North Carolina Holiday Road Trip

December 3, 2018
Beth Burgee

The holidays are a great time to explore the wonders of our state. There are so many interesting places to visit just a few hours away from Brunswick Forest. This season load up the family or a few friends and go out and explore some of the most notable holiday displays and events in the region.  Here is a quick list of our top five picks for a holiday road trip:

Bryson City, North Carolina (about 6 hours from Brunswick Forest)

All aboard for the Polar Express!  Put on your PJ’s and climb aboard as you live out a chapter from Chris Van Allsburg’s 1985 book.   This annual excursion is booked by thousands of passengers each year. The read-along ride features, clips from the movie soundtrack, warm cocoa and a treat as the train clacks to the North Pole, where Santa awaits with a gift. Christmas carols will be sung as you return back to the Bryson City Depot.


Concord, North Carolina (about 3.25 hours from Brunswick Forest)

Nothing says North Carolina more than a Speedway Christmas.  This amazing display features more than 3 million lights over a 3.75-mile course that includes most of the oval and the new ROVAL. But the drive is only the beginning. The infield Christmas Village includes live actors and animals at a Bethlehem Village, a petting zoo, games and activities in Santa’s Workshop, and a 50-foot ferris wheel. And Thursday through Sunday nights, you can watch holiday movies on the giant Speedway TV.  Drive on in to the fun at one of America’s largest light shows this year.

New Bern, North Carolina (about 2 hours from Brunswick Forest)

Take a step back to 1770 when Governor Tryon threw the first party at the fancy Georgian-style structure where he would live and run the government. The Tryon Palace historic site recreates the effect of the event with holiday-themed tours offered during the season. Plus, the Annual Candlelight Celebration takes place Dec. 8 and 15 illuminated by the glow of candlelight and fireworks, along with fire-eating performers and magicians.

Charlotte, North Carolina (about 3 .5 hours from Brunswick Forest)

Grab your skates and head to Charlotte.  Each year, Ceremonial Plaza at the NASCAR Hall of Fame transforms into a 7,000-square-foot ice rink. The venue is hosting many special events this season, including skate sessions with the Charlotte Checkers hockey team and photo ops with Santa. Skate passes are good for the entire day, as the rink accepts same-day re-entry. Whether you’re looking for a family friendly activity, a romantic night with a loved one, a unique experience or a holiday tradition, Holiday on Ice is sure to have something for everyone.

Asheville, North Carolina (about 5.5 hours from Brunswick Forest)

Looking for something truly exquisite? The timeless beauty of Biltmore House, its collections of art and historic Vanderbilt family treasures are all the more enchanting with the festive addition of dozens of exquisitely decorated Christmas trees, miles of garland, hundreds of poinsettias, and more lights than you can count.

If you are looking for an evening event, check out the joy and the wonder of Candlelight Christmas Evenings—the gentle glow of candlelight and firelight and live performances of holiday music make for a truly magical evening.