Looking to plan that perfect summer trip? Perhaps one that doesn’t involved dragging your family through the airport? Well good news a North Carolina city just made USA Today’s 10Best list of the Best Places For Summer Vacation. So you can go on a fantastic trip, that’s an easy driving distance, and everyone in the family will love!

To create this list USA Today 10Best’s travel editors combined with a panel of experts create a shortlist of their must-see places for a summer vacation. And from there, well then readers get the final say. They were able to vote on the best places for summer vacation, and the top 10 became the official 10Best.

USA Today conducts these contests in a variety of categories throughout the year, you can view all the winners and even vote here. But for what you came here to see, the North Carolina city that made the 10Best list of Best Places For A Summer Vacation. When you think summer vacation, your mind typically goes to the beach right? Wrong. At least in this case it’s the complete opposite. Yep we are taking a road trip down I-40 to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Where to you ask?

  • Asheville, NC

    It’s Asheville! Asheville has been getting a ton of love lately and I love to see it. At just around a 2.5 hour drive from Charlotte this city is a mountain paradise with a personality all it’s own. From the exquisite food scene, vibrant cultural influence, hiking, outdoor activities, and popular tourist destinations such as Biltmore Estate. There is no shortage of fun to be had in Asheville, which is why people, myself included return year after year.

  • The Rest of The List

    1. Mackinac Island, Michigan
    2. Mobile, Alabama
    3. Door County, Wisconsin
    4. Mystic, Connecticut
    5. Chicago, Illinois
    6. Hocking Hills, Ohio
    7. Crystal River, Florida
    8. Asheville, North Carolina
    9. Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk, New York
    10. Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
  • Popular South Carolina Destination Tops Southern Living List Of Best Cities In The South

    We know there is a lot to love in South Carolina. The state is full of some fantastic places to live and visit whether you are looking for small-town living or city-dreaming. We report a lot about the fantastic small towns our state is home to. But now it’s time for some of our best cities to shine. And shine is just what they are doing. Southern Living Magazine recently released its 2023 The South’s Best Cities list and two South Carolina cities were featured. The list is voted on by the publication’s readers, and I have to say they did a good job selecting. The number one and two best southern cities are two of my all-time favorites (one is in SC) that epitomize southern hospitality.

    When it comes to North Carolina, Asheville ranked the highest, and even higher than some big-time cities! Not bad for a North Carolina mountain town.  Keep reading to see which of the North and South Carolina cities were named as some of the best southern cities. You’ll also find the top 10. Read more about them and how this list was curated on Southern Living’s website. We know how wonderful the Palmetto State is, but hearing it confirmed by experts never gets old!

  • South Carolina

  • 7. Greenville, SC

    Greensville South Carolina City Park

    Once a dilapidated section of Greenville, South Carolina, Falls Park on the Reedy is now a beautiful urban park space with walking trails, falling water, surrounded by art galleries and restaurants.

    Greenville has had quite a revival of late and has positioned itself as a destination city in South Carolina. From festivals to the bustling downtown, parks, trails, and more after a visit you’ll be saying what the locals say “Yeah, that Greenville”. 

  • 1. Charleston, SC


    Charleston, South Carolina (SeanPavonePhoto/Getty Images Plus)

    I’d be shocked if Charleston didn’t top this list. The city received (deservedly so) accolade after accolade and is a popular vacation destination for people all over the country. The gorgeous scenery, historic downtown, world-class restaurants, bars, and more make it what it is.  And in my, completely biased opinion, is there a better example of a quintessential southern city? I think not.

  • North Carolina

  • 12. Raleigh, NC

    North Carolina

    Raleigh, North Carolina, USA downtown skyline.

    Coming in at number 12 on the list is Raleigh. Our state’s capital city is home to a number of wonderful restaurants, museums, festivals, and of course, the North Carolina State Fair which happens every October. It’s also home to the Carolina Hurricanes hockey team, and several universities.

  • 11. Charlotte, NC


    Back to back are Charlotte and Raleigh the two largest cities in the state. And while I don’t buy into the “rivalry” between the two cities this time Charlotte one-upped Raleigh. An ever-growing city Charlotte is home to breweries, renowned restaurants and shopping, Carowinds, and the US National White Water Center. And for the sports lovers, there is the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Football Club, Charlotte Knights, and NASCAR is a short drive north in Concord.

  • 3. Asheville, NC


    All the way at number 3 is the mountain paradise of Asheville, NC. It eclipses destinations such as New Orleans, Nashville, and Austin Texas. Which are heavy hitters. But Asheville’s beauty and culture can’t go unrecognized. Whether it’s the incredible culinary scene, attractions like Biltmore and the Grove Park Inn, hiking, or the arts culture there is something for everyone to love in Asheville. Visit in October during leaf season? You’re in for an even bigger treat!

  • Top 20 Southern Cities

      1. Charleston, SC
      2. Savannah, GA
      3. Asheville, NC
      4. Atlanta, GA
      5. Nashville, TN
      6. New Orleans, LA
      7. Greenville, SC
      8. Chattanooga, TN
      9. Alpharetta, GA
      10. Austin, TX
      11. Charlotte, NC
      12. Raleigh, NC
      13. Fort Worth, TX
      14. Franklin, TN
      15. Orlando, FL
      16. Birmingham, AL
      17. Dallas, TX
      18. Huntsville, AL
      19. Bentonville, AR
      20. Richmond, VA

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