When I moved to North Carolina 18 years ago, I came for the gorgeous weather. I wasn’t the adventurous type. After moving here, I discovered that North Carolina is an adventure lover’s dream destination, and being here brought out the adventurer in me.
If you’re an adrenaline junkie in North Carolina—or an adventurer wannabe—check out these five best places that will get your heart pumping!
Rev Your Engine at the Charlotte Motor Speedway
The NASCAR Racing Experience in Concord gives you the chance to take a race car on the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Options here start with the ride along, where you sit in the passenger seat while your trained driver takes you around the track at full throttle. Or, test your skills as you drive a race car around the track by yourself. Be sure to get a video of your experience to relive with your adoring fans.
Climb a Mountain at Chimney Rock State Park
With more than 600 miles of hiking trails in North Carolina, adventurers will not run out of places to explore. At Chimney Rock State Park near Asheville, climb the 451 stairs to the top of Chimney Rock for great views of Lake Lure and beyond, hike the many trails through the park to see waterfalls and other natural beauty, or go rock climbing. Whichever you choose, your efforts will be rewarded with stunning views.
Fly High with Paraclete XP
In Fayetteville, test your skill and strength with the Paraclete XP indoor sky diving experience. After a safety training session, suit up for a challenging adventure in the wind tunnel. Beginners fly with a trainer who assists with the flight. More advanced divers can fly alone and perform acrobatic tricks. This experience is the perfect full-body workout that leaves you both drained and exhilerated. Paraclete also offers traditional sky diving experiences.
Train Like an Olympian at the US National Whitewater Center
In Charlotte, the US National Whitewater Center is the dream playground for adventurers. Spread across 1,300 acres, it is home to the world’s largest manmade whitewater river and is where the US Olympic whitewater slalom team trains.
The center is open to the public, where you can test your skills on class II through IV rapids weither by raft or kayak. If that’s not enough, find more adventure on land. The center has high ropes courses, rock climbing, zip lines, mountain biking, and even more. If you’re feeling especially brave, try the 100 foot high Hawk Jump.
Battle the Waves at The Outer Banks
The barrier islands of The Outer Banks are perfectly situated along the Gulf Stream creating strong waves and currents for water sports like surfing, kite boarding, and surfing. Beginners can learn on the calmer waters on the sound side of the islands, while experienced borders can challenge their skills on the big waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Just watching the pros flip their boards and “fly” over the waves is enough to get my heart pumping!
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Article was written by Karen Dawkins of Family Travels on a Budget
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