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Day trip ideas outside of Winston-Salem

If you’re itching to hit the road this summer, we’ve got the perfect itineraries for you.

WStoday: NC day trip ideas

North Carolina has it all — the green scenery, the bustling city life, the beaches, and amazing weather.

Photos by WStoday, RALtoday, CLTtoday + AVLtoday

Now that summer is quickly approaching, how about a road trip in one of the most naturally beautiful states? Here are six day trip ideas outside of Winston-Salem to explore more of the natural beauty in NC.

North Carolina Zoo (~50 minutes from Winston-Salem)

Embark on an adventure to the world’s largest natural habitat zoo. Choose from various experiences perfect for the entire family. Check out the seasonal Kaleidoscope Butterfly Garden exhibit to see native US and exotic species of butterflies. Day pass tickets cost $15. Pro tip: Save this map to orient yourself around the grounds.

Lake Norman (~60 minutes from Winston-Salem)

If you need to find your zen by the lake, this spot offers a peaceful atmosphere to slow down and catch a breath. Spend a day on the lake enjoying a boat ride, shop at Birkdale Village, and grab lunch on the patio of Toucan’s Lakefront to take in a great view of the serene water. Pro tip: See some of the most beautiful sunsets at Ramsey Creek Park.

WStoday: See views of Lake Norman from Toucan restaurant's patio.

Take in the view from the patio at Toucan’s Lakefront while enjoying your food.

Photo by WStoday

Boone (90 minutes from Winston-Salem)

This expedition is for the outdoor adventurer. Drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, plus explore the breathtaking view from Grandfather Mountain’s peaks. Hop on the Tweetsie Railroad to see the beauty of the picturesque North Carolina mountains along a three-mile loop.

Charlotte (90 minutes from Winston-Salem)

Hey CLTtoday. If you like the hustle and bustle of city life, the Queen City’s got it. Spend the day exploring Charlotte’s most iconic landmarks, stop for brunch at these restaurants to satisfy your cravings, and end the day at Carowinds. Pro tip: Stop by Amelie’s French Bakery in Uptown and taste French pastries made from scratch. We promise you won’t regret it.

A photo of people riding a roller coaster with their hands in the air.

Carowinds’ Fury 325 is the longest steel coaster in North America.

Photo via WCNC

Raleigh (90 minutes from Winston-Salem)

Hey RALtoday. Take a tour of the City of Oaks and learn about the city’s brewery and food scene. Don’t miss out on these summer events happening around the city, like Raleigh’s International Food Festival + the blooming of a well-known sunflower field. Pro tip: Walk around the park at the NC Museum of Art + check out exhibits. You might catch a performance at the museum’s amphitheater.

Asheville (2.5 hours from Winston-Salem)

Hey AVLtoday. History buffs, art aficionados, or music lovers will find their vibe in this NC city. Check out any of these 12 museums in the Land of the Sky or consider exploring the most recognizable landmarks in the city, including the Biltmore Estate. Scout these local bookstores in the afternoon, then get your pizza fix at one of the must-try pizza shops.

If you’re rather stay put in Winston-Salem, there’s plenty to do this spring and summer in the Twin City.