Travel Adventures

We should consider ourselves lucky to live in the state of North Carolina, where there are a multitude of outdoor adventures at our fingertips.

Stretching from the Tennessee border to the Outer Banks beaches, you are bound to find something to enjoy.

Whether you are planning an anniversary trip, honeymoon, or even a family getaway, check out these daring activities.

Jonas Ridge Snow Tubing

Where: Newland
Distance from Cary: 3.5 hours
Best season: December through first week of March
Ages: 2+
Pre-requisites: None
Is it safe? Yes. Staff say they have never experienced any serious injuries and their No. 1 goal is safety. Staff members are stationed at the top and the bottom of the slope and even show you a preliminary safety video.

What visitors need to know: Children under 6 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Don’t want to climb the 400-foot hill? There is a conveyor belt that takes you to the top.
Jonas Ridge does not accept credit or debit cards, so make sure to bring cash.
Also, even if it has not recently snowed, the site makes its own artificial snow.
Special deals in 2014: Group discount for 15 people or more

Wrightsville Beach Surf Camp

Where: Wrightsville Beach
Distance from Cary: 2 hours
Best season: Summer, particularly June through August when the water is warm and the waves are small — perfect for beginners.
Ages: 5+
Pre-requisites: Basic swimming knowledge
Is it safe? Yes; the school maintains a 3:1 student-instructor ratio, all instructors are CPR certified and are highly trained. This year marks the camp’s 13th season with an incredible safety record.

What visitors need to know: Make reservations as far ahead as you can, because camps and surf school have limited availability.
Special events in 2014: The Aloha for Alopecia Camp is free of charge and is targeted to raising awareness of alopecia and honoring families battling cancer. Visit for more details.

Tail of the Dragon: Motorcycle and Sports Car Road

Where: Deal’s Gap, Tenn.–North Carolina line
Distance from Cary: 5.5 hours
Best season: April through October
Ages: All ages
Pre-requisites: A valid driver’s license
Is it safe? Yes. The road’s highest elevation is 1,962 feet and the speed limit is 30 mph. The Dragon is world famous among motorcyclists and sports car drivers.

What visitors need to know: The road is always open for anyone to ride with any kind of motor vehicle, free of charge. Don’t have a motorcycle? No problem, there are three different places to rent them nearby.
The road has 318 continuous curves in 11 miles that take you through Gravity Cavity, Pig Pens Bend, Rebels Revenge and the Tennessee River.
People come from all over the world to ride, so you never know what kinds of vehicles you’ll see.

Kitty Hawk Dune Hang Gliding

Where: Jockey’s Ridge State Park, Nags Head
Distance from Cary: 3 hours
Ages: 4+
Pre-requisites: “A desire to learn and fly,” staff say, and the ability to run approximately 10 yards.
Is it safe? Yes. Billed as the world’s largest hang gliding school, it accommodates both the physically fit and physically challenged.
What visitors need to know: Participants under age 18 must have a parent or guardian sign a waiver. A typical beginner dune hang gliding lesson is about three hours long and classes have no more than five students per instructor. Make sure to bring water, sunscreen, eye protection, comfortable footwear and clothing, and a camera.
Special events in 2014: May 16-20, the annual Hang Gliding Spectacular and Air Games will host more than 60 competitors from all over to fly, party and meet old and new friends. There are two types of competitions: The Dune and the Aero Towing Competition. Visit for more details.


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