Whether you want to experience fresh air on the coast of New Bern, or a Segway tour of Charlotte, you can enjoy these and more in the area surrounding the city of Durham, North Carolina. Within a five hours’ drive from Durham, you can enjoy hiking in Kitty Hawk, or living up the nightlife in Boone. Ranging from rustic cabins near lush forests to luxurious waterfront condos just minutes from the beach, there are plenty of Durham vacation rentals to choose from. Consider one of these seven cities for your next getaway.

1. Kitty Hawk

After a three hour and 45-minute drive from Durham, sink your toes into the sandy beaches of Kitty Hawk. With a stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean from your beachfront vacation rental, you can spend your days admiring the sights, or walking along the Avalon Pier, a popular fishing spot. Sandy Run Park is a great place for a morning hike or jog with 16 acres of land to explore. Thrill the history buffs with a stop in at the Wright Brothers Memorial, and then satisfy your hunger with some Mexican cuisine at La Fogata Mexican Restaurant.

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2. Charlotte

Eat your way through the big city of Charlotte when signing up for cooking classes at Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen in the Atherton Market after traveling two and a half hours from Durham. Charlotte is an entertainment mecca with nightlife and live music at the Double Door Inn where you commonly hear Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn tunes. Get in a laugh at the stand-up routines at the Charlotte Comedy Theater, or treat the kids to a hike along the trails of the Little Sugar Creek Greenway. Hop on board the Charlotte Segway Tour to see the sights while rolling around town.

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3. Boone

Boone is a quaint North Carolina city nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains along the Tennessee border, and it is only a two hour and 40-minute drive from your Durham home. Head out for adventure on your weekend getaway when exploring this college town’s outdoor attractions, such as Elk Knob State Park and Grandfather Mountain. If you want some nightlife on your getaway, stop in at The Local eatery that features live music in the evenings. During the days, make a splash in the Watauga River with kayak and canoe rentals from River and Earth Adventures.

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4. Blowing Rock

Find the peace and quiet you’ve been craving when making Blowing Rock, located just under three hours from Durham, your vacation destination for the weekend. This quaint North Carolina City is a mecca for outdoor attractions when you spend your weekend hiking to Grandfather Mountain with rest stops on the large boulders on the trails. Kids enjoy jumping in to the action at Tweetsie Railroad, a Wild West-themed amusement park, while the avid artists in your crew can enjoy a tour of the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum. Get creative while learning more about the mining industry when making rocks at Doc’s Rocks Gem Mine on a Saturday afternoon before enjoying a bar crawl with the adults with North Carolina on Tap.

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5. Waynesville

In just under four hours on the road, arrive in Waynesville, a vibrant North Carolina city situated in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Take a trip back in time when touring the Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum, or head to the Standing Rock Overlook for a family photo. After shopping for some fresh fruits and veggies to take back to your vacation rental at Barber Orchards, expand your cultural horizons when attending a performance at the Haywood Arts Regional Theater. Waynesville offers plenty of shopping opportunities for the shop-a-holics with access to specialty stores such as the Mast General Store and The Chocolate Bear.

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6. Asheville

Travel three and a half hours to Asheville and find yourself in a vacation rental surrounded by cultural attractions. Stop in at the Folk Art Center to make Appalachian crafts with the kids, or head out to explore the great outdoors with hikes in the Pisgah National Forest. This city is also chalked full of historic attractions, such as the Biltmore Estate, the Asheville Community Theatre, and the Grovewood Village recreational area. Walking tours are also plentiful in Asheville, with access to the Asheville Food Tour, the BREW-ed Brewery and History Walking Tours, and the Asheville Art Studio Tours.

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7. New Bern

Soak up the history and water-filled activities in New Bern when choosing a vacation rental in this small North Carolina city. Dating back to the early 1700s, New Bern is home to the New Bern Fireman’s Museum and the North Carolina History Center for your family to explore. As a coastal city, New Bern also gives you and the family a chance to fish on a Saturday morning, and kayak and tube down the scenic river with rentals from Surf, Wind, and Fire. Located just two and a half hours from Durham, this charming city is the perfect spot for some fresh air from the balcony of your cozy vacation rental.

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