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Known for its thriving urban centers, golden sandy coastline with Outer Banks Beaches, Great Smoky Mountains, and countless family attractions, North Carolina is a gem of a destination overflowing with unique offerings.
It’s an excellent destination choice for a family vacation at any time of the year. Whether you’ll be visiting the Old North State with your family, friends, kids, or as a couple, there’s a little bit of something for everyone to enjoy here! Whether you’re a city dweller, a beach bum, a nature enthusiast, or a culture junkie, we know you’ll find something to love in this charming southern state.
The breathtaking Biltmore Estate is one of the top North Carolina attractions for families. Kids and adults of all ages will find something to explore and enjoy during a visit here.
The Biltmore Estate is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville, North Carolina. It was originally built by George Vanderbilt in 1895. The estate sits on over 8,000 acres of land and the mansion houses over 250 rooms! You can easily spend the entire day exploring the massive space, which also includes extensive gardens, a winery, and an array of activity options.
The rooms of the mansion are filled with authentic and original furnishings, clothing, art, and antiques. Do a guided tour of the house to learn about its history as well as the people who once inhabited the estate. A guided tour takes around 90 minutes to complete. Doing an audio tour is also a popular option.
Explore the outdoor gardens and walking trails around the estate where you’ll find stunningly landscaped garden areas as well as a walking path that follows along the French Broad River. Hike through dense forests and tranquil meadows! It's a wonderful opportunity to spend some time close to nature! Be sure to stop by the Biltmore Rose Garden where you can see a collection of roses from all over the world with over 250 rose varieties! There’s also an enchanting azalea garden which you can stroll through.
Are you a wine lover? Don’t miss out on the opportunity to stop by the estate’s very own private winery! Biltmore Estate Winery offers an exclusive selection of top-rated wines. You can taste them all in the tasting room under the guidance of one of their professional and knowledgeable staff members. After the tasting, you can enjoy a glass on the outdoor patio area with stunning views of the estate. Don’t forget to purchase some bottles to bring back home with you!
While you’re here, you can also rent bikes to go for a ride along the extensive biking trails, visit a mini village, and spot deer in the deer park. A visit to The Biltmore Estate is one of the most fun things to do in North Carolina, especially for families with kids!
Spend some time close to nature with your family in a leafy open space filled with shady trees and air so fresh you’ll want to drink it. Pisgah National Forest is often referred to as the Grand Canyon of the East, mainly because of its sprawling size. The 500,000-acre national state park boasts dense hardwood forests, mile-high mountain peaks, rushing rivers, cascading waterfalls, and endless walking trails.
Set in western North Carolina, Pisgah National Forest offers a myriad of activities for all types of visitors to enjoy. Whether you’ll be visiting as a family with young children, with friends, or as a couple, you’ll be sure to find the perfect activities here to make your day. With plenty of kid-friendly trails, breathtaking waterfalls, and stunning overlooks, a visit to Pisgah National Forest is truly one of the best things to do with kids in North Carolina!
For a fun and easy activity during your visit to the forest, head over to Looking Glass Falls. Set right off the main road, these falls are incredibly easy to access, making it ideal for families with younger children. There’s even a natural pool at the bottom which you can go swimming in when the weather is hot, so be sure to bring your bathing suit if you’ll be visiting during the summer!
If you’re seeking breathtaking views, then look no further. Looking Glass Rock Overlook offers stunning views of Looking Grass Rock and the surrounding mountains. It is conveniently located on the main road, making it the perfect overlook point for families with children. It’s also the location of a trailhead that leads to a nearby waterfall called Skinny Dip Falls. Be sure to bring your bathing suit to swim in the swimming hole!
A family visit to Pisgah National Forest is one of the most fun things to do in North Carolina, especially for nature lovers and families with kids. Spend the day hiking, soaking up beautiful views, chasing waterfalls, and going for refreshing swims!
If the weather is hot and you’re looking for things to do in North Carolina, grab your pool towels and bathing suits and head over to Wet ’n Wild Emerald Pointe. It’s one of the top water parks in the Carolinas and offers 40+ water rides and attractions as well as endless fun for visitors of all ages!
You’ll have a blast alongside your family members on all the thrilling rides and water slides! Test your bravery on Tropical Drops, where you’ll shoot down a slide into a refreshing pool of water. Twist and turn down the 350-foot-long Twin Twisters slides. Glide down the half-pipe slide The Edge, where you’ll fall up and down and up again. Plummet down the Dragon’s Den on a double-person raft with a friend or a sibling, or slip and slide on a triple-person raft down a 600-foot-long flume on Runaway Raft Ride.
For a soakin’ good time, head over to the Soak Zone, a 7,000-square-foot interactive area filled with fun water attractions. Explore over 35 different splash zones, jungle-gym features, and shaded areas! Get sprayed and stand under waterfalls. Soak Zone offers fun for kids and adults of all ages.
Want to ride a wave? Head over to the enormous Thunder Bay, a two-million-gallon wave pool with 84-foot-wide waves! Kids and adults alike can splash into the waves for endless laughs and fun. Walk the plant at Shipwreck Cove, where you can climb aboard the bow of a sunken pirate ship. For extra splashes, head over to Splash Island for some family-friendly fun. Kids can enjoy a mini wave pool, a volcano with two water slides, and other splashin’ play elements!
Stay cool in a private cabana, which you can rent for the day and utilize whenever you want a break from all the fun and attractions. There are numerous cabana options available in different locations around the park, and each one includes different perks. All cabanas include chairs, a shaded area, loungers, and a table. Be aware that cabana reservations must be made 24 hours before your visit.
Between all the fun and excitement, you’ll be sure to work up an appetite during your visit to Wet ’n Wild Emerald Pointe! The park boasts an incredible selection of family-friendly dining options with all your favorite foods. Find hamburgers, pizza, BBQ, sandwiches, fried chicken, and more! Craving something sweet? There are numerous sweet treat options including ice cream, funnel cakes, cotton candy, frozen bananas, and smoothies to satisfy your sweet tooth. Nearly all the eateries and restaurants around the park offer kid-friendly menus as well as vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Be sure to stop by Thunder Bay Outfitters to pick up a special souvenir to remember your fun family day at the park. The gift shop offers an impressive selection of apparel items, swimsuits, pool towels, goggles, sunscreen, toys, souvenirs, and jewelry! It’s the perfect opportunity to pick up anything you might need during your park visit as well as some Wet ’n Wild Emerald Pointe gear to bring back home as a memory of your park visit.
Get the best value out of your park visits this season with season pass options. Season passes allow you to enjoy unlimited park visits, as well as a variety of other special perks only offered to passholders! Season passes pay for themselves in just two visits, meaning you’ll get to enjoy the majority of your season pass park visits free of charge! Enjoy the fun, thrills, and splashes all summer long with your kids and family members.
If you’re looking for fun things to do in North Carolina with your family, Wet ’n Wild Emerald Pointe awaits you with an unbeatable list of fun attractions and splashin’ water fun areas. Kids are sure to remember the laughs, smiles, and good times they experienced at the park for a lifetime!