2014 Summer Guide

by Jeff Sykes

20 vacation spots and day trips in North Carolina

Whitewater Falls

Whitewater Falls in Gorges State Park is a 411-foot waterfall that is the tallest in the eastern United States. Located nine miles south of Sapphire on NC 281. Open dawn to dusk year-round. Cost $2 per vehicle.

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games

The 59th Annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games will be held July 10-13, 2014 at MacRae Meadows on Grandfather Mountain near Linville, NC.


Duke Lemur Center

Learn about these fascinating animals and observe 10 different species of lemurs. The Duke Lemur Center is open all year round from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Located at 3705 Old Erwin Road at Hwy. 751.


NC Transportation Museum

Once the Southern Railway Co.’s largest locomotive repair facility, the museum features 57 acres and exhibits on early transportation. Buildings include the Back Shop, the Master Mechanic’s Office, the Flue Shop and the 37-stall Bob Julian Roundhouse. Located at 411 S. Salisbury Ave.


John C. Campbell

Folk School

John C. Campbell Folk School provides experiences in non-competitive learning and community life that are joyful and enlivening. Located in scenic Brasstown, North Carolina, the Folk School offers year-round weeklong and weekend classes for adults in craft, art, music, dance, cooking, gardening, nature studies, photography and writing.

Brewgrass Festival

Hosted by the Great Smokies Craft Brewers Association and benefiting Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Western North Carolina. Each year in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina, we gather over 40 American breweries to showcase more than 120 different beers.


U.S. National Whitewater Center

With more than 24 activities, the USNWC creates an outdoor playground for all ages. Activities that include whitewater rafting and kayaking, flatwater kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing, zip lines and ropes courses are available to all ages and skill levels. Open year round from dawn to dusk.


Sliding Rock

Sliding Rock is a 50 foot natural water slide that ends in a 7 foot deep pool of water. There are 2 observation platforms, and lifeguards on duty during the season. This is a heavily used recreation area, come early. Season runs through Labor Day. Located eight miles from Brevard.

Bostic Lincoln Center

Some believe Abraham Lincoln was born on Puzzle Creek near Bostic. This museum lets you learn first-hand about Lincoln’s North Carolina. Located at 112 Depot St.

Hayti Heritage Center

Located in Durham at 804 Old Fayetteville St. the center celebrates on of the area’s most successful African-American marketplaces and neighborhoods, once dubbed “Black Wall Street” by Booker T. Washington. Featuring works of art and artifacts.


Lazy 5 Ranch

Drive through 185 acres while visiting this animal park in Mooresville. Featuring more than 600 exotic animals. Located at 15100 Hwy. 150 E.


Reed Gold Mine

When a 12-year-old found a 17-pound gold nugget in 1799 the first gold rush was on. Now a National Historic Landmark, parts of the original mine have been restored for guided tours. Located east of Charlotte in Midland. Gold panning is available 9 am to 4 pm from April 1 through October 31, weather permitting. The fee is $3 per pan.

Unto These Hills

“Unto These Hills” is performed at the Cherokee Mountainside Theatre, located at 688 Drama Road. Free parking for “Unto These Hills” ticket holders. The 2014 season runs from June 2 to August 16. The show starts at 8:00 p.m. nightly. The theatre is closed on Sundays.

African-American Music Trail

The African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina project is a celebration of jazz, rhythm and blues, funk, gospel, blues, church music, rap, marching bands – and the musicians and places in eastern North Carolina where music has been a part of family, church and community life for generations. A cluster of eight contiguous counties including Edgecombe, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, Nash, Pitt, Wayne and Wilson are featured.


Carolina Basketball Museum

With almost 500 artifacts from the storied UNC basketball program, in addition to hundreds of photos, this interactive museum is one of the first of its kind. Located at 450 Skipper Bowles Dr. in Chapel Hill. Open 10-4 M-F and 9-1 on Saturday.

Historic Hertford and

“Catfish” Hunter Museum

A self-guided walking tour of the Hertford waterfront and the 1825 County Courthouse. Hertford native Jim “Catsfish” Hunter is honored with a museum full of memorabilia from his all-star career with the Oakland A’s and New York Yankees. Located at 118 W. Market St.

