Journey through the heart of the Carolinas on this scenic road trip
- Discover antebellum grandeur at the colonial houses of Savannah
- Uncover the myriad culinary and cultural delights of Charleston
- Explore the seldom-travelled beaches, hiking trails and vineyards of North Carolina’s coast
- Drive through sweeping plains and up through the Great Smoky Mountains as you hit the open road
- 1 Night Charlotte
- 2 Nights Asheville
- 3 Nights Savannah
- 2 Nights Charleston
- 1 Night Wilmington
- 2 Nights Outer Banks
- 1 Night Raleigh
Beach | Best of holidays | City | History & culture | Self-drive
From misty mountain peaks to pristine beaches, this seldom-travelled region of eastern USA offers relaxation, adventure and history in equal measure. Visit Charlotte, the 'Queen City' and gateway to The Carolinas; bohemian and artsy Asheville on it's plateau in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Then, set off for Savannah, one of the USA's most beautiful cities of all. Leave behind North Carolina and arrive in Savannah, with its evocative, colonial houses and a vibe that couldn't be more different to the next stop, Charleston, an architectural and historic treasure and arguably one of America's most charming cities. Accommodation throughout the tour has been hand-picked for its location and to reflect the history, traditions and character of the region.
Day by day itinerary
Depart UK, Arrive Charlotte
Upon arrival in Charlotte, collect your rental car and drive to your hotel. Today you may want to visit some of the city’s museums including the Levine Museum of the New South which offers an insight into life in the American South from the end of the Civil War to today. Be sure to make time for shopping. Charlotte offers everything from unique boutiques to a number of excellent shopping malls. Discover Charlotte's NASCAR roots with a visit to the recently opened NASCAR Hall of Fame. Afterwards, head to the Charlotte Motor Speedway and take to the tracks with a driving experience that will see you reach speeds of 160 miles an hour. The US National Whitewater Center with its Olympic quality rafting and kayaking channels is a must for enthusiasts. It also offers miles of hiking and biking trails.
Stay: Kimpton Tyron Park Hotel (Superior)
Asheville, North Carolina
Today you will set off for Asheville. Located on a plateau surrounded by the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains this is North Carolina’s bohemian chic arts capital. Downtown Asheville is known for its many art galleries and museums, music venues, interesting architecture, sidewalk performers and outdoor cafés. Perhaps spend the day touring George Vanderbilt's wonderful Biltmore Estate. This is America's largest private residence with 250-rooms and four acres of interior floor space, the house is filled with a superb collection of art and antiques. If you are lucky, you will catch one of the many special events held at the Biltmore throughout the year including the Festival of Flowers (April-early May), Summer Evening Concerts (Fri-Sat in August) and Fall at Biltmore (October - early November).
Stay: Applewood Manor (Superior)
Asheville, North Carolina
Take a drive out along the spectacular Blue Ridge Parkway and see exactly why it's described as 'America's Favourite Drive'. Head in to the Great Smoky Mountains to visit the home of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. Learn about Native American culture at their museum and reconstructed Indian village.
Stay: Applewood Manor (Superior)
Savannah is one of the most beautiful cities in the USA and is a must-see on any trip along Georgia's coastal area. You'll recognise the city squares (made famous in the film Forrest Gump), while the monuments, parks and the largest historic landmark district in the USA will leave you enthralled. Add a buzzing creative, art, culture and theatre scene and you have the recipe for several days of relaxed exploration.
Stay: Hotel Bardo Savannah (Deluxe)
Charleston, South Carolina
Today you’ll leave North Carolina behind as you head to Charleston in South Carolina, arguably America’s best-preserved architectural and historic treasure. Overflowing with pretty streets and historic districts, its delightful charm is predicated on a rich history serving the tobacco trade. This wealthy past can still be seen today in its 18th century townhouses, Romanesque churches and Georgian mansions. Explore them all on garden path walks and horse carriage tours. Its plantation estates are particularly impressive, with spiral staircases leading you to grand views over gardens dotted with giant oaks and postcard-perfect lakes. Lastly, don’t miss out on a visit to Fort Sumter where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. This 19th-century Confederate stronghold still features some of its original guns and fortifications, memorialising one of American history’s most important moments.
Stay: Charleston Place (Deluxe)
Wilmington, North Carolina
Make your way to Wilmington, gateway to Cape Fear Coast Beaches such as Carolina Beach, a pretty seaside resort combining old-time beach charm with a fun, family-friendly atmosphere and Wrightsville with its impressive surf.
Stay: Hotel Ballast Wilmington, Tapestry Collection by Hilton (Superior)
Outer Banks/Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
The Outer Banks is a collection of barrier islands stretching 130 miles along the North Carolina coast. Surrounded by clear water, the islands offer sheltered beaches, outdoor pursuits and upscale beach communities like Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk, where you'll spend two nights.
Stay: Sanderling Resort, Outer Banks (Superior)
Raleigh, North Carolina
Head to Raleigh, North Carolina's capital, where days are filled with everything from craft beer tastings – there are 25 craft breweries in the city – to shopping to people watching in local cafes. Our recommended hotel is right at the heart of it all, just minutes from the Museum of History, the Museum of Natural Sciences and some of the city's very best bars and restaurants.
Stay: Sheraton Raleigh Hotel (Superior)
Return your hire car to Raleigh Durham airport in time for your overnight flight home, arriving on day 15.
Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.
from £4,085 pp. incl. flights
from £4,555 pp. incl. flights
- Complimentary UK airport lounge access
- Return flights from London to Charlotte and from Raleigh to London
- 14 days’ Compact hire car including road book
- 12 nights accommodation in typically 4* (Superior) hotels on a room-only basis
High season: June-September
Terms & Conditions
Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.
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