It’s March Madness! 6 NC & SC Teams Are Dominating the 2024 NCAA Tournament

The Latest From Carolina Traveler

🏀 Get ready to cheer on the six North Carolina and South Carolina teams dominating the NCAA Basketball Tournament in our March Madness roundup!⛹️

🌟 VIP subscribers, rejoice! Score FREE tickets to FIVE food festivals  with our exclusive promo alert! 🎉

🧑‍🎨 Asheville in your 2024 travel horizon? Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Dale Chihuly's glass art at the Biltmore ⛰️

🐰 All aboard the Bunny Hopper Express for an Easter adventure through the Great Smoky Mountains that'll thrill the kids! 🚂

🔥And don't miss out on the adrenaline-pumping March Madness action of combat archery at the Overland South weekend camping and off-roading festival – it's an experience you won't forget!🚜

Get all this and more in your weekly newsletter! 📰 Subscribe now for the ultimate travel guide experience! 🌍

Stay up to date with the best college town and March Madness itineraries, summer festivals, and holiday things to do; follow us on Facebook, where we regularly offer free tickets and other giveaways, and make sure to become a 2024 subscriber to Carolina Traveler magazine!

CBS 2024 NCAA tournament bracket mens March Madness

Let the winner of your family bracket challenge pick the next day trip location! | Photo: CBS

It's March Madness! NC and SC Teams are Dominating the 2024 NCAA Basketball Tournament

During March Madness, the excitement in North Carolina reaches fever pitch as fans come together to revel in the thrill of the men's and women's NCAA Tournament. Here are some fun ways to enjoy March Madness with friends and family:

  1. Host a March Madness bracket challenge: Organize a friendly competition among friends or family members to see who can accurately predict the most tournament outcomes.
  2. Throw a March Madness party: Decorate your space with team colors, serve basketball-themed snacks, and watch the games together on a big screen.
  3. Plan a basketball-themed outing: Head to a local sports bar or restaurant known for its March Madness atmosphere to cheer on your favorite teams (we'll share our recommendations for NC- and SC-based teams below)
  4. Attend live games: If possible, snag tickets to NCAA Tournament games taking place nearby or plan a road trip to support your team in person.
  5. Play pickup basketball: Channel your inner athlete by hitting the court with friends for a friendly game of hoops during breaks between tournament matchups.
  6. Create a March Madness tradition: Whether it's wearing lucky jerseys, cooking a special meal, or watching games at a specific location, establish traditions that make March Madness memorable for years to come.

Cheer on Carolina teams as they compete in March Madness at the following iconic sports bars in their respective hometowns:


Win a Charlotte festival passport

There's never been a better time to become a VIP subscriber!

New Promo Alert: Get FREE Entry to Five Festivals in 2024!

What's better than your March Madness team going on a winning streak? Carolina Traveler VIP subscribers — check your email for FREE tickets to five festivals in 2024! Here's a teaser of what you get to experience at three of the festivals that take place over the course of a year:

April 20: Wine & Food Festival Ballantyne Experience an idyllic afternoon at Ballantyne’s Backyard, cherished by over 100,000 guests in Charlotte. Indulge in culinary delights with renowned chefs showcasing their signature dishes in the Tasting Theater. Savor a plethora of wines, beers, and spirits in an All-You-Care-To-Taste format, accompanied by lively music from ‘Trial By Fire – a tribute to Journey' and ‘Mallow Hill.' Upgrade to the VIP Experience for exclusive perks like access to the Champagne Lounge, extended sampling hours, souvenir items, and VIP amenities. Don't miss this opportunity for a memorable day of food, drinks, and entertainment in a delightful ambiance.

May 18: Charlotte Beer Bourbon & BBQ Return to the beloved setting of Ballantyne’s Backyard for Charlotte’s premier event: the Beer Bourbon & BBQ Festival. This 17th annual celebration promises a true Southern experience, featuring beer, bourbon, barbeque, live music, and more. Admission grants a souvenir glass for unlimited beer and bourbon tastings, with the iconic Shrine of Swine showcasing whole hogs and surprises. VIP Admission offers extended sampling hours, a BBQ Dinner Plate, exclusive lounge access, and live entertainment. Indulge in seminars with industry experts, groove to live bands, and explore a variety of brewerania, hot sauces, and BBQ accessories. Don’t miss out on this day of indulgence and entertainment!

Want in on this culinary March Madness that you can enjoy all year?? There has never been a better time to become a Carolina Traveler VIP subscriber. Subscribe now

Chihuly at Biltmore starts during March Madness

Fun fact: Glass artist Dale Chihuly developed a specific technique for weaving glass threads into his sculpture works.

New at the Biltmore: Purchase Discounted Tickets to the Chihuly Exhibit

Dale Chihuly stands as one of the most accomplished artists of his time due to his groundbreaking innovation and mastery of glass artistry. His bold and imaginative creations push the boundaries of traditional glassblowing techniques, resulting in stunning and larger-than-life sculptures that captivate viewers worldwide.

