Best foodie getaway
- Known for: Renowned cuisine featuring ingredients grown onsite
- Location: Walland, Tennessee
- Driving time: 4 hours and 15 minutes
- Average nightly weekend rates: $1,395-$2,895
Best Lowcountry getaway
Palmetto Bluff, located about 25 miles north of Savannah on the May River, is a premiere luxury Lowcountry destination. The sprawling 20,000-acre compound marries residential and resort amenities with a meticulous conservation-first development strategy aimed at maintaining the integrity of the maritime forests and tidal creeks that make up the land.
Best outdoor activities
It’s a legit luxury mountain getaway and just a little over two hours from Charlotte. There are only around 60 rooms (excluding home rentals) on over 12,000 acres of property at Primland. Travel and Leisure recently ranked the hotel #13 in the U.S. and U.S. News & World Report ranked in #10 in the U.S. With over 750 reviews, Primland’s TripAdvisor rating is a flawless 5 out of 5 stars — which is hard for pricy hotels.
Primland room options:
- Main Lodge (26 units)
- Pinnacle Cottages (16 units)
- Fairway Cottages (16 units)
- Tree Houses (3 units)
- Primland’s Mountain Homes (11 homes, 1-7 bedrooms)
Most rooms are in that $400-$700 range before taxes and fees. One nice thing about Primland is that they’re transparent with rates and you can view a PDF of their rates here.
Best old-school mountain retreat
- Known for: Mountain retreat feel featuring fine dining and a destination spa
- Location: Highlands, North Carolina
- Driving time: 3 hours and 15 minutes
- Average nightly weekend rates: $390-$755
Best ocean getaway
- Known for: World-class golf on South Carolina’s coast
- Location: Kiawah Island, South Carolina
- Driving time: 3 hours and 55 minutes
- Average nightly weekend rates: $565-$2,050
Best chill getaway
- Known for: Renovated historic property in downtown Aiken
- Location: Aiken, South Carolina
- Driving time: 2 hours and 35 minutes
- Average nightly weekend rates: $301-$784
Best mountain lover getaway
- Known for: Stunning mountain views 5,000 feet above sea level
- Location: Waynesville, North Carolina
- Driving time: 2 hours and 40 minutes
- Average nightly weekend rates: $1,575-$2,413
Best golf getaway
- Known for: 230 Four-Diamond guest rooms on the sprawling Pinehurst campus
- Location: Pinehurst, North Carolina
- Driving time: 2 hours
- Average nightly weekend rates: $505-$1,079
Most luxurious getaway
One of only three AAA Five Diamond hotels in North Carolina, The Umstead Hotel and Spa is an unexpected luxury oasis in suburban Cary. Situated on a wooded lot with a 3-acre lake and cabana-lined outdoor pool, the 150-room property feels like a secluded mountain retreat but is conveniently located off I-40 just outside Raleigh alongside strip malls and shopping centers.
You wouldn’t know it once you’re on the grounds, though, because The Umstead is the kind of place you go to forget where you are. It absorbs you — from the phone-free spa where time seems to evaporate to the all-consuming dining experience at Herons, the hotel’s exquisite AAA Five Diamond signature restaurant.
Accommodations at The Umstead range in size from 540 square feet to a sprawling 1,725-square-foot penthouse suite.
If spa time is your top priority, the Spa Level Suites, located on the ground floor, give you direct access to the spa facilities and the outdoor pool without a trip to the elevator. These suites also include complimentary access to the spa facilities daily. (All hotel guests can access the spa facilities free of charge Monday through Thursday and with a minimum $100 treatment Friday through Sunday.)
But the higher level suites with lake view balconies overlooking the manicured lawn and pool are tough to beat and would be our first pick.
Best spa-lover getaway
- Known for: Award-winning spa and Donald Ross golf course
- Location: Asheville, North Carolina
- Driving time: 2 hours and 20 minutes
- Average nightly weekend rates: $389-$1,249
Best family getaway
- Location: White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
- Driving time: 3 hours and 51 minutes
- Rooms: The Greenbrier has 710 rooms, including 33 suites and 96 guest and estate homes.
- Agenda guide: How to spend a weekend at The Greenbrier
- Average nightly weekend rates: $268-$588
In the middle of the mountains of West Virginia, you’ll find a The Greenbrier — a massive 11,000-acre luxury resort with a 235-year history. Fun fact: 27 of our country’s 45 Presidents have visited The Greenbrier. Consistently ranked as one of the top hotels in the country, The Greenbrier has a TripAdvisor rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
As you’d imagine in a resort the size of The Greenbrier, the activities options are insane. Activities include golf, hiking, horseback riding, bunker tours, shooting, ice skating, whitewater rafting, indoor and outdoor pools, indoor and outdoor tennis, spa, and a new(ish) casino with table games.
Depending on the weather, I recommend hitting up the pools, spa, golf and casino. The Greenbrier has four golf courses and a nine hole course as well. Their newly remodeled Old White TPC hosts a PGA Tour event, so it’s legit.
Looking for more travel ideas? Here’s our full list of Agenda guides to cool experiences within driving distance of Charlotte.