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My wife and I are thinking of a road trip to the Carolina's as a sort of family getaway. We have never been in this region, but between the mountains, oceans, and the greenery, we have always been interested in visiting the area. I have already visited the state tourism websites, and have some ideas of things we want to see, but I am wondering what interesting areas some of you have visited in the southeast. So far, here are some of my ideas (for myself):

Tail of the Dragon (Deal's Gap)
Charlotte, NC
Biltmore Mansion, Asheville, NC
BMW Factory, Spartanburg, SC
Corvette Musuem, Bowling Green, KY
Charleston, SC
Myrtle Beach, NC

Also, we will be making the entire trip by car, and my 7 year old daughter will be along for the ride. She does very well on long trips, but I want to make sure that we take her to some places she wants to visit too, such as waterparks, zoos, aquariums, etc.

So....what are your suggestions?
 

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My wife and I are thinking of a road trip to the Carolina's as a sort of family getaway. We have never been in this region, but between the mountains, oceans, and the greenery, we have always been interested in visiting the area. I have already visited the state tourism websites, and have some ideas of things we want to see, but I am wondering what interesting areas some of you have visited in the southeast. So far, here are some of my ideas (for myself):

Tail of the Dragon (Deal's Gap)
Charlotte, NC
Biltmore Mansion, Asheville, NC
BMW Factory, Spartanburg, SC
Corvette Musuem, Bowling Green, KY
Charleston, SC
Myrtle Beach, NC

Also, we will be making the entire trip by car, and my 7 year old daughter will be along for the ride. She does very well on long trips, but I want to make sure that we take her to some places she wants to visit too, such as waterparks, zoos, aquariums, etc.

So....what are your suggestions?
First, I suggest that you don't go looking for Myrtle Beach in NC. It's in the southern Carolina -poke-.

I know nothing about SC other than having been to Myrtle Beach several times when I was younger, so can't really help you there.

Saluda, NC has several cute little B&B to stay at.

The NC Zoo in Asheboro is great (NC Zoo™ - North Carolina Zoo : Zoo Homepage). My kids love it. The first time we went there I was expecting very little, having grown up going to the National Zoo in DC. I was very pleasantly surprised and would rather go to the NC zoo given the choice.

Here is a list of several children's museums in NC: Children's Museums in North Carolina

Which way are you coming from? Post a tentative route and let's see what else is close to where you will be...
 

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The Outer Banks, Kitty Hawk (Wright Bros. Memorial and Museum) and Hatteras in particular, would be near the top of my list. I've spent quite a bit of time in Charlotte. Nothing wrong with it, but, I wouldn't make a special trip to visit. If you like to golf, Myrtle Beach (btw it's in SC) is great.
 

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Indianapolis has a great Children's Museum to stop at along the way (I think I know where you're coming from).
 

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One year ago I drove all the way from Utah for a Mini Cooper event at the "Tail of the Dragon" I had to drive 2000 miles one way to enjoy this road, Was worth every mile! Highly Recommend this road, it will make you wish you had your lotus though!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the tips so far, and I see my typo on Myrtle Beach - oops - wrong state!

I will be driving from Wisconsin, and my route is really dependent on what stops we would like to make along the way. I was thinking about Hatteras, but I did not realize that Kitty Hawk was so close by <added>. Thanks for the Children's Museum ideas also!

Back many years ago, BC (before child), my wife and I use to go on vacations where we simply got in the car and drove. We would leave the house with a few places in mind, but with no definite route or schedule. Those impromptu trips were always a lot of fun, and we visited many areas we never would have seen. Now that my daughter is a bit older, we figured we'd give it a shot with her. She loves to travel, but I am hoping that we don't bore the poor kid to death!
 

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Biltmore is very cool. Not too far from Grandfather Mountain either......great roads around there. Asheville was kind of run down last time I was there, but the countryside is still beautiful.
 

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Thanks for the tips so far, and I see my typo on Myrtle Beach - oops - wrong state!

I will be driving from Wisconsin, and my route is really dependent on what stops we would like to make along the way. I was thinking about Hatteras, but I did not realize that Kitty Hawk was so close by <added>. Thanks for the Children's Museum ideas also!

Back many years ago, BC (before child), my wife and I use to go on vacations where we simply got in the car and drove. We would leave the house with a few places in mind, but with no definite route or schedule. Those impromptu trips were always a lot of fun, and we visited many areas we never would have seen. Now that my daughter is a bit older, we figured we'd give it a shot with her. She loves to travel, but I am hoping that we don't bore the poor kid to death!

I'll show you around Charlotte if you bring me down some of that 'new' Schlitz!
 

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I LOVE driving vacations. Almost all my vacations have been. I only have 2 tips, which you may already know.

1. Don't drive the same way there and back. Drive in a loop.

2. Allow plenty of time each day. I used to drive long days....14-16 hours sometimes. We never stopped anywhere because 'we had to get there'....but then, I started driving much shorter distances. That way, as you drive anything you see along the way that you'd like to stop at, you can. So instead of 'No, we don't have time to stop'......it's 'Wow, that looks interesting, let's stop there'.
 

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hope you had fun!
 

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My gf and I did a roadtrip from Toronto to Charleston last year in the Lotus. Went to Philadelphia to visit a friend (didn't realize it was such a nice city), then cruised down the coast, crossed the Chesapeake Bay bridge / tunnel (amazing), stayed in Norfolk, checked out Jamestown, Williamsburg (both important historical sites), headed to Charleston (great people, great food, great old buildings), came back via Asheville (Biltmore estate - highly recommended) then headed to Washington via the Blue Ridge Parkway to watch a soccer game. Overall a great trip. You guys have a beautiful country. Can't wait to do it again!!
 

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... the other thing about our trip is that we didn't really know our route before leaving. We knew we wanted to get to Charleston. We set our GPS on rural routes (ie avoiding the main highways) and aimed to drive no more than about 3.5 hrs / day (so we could enjoy each destination). Once we got close to our allotted driving time we would open our guide to see what was going on. Eg we randomly ended one day in Norfolk after a great trip from Philly that included stopping at Ocean City, Delaware where there was a great classic car day going on. In Norfolk we discovered that it was the base for the Navy's Atlantic fleet and very close to some major historical sites. Everyday was an adventure and a discovery!!
 
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