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11 of the Best Spring Break Destinations in North Carolina!

Published by Christina Riley. Last Updated on April 10, 2024.

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Whether you’re seeking the beach, a fun city, a small town, or somewhere in the mountains, we’re confident that these are the best spring break destinations in North Carolina. After years of exploring this wonderful state, we’re always searching for new and unique things to do.

That’s why this isn’t just a list of beaches, amazing state parks and National Parks sites, and otherwise typical ideas. You’ll see that when perusing these 11 possibilities for spring break vacations.

Above all, we hope this guide helps you load up on things to do for spring break this year and beyond!

Whether you’re a new resident, a frequent visitor, or a local, we’re leaving no detail behind. If you live in North Carolina and are wondering, “What are the best spring break destinations near me?” we think this NC travel guide will help you out!

Read More: Spring in North Carolina

Spring Break Destinations in North Carolina

If you’re looking for something specific, we’ve organized these spring break destinations in North Carolina in alphabetical order! These are our top places to go in North Carolina in Spring.


Asheville is a four-season place to go, which is why we think it's one of the best spring break destinations in North Carolina!
Black Balsam Knob.

While we believe that Asheville is truly awesome for all four seasons, it’s definitely among the most fun places to go on spring break in North Carolina. For starters, the flowers bloom at Biltmore, one of many beautiful botanical gardens we’ll mention in this guide.

Even if you didn’t bring kiddos, you’ll want to check out the animals at the WNC Nature Center, as they’ll become a bit more active. The city is also home to some great museums, including the Asheville Art Museum and the Asheville Museum of Science.

Factor in all of the hikes (ex. Black Balsam Knob) and waterfalls (ex. Crabtree Falls) along and near the Blue Ridge Parkway, and you’ll agree there are innumerable things to do in Asheville.

Whether you’re seeking fun in downtown Asheville, the River Arts District, or elsewhere, we think this is the perfect NC spring break destination.

Read More: Airbnbs in Asheville


Carl sitting on the edge of a cliff near Boone, NC

Spring comes a little later to Boone, but we still think it’s a great spot to visit as the weather begins to warm up. The town is packed with fun things to do throughout the year.

You can start by investigating its wonderful restaurant scene, great breweries, and locally-owned shops.

Of course, Boone is surrounded by amazing hikes and waterfalls. We’ve hiked Elk Knob State Park in Meat Camp and Rough Ridge Trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway during spring and absolutely recommend them.

We don’t want to anger any neighboring High Country towns, such as Blowing Rock and Banner Elk. This entire area is one of our favorite spring break destinations in North Carolina!

Read More: The Best NC Blue Ridge Parkway Hikes

Bryson City 

Picture flowers blooming in trees everywhere as you board the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad or drive toward the Road to Nowhere. As the weather picks up its stride, we think Bryson City is one of the best spring break destinations in North Carolina.

Hike Deep Creek for a great waterfall hike and venture out to Soco Falls and Mingo Falls, both in Cherokee. These three are among our favorite waterfalls near Cherokee.

Of course, you could always just spend your time at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. It’s one of our favorite places to just hang out with a pint by the river or launch a boat for some adventure.

Read More: 20+ Amazing Things to Do in Maggie Valley


Charlotte is one of many big cities that are perfect spring break destinations in North Carolina.

We couldn’t leave Queen City off of our list of the best North Carolina spring break destinations! Charlotte is filled with fun museums, plenty of outdoor spaces, and a light rail system that makes it easy to explore the different neighborhoods of the city.

You could never leave this city and enjoy a fun-filled trip. Of course, there are plenty of great day trips from Charlotte within a short drive, including nearby locations like Mooresville or Concord!

Read More: 30+ Awesome Things to Do in Statesville


a river near Eno River State Park with turtles sitting on a log
Turtles at Eno River State Park.

The Bull City has plenty of wonderful things to do outdoors in the spring! Head to Sarah P Duke Gardens and walk among the flowers, or hit a trail inside Eno River State Park.

If you’re traveling as a family, a visit to the Museum of Life and Science is a must. Make sure to check out some of these other kid-friendly spots in Durham as well.

When in Durham, make sure you pack your appetite! There are lots of great restaurants and breweries that offer outdoor seating so you can start to unthaw from winter. 

Along with the wonderful American Tobacco Campus and other highlights downtown, be sure to check out the area once known as Black Wall Street. It’s among the most important places to learn about Black history in North Carolina, if not the entire US.

Read More: The Durham Hotel


beautiful flowers in Cape Fear Botanical Garden
Cape Fear Botanical Garden.

Fayetteville is known as America’s Hometown, thanks to the large military installment at Fort Bragg. After many visits to the area, we think Fayetteville is one of the best spring break destinations in North Carolina!

The Cape Fear Botanical Garden is the perfect place to walk and enjoy beautiful flowery scenes. We also love the Rose Garden at Fayetteville Technical Community College, but you might prefer that one in the summer.

