North Carolina Bucket List – Let the Adventures Begin

We’ve decided to purchase a house in Charlotte, North Carolina and make it our home. With the help of my readers, I’ve created a North Carolina Bucket List. Unlike my yearly bucket list, I didn’t put a time frame on completing this adventures, but if you know me at all, I’ll most likely complete the list within the year anyway. Once I get an idea in my mind, there’s no stopping me! I figure out how to make it happen, and I go for it. I will create a post and add a link each time I complete one of the items.

If there’s something you think I really should add, I’m still open to suggestions and I will adjust the list if needed. In no particular order, here is my North Carolina Bucket List: 

1. Go to the Dinner Theatre
2. Go on every ride at Carowinds
3. Visit the NC Zoo
4. Attend an event at the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
5. Relax in Freedom Park
6. Experience NASCAR at Charlotte Motor Speedway
7.  Go to the U.S. National Whitewater Center
8. Camp on the beach in Nags Head
9. Stay at The Fearrington House Country Inn
10. Stay at Old Edwards Inn and Spa
11. Find a waterfall while hiking
12. Stay at the Omni
13. Visit the Biltmore Estate (Take the behind-the-scenes tour as suggested by eatwilmington)
14. Drive at least a portion of the Blue Ridge Highway (Suggested by Journeys By JillHonie BriggsRex CrumChampagne VacationsRick Brown, and Kelly Thompson)
15. Attend a performance at the Durham Performing Arts Center (Suggested by ttrodriguez and cordovart)
16.  Attend NC State Fair (Recommended by Jennings thankfully! I can’t believe I almost forget this one.)
17. Scuba dive a sunken German WWII sub off Manteo/Nags Head (Also suggested by Jennings.)
18. See the USS North Carolina in Wilmington (Thanks Mike! I’m sure I’ll add a few more from your suggestions.)
19.  See the NC Symphony play (ideastories)
20. Visit the Lazy 5 Ranch (Thanks for reminding me Jill and theparkersperher)
21. Enroll Athena in a Little Otter Swim School or similar (Although I wouldn’t have thought of this myself, it is one of my favorite suggestions, theparkersperher)

It will take some creative planning to see and do all of these amazing activities by life is meant to be lived to the fullest.

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104 thoughts on “North Carolina Bucket List – Let the Adventures Begin

  1. I’ll be up there beginning of October in Hendersonville… I plan on hiking Mt. Pisgah again and seeing the Biltmore… Might be fun to do together. I’d saying the hike up Mt. pisgah would be lovely with Athena in a baby wrap or back pack!

  2. Thanks for the mention, Lesley! And since I always want to know more, there is a behind-the-scenes tour at the Battleship USS North Carolina that is a fun one, too. We have a “Tourist in your hometown” day every year where all the attractions are free to residents if Wilmington and I always go to the Battleship…something special about that piece of living history!

  3. How about visiting the place near Kitty Hawk, where the Wright brothers first flew? Without them and other pioneer aviators, we wouldn’t be able to fly around the world today like we do.

  4. Don’t miss the ferries! Hatteras/Okracoke is a blast, and a short ride, but the longer mainland/Hatteras ferry (a 2-hour wonder) is really an experience.

  5. There are many nice museums in Charlotte, and if you bank with Bank of America you can visit some of them free the first full weekend of each month (you just need to show your BofA atm or credit card when getting tickets).

    Bentleys on 27 is an upper end restaurant in Uptown on College street on the 27th floor of the Charlotte Plaza building. They have an awesome view from up that high, and if you go at lunch they are not as pricey.

    Although I have never been I hear that Inner Peaks is a good wall climbing facility

    I don’t see visit Charleston on your list. Although in South Carolina it is actually quicker to get to than Wilmington (faster highways). Definitely a very historical city. We had a wonderful historical tour when we visited, can’t recall the compan off the top of my head, but will look it up if you are interested. Plus Carnival Cruises sail out of Charleston so you can visit Bermuda, the Bahamas, etc. :)

    • Some great suggests here; thank you!

      I didn’t know about the museums and I do bank with Bank of America :)

      We’re going to Charleston, only left off of the list because of location, in August for my husband’s birthday. Yet again, I had no idea that Carnival Cruises sail out of there. I’m going to look into it today because I haven’t been to Bermuda yet.

      I look forward to returning and planning my next adventure.

  6. You should also see a performance of the Fayetteville Symphony and go to the Air Borne Special Operations Museum, also in Fayetteville. Good luck on the list North Carolina is a wonderful state. Have live here in Fayetteville since 85. Have a great time.

  7. We moved to NC nine years ago and love, love, love it. We live about an hour from Charlotte. Drive over to the “Tanglewood Festival of Lights.” It takes close to an hour to drive through and it was rated once a top ten thing to do in the south. It is amazing and usually they let you ride your bikes through one night. You have a great list to start and there are so many things to do! Mountains and beaches and the nicest people, once you get out of Charlotte perhaps where all the transplants are, joking! ;) Oh, and watch the night flight of hot air balloons in Statesville, super close to Charlotte.

