Road trip! Here are five destinations you can reach from Grande Dunes in less than a day.
It’s hard to believe that anyone would want to leave Grande Dunes for even a second, but when the wanderer inside you starts getting restless, you can reach these wonderful change-of-pace destinations quickly.
Head for the mountains.
Drive time = 5 hours.
When people think of the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains, they may picture a scenic drive amongst the stunning fall colors. And while this is one spectacular show that never fails to disappoint, any time of year is a good time to be here. Start in Asheville, because even after the colors have peaked, most autumn days are plenty warm enough to take advantage of the many breweries, wineries, and eclectic restaurants the town is famous for. Or, to get in the spirit of the season, visit the Biltmore Estate during the holidays. It represents the ultimate in Christmas cheer. But even after the holidays, winter welcomes you, with skiing, tubing, snowboarding, and ice skating at nearby resorts (you can even ski at night!). There are seven resorts in the area, and Beech Mountain just happens to be the highest in the eastern U.S. at 5,506 feet.
Bright lights, big city.
Drive time = 3 hours 45 minutes
If you’re into pro sports, world-class performing arts, mega-concerts, or the many other amenities of big city life, Charlotte’s got a lot, as the local chamber likes to say. But there are a few surprises in store as well. These include the US National Whitewater Center, where you can enjoy whitewater rafting and kayaking (on a man-made river), canoeing, mountain climbing, ziplining, and more. The Center is open, weather permitting, 365 days a year.
Carowinds, a 400-acre amusement park the straddles the NC/SC state line, has 13 rollercoasters (two of them among the highest 10 in the world!), seven water rides, and another 44 rides to delight kids of every age. And check out the NASCAR Hall of Fame, a more than 150,000 square-foot venue of racing history, complete with racing simulators that put you in the driver’s seat.
Quintessential southern charm. Your choice.
Drive time = 3 hours 45 minutes (Savannah), 2 hours 15 minutes (Charleston)
Don’t be fooled. These two historic Southern cities may seem similar, but they couldn’t be more different. Both have amazing architecture, a rich cultural history, exquisite natural beauty, and more than a few things to do. Here’s why you should visit both:
Savannah is unique because the downtown area is comprised of more than 20 individual squares (think city blocks, but with trees, fountains, and greenery) nestled amongst businesses and historic homes. They look today much like they did centuries ago, giving you the opportunity to “step back in time” and relive a gentler era. But don’t think for a minute that Savannah is slow. It has a boisterous arts and music scene, cutting edge restaurants, and innumerable festivals year-round.
Charleston has the advantage of being a much shorter drive for Grande Dunes residents. Located on Charleston Harbor, tourists in the know head for The Battery. This defensive seawall and promenade is renown for its stately antebellum homes and gardens, all within easy walking distance of each other. And circle May on your calendar now, to remind you to visit Charleston during the Spoleto Festival, one of the largest performing arts festivals (and international party) in America.
Laid back and local
Drive time = An hour, give or take.
Sometimes we’re in such a hurry to get somewhere, we drive right past the most interesting things. Like Georgetown, with its historic downtown, waterfront district, and South Carolina Maritime Museum. This is also the only place around where you can take a sweetgrass basket weaving class! Georgetown is about an hour away.
Closer still is Pawley’s Island, which is the place to buy one of the finest handmade hammocks in the world. While you’re there, check out the local culinary scene, with awesome food in both upscale and down home settings.
And you know Conway is just down the road, home to the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (that’s a type of rooster found in fairy tales). Walk the campus, or take in a football, baseball or basketball game, depending on the season.
So, seize the day and get out there! To learn about other fun activities near Grande Dunes, check out our Area Attractions!