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Winter road trip destinations to visit near Charlotte, NC

by Staff

Broyhill Park in Blowing Rock, NC.

Broyhill Park in Blowing Rock, NC.

This time of year is typically a busy time for travelers, especially around the holidays. If you’re looking for a winter wonderland vacation, there are several popular destinations around the Carolinas that have a lot to offer.

Luckily, many aren’t too far from Charlotte, either. So pack your bags and get ready to hit the road. Here are some popular destinations within a 2.5 hour drive of the city to visit this winter:

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Distance from Charlotte: 79.2 miles

What to do: Admire more than a million twinkling lights at Tanglewood Park’s Festival of Lights, take a holiday evening tour of Old Salem Museums & Garden, or plan your own holiday bar crawl with seasonal drinks from local breweries.

Festival of Lights is open everyday at Tanglewood Park from 6-11 p.m. through Jan. 1.
Festival of Lights is open everyday at Tanglewood Park from 6-11 p.m. through Jan. 1. Tom McCulloh

Blowing Rock, North Carolina

Distance from Charlotte: 91.3 miles

What to do: Hit the slopes and go skiing or snowboarding at Appalachian Ski Mtn. resort, check out the annual four-day Blowing Rock WinterFest event, or get in the holiday spirit with Tweetsie Christmas at Tweetsie Railroad amusement park.

[RELATED: The ultimate guide to the best skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing spots in NC]

Boone, North Carolina

Distance from Charlotte: 99.3 miles

What to do: Take in views of the valley across the Mile High Swinging Bridge, visit the Boone winter farmers market, or catch a holiday movie screening at The Appalachian Theatre.

Greenville, South Carolina

Distance from Charlotte: 101 miles

What to do: Go ice skating in the heart of downtown, see the dazzling lights and festive decor at Holidays at the Zoo, or grab a drink at The Press Room Après Ski Lodge Bar & Lounge winter-themed pop-up bar.

Ice on Main is located on Village Green through Jan. 15.
Ice on Main is located on Village Green through Jan. 15. City of Greenville Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

Banner Elk, North Carolina

Distance from Charlotte: 111 miles

What to do: Bundle up for a roller coaster ride through the forests at Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster, enjoy live music by a fire pit at Grandfather Vineyards, or go snow tubing outside of town at Sugar Mountain Resort.

Skiers ride the lift at Sugar Mountain Resort, located about 35 minutes outside of Boone, NC.
Skiers ride the lift at Sugar Mountain Resort, located about 35 minutes outside of Boone, NC. Sugar Mountain Resort Sugar Mountain Resort

Asheville, North Carolina

Distance from Charlotte: 128 miles

What to do: Check out the Winter Lights show at The North Carolina Arboretum, take a holiday tour at Biltmore Christmas, or warm up and relax in natural hot springs waters at Hot Springs Resort and Spa.

Winter Lights light show at The North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, NC.
Winter Lights light show at The North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, NC. Courtesy of The North Carolina Arboretum

This story was originally published December 15, 2023, 5:15 AM.

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Chyna Blackmon is a service journalism reporter for The Charlotte Observer. A native of the Carolinas, she grew up in Columbia, SC, and graduated from Queens University of Charlotte. She’s also worked in local television news in Charlotte, NC, and Richmond, VA.
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