Jacksonville, NC, serves as an excellent starting point for unforgettable road trips and day excursions to the surrounding areas. From picturesque coastal towns to enchanting natural landscapes, there's a wealth of hidden gems waiting to be explored. Pack your bags, fuel up the car, and get ready to embark on thrilling adventures beyond Jacksonville.
A short drive from Jacksonville, the charming coastal town of Beaufort awaits your arrival. Known for its rich maritime history and quaint streets lined with colorful homes, Beaufort offers a delightful blend of old-world charm and modern attractions. Visit the North Carolina Maritime Museum, take a stroll along the picturesque waterfront, and embark on a boat tour to see wild horses on nearby Shackleford Banks. Beaufort is a destination that will transport you back in time and captivate you with its coastal beauty.
Located just a couple of hours away, Wilmington beckons with its vibrant riverfront, historical sites, and lively arts scene. Explore the famous Riverwalk, lined with restaurants, shops, and stunning views of the Cape Fear River. Visit the historic USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial, where you can step aboard a World War II battleship and learn about its storied past. Wilmington is also known for its thriving film industry, and movie buffs can take a guided tour to discover famous filming locations. With its blend of history, culture, and coastal charm, Wilmington is a must-visit destination for a day trip.
If you're seeking a peaceful coastal retreat, look no further than Swansboro. This quaint town, located along the banks of the White Oak River, exudes charm with its historic buildings, waterfront parks, and charming shops. Take a leisurely stroll through the downtown area, browse the local boutiques, and savor fresh seafood at one of the waterfront restaurants. For outdoor enthusiasts, Swansboro offers opportunities for fishing, boating, and kayaking. With its laid-back ambiance and scenic beauty, Swansboro is an idyllic destination for a relaxing day trip.
Steeped in history and brimming with Southern charm, New Bern is a captivating destination that is worth the drive from Jacksonville. As the birthplace of Pepsi, a visit to the Pepsi Store is a must, where you can learn about the origins of this iconic beverage. Explore Tryon Palace, a grand historic site that served as the first permanent capital of North Carolina. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of the city by wandering through the historic district, lined with beautifully preserved homes and quaint shops. New Bern is a true gem that offers a glimpse into the region's past and a taste of Southern hospitality.
If you're craving a nature-filled escape, head to the expansive Croatan National Forest. Just a short drive from Jacksonville, this forest offers endless opportunities for outdoor adventures. Explore its hiking trails, go fishing in the tranquil rivers and lakes, or set up camp amidst the serene surroundings. The Croatan National Forest is also home to the stunning Neusiok Trail, a 20-mile trail that winds through cypress swamps, pine forests, and coastal bays. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the forest and rejuvenate your soul in this peaceful oasis.
Jacksonville, NC, is not only a captivating city in its own right but also serves as a gateway to remarkable destinations just a short drive away. From the coastal charm of Beaufort and Swansboro to the historical allure of Wilmington and New Bern, the surrounding areas offer a wealth of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. And for those seeking a nature-filled escape, the Croatan National Forest provides an idyllic retreat. So, hit the road, embrace the spirit of adventure, and uncover the wonders that lie beyond Jacksonville on these thrilling road trips and day excursions.