7 days in North Carolina Mountains Itinerary

7 days in North Carolina Mountains Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Carolina Mountains trip builder

Make it your trip
Drive
1
Banner Elk
— 1 night
Drive
2
Asheville
— 4 nights
Drive
3
Cherokee
— 1 night
Drive

S M T W T F S
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14
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19

Banner Elk

— 1 night
Banner Elk is a town in Avery County, North Carolina, United States. On the 13th (Sun), admire the sheer force of Bobby McLean Memorial Park, contemplate the long history of Flat Top Manor, then explore by horseback at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park, and finally look for gifts at Mast General Store. On the 14th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: see High Country UTV Tours, then identify plant and animal life at Grandfather Mountain, and then kick your exploration up a notch at Hawksnest Snow Tubing and Zipline.

For ratings, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Banner Elk trip planner.

Durham to Banner Elk is an approximately 3.5-hour car ride. You can also do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of train, bus, and taxi. Traveling from Durham in December, things will get slightly colder in Banner Elk: highs are around 48°F and lows about 31°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Mon) early enough to drive to Asheville.

Things to do in Banner Elk

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Asheville

— 4 nights

Land of the Sky

Asheville nestles between two major mountain ranges in the scenic western section of North Carolina.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Asheville: Hendersonville (Bearwallow Mountain & Elijah Mountain Gem Mine) and Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park (in Chimney Rock). There's still lots to do: explore the wealth of natural beauty at The North Carolina Arboretum, admire the striking features of Grove Arcade, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and view the masterpieces at Lexington Glassworks.

For reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Asheville trip itinerary maker tool.

Drive from Banner Elk to Asheville in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Traveling from Banner Elk in December, expect nights in Asheville to be about the same, around 35°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Fri) early enough to drive to Cherokee.

Things to do in Asheville

Parks · Tours · Shopping · Museums

Side Trips

Cherokee

— 1 night

Trails of Legends and Adventures

The center of Cherokee culture in the eastern part of the country, the town named after this Native American tribe serves as a base camp for hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains.
On the 19th (Sat), see the interesting displays at Wheels Through Time Transportation Museum, admire the sheer force of Soco Falls, then stop by Unique Gift Outlet, and finally try your luck at Casino at Harrah’s Cherokee.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Cherokee travel itinerary planner.

Drive from Asheville to Cherokee in 1.5 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 54°F, and evening lows to 32°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sat) to allow time to drive back home.

Things to do in Cherokee

Parks · Fun & Games · Nature · Museums

Side Trip

North Carolina Mountains travel guide

4.5
Historic Sites · Zipline · River Rafting & Tubing
Called the "Land of the Blue Mist" by the Cherokee Indians, the North Carolina Smoky Mountains are one of the world's most biologically diverse wilderness areas. The vast national park sheltering the native wildlife of these ancient mountains offers a close look at the area's nature and its people. A perfect spot for a tranquil vacation, the blue-misted mountains are one of the country's few World Heritage Sites, protecting the largest old-growth forest east of the Mississippi River. Things to do for adventurous visitors include whitewater rafting and river tubing, while those interested in more urbane entertainment can explore the area's many small towns on the 750 km (470 mi) scenic road meandering over the mountains.