When to Go

Without a doubt, there are busy seasons and quiet seasons in North Carolina, as well as some diverse weather conditions to consider if you plan to travel to the mountains or the southern coast. In general, however, North Carolina vacations are visited by moderate temperatures which tend to average between 40 - 60 degrees in the winter and between 80 and 90 degrees during the summer. North Carolina experiences four distinct seasons, and each has some things to offer for a North Carolina vacation.

No matter where you go to travel North Carolina, you will find that summer is by far the busiest season for travel throughout the state. Hotels throughout the state will be charging their highest rates, and transportation, especially roads, will be experiencing the heaviest loads. That being said, North Carolina vacations in the summer remain popular. The weather, particularly along the coast line and up in the mountains, is at its most enjoyable. If you plan to go to any of the larger cities such as Charlotte, Raleigh or Greensboro, try to schedule your sightseeing on a weekday whenever you can. Popular attractions like the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Mint Museum and Discovery Place will have longer lines on the weekends.

The popularity of North Carolina beach vacations certainly experiences its height during the summer and early spring. The Outer Banks, and especially Kill Devil Hills and Cape Hatteras, will literally be crawling with people, but there still tends to be room for everyone, and the atmosphere can't be beat. The weather along the coast in the summer is warm but breezy, making most North Carolina beach vacations pleasant where weather is concerned. If you plan to take North Carolina beach vacations during the summer, plan your accommodation reservations as far in advance as possible. Vacation rentals in particular tend to fill up quite fast in the summer.

If you plan to travel North Carolina during the autumn months, be sure to plan a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway. This roadway is known throughout the country as one of the most colorful drives in North America during the fall when the leaves are changing. As you drive, you can stop in the early fall for some overnight camping, or park the car and take any number of short to long hikes that literally cover the mountainsides; many with the reward of a waterfall along the way or a great view for pictures at the top.

Winter is the best time to travel North Carolina for a ski vacation. Appalachian Ski Mountain is one of the best places to go. Multiple slopes with a nice range of choices for all levels of skiers continue to make this a hot spot for North Carolina skiers. Though prices will clearly be higher for ski resorts during the winter, the rest of North Carolina will be experiencing its slowest season during this time. If you do want to do some sightseeing or enjoy some of the great indoor activities in a town like Winston Salem, winter can be a good time to do for a little less money. Winter can also be the ideal time to go wine tasting. Many North Carolina wineries are open in the winter, and you will not experience the lines or traffic you might expect in the summer.

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