11 Weekend Getaways from Fort Liberty for Military Families

Pictures that make orders to Fort Bragg look good: view from underneath the pier at Wilmington, NC.

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Stationed in North Carolina and looking to get out of town? These weekend getaways from Fort Liberty are only 2 to 6 hours away.

North Carolina is a beautiful state. 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!

In our 3 years stationed there, we took several fun trips. There were several more that I wanted to do but didn’t have the time (or money) for.

So, if you’re looking for fun weekend getaways from Fort Liberty, here are 11 great ideas!

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Asheville, NC

Drive Time = 4 hours

We loved the Asheville area so much that we ended up taking 2 trips there!

Both times we were camping. I found the most perfect KOA campground and we just couldn’t get enough of the beautiful mountain views!

During our fall camping trip, we picked apples, saw the leaves change colors in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and hiked to some beautiful cascades. Our summer camping trip was filled with lots of swimming, sliding down a waterfall, and bike riding.

There are so many fun things to do in the mountains of North Carolina. There’s never a bad time to visit making it a perfect weekend getaway from Fort Liberty.

Some things you might like to add to your intinerary:

Asheville KOA East is close to the waterfalls in the Pisgah National Forest.
(Looking Glass Falls is spectacular in every season!)
Asheville KOA East is an easy drive away from the apple orchards in Henderson County.
(We had way too much fun picking our own apples!)

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 Liberty.

For years, I had read nearly all of Nicholas Sparks’ books and watched the movies. 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. 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
Pictures that make orders to Fort Bragg in North Carolina look good: the Bodie Island Lighthouse in the Outer Banks.
(If you didn’t see a lighthouse, did you even visit the Outer Banks?)

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:

Things to do at Sugar Mountain: Go skiing!
(I wasn’t brave enough to try skiing, but I liked watching.)

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Wilmington, NC

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 was 2020 and the pandemic really restricted what we were able to do.

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:

Pictures that make orders to Fort Bragg look good: view from underneath the pier at Wilmington, NC.
(You can’t go to Wilmington without a trip to the beach.)
Finding Venus Flytraps at Carolina Beach State Park.
(Finding wild Venus Flytraps was difficult, but fun!)

Charlotte, NC

Drive Time = 2 hours 35 minutes

We only made it over to Charlotte once in our whole time stationed at Fort Liberty. 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
27 pictures that make Fort Bragg look good: The metalmorphosis sculpture in Charlotte, NC.
(We did make time to see the Metalmorphasis sculpture in Charlotte!)

Washington D.C

Drive Time = 5 hours 26 minutes

My husband did a rotation that lasted a couple of months at Fort Belvoir in Virginia.

The girls and I drove up on long weekends to see him. And of course, we had to explore Washington D.C while we were there.

We also took a family vacation with my mom to Washington D.C. 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.

We spent our days there seeing all the monuments in the National Mall, visiting Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and seeing the famous cherry blossoms.

I highly recommend Washington D.C. as one of your weekend getaways from Fort Liberty.

Little girl at the Vietnam Wall in Washington D.C.
(Seeing the Vietnam Wall at the National Mall.)
The Washington Memorial in Washington D.C.
(The Washington Monument is spectacular at sunset!)

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Myrtle Beach, SC

Drive Time = 2 hours 25 minutes

Unfortunately, this is one trip that we did not do during our time at Fort Liberty.

The kids asked multiple times to go on a trip to Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. This is where a lot of their friends at school vacationed with their families. And it’s one of the most popular weekend getaways from Fort Liberty.

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
Weekend Getaways from Fort Liberty Myrtle Beach
(This photo is courtesy of Busy Tourist, along with a list of things to do at Myrtle Beach.)

Savannah, GA

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
Weekend Getaways from Fort Liberty, NC: Savannah, GA
(We enjoyed our riverboat cruise, even on this gray, rainy day.)
Weekend Getaways from Fort Liberty: Savannah, GA
(Exploring River Street)

Charlottesville, VA

Drive Time = 4 hours 13 minutes

One of our most memorable trips during our time at Fort Liberty was glamping at Shenandoah Crossing.

From there we were able to explore the surrounding areas, including Charlottesville, Virginia. Where we toured Thomas Jefferson’s historic home and ate some great BBQ.

Here are some things to do in Charlottesville:

  • visit a winery
  • do the Charlottesville Scavenger Hunt
  • visit Monticello
  • pick apples at the Carter Mountain Orchard
  • shop at the Historic Downtown Mall
  • tour the University of Virginia

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Williamsburg, VA

Drive Time = 3 hours 47 minutes

This is definitely one trip that I regret not taking while we were at Fort Liberty.

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
Weekend getaways from Fort Liberty: Colonial Williamsburg, VA
(This picture is courtesy of Trip Advisor.)

Pigeon Forge, TN

Drive Time = 5 hours 39 minutes

We had one jam-packed fun weekend in Pigeon Forge during our time at Fort Liberty. And I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

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:

girls posing at overlook in the Smoky Mountain National Park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
(Pigeon Forge circa 2017.)
Dollywood Theme Park in Pigeon Forge, TN.
(Pigeon Forge circa 2022.)

Even though we enjoyed our time there, sometimes getting out of town was much needed. These weekend getaways from Fort Liberty helped us keep our sanity in this often stressful military life.

Plus, we had a ton of fun and made many sweet memories along the way!

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