aware of the dangers of wildlife, if you are not an experienced hiker.

Blue Ridge Parkway

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For a great drive or motorcycle adventure, you can drive a mere one hundred and forty miles north in about two hours and wind up on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Parkway may not seem like an exciting journey, but if you like to drive, stop and see some beautiful scenery without the walk, this is a perfect choice.

The ride takes you through numerous historic spots where you can enjoy the local culture, art, and communities as well as the stunning scenery.  The views are breathtaking and memorable no matter how you travel. Be sure to sample some food, wine, or beer and perhaps a festival, carnival, or another local event, if the time is right.


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For a family that has a mixture of adults, teenagers, and young children this place is for you.  This college town offers unique shopping from art galleries, antique shops boutiques, and restaurants near Charlotte. Mom can enjoy a day of shopping while the kids take dad along to the Discovery Place for Kids and Raptor Center where they can get a bit of education with their fun.

The family can take a bike ride or enjoy the walk from shop to shop to enjoy all the interesting sites they have to see.

Gold Hill

770 St. Stephens Church Road, Gold Hill, North Carolina 28071

(704) 267-9439

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If you like a bit of yesterday blended in with your relaxation today, this spot is for you. At just under fifty miles and at fifty minutes you can easily step back through time to yesterday and learn about the gold rush. This can be a great family day trip where everyone in the group can get a bit of education, history, and fun all rolled into one day.

Depending on when you visit, there is a Bluegrass Jam and other musical entertainment at select times, which can be a delightful experience. Should you and your family want to do some shopping there is a Western shop and a vineyard a few minutes away from where you can sample some of the local wines.

You’ll even find a ghost hunt tour for some scary afternoon fun. On-site dining is unique, and you will find a mine shaft and other buildings and historic spots to explore. It’s a great day outdoor where you can tackle a lot of things in a one-day trip adventure.

In Conclusion

This list of unique day trips is just a starting point for the numerous adventures you can take in a day from Charlotte, you only need to be a little creative and you can have a whole lot of fun!