North Carolina – Blue Ridge to Beaches

Beautiful gardens, winery with a tasting, historical landmarks, museums, & much more! Join us from the Blue Ridge to Beaches!

11 Days /10 Nights

Group size

Estimated Tour Pricing Inclusions: 10 nights’ accommodation; 10 breakfasts; 3 lunches; 7 dinners; 1 wine reception; admissions, entrance, and guide fees as stated in the itinerary, including taxes, and gratuity. Except gratuity for guide fees is not included on adult tours unless otherwise requested.
  • Biltmore Estate
  • Antler Village
  • Asheville City Tour
  • Lake Lure Boat Tour
  • Chimney Rock State Park
  • Guided Tour of the Historic Town of Old Salem
  • Guided Tour of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA)
  • Tour the Reynolda House Museum of American Art and Gardens
  • Winston Cup Museum
  • Tour the International Civil Rights Center & Museum
  • Chapel Hill Tour
  • Duke University Tour
  • Museum of Life & Science
  • Magic Wings Butterfly House
  • Tour the North Carolina State Capitol Building
  • North Carolina Museum of Natural Science
  • Boardwalk & Lighthouse Exploring
  • North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island
  • Whalehead
  • Jockey’s Ridge State Park
  • Wright Brothers National Memorial

Sample Itinerary:
Day 1 - Arrival to North Carolina
  • Arrive in North Carolina and check-in to your local area hotel. (Meals: None)
Day 2 - Biltmore Estate & Antler Village
  • Enjoy breakfast at your hotel this morning.
  • Depart for the Biltmore Estate. Tour Biltmore Chateau & Gardens during the Festival of Flowers. The house itself, built by George Vanderbilt in the Blue Ridge Mountains, has over 250 rooms! Stroll through gardens created by America’s father of landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted. Enjoy special events and the beauty of tulips, azaleas, and countless other flowers during the Festival of Flowers.
  • Enjoy an included buffet lunch today.
  • Depart for Antler Village and relax with music and entertainment on the lush green. Learn more about the Vanderbilt’s in the Antler Hill Barn with a short film narrated by George Vanderbilt's great-granddaughter, Dini Cecil Pickering. Take a self-guided tour of the Winery at Biltmore.
  • Return to your hotel to rest and freshen up for the evening.
  • Dinner is included tonight at a local Tavern. (Meals: B, L, D)
Day 3 - City Tour of Ashville & Lake Lure Boat Tour
  • Enjoy breakfast at your hotel this morning prior to checking out.
  • Meet your GUIDE, and visit the Thomas Wolfe Memorial House, considered by many to be one of the giants of 20th Century American Literature.
  • After visiting, continue with your City Tour of Asheville.
  • Enjoy lunch on your own and free time for shopping in historic downtown Asheville.
  • Stop at the Southern Highland Craft Guild. Nestled among the pines and dogwoods of the Blue Ridge Parkway, yet only a few miles from I-40 and downtown Asheville, North Carolina, the Folk Art Center is the Guild's flagship facility. The Center showcases the finest in traditional and contemporary craft of the Southern Appalachians. Arrive at the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center. See the movie: The Blue Ridge Parkway - America's Favorite Journey, a 24-minute film shown in high-definition surround-sound, uses breathtaking aerial photography and the story of a father-daughter motorcycle trip to introduce visitors to the natural and cultural heritage of the mountains and the history of the construction of the Parkway.
  • Arrive at the Lake Lure Marina and check in for your cruise. Discover the beauty and charm of Lake Lure on your Lake Lure Boat Tour. Relax on one of their covered tour boats while your skipper guides you past local attractions and landmarks. Return to the dock and check-in to the Lake Lure Inn & Spa. One of the original North Carolina land-marks, built when the waters of Lake Lure first began to fill. Over the years, the Inn has hosted a diverse range of celebrities, from F. Scott Fitzgerald, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Emily Post, and Calvin Coolidge, to Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey during the filming of “Dirty Dancing”.
  • Enjoy a buffet dinner included at the restaurant at the Inn. (Meals: B, D)
Day 4 - Chimney Rock State Park
  • Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning prior to checking out.
  • Arrive at Chimney Rock State Park and meet your GUIDE and Park Ranger who will speak with the group about the park.
  • Enjoy lunch on your own and free time in historic Hendersonville, NC.
  • Afterwards, visit the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. Carl Sandburg Home NHS is located on 264 acres in Western North Carolina.
