Summer Travel: Beyond NC

In July 2022/August 2022 by Raleigh MagazineLeave a Comment

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By Melissa Howsam and Lauren Kruchten


Peace up, A-Town down. Get peachy this summer with a drive down 85 (or, our pick, a quick wheels up) that won’t let you down—from a stroll around Piedmont Park to drinks on the roof at Ponce City Market, followed by a scoot to the BeltLine for breweries, art, street music and more. Blues fans will wanna tune into the eternal Atlanta Blues Festival that is Blind Willie’s; sports fans’ll wanna make time for the College Football Hall of Fame; sneakerheads should step out for some shoe shops (ATL is known for its sneaker shops); and, well, everyone can and should get a brunch rez at brand-new 5Church Buckhead (pro tip: The sunroom is the perf perch for selfies).

Suches, Ga.

Be one with nature in North Georgia via this cluster of tiny cabins nestled in 57 wooded acres in the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest. Dubbed Getaway Chattahoochee, the exotic-cool glamping excursion is just a two-hour drive from A-town—doubling the appeal for those who truly have Georgia on their mind this summer.


POV? DC should be on your summer bucket list—including its primo POV rooftop bar overlooking the White House, soon to reopen after a monthlong reno. While there, bring the Natitude to a Nats game (America’s city, America’s game–how fitting); stroll M Street in Georgetown for that Fifth Avenue-meets-King Street in Charleston feel; sip drinks on the Washington Harbour; culture-hop across all the free things (monuments, museums and more)… and if you’re looking to make your stay extra presidential, lay your head to rest in Penn Quarter at the Riggs in one of the famed First Lady Suites.

West Virginia

Country roads take me home, to the place I belong. … Outdoor lovers are going to feel right at home in WVA. Test your fight or flight—er, swim—instincts via River Expeditions’ whitewater rafting trips on the New River Gorge or Gauley River; or channel your mountain mama and explore the Mountain State’s 100+ miles of trails by way of New River ATV, the New River Gorge’s premier ATV adventure tour. “Almost heaven, West Virginia…”


Chucktown is more than just the iconic Pineapple Fountain and Rainbow Row (and art market and King Street…). It’s also a haven for award-winning eats and drinks—and plenty of other summer fun you’re gonna wanna check off your bucket list. Must do’s: We rec you wait in the (inevitable) line at  Lewis Barbecue for some of the best brisket in town; book a sunset cruise via Harborview Charters; and grab a nightcap at King Street Dispensary

Greenville, SC

With its small-town feel and big-city charm,  Greenville—voted one of the best cities in the U.S. by Condé Nast Traveler readers in 2021—serves as a great destination for family and couples (or friends!) alike, thanks to its fine eateries, upscale hotels, hip breweries, green spaces, and thriving arts and culture scene. So whether you’re looking to get your steps in on the 22-mile Swamp Rabbit Trail, have a drink a la Don Draper at subterranean drinking den Vault & Vator, or nosh your way through the city’s culinary elite at euphoria (Sept. 15–18), Greenville’s got something for everyone to enjoy.


The so-called River City is a rooftop bar oasis—making a rooftop barhop a must. Faves include Common House (which also boasts a rooftop pool!), Kabana Rooftop (go Sundays for a live DJ), Q Rooftop Bar at Quirk Hotel (get a hot dog when hunger strikes), and  The HofGarden (aka The Hof). Because everyone knows RVA looks better from above—and with a drink in hand, obv.

Chattahoochee River, Ga.

Way down yonder on the Chattahoochee it gets hotter than a hoochie coochie. But nothing a little “Shoot the Hooch” can’t cure (aka what the locals call tubing the Chattahoochee River), so go lay rubber on the Georgia asphalt—er, river—and get a lil crazy… but never get caught. 

Kiawah Island, SC

A barrier island situated just over 25 miles southwest of Charleston in Charleston County, this unspoiled luxe retreat is known mostly for its renowned hospitality, primo accommodations, championship golf (home to the 2021 PGA Championship) and world-class amenities… NTM perfectly preserved maritime forests, sand dunes and marshes (perf for turtle and seabird spotting).


The best thing about Savannah? Its open container law. Grab a bev to-go from one of the many bars and restaurants along the Savannah River, then stroll through River Street—making sure to pit spot at the marketplace, shops, and sip and sup spots for lunch… and a refill, of course. 

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