I’m not a bucket lister, really. I live in the moment. I’m thrilled at the things I’ve done in life but never want to hold myself to a list that will probably change over time. And I don’t want to have a list that reminds me to live or else feel full of regret.
When I was in college, if I had made a bucket list, it would have included bungee jumping and skydiving – two things that have not crossed my mind in over a decade. The reason? I have abso-frick-lutely no desire to do either of them anymore. So it’s safe to say that as we get older, as we mature, as we grow fearful or complacent or simply change our minds, what we want to get out of life changes.
One of my passions that has never changed or faltered is traveling. I love to travel and completely explore new places. Thank goodness I married a man that feels the exact same way. We love to shop the shops, eat the local food, and even spend time wandering around grocery stores (the ultimate slice of life, in our opinion).
But when you live someplace, you forget to look at your surroundings with the traveler’s eye. Now that we know we are leaving North Carolina (side note: my husband has a new job in the Washington, DC area and we are in the process of planning a move), I can’t help but look around and think of all the things I’ll miss. I can’t take my house, my yard, my friends with me. But I can take memories.
Although I’ve explored a pretty good portion of the state, there’s still just a little bit more that I want to do (or do again). It’s not like I’ll never be in this state ever again but I want to make some plans to enjoy just a little bit of family travel before I relocate.
Our Last Minute North Carolina Bucket List
Here’s what I want to do (in no particular order):
- Head to Boone for the scenery and a trip to the Tweetsie Railroad and Grandfather Mountain
- Drive to Wilmington for the day for a tour of the battleship USS North Carolina and a lovely seafood lunch on the water
- Take a walk through the outdoor sculpture park at the North Carolina Museum of Art
- Go for a ride on the New Hope Valley Railway
- Spend the weekend in Asheville touring the Biltmore Estate and enjoying the Inn on Biltmore
- Take my husband to lunch at the Umstead
- Spend the day at the Fort Fisher Aquarium
- Head out to Kernersville to see the wacky old Körner’s Folly
- Walk around Old Salem in Winston-Salem
- Take a long weekend at the Outer Banks showing my son the Wright Brothers memorial and head to the Cape Hatteras lighthouse
- Visit the North Carolina Zoo (for about the 134th time) and stop at Johnson’s Burgers for, well, a burger
- Take a tour of the RagApple Lassie Vineyards and enjoy a few samples 😉
- Pick some strawberries from a local farm
In other words, I want to keep us busy! We are working hard to get our house ready to sell (which is A LOT of work) but as my husband put it, we want to put the F back in FUN. And of course, I’ll share with you.
And for you fellow tarheels, what other must-sees for family travel and fun have I left off my list? What would you put on a North Carolina bucket list?
How about Discovery Place and the Disco Chicken in Charlotte?
I was thinking that Charlotte was missing from my list but I couldn’t think of a *single* reason to go. Now I found one 😉
Boone is amazing. You will love it! Grandfather Mountain is so beautiful!
I’ve been to Boone and Grandfather Mountain more times that I can count. But I want to go again and make sure my son enjoys and remembers it!!
We are doing Tweetsie in June for Day Out with Thomas! Hubbs went to Tweetsie as a boy, so it will be cool for him to take his own son.
He also constantly mentions a weekend in OBX!
We’ve done the Wilmington thing. Love that little city!
I too want to spend a night at the Inn on Biltmore. We’ve gone but not stayed on property.
I guess we are well on our way, even if we don’t become official NC residents!
We went to Tweetsie 2 years ago and got totally rained out. And Evan doesn’t remember a thing anyway. I just won a family 4 pack of tickets! Sean and I went to OBX once and I LOVED it. Dying to go back. Wilmington? Hitting that tomorrow. And I won a night at the Inn on Biltmore. So if I can find the time, I think I can cover the list!
You are the winning-est person I know. You have Charlie Sheen beat, winning!
Don’t miss Frying Pan Shoals on Bald Head Island before you go! While at Grandfather, make sure to stop by Linville Falls and the falls in Brevard when you head to Asheville. Good luck with your move, and enjoy your NC travels before you go…sounds like fun!
Thanks, Beverly. I’ve never actually been to Bald Head Island so I need to put that on my list. Also, I LOVE Linville Falls. Been there many times but never hit Brevard. Will try to make it!
wow this is an awesome idea. I have not been able to afford a vacation for some time now, but I could make a list of things here in Kansas CIty that I have never done and take a little local vacation!
I might even do a post on it! If it is ok with you that I steal this idea?
that is all
Oh please do!!! I used to travel for work and I would spend extra weekends if I could so I could explore a new city. I would talk to my clients and knew more about their city than they did!
The Biltmore Estate is so beautiful! You definitely have to go for a visit.
I’ve actually been to Biltmore tons of times. I just want to go again!!
Love this idea! We have lived outside of Boston for 6 years now (very close to Providence) and have hardly done anything. You just get so caught up in the day to day living that you forget about all the cool things to do in your backyard.
We lived in Wilmington for several years and I heart that city. Lunch on the river sounds lovely right now!
You’ll be happy to know that we’re heading to Wilmington in the morning so we can scratch that off our list! And yes, it’s so important to enjoy what your own city has to offer. Boston rocks!!
You really do need to come up to Boone!
If you go to Grandfather Mountain, stop in Blowing Rock on your way back. It’s a cute little town. When you’re in the Outer Banks, make sure to go to Jockey’s Ridge and climb the dunes — early evening just before sundown is best so you can watch it go down. Your son will love it. Also? Spend a little time in Manteo on Roanoke Island just before crossing the bridge to Nag’s Head. Another cute little town with a great ice cream parlor.
Every time we go visit my husband’s family in NC we come home and start looking for properties out there. I have a feeling we’ll end up there some day, but who knows!
For a half-day trip you can explore some of the Civil War-era stuff in Durham. There’s the Tobacco Museum, Bennett Place and further north there’s Historic Stagville. Fascinating stuff if you’re into history.
…I think I might have posted about those in the past (if those weren’t a part of the archives I accidentally deleted. *checks* YES. THOSE WERE POSTS THAT WERE DELETED. Must re-write.)
[…] pretty proud of myself. I’m actually working my way through my North Carolina bucket list. Okay, I’ve done two of the things on the list. But considering I only have 13 things on my […]
Oooh! Counter Culture Coffee. They have super-cool tastings on Fridays, I think. And it’s in Durham! http://counterculturecoffee.com/education/coffee-cupping
That’s on my NC bucket list.
Ooh. I’ve never heard of that! Personally, I hate coffee but my husband
loves it and that sounds like a really cool idea!
Eat Lexington-style barbeque!
[…] slowly trying to make it through my North Carolina bucket list and I’m not doing very well. I expected to run out of time. I expected that we would sell our […]