Greensboro, North Carolina is packed with vibrant activities and attractions. The city emanates a young, trendy vibe due to the number of colleges situated in the area. When you crave a change of pace and scenery, check out the abundance of exciting towns surrounding Greensboro. When it’s time to get away for an extended weekend, a Greensboro vacation rental serves as the perfect home base to enjoy the city atmosphere for an afternoon, then you can effortlessly venture out to visit adjacent areas. Within easy driving distance of Greensboro are beaches, mountain towns, and charming cities. Without further ado, take a look at the seven best weekend getaway spots from Greensboro to help you get started with planning your vacation.

Pier 14 sun rays
Source: Flickr/fran.trudeau

1. Williamsburg, Virginia

Drive northeast for a little less than four hours to arrive in the historical town of Williamsburg, Virginia, where you can learn more about America’s colonial era. In the Williamsburg Historic District, staff members wear period costumes and carry out tasks just like they were done in the 1600s and 1700s from making horseshoes to preparing wigs to avoid lice. Tour the Governor’s Palace that served as the home for the Royal Governors of the Colony of Virginia. Thrills and chills await you at the Busch Gardens Williamsburg with its European theme. There are steep rollercoasters for older kids and slow-moving attractions for your family’s little ones. Take in some shows and chow down on hotdogs-on-a-stick and nachos.

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2. Maggie Valley, North Carolina

A little over three hours southwest sits the mountain town of Maggie Valley, North Carolina. In the winter months, this area becomes a local hotspot for skiers. The Cataloochee Ski Area offers machine-groomed snow and trails of varying difficulty to meet the expectations of any skier. Kids enjoy taking a half or full day lesson that includes lessons for both skiing and snowboarding. Tube World in Maggie Valley is a dedicated area for snow tubing and has a moving sidewalk to get you up the hill without climbing. Tour the Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum to see more than 300 rare motorcycles along with old photos and memorabilia.

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3. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Soak up the sun and play in the waves after driving three hours south from Greensboro to Myrtle Beach. Find a vacation rental at one of the high-rise condos that line the beach and watch the sun come up in the morning while you drink coffee on your balcony. In the early evenings, the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk is the place to wander, shopping and people watching. Hop on the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel and rise almost 200 feet into the air for views for miles. The Family Kingdom Amusement Park sits just off the boardwalk and offers a mixture of thrill rides and kiddie rides with games of chance to win a teddy bear.

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4. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Pigeon Forge is a popular resort town and home to Dollywood, an Appalachian-themed amusement park that takes less than four and a half hours to reach from your home. Dollywood has a slew of roller coasters, including the Tennessee Tornado, and family rides such as the Dollywood Express, a train that drives around the park. Book tickets for dinner at the Dixie Stampede that includes a four-course meal, a show, live animals, and explosions. At the Island at Pigeon Forge, do a little shopping, stop at the fountains to watch the light show, and rise up in the air on the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel.

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5. Wilmington, North Carolina

Arrive in the charming coastal town of Wilmington, North Carolina to spend time on the beach or exploring the town. Wander past blooming azalea bushes and lush lakes as you tread the walking paths at Airlie Gardens. Afterward, take a tour of the USS North Carolina (BB-55), a retired battleship, and learn more about its service during World War II. The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is a great place to learn more about the local sea life and fish around the world. While there, sign up for one of the Salt Marshes and Crabbing tours. Kids love the creepy crawlies at the Cape Fear Serpentarium.

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6. Helen, Georgia

Escape to the Georgia mountains and a German village after driving less than five hours to Helen. Wander around the downtown area, where all the buildings are designed to look like a Bavarian village, and stop at Hansel and Gretel’s Candy Kitchen for a sweet treat. In the early evening, take your sweetie for a horse-drawn carriage ride along the main road that goes through town and along the Chattahoochee River. Hike up to Amicalola Falls and climb the steps to the very top for amazing views. Cool off at the Helen Tubing and Helen Water Park with its slides and a wave pool.

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7. Virginia Beach, Virginia

Have a blast with a weekend away in Virginia Beach, where you can lie on the sand all day and walk the boardwalk all night. In the morning, rent bikes from Cherie’s Bike and Blade Rental and ride up the boardwalk or explore the town. Stop by the Virginia Beach Farmers Market to pick up the freshest ingredients around to create an amazing dinner back at your vacation rental. Learn more about the area’s maritime history and shipwrecks off the coast at the Virginia Beach Surf and Rescue Museum.

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