Montford Point Marine Museum

Celebrates the first African-Americans to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps. More than 20,000 future Marines were trained here between 1942-49. Located at Camp Gilbert H. Johnson in Jacksonville.


The Lost Colony

America’s longest running outdoor drama, located on Roanoke Island. The Lost Colony is widely acknowledged as the precursor to the modern American Broadway Musical. Season runs from May 30 to Aug. 22.

Nature Conservancy

at Nags Head

A gem of sand dunes, ponds, marshes and wetlands nested on the Outer Banks. More than 1,400 acres of maritime forest included five miles of hiking trails and a visitor center. Located at 701 W. Ocean Acres Dr.

Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park

Whirligig sculptures created by local, internationally renowned artist Vollis Simpson will be the centerpiece for a new world-class downtown park anchoring an industrial artisan district in Wilson.

Summer enrichment programs

Summer Science Explorations at the Greensboro Science Center

Summer Science Explorations 2014 at the Greensboro Science Center takes place from June 16 to August 15. From amazing animals to rockin’ robots we make science fun and accessible with hands-on activities and learning adventures for ages 4-15. Our zoo, aquarium and museum are full of opportunities all on one campus! Register online at according to your child’s age by start of class. The very first week of summer has half-day workshops only.

NC Shakespeare SummerStage 2014

SummerStage at NCShakes will challenge and inspire young actors as they develop their skills under the guidance of dedicated professionals. SummerStage camps and workshops will take place on the NCShakes Spirit Center campus, located at 807 West Ward Avenue in High Point. Enjoying summer activities at a professional production facility will be a highlight of every young actor’s camp experience. Auditions June 14. Camps begin June 16. Questions? Contact Outreach & Education Director Sherri Raeford at or (336) 819-6328.

Youth Drawing and Painting Classes at the Art Alliance of GSO

One-week youth fine art camps will take place from June 23–August 1 from 8:30 am–12:30 pm. There are no camps the week of 4th of July. The fee per camp is $120, which includes all materials. Visit to download a PDF file of our 2014 youth summer art camp schedule. To register, please click on the register for classes tab, fill out your information, and press submit. Classes include Drawing and Painting, Comic Book Drawing, Sketchbooks and Story Art. Class size is limited. Preregistration is required. Scholarships may be available. For further information please call 336-373-2725 or email

Summer Art Camp at the Center for Visual Arts in Greensboro

Themed art camps for ages 3-18 are perfect for any aspiring artist. Campers spend the week creating works of art and exploring a variety of media based on their camp theme. Many camps feature special finale events like parades, plays, tea parties and more. Each camper will have a work of art featured in the end of summer art exhibition and celebration, Dirty Fingernails. Visit for more information, to register for camps or to download a brochure.

Summer SciCamp at Sci Works in WS

Summer camp is a blast, and if your kids enjoy SciWorks, then they’ll love SciCamp! Reunite with friends or make new ones as you explore the museum and learn about science while having fun! SciCamps are available for rising K– 6th graders. For more information or to register, please email or call (336) 714-7105.

Sawtooth Summer at Sawtooth School for Visual Art in WS

This summer we are offering even more fun with field trips, visiting artists, and more! A variety of camps split across three age groups, including elementary, middle school and Summer Art Immersion for rising students in grades 9-12. Visit to learn about the many opportunities offered.

Zoo Camps at the North Carolina Zoo

N.C. Zoo Camp is a great way for kids to learn about animals and our natural environment in an outdoor setting. Zoo camp programs offer a one-day experience for students entering grades 1 – 8. Zoo Camp activities may include visiting park exhibits, meeting a zookeeper, creating a take-home craft, conducting experiments and playing games. For more information regarding Zoo Camps or Camp kidzu contact the Zoo education office by phone (336) 879-7715, toll free 1-800-488-0444 ext. 7715.

