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Family travel in North Carolina: the 50 state series

Young driver in training at Charlotte NC Speed Street Festival (photo by Sheila Scarborough)Every week until we run out of states, I plan to post about family-friendly vacation ideas, attractions and events in each one of the US states, taking input mostly from Twitter and Facebook.

Yes, I know how to search for travel ideas on a destination or attraction Web site, but a tweet or a Facebook Wall recommendation is a much more engaging and public way to spread the word.

Please don’t email suggestions to me; that’s nice but it is one-to-one communication. Tweet me and/or Facebook me, so that all of our networks can see what’s cool about your state.

We’re going in alphabetical order but started with the end, so our first state for the series was Wyoming, then we investigated WisconsinWest VirginiaWashington,  Virginia,  Vermont,  UtahTexas,  Tennessee,  South Dakota,  South Carolina,  Rhode Island,  Pennsylvania,  OregonOklahoma,  OhioNorth Dakota and now we’re moving on to….North Carolina!

Their state tourism organization is on Twitter at @VisitNC, plus there’s a Visit North Carolina blog, a North Carolina Flickr Group for photo-sharing, a Visit North Carolina YouTube channel and here’s the NC Tourism Facebook page.

When I asked for ideas, here’s what came in….

Twitter Travel Tips for North Carolina

***  From the Wilkes County tourism office via @WilkesNCtourism on Twitter  —  [Wilkes] Heritage Museum is a great activity for families. Also 45+ miles of mountain biking trails, 8 sites on NC Birding Trail. Whippoorwill Village – collection of restored log cabins, 1-room schoolhouse, Chapel of Peace (here’s a TwitPic photo: https://twitpic.com/2e0yj)

***  From Barbra Rodichok via @NOCBarbra on Twitter  —  Don’t forget whitewater rafting as part of your visit to the coolest mountain town, Asheville NC!  [More from the Nantahala Outdoor Center – https://www.noc.com/index.php/french-broad.html]

***  From Shannon Lane via @Cajun_Mama on Twitter  —  My family loved gem searching in Cherokee. Found a 3 karat emerald!

***  From Maria Reed via @Maria_Reed on Twitter  —  Great family beach vacations in the Outer Banks! Jockey’s Ridge and Nag’s Head Fishing Pier.

***  From Sheila Beal [an NC native] via @GoVisitHawaii on Twitter  —  Family-friendly NC events? North Carolina State Fair is held in Raleigh each October for 10 days. Great family fun!

Facebook Travel Tips for North Carolina

***  From Irma Briggs Polster on Facebook —  My parents live in Winston-Salem. Old Salem is an interesting historic site as well as Historic Bethabara. We had a great time a few summers ago at Lake Lure – lots to do in that area that is family-friendly, but it’s a little pricey and touristy.

We have been on several rafting and canoing trips with Edge of the World Outfitters in Banner Elk. Great family-owned business and they run good, safe trips. Tweetsie Railroad was fun when the kids were little.

***  From Jennifer Douma Close on Facebook  —  Whiteside Mountain was our favorite family friendly hike – about a 2 mile hike that is perfect for even the little ones – I wrote about it here.  We loved exploring the Biltmore grounds with the kids.

Thanks so much for the contributions!

I have a Family Travel post on taking a Blue Ridge Parkway road trip, which I wrote while researching a NASCAR story in the state and also visiting some kid-friendly places around Charlotte NC.

The BootsnAll Travel Network has these stories tagged North Carolina.

The next state in the series is New York.

Send your New York highlights (with a chunk of them outside the ever-fab-but-already-well-known-New York City, please!) to @SheilaS on Twitter or write them on my Facebook Wall (please tell me you’re a 50 state-er if you want to friend me.)

My purpose for this series is not only to highlight worthy kid-friendly vacation destinations in all 50 states, but by using Twitter and Facebook I want to also encourage tourism organizations to learn more about connecting with their visitors using social media and online networks.

Please add your own North Carolina suggestions in the comments below, if we’ve missed anything. Thanks!