Daytrip Cary

Planning Daytrips From Cary

Cary, NC – With Summer approaching, and the Summer weather practically already here, many people take that opportunity to go on vacation. But there are also mini-vacations or daytrips you can take with Cary as your central hub.

Travel By Train

It’s a roughly three hour drive to get from Downtown Cary to Downtown Charlotte if you get lucky traffic. Instead of sitting stiff, eyes on the road at all times, hands at 10 and 2, you can also take the three different trains leaving from the Cary Depot to the city in the same amount of time with far more freedom.

The Piedmont and Carolinian Amtrak routes pass through Cary on their way to the far West part of the state and leave later that same day to have you back in bed at night. Additionally, these two lines also make stops in Durham, Greensboro, Burlington and other parts of the state with fun things to do so if you don’t want to go to Charlotte specifically, you have options.

Additionally, there is the Silver Star line that can take you up to Rocky Mount and even Richmond, Virginia or down to Southern Pines, Rockingham and Camden, South Carolina and still get back to Cary at the end of the night. You can follow the train schedules online.

Downtown Charlotte

Beach Trip

Cary is just about in the center of the state but beaches on the Atlantic coast are closer than one might guess and if you plan your day right, you can go to the beach and back for a day trip.

The closest beaches to Caryites are likely Wrightsville Beach and Holden Beach, each under a three hour drive, although there is currently road construction on the way to Holden Beach so depending on the day and time of your drive, it could be longer.

If you’re interested in the nature around the coasts rather than the beach itself, then Morehead City is another reasonable drive and it is near the large Croatan National Forest.

Of course, if you’re just after a beach and don’t care if it’s on the ocean or not, there’s always nearby Jordan Lake, which is a popular destination for many North Carolinians, both in Cary and not.

Daytrip Cary


Story by staff reports. Photos by Lindsey Chester, Karl Norling and David Wilson.

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4 replies
  1. Tad Einloth
    Tad Einloth says:

    Add as a must see – Aloha Safari Zoo – Cameron, NC – Harnett County – 50 minute drive from here – Cary. Rescued animals that kids can interact with. Highly rated by Trip Advisor.

  2. Earl P. Bell
    Earl P. Bell says:

    Good coverage of vacationing options for Cary residents. As you probably know, the central Atlantic coast towns of Atlantic Beach, Pine Knoll Shores, Indian Beach, Salter Path and Emerald Isle are a primary places for vacationing by people from the Raleigh Durham Metro area. In fact, my house in Pine Knoll Shores, for thee past four years, has rented primarily, especially in the summer season, to people from the state capital area. Keep up the good reporting.

  3. Gary, 71
    Gary, 71 says:

    some fun day trips we’ve taken on weekdays (2 seniors):

    Oriental: coastal town, very walkable, lots of sailboats

    Winston-Salem: large Mast General Store and great Sweet Potatoes rest. right across the street

    Wilson: Whirligig Park and Parkers BBQ

    Concord: Concord Mills Mall & Sonny’s BBQ

    By Train: Salisbury: very walkable to BBQ and ice cream shop, trolley bus tour, nearby Railroad Museum. Ride aboard an Amtrak Train to Salisbury Depot, then take public transportation to the museum.

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