We found a activity that literally will have you bouncing as you shake off the remnants of winter with these 6 spring day trips across the Carolinas.
Our featured spring day trips mostly feature things to do outdoors, as you and your family have likely been biding your time for the remnants of winter to finally dissipate. Traipse through blossoming gardens and wade through gentle waters. See the sunshine and feel (the effects of) the moonshine at one of these six day trips, sure to keep the best of Carolina in your mind from March through May.
Paddle your way through a NC Piedmont day trip
What better way to celebrate the return of spring than to launch a kayak out on the tranquil waters of the Piedmont? With their kayak season opening in mid-April, the Burlington Recreation & Parks Outdoor Programs offers private small-group guided tours by appointment, which you can customize depending on your group’s skill level. SOAR – the Senior Outdoor Adventure Recreation program – is an offshoot of the Burlington Parks & Rec Department, providing engaging outdoor activities for adults ages 55 and up. Click here to download the forms required for SOAR membership, then get ready to soak in the serenity of Mackintosh Lake.
A monumental day trip to the NC Sandhills
While Veterans Day is months away, we think spring is the perfect time to enjoy the beauty of the North Carolina Veterans Park in Fayetteville – the first state park dedicated to military veterans. View the Service Ribbon Wall made from fused glass, symbolic of every service medal awarded since the Civil War, as well as a majestic chandelier constructed from over 30,000 “dog tags.” At the Story Garden, touch different buttons to hear veterans share accounts of their military experiences. Towering dioramas, motion simulators, and other relics await at the Airborne & Special Operations Museum, just next door. Pristine natural elements like flower gardens and reflection pools interspersed throughout the park help bring together the theme of rebirth and healing that the park was designed to cultivate. Admission is free. Explore other Fayetteville military attractions.
Outer Banks wildlife
The Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge sprawls across the northern end of Hatteras Island, flanked by sand dunes and saltwater marshes. Over 370 species call this sanctuary home, including loggerhead sea turtles, bald eagles, and tundra swans. Hike along the North Pond Wildlife Trail to catch a glimpse of spring inhabitants, or push your canoe off from the New Inlet Boat Ramp to venture deeper into the refuge. Fishing on the pier is free (you'll need a license, though), or you can walk along the quiet beach, where sandbars emerge at low tide to lead you to a treasure trove of shells. If you're looking for something a little different, try to see the famous wild horses of the Outer Banks.
Legal fun in the SC Upstate
Make the day trip to Chattooga Belle Farm in Long Creek for an adventure that will check all of your boxes. If you’re feeling sporty, a round of disc golf set against the Blue Ridge Mountains is a great way to whet your appetite for later indulgences. Enjoy whiskey, moonshine, and vodka tastings at the Farm Distillery – Oconee County’s first legal distillery – where staff grows and ferments fruit, then distills, bottles, and labels concoctions on site. Shop for gifts like canned preserves, grass-fed Black Angus beef cuts, and 53-gallon whiskey barrels at the adjacent general store. You’ll find many of Chattooga Belle’s produce – peaches, apples, grapes, and even paw-paws – as the star ingredients of farm-fresh meals prepared at Belle’s Bistro.
If Myrtle Beach is in your plans, check out our list of the 8 best things to do in Myrtle Beach!
Hit the bullseye in the Lowcountry
The Red Bluff Lodge in Allendale is your go-to full-service shooting and hunting day-trip destination. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to shoot a firearm, you can obtain your Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP) on-site. Gain proficiency at one of four public shooting ranges, or if you’re more experienced, set out to pursue hogs, alligators, and turkey (all within season) on the 4,000-acre tract of land. If your party comprises folks less interested in shooting, other outdoor activities like mountain biking, kayaking, and embarking on naturalist tours are sure to hit their bullseye.
Bounce the day trip away in the SC Midlands
While North Carolina may be “first in flight,” the Flight Adventure Park in Columbia, SC, might offer the next best thing! The 4,000-square-foot laser tag arena and Ninja warrior course are the perfect options for thrill-seeking family members, with the latter featuring obstacles like swinging rings, hanging silks, and elevated monkey bars. Younger ones with the same level of enthusiasm will have a blast at the inflatable obstacle course, wall-to-wall trampoline room, and squishy foam pit. Don’t miss out on the arcade or roller rinks, where you and your friends can skate along to the best hits of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. It’s all too easy to spend the entire day here!