  • Depart for Winston-Salem. Check-in to the Brookstone Inn and enjoy a Welcome Wine Reception while bags are being delivered to your rooms.
  • Enjoy dinner included tonight at a local Tavern. Enjoy free time this evening at the Inn. (Meals: B, Wine Reception, D)
Day 5 - Museums & Gardens Exploring
  • Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning.
  • Arrive at the Winston-Salem CVB for a Welcome Reception. Meet your GUIDE and depart for the Old Salem Visitor Center.
  • Take a Guided Tour of the Historic Town of Old Salem, an authentic restoration of the Moravian community that was started in 1766. The Moravians are a Protestant faith started in the 1400s in the province of Moravia, now part of the Czech Republic.
  • Next, enjoy a guided tour of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA), the only museum dedicated to exhibiting and researching the regional decorative arts of the early South. Enjoy lunch included at a local favorite.
  • Tour the Reynolda House Museum of American Art and Gardens. It displays a premier collection of American art ranging from the colonial period to the present.
  • In addition to the house, twenty-eight of the original thirty buildings remain. To the west lie the restored formal gardens, noted for their Japanese cryptomeria and weeping cherry trees. The sixteen-acre lake behind the house has reverted to wetlands, which provide a home for a variety of wildlife.
  • Visit the Reynolda Village Shops, enjoy free time to shop and browse. The shops are housed in buildings, which supported the 1,067-acre estate of R.J. Reynolds family. The buildings now house stores, restaurants, services, and offices.
  • Arrive at your hotel for the evening. Enjoy free time and dinner on your own this evening at your choice of any of the many nearby locations adjacent to, or within walking distance of, the hotel. (Meals: B, L)
Day 6 - Winston Cup Museum & Historic District
  • Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning prior to checking out.
  • Tour the Winston Cup Museum, displaying cars and memorabilia from NASCAR Cup history.
  • Meet your GUIDE and visit the Greensboro Historical Museum, which celebrates Greensboro’s local culture and the city’s prominent place in American history.
  • Enjoy lunch on own in Greensboro’s Downtown Historic District.
  • Tour the International Civil Rights Center & Museum, an archival center, collecting museum, and teaching facility devoted to the international struggle for civil and human rights. The Museum celebrates the nonviolent Protests of the 1960 Greensboro sit-ins that served as a catalyst in the civil rights movement.
  • Enjoy a tour of Replacements, LTD and explore the world’s largest collection of old and new dinnerware, including, china, stoneware, crystal, silver, collectible, and more!
  • Enjoy a family style dinner included at a local barbeque restaurant, where good friends meet for southern cooking, good food, and family dining. No visit to North Carolina is complete without some famous Carolina BBQ.
  • Check-in to your local hotel for the evening. (Meals: B, D)
Day 7 - Chapel Hill, Life & Science, and Butterflies
  • Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning.
  • Depart with our GUIDE, for a tour of historic Chapel Hill, NC. Visit the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
  • Visit the quadrangle named for President James K. Polk. Born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, in 1795, Polk moved to Tennessee at the age of ten with his family.
  • Visit the American Tobacco Campus & Historic District. American Tobacco's design and landscaping has collected industry awards for Best Mixed-Use Development, Best Renovated Commercial Property, and Best Redevelopment Project. Enjoy lunch on own at the American Tobacco Historic District.
  • Tour the Chapel at Duke University. Duke Chapel is an example of Neo-Gothic architecture in the English style. Depart with your guide for a walking tour of Duke University at Chapel Hill. Tour the crown jewel of Duke University, the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. The 55-acres garden is recognized as one of the premier public gardens in the United States, renowned both for landscape design and the quality of horticulture, each year attracting more than 300,000 visitors from all over the world.
  • Arrive at the Museum of Life & Science and visit Magic Wings Butterfly House. Magic Wings is a “total immersion” butterfly exhibit where guests will walk through a rainforest surrounded by 1000 tropical butterflies.
