Cheap North Carolina Vacation Ideas

by Eli

These cheap North Carolina vacation ideas might not be everybody's taste in entertainment but my little family enjoyed five magical days for a very cheap price and if I had known that we could take cheap North Carolina vacations like this one, I would have done so much earlier!


Take the kids to Franklin, North Carolina for a trip to go gem mining at Rose Creek Mines.

This is one of the most fun, inexpensive activities that we took part in! Prepare to get dirty and you might actually find some gemstones but the mine does not appear to be "salted".

Visit Oconoluftee Village which is an active, authentic Cherokee Indian village in Cherokee North Carolina. The village is worth a visit for the cultural, educational value but don't expect the guides or hosts to be chatty because we had to literally coerce information from them. We stayed here three or four hours and during that time we took the tour and then walked around on our own in the gardens.

We visited the Devil's Courthouse. The name alone was enough to give my children chills and thrills. The legend is that inside this sinister looking mountain is a cave where the Prince of Evil (aka the devil) holds court.

I played up the folklore so that the adults could convince that the 20-minute uphill walk to the top was worth doing. My wife and I enjoyed their spooked enthusiasm and the view is

positively magnificent!

After the slight letdown that they didn't spy any horned creatures sitting in judgement after the walk, it was hard to convince the kids that hiking Graveyard Fields would offer much entertainment. But they actually enjoyed it more than the Devil's Courthouse because they spotted ripe blackberries and ate them on the hike. Who knew that one of the best, cheap North Carolina vacation ideas would involve picking and eating fresh fruit along the trail? And even more amazing that the kids would ENJOY IT!

Hiking Graveyard Fields was a very easy hike that not only had wild berries but turkeys and waterfalls.


We spent $1 per person to go Sliding Rock which is a 60' natural rock slide with a 6-7 foot deep pool of water at the base. Get ready for a chilly adventure here but talk about cheap, old fashioned entertainment for the kids!

Our next stop was Cataloochee Valley where we visited a museum of sorts and saw lots of elk! My family wants to return here to go snow skiing but I'm just not sure that a ski vacation is a cheap North Carolina vacation idea.

I tried to find the best websites on North Carolina tourism that have information on these destinations if you need them. There's plenty of information and great pictures to see on the official tourism sites but I just thought you might like to hear it from an actual family who had been there.

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North Carolina Family Vacation Ideas
by: Anonymous

THANKS so much for taking the time to post your North Carolina family vacation ideas! We just got back and enjoyed many of the attractions that you mentioned but we must have missed prime blackberry picking time. But we had a blast at Sliding Rock and you are so right when you say the water is COLD!

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