Engineering, Robotics, Mechatronics, Electronics Camp at GTCC

Children ages 8-17 will learn about the diverse field of Mechatronics Engineering through hands on investigations in robotics, using LEGO’© EV3 system, Vex IQ system, Seaperch Underwater Robotics, Vex Robotics. For more information about Kraken Summer of Fun! please contact Maria Rosato, Program Coordinator, Camps begin June 16. Visit for more information.

UNCG Young Writers’ Camp

This two-week camp, in its third year, is for students in grades 3-12. It will be offered July 14-July 25, 2014, in the UNCG School of Education Building. Campers will create 21st century texts using digital tools such as storyboarding, blogging and movie-making during this two-week camp experience. The camp introduces young writers to the writing process, unlocks strategies of professional writers and supports a variety of writing styles. Visit for registration and additional information

Swimming and Water Fun

Greensboro Pools

Greensboro operates four outdoor pools during summer months, in addition to the year round pools at the Aquatic Center, Smith High School and Smith Senior Center. The four outdoor pools operate from Memorial Day through the first week in August. Over 13 cost is $2, $1 under age 12. Visit or more info.

Lindley Pool

2914 Springwood Dr.

Phone: 336-299-3226

Peeler Pool

1300 Sykes Ave.

Phone: 336-373-5811

Warnesville Pool

601 Doak St.

Phone: 336-373-5809

Windsor Pool

1601 E. Lee St.

Phone: 336-373-5846

Winston-Salem pools

The City of Winston-Salem staffs eight municipal pools across the city. The Bolton and Kimberly Park pools offer a water sprayground as well. Cost is $3 over 18, $2 ages 3-17. Under 2 free.


1590 Bolton Street

Phone: 336-659-4318

Mon., Wed., Fri.: 11:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Tue., Thu., Sat.: 11:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Sun.: 12:30 – 8:00 p.m.

**Water Sprayground


1230 Alder Street

Phone: 336-727-2199


620 Burton Street

Phone: 336-727-2198

Mon. & Thu.: 12:00 – 7 p.m.

Tue., Wed. Fri. & Sat.: 12:00 – 6 p.m.

Sun.: 2 – 6 p.m.

**Water Sprayground


4700 Ogburn Avenue.

Phone: 336-661-4990

Mon. – Sat.: 12:00 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Sun.: 1:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.


1660 Brewer Road

Phone: 336-650-7688

Mon. & Fri.: 11:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Tue., Wed., Thu. & Sat.: 11:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sun.: 12:30 – 6 p.m.


1850 Polo Road

Phone: 336-659-4308

Mon., Wed. & Fri.: 11:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Tue., Thu., & Sat.: 11:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sun.: 12:30 – 6 p.m.


2450 Reynolds Park Road

Phone: 336-650-7645

Mon., Wed., Thu., & Sat.: 12:00 – 6 p.m.

Tue. & Fri.: 12:00 – 7 p.m.

Sun.: 2 – 6 p.m.


1350 Sprague Street

Phone: 336-650-7681

Mon. – Wed.: 12:00 noon – 6:00 p.m.

Thu.: 12:00 noon – 7:00 p.m.

Fri. & Sat.: 12:00 noon – 6 p.m.

Sun.: 2 – 6p.m.

Wet’n Wild Emerald Pointe Water Park

Located south of Greensboro, N.C. off Business 85 at Holden Road – Exit 34, Wet’n Wild Emerald Pointe Water Park offers 36 rides and attractions along with 3 million gallons of water. From the Tropical Drop to the Bonzai Pipeline, there is something for every member of the family.

Hanging Rock State Park

Twelve acres of cool mountain lake are hidden in this regional gem. Open daily at 10 a.m. (11 a.m. on Mondays) the lake is accompanied by refreshment stand, bathhouse and restrooms. Cost is $5 a day for folks over 13, $4 ages 3-12. Canoe and rowboat rentals available for additional fee. Located at 1790 Hanging Rock Park Road, Danbury.

Dan River

The Dan River Basin dominates Stokes and Rockingham counties, with the meandering Dan River providing plenty of opportunity for swimming and other water recreation. The Mayo and Smith rivers are known for their kayaking and canoeing. Visit to learn more, including a list of outfitters and tour guides.