10 Fun Field Trips in Western North Carolina

Today I’m participating in the Fun Field Trips Around the World link up hosted by Hip Homeschool Moms.  I’m going to share with you 10 great trips to take with your homeschooling family in and around my area!

1.) Grandfather Mountain in Linville, NC.

Me about to cross the bridge

This beautiful majestic setting has fun for the whole family.  It’s famous for it’s mile high swinging bridge that spans an 80 foot long chasm, one mile above sea level.  It also has scenic hiking and walking trails and a nature museum, and wildlife habitats for deer, cougars, black bears and more. There are educational programs available for homeschool groups and discounted rates. Spend the day enjoying the great outdoors in the Blue Ridge Mountains!  Click here to check out our trip there for our anniversary.

2.) Whippoorwhill Village in Ferguson, NC.

A visiting flat traveler joined us on our trip

This quaint little gem, tucked away in Wilkes County, NC is a fun stop for any family.  It is part of the North Carolina Birding Trail and is a letter boxing location.  Here you will see an old one room schoolhouse, the Tom Dooley Art Museum, a replica of one of Daniel Boone’s cabins, the Chapel of Peace, a blacksmith shop, a wash house, a country store, and a replica of the Yadkin River Jail.  Admission is free, but there are limited visiting hours.  To see one of our trips there, click here.

3.) Fort Defiance in Lenoir, NC.

The name of this site is a little misleading, as it is not really a fort.  This Revolutionary War era home was the residence of General William Lenoir, a captain in the military during the war.  The home was actually still used as a dwelling until the 1960s and is now a non profit historical site open to the public.  You can tour the house and the grounds and learn lots of interesting facts about the family who once lived there and the time period in which it was built.  The fort provides living history days each fall for educational purposes.  Read more about our tour here.

4.) The North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, NC.

My son with one of the steam locomotives

If you have a child that loves trains and things that go, this is the place to visit!  Ride a train and a turn table by the roundhouse, tour the four main buildings and view antique automobiles, steam and diesel locomotives and more!  They even have a hospital car from 1945 and a full size replica of the Wright flyer!  There are several special events scheduled through the year such as Autumn Excursions and A Railroad Christmas.  There is a day just for homeschoolers every fall.

5.) The North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, NC.

With over 400 acres of flowers, trees, and other plants to explore, this trip will definitely fill your day!  It is a beautiful site with exhibits ranging from local fauna to bonsai trees.  There are also hiking and biking trails to explore.  Tour the grounds on your own or take a guided tour.  Participate in nature scavenger hunts on the trails or sign up for their education classes.  A great time is sure to be had!  To read more about our trip, click here.

6.) Tuttle Educational State Forest in Lenoir, NC.

This location has been specifically developed to be an “outdoor classroom.”  It contains several trails and a small forestry center.  The main attraction to this is the “Talking Trees” trail.  Along one of the marked trails, you will find several speaker boxes that will “talk” to you about the various trees and plants along the way.  The kids always love racing to find the next box so they can hear what it has to say!  There are also picnic shelters available and Ranger conducted classes for groups of ten or more.  To read a little more about our trip, click here.

7.) Linville Caverns in Marion, NC.

As the only show caverns in NC, Linville Caverns offer something unique. Tour the limestone caverns that were discovered by local fisherman in 1822 and see the stalagmites and stalactites and even an Eastern Pipistrelle bat or two at the right time of year!

8.) The Western North Carolina Nature Center in Asheville, NC.

Featuring animals and plants that are native to the Appalachian region, this sprawling 40+ acre center is full of sights to see.  Otters, black bears, snakes, wolves, foxes and more call it home and you can spend hours viewing all of them and learning about each one. There is also a petting farm exhibit where you can even pet goats! There are educational programs available for groups of 10 or more.

9.) Catawba Science Center in Hickory, NC.

A smorgasbord of science activities and exhibits, this is a great place for children of all ages. It features several permanent exhibits including a small aquarium, a planetarium, a naturalist center, and a science courtyard.  There is also a rotating temporary exhibit that changes every few months.  Every spring, they bring in butterflies to their courtyard for children to view and explore.  Learn about energy, build your own creation in the Inventor’s Workshop, or take your young children to the Explore It! room to run and play in a tree house!  The science center offers classes specifically for homeschoolers each year.

10.) Greensboro Children’s Museum in Greensboro, NC.

If you have young children, you will not regret your trip to this museum.  Filled with realistic, but child-sized hands on activities, your children can take a walk down Main Street and shop in the market, make pizza, put on a play, work in a doctor’s or dentist’s office, climb in a real fire truck, work in the post office and more!  There is tons of fun to be had and many things to explore.  There is even an edible schoolyard featuring teaching gardens.  The kids will beg to go back!

There you have it!  Ten great places to take your family for a field trip.  Make sure you check out the other posts linked up at Hip Homeschool Moms to discover more fun places around the world!


  1. We are in WNC, though only been here a couple of years. I think my list only duplicated 2 of these! Thanks for the ideas of other trips to take!

  2. Thanks! Added a few to my “Travel the Triad – daytrips” pinterest board 🙂

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