Stationed in North Carolina and looking to get out of town? These overnight trips from Fort Bragg are only 2 to 6 hours away!
I feel like I’m going to get hate for this, but Fort Bragg has been our favorite duty station…so far!
North Carolina is a beautiful state and from the mountains to the beach, there is so much to see and do. I even made a HUGE list of more than 140 things to do while we were there! (You can see our Fort Bragg and North Carolina Bucket List here.)
In our 3 years there, we took several fun trips! And honestly, there were several more that I wanted to do, but didn’t have the time (or money).
So, if you’re looking for fun overnight trips from Fort Bragg, here are 11 great ideas!
Drive Time = 4 hours
We loved the Asheville area so much that we ended up taking 2 trips there!
Both times that we were in Asheville we went camping. I found the most perfect KOA campground there and we just couldn’t get enough of the beautiful mountain views!
During our fall camping trip, we picked apples from a beautiful orchard, took in the colorful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and chased waterfalls.
And our summer camping trip was filled with lots of swimming, sliding down a waterfall, hiking, and bike riding.
There’s so much to do in the mountains of North Carolina, there’s never a bad time to visit! This beautiful area is definitely worth at least 2 overnight trips from Fort Bragg.
see Looking Glass Falls
- visit Craggy Gardens
- swim at Paradise Falls in the Nantahala National Forest
pick your own apples
- visit the Biltmore Estate
experience Mystery Hill (Blowing Rock) go down sliding rock (Pigsah Forest)
Outer Banks, NC
Drive Time = 4 hours 15 minutes
A visit to the Outer Banks was one of the things I was MOST excited about when we first got orders to Fort Bragg.
For years, I had read nearly all of Nicholas Sparks’ books and watched the movies and I couldn’t wait to see this magical setting in real life.
Sadly, we were only able to take 1 trip to the Outer Banks while we were there. And while it was a wonderful trip, there was no way to squeeze in everything that I wanted to see and do in just a few days.
If I could go back, I would make the time to see the wild horses and visit more of the northern portions of the Outer Banks.
This is a trip that could be enjoyed by the whole family or as just a couples’ trip. I recommend doing both, so that you can do all of this:
sled down Jockey’s Ridge sand dunes see a lighthouse
- take the Nicholas Sparks Tour
- see the wild horses in Corolla
visit Kitty Hawk and see the Wright Brother’s Memorial see the Roanoke settlement site
- visit the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum
- Hunt for shark’s teeth at Nag’s Head
- see the site of Blackbeard’s last stand on Ocracroke
Sugar Mountain, NC
Drive Time = 3 hours 42 minutes
For our last Spring Break in North Carolina, we took a trip to Sugar Mountain.
We had so much fun playing in the snow, watching the skiers, shopping, and chasing waterfalls. We also stopped at Mystery Hill in Boone, which the kids LOVED!
Like all of the other trips we’ve taken, we ran out of time to do everything, but I would gladly go back to finish the list.
If you head to Sugar Mountain, you might want to:
play in the snow
- go to Grandfather Mountain State Park
- try gem mining
visit Mystery Hill hike to Otter Falls
- go trout fishing
shop at Mast General Store
- visit Linville Caverns
- go to Apple Hill Farm (an Alpaca farm)
Drive Time = 2 hours
Our trip to Wilmington during our last summer in North Carolina was less than spectacular.
Not because it’s not an amazing place, but it just happened to be 2020 and the pandemic had a lot of things restricted.
We were still able to enjoy plenty of outdoor activities including hunting for sea shells on the beach and finding wild Venus fly traps!
I would love to go back to Wilmington one day to see what the city is like without a pandemic in progress.
Some things to do in Wilmington, North Carolina:
find wild Venus Flytraps
- see the Shag Contest at the Azalea Festival
see the Battleship USS North Carolina
- visit Airlie Gardens
go shopping at the Cotton Exchange spend the day at Carolina Beach
- take a stroll along the River Walk
see the mermaids at the NC Aquarium visit Fort Fisher
- take a ride on the Henrietta III Riverboat
Drive Time = 2 hours 35 minutes
We only made it over to Charlotte once in our whole time stationed at Fort Bragg. And that time it was specifically for a visit to the American Girl Store for our daughter’s birthday.