  8. Yay.. Have fun Lesley.. I know you will love Charlotte as much as we do.. It’s not to big but big enough!! Enjoy and if you have any questions about any places email me!! Also you need to register with charlotte Parent magazine.. They will send you emails once a week of activities to do around Charlotte with the baby!!

  9. I have nothing to suggest, but in general your blog post have great pictures. Wow! If you are the one who shoot most of them, then you take great shots. The fountain pic in this post is currently my desktop wallpaper. Thank you for that :)

  10. If you visit Dupont State Forest near Brevard, you can get two wonderful waterfalls in a single hike. Go a little farther west and you can go through Cullasaja River Gorge and drive behind Bridal Veil Falls.

  11. Lesley, congratulations. North Carolina is a beautiful state. I love it! The western side is my favorite. The waterfalls around Cashiers and Highlands are nice and there are some nice places to stay in that area plus shopping. There is also Hendersonville, Black Rock, Chimney Rock Park area, Grandfather Mountain – don’t forget the Highland Games (I’ve never been though)…these are just some of the places I enjoy. And, then there is the Great Smoky National Park which I can’t stay away from. Hope your move to Charlotte is spectacular. You will have the best on all sides. Oh, and the Biltmore at Christmas is something I have always wanted to attend. Good luck!

  12. I agree with the Belle Chere festival in Asheville. And eat at the Mast Farm Inn near Boone, NC. Go to the top of Grandfather Mountain. Eat pizza at Pepper’s in downtown Chapel Hill. Watch the hang gliders at Jockey’s Ridge. Enjoy. North Carolina is an amazing state.

  13. If you visit Charlotte Speedway, why not get strapped in for a NASCAR passenger ride on the track? They also let you run your own car, if it has the speed to hold a 50 degree bank!

  14. For when you want a weekend away — and if either of you two is into golf at all — I recommend a place called Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club/Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club in Southern Pines, NC. We used to go on memorable group trips there — I don’t play golf but there was plenty for both golfers and non-golfers to do. Great food and beautiful surroundings.

  15. You will have such a great time! There are so many things I’ve yet to do in North Carolina. My husband and I drove so much of the Southern portion so last summer we drove to the NC/ Virginia border. We went along a different part of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Great Post!

  16. North Carolina is my dream state. My goodness! What a great place to settle down! I am in love with Wilmington! Make it there and to the beaches in that area! Absolutely quiet and beautiful!

  17. I hope you will get your dream house, Its just lovely with people that follows there dreams. Ohh dont forget to ride a horse.

    Hugs from Tini Tut and Casillero Del Diablo

  18. After you “liked” my post “Big Fish Big Fun” the other day, I was looking through your site here today and of course found this post. I’m relatively new to blogging, just over a year, and would love the opportunity to be used as a means to bless someone’s life in some way, through my notes to my children. This particular post of yours was awesome, and it touches the same theme I wrote about just today. I’d love for you to read it and share it if you don’t mind. Thanks so much!

  19. I went to North Carolina in June, and the Biltmore and Blue Ridge Parkway are AWESOME. Go to the Tupelo Honey Cafe in Asheville, too! The sweet potato pancakes are crazy!

  20. anything and everything in wilmington, nc — it has been one of my favorite places to live. Wrightsville beach is beautiful, enjoy a peaceful stay there.
    DEFINITELY visit Airlie Gardens in Wilmington is so beautiful.
    good eat spots: front street brewery, mama fu’s, sweet n savory, flaming amy’s, bluewater, and the oceanic.
    ALSO on the opposite side of the state, check out Asheville, it is so beautiful! My favorite eat spot over there is Doc Chey’s (i think thats how it was spelled…haha)
    I cannot tell you how jealous I am that you’re moving to NC :) I miss it dearly

  21. Lesley, I love reading this blog as often as I can. Favorite quote: “Once I get an idea in my mind, there’s no stopping me! I figure out how to make it happen, and I go for it.” Samesies :)

  22. If you’re in NC, even if you don’t like basketball, catching a Duke-Carolina game needs to be on the list (at Cameron Indoor preferably, but either site is worth it).

  23. I didn’t see this one on your list, but I think you should check out the Fayetteville Jazz Funeral and Zombie Walk. There’s also one in Charlotte,, but I think the one in Fayetteville is the epicenter of the zombie walk events:
    or .

    Either way, keep us posted on your adventures! I always look forward to reading about the places you go and the things you find when you get there.

  24. North Carolina is a beautiful state. I’ve been through there a few times on the way to Florida. I also love this bucket list you have. My own is much less ambitious travel-wise, but they’re a good thing to have. Thanks for liking a post on my blog, by the way.

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