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Driving Distance: The Carolina Coast

Aerial photography from a recent flight over North Carolina to the Outer Banks. Photo by Chase Olivieri
Aerial photography from a recent flight over North Carolina to the Outer Banks. Photo by Chase Olivieri

Forget Myrtle. After a short two hour drive (150 miles) down Interstate 40 East, you will arrive in Wilmington, NC the quaint seaside historic capital of North Carolina on the Cape Fear River. Wilmington is the perfect place to head for a weekend or day trip to the beach and is home to both mouthwatering cuisine and picturesque beaches.

Camping

Skip the motel and rent a (free) tent from the Duke Outpost and pitch it at Carolina Beach State Park (1010 State Park Road 910-458-8206). Pack some graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate and create some s’mores over your campfire. Check out the Flytrap trail, also inside the park, and see venus flytraps and other carnivorous plants that are endemic to this region of North Carolina. Cost $20/night for a campsite.

Hot Donuts

World renown Britts Donuts (315 Cape Fear Boulevard 910-458-5783) is the place to be once the sun rises. Britts makes donuts by the dozen to feed the thousands of people that line up to sample their fluffy concoctions. At just 80¢/donut who can turn them down? Take that Krispy Kreme.

Stand-up Paddling

Stand-up paddling has become one of largest growing sports in the world and you too can enjoy it in North Carolina. Head over to the Surf House Shop & Cafe (604 North Lake Park Boulevard 910-707-0422 surfhousenc.com) where you can rent a board and paddle to launch in the nearby inter-coastal waterway. After you work up an appetite grab lunch at the cafe that is inside the shop and features a wide variety of fresh sandwiches and salads. Cost $25/person.

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