By Leah Chester-Davis
Need a little vacay in your life? We've got you! Check out Carolina's Finest winners in the Travel category.
529 South Front Street, New Bern
tryonpalace.org | 800-767-1560
Costumed interpreters at Tryon Palace in New Bern make history come alive as they welcome you to 18th Century North Carolina. Known as the state’s first capitol until Raleigh became the state capital in 1794, Tryon Palace is a popular destination for fans of the “Outlander” series; an Outlander tour is offered the third Saturday of every month. This favorite historic site celebrates its 250th birthday in 2020. Visit the website for news on events that will mark the momentous occasion.
“Tryon Palace is an awesome mix of an interesting historic site with amazing interpreters and neat artifacts. It also has beautiful gardens year-round.”
—Hadley Cheris, a member of Carteret-Craven EMC
Carolina Bible Camp Bluegrass Festival
1988 Jericho Church Road, Mocksville
The Carolina Bible Camp Bluegrass Festival offers up a great day of music in a family-friendly atmosphere. Always the second Saturday in September and located on campgrounds near Mocksville, the festival draws a slate of talented musicians. This year, Dom Flemons, co-founder of the Grammy-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, performed. Scheduled for 2020 are International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) award standouts: vocalist Junior Sisk, banjo player Kristin Scott Benson, and entertainer of the year Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers. Festival food, a spot for pickers to jam and a classic car lineup are among the other fun features.
“Small-town atmosphere with big-name performers.”
—Melissa King, Stanley, a member of EnergyUnited
exploreasheville.com | 828-258-6129
Let your spirit run free in Asheville! A favorite mountain destination, Asheville appeals to all ages and interests. Hike or bike nearby trails, enjoy a scenic drive, relax in a cozy bed-and-breakfast inn, explore old neighborhoods, browse quaint shops, visit museums and galleries, relish a foodie’s mecca, imbibe at one of the local breweries or cideries, find inspiration at the Biltmore, or tailor a visit just for you with ideas from Explore Asheville.
“Blue Ridge Parkway, art galleries, music scene, good food, craft beer. What’s not to like?”
—Jim Mathues, a member of Wake Electric
Have the time of your life at beautiful Lake Lure, located in Hickory Nut Gorge of Rutherford County. The Blue Ridge Mountains surround the lake and area known for cinematic fame, including scenes from “Dirty Dancing” and “Last of the Mohicans.” The lake offers opportunities to enjoy the water, from a public beach to guided boat tours to fishing to a chance to try the famous lake lift scene during the annual Dirty Dancing Festival. The Town of Lake Lure edges the lake, providing eating and lodging options.
“A quaint lake and a great area to visit!”
—Jessica Icenhour Roberts, a member of Surry-Yadkin EMC
Stretches of white sand and surf beckon visitors to our state’s popular playgrounds. Favorites abound, though Oak Island tops the favorite beach category, edging out runners up Atlantic Beach and Emerald Isle. Oak Island is a small seaside town in Brunswick County. Adding to the charm of the Oak Island stretch of beaches is the Oak Island Lighthouse.
“It’s not crowded and it’s more of a family place.”
—Rita Kindley, a member of EnergyUnited