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What to do with a weekend in North Carolina

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There’s so much to see, do and eat with a weekend in North Carolina. Here’s what you can’t miss.

Two weekends ago, my niece flew from Utah to North Carolina for a visit. For her high school graduation gift, I surprised her with trip to spend the weekend in North Carolina. 🙂 She’d never been to the East Cost and I was so excited to have her visit!

A fun filled weekend in North Carolina

We started her weekend in Winston-Salem, then headed to Asheville, followed by Boone and Blowing Rock before ending back up in Winston. We fit in a lot but it never felt too rushed.

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On her first night, we introduced her to the best of Southern food at Mozelle’s – fried pickles, roasted okra, tomato pie, collards, meatloaf and coconut cream pie. It was SUCH a good dinner, per usual there.

mozelles winston salem

A Day Trip to the Biltmore in Asheville

She slept in a bit on Friday (thankfully) while I caught up on some work and then we headed to Asheville! We went through the Biltmore House, which is amazing, and then we walk through the gardens which were the prettiest I’d EVER seen them.

similar jumpsuit 1, 2, 3 | sandals (so comfy with my plantar fasciitis!)

The Biltmore had a Chihuly exhibit  (which I actually didn’t even know about until Brinn’s mom told me!) and it was gorgeous as the sun was setting! (We didn’t stay for the Chihuly at night stuff since we were driving to Boone that evening.) I really think it’s a toss up if I like the Biltmore more in the summer to see the gardens or in the winter to see the Christmas decorations!


It was fun exploring the gardens with Brinn since she wants to open her own landscaping company or nursery when she graduates.  She knew was every single plant was that we saw. It was incredible!

It was a gorgeous afternoon – and we lucked out with the rain. It was POURING (like, scary to drive in POURING) on our way to the Biltmore but it stopped just in time for us to explore. We only had a few sprinkles while we were in the gardens!

We left the Biltmore about 7 and headed to Boone. We took some serious backroads to get there and stopped at a gas station for a potty break and water. Can we please talk about this still-operating gas pump?!?! It was in the middle of nowhere with old men sitting out front on rocking chairs. Even after living in North Carolina for 10 years, I’m still blown away by some of the towns and how they feel like a set from a movie.

A Day Trip to Blowing Rock & Boone

And the next morning, we woke up to this glorious sunrise at Tommy’s parents’ house in Boone, North Carolina.

boone sunrise

After breakfast at Sunny Rock, we headed to the Glen Burney Trail in Blowing Rock. It’s short, easy trail – about a mile each way – which is perfect when you don’t have a ton of time but want to explore. And in the winter, the views are AMAZING.

After hiking, we wandered around Blowing Rock for a bit before grabbing lunch at Foggy Rock. (See more of my Blowing Rock and Boone restaurant and hiking recommendations here!)

Then we headed to the Valle Crucis Mast General Store and ended the day with the most amazing sunset hike at Rough Ridge.

A day in Winston-Salem

We spend Brinn’s last day in Winston, exploring the Reynolda House (which I think local people need to take advantage of more!), the Reynolda Gardens and Old Salem.

And, of course, I had to take her to Village Juice. Their new downtown location is beautiful!!

And we ended the day by taking in some city views around Bailey Park. It made me a little nostalgic for when I lived downtown!

It was such a perfect weekend and I’m so grateful I got to spend time with Brinn. She’s so mature, ambitious, smart and kind.

J.crew dress (on sale for $29!)

What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend in North Carolina?

Did you go on a high school graduation trip? If so, where did you go?

I was the luckiest kid in the world and went to Hawaii. I got a plane ticket for $300 and split a house with 6 friends + a couple adults for supervision. 🙂 It was amazing!

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    9 responses to “What to do with a weekend in North Carolina”

    1. I used to live in West End and worked at Reynolda. I’m super nostalgic now 🙁

    2. Great gift idea and thank you for sharing the fun Teri! I’ve never had tomato pie. Am I seriously missing out? I love seeing the local sites and cuisine. Did you introduce her to Beautycounter?

    3. I went on a college graduation trip. I’m Greek and had never been to Greece. My parents sent me to Greece and I island hopped for 10 weeks with 3 of my first cousins – who I had never met before but luckily we were BFFs at first sight, lol!

    4. I went with some friends to an all-inclusive in Cuba for my high school graduation. Since then, I’ve found that trips for gifts has been my favourite thing. When I turned 25 my mom and I went to New Orleans, when I turned 27 my boyfriend took me to the Dominican to escape the Canadian winter, and now I’m taking my boyfriend to the East Coast of Canada for his birthday in just a few days.

    5. Trips are the best gift. when my middle son graduated from college and my youngest from HS the same year, I sent all 3 sons to Europe (the oldest was the chaperone) for as long as they could afford to stay (all summer, because they stayed with a friend). They still tell stories about that trip! 🙂

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