  • Visit the Duke Homestead Historic Site and see the early home, factories, and farm where Washington Duke first grew and processed tobacco.
  • Return to the hotel to freshen up for dinner. Depart for an included dinner this evening at a local favorite. (Meals: B, D)
Day 8 - Touring, Farmers Market, & Historic Park
  • Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning. Depart with your GUIDE for a day of touring. Tour the North Carolina State Capitol Building, completed in 1840, the building is one of the finest and best pre-served examples of a major civic building in the Greek Revival style of architecture and is a National Historic Landmark.
  • Visit the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science, featuring an array of permanent and special exhibits, live programs, and educational films which appeal to audiences of all ages. The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences encourages visitors to explore the natural world and their connections to it.
  • Visit the State Farmers Market, boasting bountiful offerings of fresh produce, cheeses, crafts, baked goods, grocery stores, restaurants, markets, imports from around the world, and more. Enjoy free time and lunch on your own at the Old City Market.
  • Depart on a driving tour of the Oakwood Historic District. Oakwood contains Raleigh's largest collection of nineteenth-century Victorian-era dwellings and its richest diversity of architectural styles overall. See the Joel Lane House, built in the 1770s. Joel Lane is referred to as the father of Raleigh, NC.
  • Visit Mordecai Historic Park, located in the heart of downtown Raleigh, home to some of North Carolina's most extraordinary treasures, including the Mordecai House and the Birthplace of Andrew Johnson - 17th president of the United States.
  • Arrive at the hotel to rest and freshen up for the evening.
  • Enjoy dinner included this evening at a warm and inviting fine dining atmosphere inside the hotel. Featuring an elegant décor and seasonal menus, the restaurant is Forbes Four-Star, and AAA Four Diamond rated. (Meals: B, D)
Day 9 - Manteo Exploring & Shopping
  • Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning before departing to explore the Manteo Waterfront.
  • Enjoy the boardwalk, see the lighthouse, and explore the attractions.
  • Depart for Fort Raleigh where New World Settlements were found in the 1500s.
  • Next, a trip to the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. Depart for The Outer Banks Christmas Shop, it's not just a Christmas Shop, it's an experience!
  • Explore the 25,000 square foot store, full of unique gifts, Christmas ornaments & decor, locally made candy & snacks, jewelry, local art, and so much more!
  • Dinner is included this evening at a waterfront seafood restaurant! After dinner, check-in to your local area hotel. (Meals: B, D)
Day 10 - Beach Ponies, Lighthouse, & Whalehead
  • Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning.
  • Depart for the beaches and see ponies roaming in their natural environment via open-air four-wheel vehicles.
  • After exploring, enjoy lunch on own in Duck.
  • Later, depart for the Currituck Lighthouse, at 162' feet tall, the lighthouse's First Order Fresnel light, (the largest size available for American light-houses), can be seen for 18 nautical miles as the light rotates in 20 second increments.
  • Next, depart for Whalehead. Set on 39 pristine acres along the Currituck Sound in Historic Corolla, the Whalehead is a beautifully restored 1920s-era Art Nouveau-style mansion listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Later, return to the hotel to freshen up then enjoy a Farewell Dinner included at a local favorite. (Meals: B, D)
Day 11 - Jockey’s Ridge State Park & Wright Brothers
  • Enjoy breakfast at the hotel prior to check-out.
  • Depart for Jockey’s Ridge State Park, the fun includes a Visitor Center, Museum, and a 360-foot boardwalk with exhibits explaining the dune’s ecology and are a gradual entry to the massive dune field.
  • Our final destination before lunch is the Wright Brothers National Memorial.
  • Lunch is included today at a local favorite fresh seafood restaurant. (Meals: B, L)

Base rate does not include motor coach transportation, airfare, airport transfers, driver gratuity, guide gratuity, (student groups exempt) or any upgrades or add-ons unlisted from itinerary as stated. Pricing may vary based on day of arrival or other conditions. Personalized itineraries with custom pricing and/or additional transportation can be created and added based on client needs and upon client’s request. MARS will customize quotes or personalize itineraries for FREE.

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