Our Five Faves

Best holiday weekend trips

Posted November 10, 2014

"North Pole Fair" won Best in Show Saturday at the 29th Annual North Carolina Holiday Flotilla (Photo courtesy: Beth Watson Hedgepeth)

— The holidays are upon us and that means it is time to start prepping that turkey and finding that perfect tree. While there are a lot of holiday events happening in the Triangle, a few are worth planning a weekend trip across the state. Here are five of our picks for places you should definitely try to visit before the end of the year (in no particular order):

Charlotte/Concord - Starting Nov. 22, the Charlotte Motor Speedway will host its annual Christmas Village and holiday light show. There are more than 3 million lights featured in 800 displays. Admission to the "Speedway Christmas" is $20 per car Thursday through Sunday (when the village is open) and then $15 Monday through Wednesday when the village is closed. Bringing the children? Make it a weekend and stay at the Great Wolf Lodge, which has an indoor waterpark, children's spa, arcade and more. 

Biltmore Estate  - With its giant 35-foot Christmas tree in the banquet hall and beautiful holiday decor throughout, a trip to this Asheville resort is a must during the holidays! There are choirs singing Christmas carols in the winter garden and more. 

Blowing Rock and Boone in High County - Head to the mountains to pick out your Christmas tree. Many of the farms have other attractions including hayrides, hot chocolate and cider and even Santa. Hotels in the area, like the Hemlock Inn, offer packages that include your tree and accommodations. Or you can also just go to a local farm yourself like Panoramic View Christmas Tree farm, which has horses and cows that love to be fed and pet by visitors, and Circle C farm, which boasts a Christmas Shop. 

Search NC Christmas Trees to find a tree farm near you or one to visit during a trip around the state.

Another resort to consider in Blowing Rock is the Chetola, which has a free Festival of Lights starting Nov. 28. 

Along the N.C. Coast: Airlie Gardens in Wilmington has a beautiful holiday light spectacular. The self-guided tour includes Santa and a visit with the Winter Princesses. "Enchanted Airlie" also includes local vendors selling coffee, hot chocolate, popcorn, cookies and more. The event kicks off Nov. 28-29 and runs throughout December. 

Another not to miss event at the beach is the annual Holiday Flotilla at Wrightsville Beach Nov. 28-29. This annual event features beautifully decorated boats all lit up for the holiday season. North Carolina Holiday Flotilla

Winston Salem area - With tons of candlelight tours and other activities, it is a great time to plan a trip to the Winston Salem area. If you love holiday lights, check out Tanglewood Park's Festival of Lights - one of the largest light displays in the southeast. Enjoy four miles of countryside filled with millions of lights. You can take the tour by car or do a hayride. The festival runs Nov. 22 - Jan. 1. 

Where do you like to celebrate the holidays in North Carolina? 


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