CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Looking for a fun activity for the whole family this summer but don’t want to shell out a ton of cash?

These destinations across the Carolinas could be exactly what you need, and the best part is you can get there on just one tank of gas. Some of these hidden gems offer a great look at the history of the Carolinas, fun activities for everyone, and will help you create those special memories that will last a lifetime.

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In just under two hours, you can take a trip to Greensboro, North Carolina. The kids will love the Greensboro Science Center. You can check out various animals, explore the dinosaur gallery and attend interactive shows. There are also 3-D shows at the Omnisphere Theater.

Both kids and kids at heart will love Celebration Station. There’s mini golf, water bumper boats, go-carts, arcade games and batting cages.

For the sports fans in the family, you can head to the ACC Hall of Champions. You can explore the history of the ACC, take pictures with the mascots, even pretend you’re an announcer with an interactive broadcasting booth.

You can also immerse yourself in history in Greensboro and visit the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. The museum celebrates the nonviolent protests of the 1960 Greensboro sit-ins that served as a catalyst for the civil rights movement.


Just about an hour from uptown, you can enjoy a day in Salisbury, North Carolina. It’s the birthplace of Cheerwine!

You can check out downtown’s soda shop for Cheerwine and Cheerwine items. You can also see the new display of Cheerwine history at the Rowan Museum. If you’d prefer doing some shopping, there’s plenty of unique shops for crafts and gifts.

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Asheville isn’t exactly a hidden gem, but you can enjoy so much more than the Biltmore Estate. There’s really something for everyone, from breweries to wineries and even beautiful bed and breakfasts. Something especially fun for the kids is the Western North Carolina Nature Center. It’s home to 60 species of animals including river otters, black bear, wolves, and cougars.