Steer clear of wild spring breakers by visiting these NC gems

Steer Clear Of Wild Spring Breakers By Visiting These NC Gems

Photo courtesy of NC Smokies

By Vanessa Infanzon

March 1, 2024

Spring break conjures up images of wet t-shirt contests, empty beer cans strewn along the beach, and loud music until the wee hours of the night. Been there. Done that. Over it.

Whether your spring break is one day, a long weekend, or an entire week of vacation, here are several places to visit in North Carolina to avoid the typical spring break crowds. And because we know not all of you are sun worshippers, we broke it down by interests.

Read More: The lesser-known state park in eastern NC that’s idyllic in spring

Agritourism Fans

Mike’s Farm

Steer Clear Of Wild Spring Breakers By Visiting These NC Gems

Photo courtesy of Visit Jacksonville NC

Pick strawberries in April, pet the farm’s goats, and visit the NC Products Barn with locally crafted clothing, fudge, handbags, scarves, pottery, soaps, lotions, and more. Finish the day eating mac and cheese and fried chicken at the family-style restaurant on the property.

Sweet Valley Ranch

Walk trails, fish, and visit with 350 animals including cows, horses, llamas, pot belly pigs, and a zebra. On Wednesdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., the farm features “Low Sensory Day.” Loud noises and bright lights are kept to a minimum. The farm opens for the season after March 2.

Art Followers

Hayti Heritage Film Festival

Secure tickets to this annual Black Southern film festival from March 7-9. Guests view documentaries and shorts featuring Black and Hayti-themed issues. The schedule includes an evening with award-winning actor Omar J. Dorsey, most recently seen on Oprah Winfrey Network’s “Queen Sugar.”

North Carolina Central University Art Museum


Tour the art museum at NCCU, one of our state’s historically Black universities. Collections include works by Richmond Barthe, Romare Bearden, Selma Burke, Elizabeth Catlett, and several other artists.

Pinecone Pathways
Moore County

Hunt for one of 100 glass pinecones in Aberdeen, Pinehurst, and Southern Pines from March 19 through Earth Day on April 22. These pinecones, handmade by Starworks, will be hidden along selected trails in Moore County. Check the website for hints and guidelines.

Beach Lovers

Holden Beach 

The small-town charm of Holden Beach, part of NC Brunswick Islands, will restore your belief in the quiet beach getaway. Enjoy kayaking or paddle boarding along the Intracoastal Waterway. Spot dolphins on a boat tour and search for ghost crabs on the beach at night.

Kure (pronounced Cure-ee) Beach
Alternate beach time between visits to Fort Fisher Aquarium and the Fort Fisher State Historic Site. The new visitor’s center at the Historic Site will be open in late spring.

Mountain Adventurers

Buckeye Recreation Center
Beech Mountain

Steer Clear Of Wild Spring Breakers By Visiting These NC Gems

Photo courtesy of of Beech Mountain TDA

Hike 2 miles on the Falls Trail to the Buckeye Lake Loop for birdwatching and a waterfall. Buckeye Lake is stocked with a variety of trout: canoes and fishing poles are available for free. A three-day fishing license may be obtained from the rec center for a small fee. Consider a spring break camping trip at Shane Outpost Park, where kids can climb the low ropes course nearby.

Lake Glenville
Jackson County

Head to this lake for its sandy beach with a swimming area, 26 miles of shoreline, seven islands, and three waterfalls. The 1.3 out and back trail to High Falls is a moderate hike to a more than 100-foot waterfall.

Lake Junaluska
Haywood County

Walk along the lake’s pathways (with 2.3 and 3.8-mile options) for views of sculptures and specialty gardens. The Prayer Labyrinth offers a place for peaceful meditation.

Nantahala Outdoor Center
Bryson City  

Need an adrenaline boost? Book a guided whitewater rafting trip on the Nantahala River with NOC – family-friendly options are available. Add ziplining, hiking, and biking to break the spring break fever.

Oak Hill Community Park and Forest

Be one of the first to enjoy this new 652-acre park, open since October 2023. Explore 7 miles of trails, including 5 miles of beginner-friendly mountain biking trails.

Outdoor Adventure Festival & Expo 

Pilot Mountain

Make base camp in Pilot Mountain for this festival, which takes place April 12-14. Take advantage of guided hikes, wellness classes, and disc golf, cornhole, and pickleball tournaments. The Marshall Tucker Band performs on April 13.

Wellness Seekers

Certified Nature Forest Therapy Trail at Pinnacle Park

Boost your immune system and lower your blood pressure and stress while hiking along the state’s only Certified Nature Forest Therapy Trail. Reach out to Dr. Mark Ellison, a certified Nature and Forest Therapy guide, for a 2.5-hour immersive experience.

Horse Shoe Farm

Steer Clear Of Wild Spring Breakers By Visiting These NC Gems

Photo courtesy of Todd Bush

Treat yourself to a wellness getaway with massages in The Stable Spa, yoga classes, and meditation spaces, all on Horse Shoe Farm. The farm’s restaurant, Silo Cookhouse, offers dinner Wednesday through Saturday, and brunch on Sunday, featuring ingredients from local bakeries and farms.

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.


  • Vanessa Infanzon

    Vanessa Infanzon moved from New York to NC for college and never left. When she’s not writing, she’s paddle boarding at the Whitewater Center.



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