After an unusually snowy and icy winter, spring is finally around the corner. Spring break is a much-needed pause from academics and an opportunity to rest, travel, or spend some quality time at home.
Some members of the Carolina family will travel around the country, or even the world, over break, but many students, faculty, and staff will stay planted in and around North Carolina.
Lucky for us, NC offers a rare and beautiful combination of mountains and beaches that make for amazing, quick, simple, and affordable spring break trips.
Below are a couple suggestions you should check out if you are in NC this spring break and looking for something fun and active to do outdoors.
Pisgah National Forest
Nestled in the Western Carolina Mountains near Asheville, Pisgah National Forest is a beautiful 500,000-acre collection of mountains, streams, forests, and waterfalls. Pisgah is a great place for both day hikes and extended camping stays. Available activities include varying difficulties for biking and hiking, as well as camping, climbing, fishing, horseback riding, outdoor learning, and scenic driving amongst many others! If you are looking for a spot to retreat into nature and enjoy the warmer weather, Pisgah is for you!
Hanging Rock State Park
If you are looking for a fun place closer to the Triangle, check out Hanging Rock State Park, north of Greensboro. Hanging Rock offers a collection of exciting trails that wind to the top of the “hanging rock.” The views from the peak are truly breathtaking and are a can’t miss for any North Carolinian. Hanging rock also offers cabins for rent, for those looking to stay a few nights in the woods!
Green Swamp Preserve
Down towards the coast in Brunswick County, you can find a serene spot unlike any other in North Carolina. The Green Swamp Preserve is a collection of winding trails in gorgeous swamp and forest lands. The preserve is home to 14 types of insectivorous plants including Venus flytraps and pitcher plants. In addition, the swamp is home to an array of beautiful orchids and even a population of American Alligators. The Green Swamp Preserve is a memorable stop on any trip to the beach in NC!
No list of outdoor NC attractions is complete without the Outer Banks. The Outer Banks are a 200-mile strip of barrier islands off the NC coast. Home to the Wright brothers’ first flight, the Roanoke Colony, and vast graveyard of sunken ships in the Atlantic, the Outer Banks is a historical treasure map waiting to be explored. Beautiful beaches and lighthouses span the shores and present countless opportunities for a relaxing and fun spring break. If you go to school or work at UNC and haven’t visited the world famous NC Outer Banks yet, this needs to be on the top of your list!
Stay active and enjoy the warmer weather over Spring Break! Post any other NC outdoor attractions you know and love in the comments section and we will be sure to add them to our growing list!