WRAL is exploring the best things to do during the summer months. Looks for ways to keep the kids busy, have fun with family and even places to take a date – all while keeping the costs in check.
See the sites profiled in Summer on a Budget.
In a new adventure game, adults and families are combing cities, towns and the countryside. But "X" no longer marks the spot – your GPS unit does.
Follow WRAL News photographer Richard Adkins and his yellow lunch box as they tour North Carolina, seeking out the best places for lunch.
Michael Phillips is turning his working family farm, at 6701 Good Hope Church Road in Cary, into acres of entertainment and education.
Stitched into the wrinkles and ripples of Western North Carolina, more than 140 "quilt blocks" blanket the sides of barns and buildings in six contiguous counties, with the highest concentration in Yancey and Mitchell Counties.
North Carolina tourists can embrace the grape at more than 80 vineyards set in rolling fields where tobacco once grew.
On a visit to Randolph County, one can visit museums devoted to motorcycles and aviation. A trip to Seagrove offers pottery demonstrations.
The Triangle is a treasure trove of parks, playgrounds, ponds and plants. You can find family fun, times four, all for free in your own back yard.
Beaufort is a tiny town on North Carolina's Crystal Coast, but its quaint, historic waterfront – and its pirate history – is a major attraction for visitors.
Jockey's Ridge State Park has an answer for North Carolinians who want to travel to the beach but can't afford to do much once they get there.
South of the Triad, a transportation museum and mountainous state park let visitors explore the industrial and recreational amenities of North Carolina.
In Halifax County, history and nature come to roost. The American Revolution and the Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park entertain and educate visitors.
People can spend an hour or two strolling through the actual fort for free or take advantage of the park's public access to the Crystal Coast.
Sharp-clawed, strong-beaked and feather-filled, eagles and hawks provide summer entertainment – and education – at the Carolinas Raptor Center, north of Charlotte.
From politics to pirates, a trip to downtown Raleigh can be an inexpensive and educational getaway.
Families looking for adventure can find it for free at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville and Raven Rock State Park near Lillington.
An albino alligator in an oceanfront aquarium: It sounds like a rare sight for residents of the Piedmont, but with a little planning the exhibit can be seen in a day trip to Kure Beach.
A trip to Durham can yield information about the body, bears and butterflies without breaking the bank.
A trip west from the Triangle over the hills into the mountains of Ashe County will give travelers some time on the road and a little extra money in their wallets.
Quaint towns and wildlife refuges make for interesting pit stops when traveling east along U.S. Highway 64 to the Outer Banks.
Pack a picnic and plan for the past. Mayberry is just about two hours away.
Watching airplanes can be mesmerizing, and there’s no better view than at Raleigh-Durham International Airport’s observation park. For many families, that is one of their favorite free activities.
For the second installment of her “Summer on a Budget” series, WRAL reporter Kim Dean focused on outdoor activities that won’t break the bank.
WRAL reporter Kim Dean looks at free or low-cost options for kids during the summer months.
When the sun goes down, towns across the Triangle roll out low-cost movies and concerts to entertain all ages.
In the next installment of her “Summer on a Budget” series, WRAL reporter Kim Dean finds places that offer free wine and beer tastings.
Free tours are available to help visitors delve into the histories of Raleigh and Durham.
WRAL reporter Kim Dean takes you into museums you'll find off the beaten path and absolutely free.