Chihuly's artistry transcends mere craftsmanship; it embodies a profound sense of creativity, emotion, and wonder. People are drawn to his glass art for its mesmerizing beauty, vibrant colors, and intricate designs, which evoke a sense of awe and fascination. Each piece tells a unique story, reflecting Chihuly's boundless imagination and relentless pursuit of artistic excellence.

Carolina Travelers can now experience the magic of Dale Chihuly's mesmerizing art at Biltmore's intimate gallery setting, Amherst at Deerpark®. This spring brings a specially curated collection of Chihuly's iconic creations to captivate visitors anew. Be among the first to reserve admission tickets and special admission-inclusive overnight packages for this remarkable experience. Don't miss the chance to immerse yourself in the beauty and wonder of Chihuly's world-renowned works, showcased against the backdrop of Biltmore's timeless elegance.

Looking for something extra special? Indulge in an unforgettable evening at the Chihuly at Biltmore Dinner Series, a limited-capacity event destined to sell out swiftly. Begin with an elegant sparkling wine reception, followed by a premium multi-course plated dinner at Deerpark Restaurant. Conclude the night with a private exploration of the exhibition, immersing yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Chihuly's art. Don't miss this exclusive opportunity to savor gourmet cuisine amidst the enchanting ambiance of Biltmore Estate, complemented by the awe-inspiring works of Dale Chihuly. Reserve your seats now for a truly extraordinary dining experience.

Add a visit to the Chihuly Exhibit to your March Madness schedule. It runs from March 25, 2024 to January 5, 2025. Biltmore annual pass holders are eligible to purchase discounted tickets.

Learn more about the Biltmore

Spring is the best time to visit the Biltmore Gardens

The Bunny Hopper Express takes place over Easter Weekend

Bet you've never been on an Easter egg hunt quite like this one!

All Aboard the Bunny Hopper Express! Embark on an Epic Easter Egg Hunt/Train Adventure!

All aboard, folks! We've got some March Madness on wheels for ya…

Get ready for an egg-citing adventure aboard the Bunny Hopper Express Easter Train, coming back to the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad on March 29th and 30th. Departing from the historic Bryson City Depot at 11:00 AM, this 4 and a half-hour round trip special event train will chug through the breathtaking Smoky Mountains to a picturesque layover destination, where Easter-themed activities and an egg hunt await.

Keep your eyes peeled for those mischievous train-hopping bunnies sneaking on board for a free ride! Enjoy an Easter egg hunt with prizes, a giveaway bag filled with activities for the ride, and a tasty Easter treat for our junior railroaders. Don't forget your cameras for plenty of photo ops with our bunny hoppers!

Choose from four ticket options online or by calling the reservations department at (800) 872-4681. Ticket prices start at $59 for Adults (13 and up), $35 for Children (2-12), and complimentary for Infants (23 months and under). Book now for a hopping good time!

Throughout the year, the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad hosts a variety of events for all ages. From themed train rides like the Polar Express and Peanuts Pumpkin Patch Express to special holiday celebrations and wine tasting excursions, there's always something exciting happening aboard the rails. Plus, the scenic train journeys through the Smoky Mountains offer breathtaking views and opportunities for relaxation and adventure.

In Bryson City, NC, there's no shortage of fun activities to enjoy on a day trip. Explore the charming downtown area with its quaint shops, galleries, and restaurants serving up delicious Southern cuisine. Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of nearby hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or go fishing and tubing on the Tuckasegee River. For a dose of history, visit the Smoky Mountain Trains Museum or take a leisurely stroll along the Tuckasegee River Trail. No matter your interests, Bryson City offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, culture, and adventure for a memorable day trip.

Large overland vehicle with a cypress swamp in the background

Overland South 2024 takes place at the Woodland Nature Preserve in Charleston, SC | Photo: Overland South

Overland South: Everything We Know About The Coolest Up-and-coming Festival In The Carolinas

Hey there, fellow off-roaders! Gear up for Overland South, a wild weekend of camping and adventure for all overlanding fanatics at the Woodlands Nature Reserve in Charleston, SC. Whether you roll in with a beastly camper, RV, or tricked-out van, or simply pitch a tent, there's a spot for you in this off-grid paradise!

With 6,000 acres of untamed wilderness, including lakes and 30+ miles of rugged trails, it's time to unleash your inner explorer. Hit the dirt roads and forest paths with your licensed vehicle, bike, or electric mobility device – the choice is yours! Bring your canoe for lake exploration or sign up for a kayak tour of the blackwater swamp with Charleston Kayak Company.

During the day, get hands-on with mushroom foraging, metal forging, combat archery (totally safe!), and more. And when the sun sets, kick back to live acoustic jams courtesy of Organic Music – don't forget your instrument if you've got one! This festival takes place March 22-24, 2024 and is bi-annual, so if you miss camping for some March Madness, there will likely be another opportunity in the fall. Learn more/buy tickets for Overland South

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