10 Family Friendly Day Trips

One of the great things about Raleigh is we can be at the beach, mountains, or anywhere in between with just a quick drive! This list of day trips promises a day of fun for everyone and you’ll get there in just over an hour or two!

North Carolina Zoo Asheboro

Asheboro is just a short drive west and makes a great day of fun for all ages! Be sure to wear comfortable shoes because it’s a lot of walking traveling through both Africa and North America!


Old Salem Winston Salem

This is a great trip for elementary age children and up! See what life was like for the Shakers in the colonial times of Salem, North Carolina! Travel through the village learning about the ways of life, visit the toy museum, and have lunch in the local tavern! Don’t leave without stopping by the bakery for fresh made bread or moravian cookies!


Hill Ridge Farms Youngsville

From spring to fall, Hill Ridge Farms has a great day of fun for the whole family! With live animals, train and tractor rides, mazes and more! There’s a restaurant on site for meals and a country store full of local canned goods and fresh doughnuts. In the summer, enjoy the splash pad and in the fall, pick out a pumpkin or two from the pumpkin patch. The Christmas lights can’t be missed in the winter!


Millstone Creek Orchards Ramseur

Spend the day picking fresh fruit from the orchards! On Mondays, they have story time with activities (reservations required). One weekend each month, there is a special event celebration for the in season fruits.


NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher Kure Beach

Drive past Wilmington to Kure Beach for a visit to the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher! The aquarium specializes in the local aquatic life of the Cape Fear region. You’ll get to touch some of the aquatic creatures and observe creatures from the river, marshlands, and ocean!


Tryon Palace New Bern

Tryon Palace was North Carolina’s first state capitol and you’ll get to experience the living history of early 1830s North Carolina. Visit the Governor’s Palace, the gorgeous gardens, the North Carolina History Center, and more!


Reed Gold Mine Midland

Did you know the first documented gold find in the United States was in North Carolina? Learn all about North Carolina’s gold rush and pan for gold at Reed Gold Mine.


  1. Raven Rock State Park Lillington

When the weather is nice, spend the day outside hiking with the family at Raven Rock State Park! Pack a picnic lunch and picnic along the water. The trails are easy enough for young hikers and not too strenuous.


USS North Carolina Battleship Wilmington

Drive down to Wilmington’s riverfront and take a tour of a real WWII battleship named after the Old North State! See what life was like for the seaman and learn more about this massive battleship’s history! While you’re there, spend the day enjoying Wilmington’s shops and restaurants on the riverfront.


Wrightsville Beach Wrightsville Beach

A trip to the beach doesn’t have to be a weeklong vacation! Wrightsville Beach is just a short drive down I-40! Wrightsville is a family friendly beach and is sure to bring a whole day of fun for everyone. For a quick bite to eat, walk over to Trolley Stop Hot Dogs!

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