Weekend trips from Raleigh

As you settle into one of the homes for sale in Raleigh-Durham, you'll likely want to explore the area and see all that Raleigh has to offer. There are so many things to do in your own backyard, but sometimes it's nice to just get away for a while. Whether you're looking for a place to explore with the kids for some family fun or simply hoping for a romantic getaway with your spouse, there are a variety of nearby cities that can provide the perfect atmosphere. Get to know all the great places near your new home that would make for a great weekend trip or a longer vacation destination.

1. Outer Banks, NC (189 miles) - Let the children build sandcastles along the surf and enjoy delicious seafood at one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. People come from all over to visit what's only about a three hour drive from your home. Visit the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse or the Wright Brothers National Memorial while you're in town!

2. Charlotte, NC (167 miles) - Explore another one of North Carolina's fun cities by going to Charlotte. It's often considered the home of NASCAR thanks to the Charlotte Motor Speedway and features tons of great shopping at luxury vendors and boutiques.

3. Charlestown, SC (278 miles) - The four hour and half drive will be well worth it when you arrive in Charlestown. This is the quintessential city for traditional Southern charm as large Victorian homes are situated on the ocean and sweet tea is served by the pitcher. When you're there enjoy the palm trees and classic landmarks like the Pineapple Fountain in Waterfront Park.

4. Asheville, NC (248 miles) - Stay at one of the most gorgeous and romantic retreats in the world, the Biltmore. George Vanderbilt's extraordinary 8,000 acre estate has been restored to an exclusive resort complete with your own personal butler and chef. Tour the gardens or relax at the spa when you'd like to wake up to breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

5. Richmond, VA (155 miles) - See the sights of Virginia's capital by taking the quick drive up to Richmond. Fish, swim or kayak in the James River, visit award-winning vineyards like James River Cellars or peak back into history at the Richmond Civil War Museum.