Of course, Carvers Creek State Park is one of the best outdoor spaces in the area, too. Clark Park and the Cape Fear River Trail are both great spots for families seeking a fun bike ride!

At some point, you must make a visit to Dirt Bag Ales in Hope Mills. This spacious brewery mixes tasty creations with a warm, inviting atmosphere for all types of visitors.

Gobble down a meal at Circa 1800 (one of our favorite restaurants in Fayetteville) and make some candles at Hummingbird Candle Company for a wonderful vacation!

Read More: The Best Things to Do in Fayetteville


a river with a fence and a house near Jacksonville North Carolina

Jacksonville is another surprise addition to our list of incredible spring break destinations in North Carolina! While there is a heavy military presence in Jacksonville because of Camp Lejeune, this Eastern North Carolina city has a lot to offer!

Visit Lejeune Memorial Gardens, eat at Jeff’s, the Kettle Diner, or other awesome restaurants, take a ferry to Bear Island, or kayak the waters of Hammocks Beach State Park.

Take some time to browse the adorable shops of Swansboro and make dinner reservations at Mike’s Farm in nearby Beulaville.

We think Jacksonville is a hidden gem and an unexpected getaway!

Read More: The Coolest Airbnbs in North Carolina

The Outer Banks

a long path in the outer banks on Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.

While the Outer Banks is definitely a summer destination, we’ve found that spring vacations here are just as enjoyable.

Of course, you can always drive along NC-12, part of our favorite scenic road along the coast. Besides the iconic lighthouses, the lovely Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, and other attractions, it’s great to be out on that open road.

We still recommend calling ahead before visiting specific attractions. In some cases (like at Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station), you may be able to get a private tour with nobody else around.

The Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo burst with color and growth, the weather is cool enough to enjoy some of the easy hiking trails that are often too hot in the summer, and many of the restaurants are starting to open up for the season.

We love kite-flying at Jockey’s Ridge State Park, digging into pints and sausages at Weeping Radish, and visiting the wild horses in Corolla

Looking for a place to stay before exploring our favorite things to do in the Outer Banks? Check out our favorite vacation rentals

Read More: 7 of the Best Things to Do in Corolla (A Lighthouse, Wild Horses, and More!)

Wilkes County

Wilkesboro, its neighbor North Wilkesboro, and surrounding places in Wilkes County are among our favorite mountain towns to explore.

While MerleFest typically happens near the end of spring, this is something you should know about regardless of when you visit. The annual family-friendly music festival has brought big names like Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Tyler Childers, and North Carolina’s The Avett Brothers to the area.

Even if you aren’t in town for MerleFest, there are many more things to do while in the area.

For starters, Wilkesboro has world-class mountain biking trails that are perfect for exploring in the spring. Kerr Scott Dam and Cub Creek Park are two that you should check out if you’re into MTB.

Grab a meal at Dooley’s Tavern, and then head over to Stardust Cellars for some of the best mead you’ll ever taste. If you are visiting with family, then we recommend horseback riding at Leatherwood

Read More: Day Trips from Boone


a dock with an array of sailboarts near Wilmington NC

Wilmington is one of the best places to spend spring break in North Carolina, and not just for the amazing things to do and beaches nearby!

Speaking of beaches, here are a few near Wilmington:

For those traveling as a family, there are so many great kid-friendly things to do, including the following:

Make sure to grab a pint at a brewery and chow down on some seafood at a Riverfront restaurant. Make it extra special by searching for Venus flytraps at the Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden

Read More: Airbnbs in Wilmington


a long lodge in the shadow of some imposing pine trees near Winston-Salem, NC

Winston-Salem is filled with history and beauty, which is why it may be last but certainly not least one of our favorite spring break destinations in North Carolina!

In Camel City, you’ll learn some interesting North Carolina history at Old Salem and walk through the shoes of local royalty at Reynolda House. Those are two of the best museums in the city and a great starting point.

There are some incredible breweries and restaurants in Winston-Salem. For example, grab a pint at Wise Man Brewing, and don’t ever miss out on the delicious Sweet Potatoes!

You can also make a quick day trip over to Kernersville for a sea of tulips at the Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden.

Read More: The Most Beautiful Botanical Gardens in North Carolina

Ready to Explore these Great Spring Break Destinations in North Carolina?

As you can see, you can make whatever kind of memories you want at these diverse spring break destinations in North Carolina. We hope you’re able to enjoy the regrowth associated with spring and the comparatively warmer weather that comes with it.

If you’re new to the state, we’d love to know which of these spring break destinations in North Carolina will be first on your list. If you know about them, we’d love to know what you think of our list.

Either way, keep the conversation going in the comments section, and feel free to share your favorite spring break destinations in North Carolina in our Facebook Group!

More Things to Do in North Carolina

We’ve featured these North Carolina spring break destinations in many of our travel guides. Here are a few of them.

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