Charlotte, Asheville, and Raleigh are the cities that frequent the conversations of your friends going to camp out in the North Carolina mountains, or making a trip to enjoy a weekend at their grandparents’ vacation house. However, there are more North Carolina cities to experience that you should have on your radar.
When it comes to North Carolina, you can’t go wrong. Even in the nooks and crannies of the countryside’s beauty will catch your eye.
I’ve gone to North Carolina every summer since I can remember. My family lives in less touristy areas, like Greensboro and little Mount Airy. I never thought of these places as destinations until I realized you can still discover in the locations that feel familiar – there’s always something new to uncover.
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On a recent trip to Greensboro and Mount Airy, I got to explore a bit of downtown Winston-Salem, home of the Deacon Demons at Wake Forest University.
If you happen upon the grand campus of Wake Forest, just take a stroll around and you’ll understand why the university embodies the prestige it does. The Chapel is one of the first landmarks you see, and it revels in its glories.
Something that has imprinted my memory about this place in Winston-Salem is the history it holds. My dad was determined to find this one spot that he took my mom on a star-gazing date back in college, and we were able to find it. You can sense the tradition and timelessness of the university after spending just a few minutes there.
Salem College is an all-girls school right down the block from Wake. My mom attended there, and it was neat to be able to see how improvements have been made all around while the traditional parts of campus remained untouched.
I also got to see two gems of the 1.5-million acres of gorgeous winery that serves as part of the Yadkin Valley. That’s right, North Carolina is home to the Napa Valley of the East coast.
The Childress Vineyard grows most of their own grapes. You can take a tour and hear all about their processes, or take a relaxing lunch at their bistro overlooking rolling hills covered in vines.
The Shelton Vineyards is another one worth stopping through. On the way from Greensboro to Mount Airy, the tiny town in which my grandparents reside, you go through even-smaller Dobson. My aunt pointed out the antique car shop her dad bought her first car from. Needless to say, it’s been around for some time and provides for a scenic country drive.
Shelton Vineyards also has a quaint, delicious restaurant for you to dine in and gaze out at luscious, twirling grape vines. But after you’ve grabbed a bite, you can taste all they have to offer indoors.
I am still shocked that I have traveled to North Carolina all my life and had no idea the Yadkin Valley even existed until this most recent trip a week ago. That’s something that is so incredible about travel. It never gets old, and you don’t have to go somewhere near to unravel a hidden path that leads to adventure.
Want more stateside trip ideas?
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