Pleasing scenery and vibrant communities brimming with Southern hospitality make the Tar Heel State a perfect site for a North Carolina family reunion.
Made in North Carolina
To get engines roaring, the NASCAR Hall of Fame displays interactive exhibits to both entertain and educate fans for hours. The four floors offer thousands of historical artifacts and 31 featured cars that depict the history of racing. The Hall is an ideal family reunion location in North Carolina, featuring the Kobalt Kid Zone with games like the Pit Crew Challenge, a racing simulator and calling a race as an announcer.
The North Carolina State Capitol is another important stop for a North Carolina family reunion group in Raleigh. The Greek Revival building, completed in 1840, offers tours. The North Carolina Museum of History offers insight into the region and its people. Exhibits include the history of Girl Scouts, Miss America pageants, the Civil War and making Gone with the Wind.
Just minutes from downtown Raleigh is the ultimate shopping experience. The Raleigh Flea Market is located at the Historic State Fairgrounds and features over 600 vendors. There is something for everyone to enjoy, including a changing lineup of events. It is held every weekend year-round, except for October. Children can enjoy face painting and delicious treats, while parents enjoy shopping and live music.
Come visit the largest privately owned estate in Asheville. The 250-room Biltmore House, built in 1889 for George Vanderbilt, covers over 8,000 acres. Tours of the Biltmore House, gardens, a winery, a farm and the Antler Hill shopping village is all available.
Photo Credit. Asheville Hot Air Balloons
Located 15 minutes from Charlotte on the border of South Carolina, Carowinds theme park features rides, attractions and an extensive water park for the entire family to enjoy. For thrill seekers, Carowinds dares you to ride on the Intimidator–the tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster in the Southeast named after racing legend Dale Earnhardt. The 20-acre Boomerang Bay features a wave pool, lazy river and water slides.
Looking for an exciting and daring way to see the mountains and scenery Asheville offers? Look no further than Asheville Hot Air Balloons, founded in 1981 as the oldest hot air balloon company in western North Carolina. Their season runs from spring to autumn, and the balloons can carry up to 10 passengers.
If you are looking for a good time and can leave the kids behind for a few hours, the Asheville Brews Cruise is calling all adults. Asheville has been voted “Beer City, USA” for the past three years and has 10 local breweries. The tours consist of visiting breweries and learning about their history and production. After the tour, the breweries offer free samples and you can dine at their restaurants.
Kids will love Tregembo Animal Park and parents will love the bargain price. The small, 60-year-old zoo offers over 75 species of exotic animals including a white tiger, alligators and monkeys. The family will also enjoy spending the day at Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park. The park features water rides, go-carts, laser tag, mini-golf and an arcade.
Thrilling Sports Locations
Bank of America Stadium is host to the Carolina Panthers football team and can pre-arrange stadium tours for up to 100 people.
The NBA Bobcats, owned by former NBA player Michael Jordan, play at Time Warner Cable Arena, as do minor league hockey’s Charlotte Checkers.
The Carolina Hurricanes NHL major league hockey team play at PNC Arena. The arena also hosts North Carolina State basketball games.
Located only 35 miles west of Asheville, Cataloochee Ski Area is open from November to mid-March. Whether you are a skiing beginner or expert, there is certainly a slope for you. For 52 years, Cataloochee has been the home of “Great Skiing in the Great Smokies.”
Spectacular Scenic Sites
Sunset View from the Blue Ridge Parkway
Raleigh, the state capital, is the second largest city in North Carolina. Raleigh is also known as the “City of Oaks,” so your North Carolina family reunion group has to see the Historic Oak Creek View County Park. This 19th century historic farmstead features hiking, fishing, picnicking and a petting zoo. There are several educational exhibits like a cotton gin house, a carriage house and a farmstead home built in 1855. This is the perfect location for relaxation and family fun. Groups can rent picnic areas for parties between 30-50 people.
Asheville is an eclectic, vibrant town with edgy downtown shops, art galleries and a thriving culinary scene. One of Asheville’s famous sites is the Blue Ridge Parkway. This 469-mile parkway, called “America’s Favorite Drive,” offers panoramas of mountains and valleys, plus historic buildings and old farmsteads. Off the parkway are visitor centers, trails, picnic areas and campgrounds ideal for a North Carolina family reunion.
Soak up the sun at Wrightsville Beach. Activities include jet skiing, swimming, parasailing, wind surfing and kayaking. At Johnnie Mercer’s Pier, enjoy dropping a fishing line or surfing in one of the “World’s Best Surf Towns,” according to National Geographic. Savor local seafood at an area restaurant and take in the magnificent waterway view.
Billy Graham Library
Billy Graham Library opened in Charlotte in 2007 and is a popular attraction for a North Carolina family reunion. The library and museum celebrate the iconic evangelical minister and his life of service. Admission is free and a tour follows Graham’s childhood and his journey of faith, while including a bookstore, prayer garden and dairy bar on site. Groups over 15 people can prearrange tours, so call ahead for your North Carolina family reunion group.
North Carolina family reunion groups should be sure to check out Carolinas Aviation Museum, the famous site where the Wright Brothers flew their first propelled airplane. Located in an airline hangar, this redesigned museum displays aircrafts in stunning exhibits. “The Miracle on the Hudson” exhibit has accounts from passengers on the ill-fated US Airways flight that ended up in New York’s Hudson River in 2009. Children are encouraged to climb inside some of the planes and be the pilot.
Battleship North Carolina, conveniently located across the river from downtown, is a popular tourist stop in Wilmington. The self-guided tour allows North Carolina family reunion groups to explore its nine levels.