But this is such an awesome city with so many things to do and see. I wish we could have gone back to enjoy some of the amazing things to do there, such as:
visit the American Girl Store
- hang out at The Green
- take the kids to Discovery Place
- go to the Children’s Theatre/Imaginon
- visit the Sea Life Aquarium
see the Metalmorphasis sculpture
- go to Carowinds Amusement Park
- play at Ray’s Splash Planet
Drive Time = 5 hours 26 minutes
My husband did a rotation that lasted a couple of months at Fort Belvoir while we were stationed at Fort Bragg.
So, we drove up on long weekends to see him. And of course, we had to explore Washington D.C while we were there.
Then we took a family vacation with my mom to Washington D.C too. There’s no telling if we’ll ever be this close to the nation’s capital again, so we took advantage of it while we could.
I highly recommend Washington D.C as one of your overnight trips from Fort Bragg while you are there!
tour the U.S Capitol building
- go to the top of the Washington Monument
find Kilroy at the WWII Memorial visit Arlington National Cemetery
- go to the International Spy Museum
see all the monuments at the National Mall see the cherry blossoms
Myrtle Beach, SC
Drive Time = 2 hours 25 minutes
Unfortunately, this is one trip that we did not do during our time in North Carolina.
My kids asked me multiple times to go on a trip to Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. Apparently, this is where a lot of their friends at school went on vacation with their families. And it’s one of the more popular overnight trips from Fort Bragg for military families.
We just couldn’t find the time or money to fit in this trip before we left. But if we did go, we would be sure to check out these things:
- ride the SkyWheel
- visit Ripley’s Aquarium
- see a show at Broadway at the Beach
- hang out on the beach
- take a carriage tour to Charleston
Drive Time = 4 hours 8 minutes
One of our first trips after we arrived in North Carolina was to meet our family in Savannah, Georgia for a weekend to celebrate our daughter’s birthday.
We had so much fun exploring this beautiful city and would go back in a heartbeat!
You might want to check out these things
take a riverboat cruise
- go on a walking ghost tour
- visit Tybee Island
- see the Bonaventure Cemetery
explore River Street
- see the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
- visit Forsyth Park
Drive Time = 4 hours 13 minutes
One of our most memorable trips during our time at Fort Bragg was to Shenandoah Crossing where we stayed in a yurt!
From there we were able to explore the surrounding areas, including Charlottesville, Virginia.
We loved touring Thomas Jefferson’s historic home, Monticello, and eating some great BBQ.
Here are some things to do in Charlottesville:
- visit a winery
- do the Charlottesville Scavenger Hunt
- pick apples at the Carter Mountain Orchard
- shop at the Historic Downtown Mall
- tour the University of Virginia
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Drive Time = 3 hours 47 minutes
This is definitely one trip that I regret not taking while we were at Fort Bragg.
My husband and I are both history nerds and would have loved visiting this colonial treasure! There is so much to see and learn in Williamsburg.
If I could go, I wouldn’t want to miss these:
- see Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown
- see the Governor’s Palace
- do the ghosts, witches, and pirates tour
- go to the American Revolution Museum
- take the kids to Busch Gardens
- visit the Jamestown Glass House
Pigeon Forge, TN
Drive Time = 5 hours 39 minutes
We had one jam-packed fun weekend in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee during our time at Fort Bragg. And I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
And we’ve even visited the area again since we’ve been stationed in Texas! That’s how much fun it is!
This town is definitely family-friendly, as there is so much to do with kids there. You don’t want to miss out on these things:
ride the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel at the Island visit Goats on the Roof ride a mountain coaster drive through the Smoky Mountains National Park
- go on a hike
spend a day at Dollywood share a meal at the Old Mill visit Smoky Mountains Knife Works
Even though we enjoyed our years there, sometimes getting out of town was much needed. These overnight trips from Fort Bragg helped us keep our sanity in this often stressful military life.
And we had a ton of fun and made many sweet memories along the way!