A Holiday Getaway? Or a North Carolina Memorial Day Tradition


As you have come to discover since relocating to your new home in Fuquay Varina, holiday traditions in NC are taken pretty seriously. You’ve seen the “spirit” and community togetherness with each passing holiday to date and joined in with neighbors at the South Lakes neighborhood in celebrating. One holiday that is rapidly approaching though has several different traditions, depending on the resident celebrating the “big day.” Actually, in this case, those NC residents would be celebrating a “big weekend,” as tradition for this day calls for a “three-day weekend” and a visit to one of several known getaway spots. Those spots, we will discuss below among our North Carolina Memorial Day traditions.

Just as with any length vacation or “getaway” in North Carolina, you have certain areas that residents across the state flock to. Sure, as we mentioned above, some spots are closely associated with certain holidays and points throughout the year. But, regardless of the calendar, and as you’ll see with our North Carolina Memorial Day traditional spots, some are areas that family’s like to vacation at year-round.

North Carolina Memorial Day in the Mountains

A perfect example of what we were just trying to explain are the first two entries we have for our traditional North Carolina Memorial Day, three-day weekend suggestions. It almost feels like “cheating,” to list a great NC vacation spot and then suggest popular spots either in the mountains or on the coast and at the beach. 

But, hey, it’s undeniable, and is North Carolina Memorial Day tradition to head out of town for the three days surrounding said holiday to just those destinations. Thus, no matter where you decide upon, just be sure you spend a relaxing weekend in remembrance of those who fought for the freedom to make such a choice in America. 

The Great Smoky Mountains

Say what you like about the mountains of NC or the beaches being places that could fall under the “umbrella” of being called traditional vacation spots throughout the year. We are not here to dispute the year-round allure or popularity of either destination. However, all things considered, you are celebrating a great American holiday for your North Carolina Memorial Day. Consequently, I can’t think of a much more American backdrop than the rustic surroundings of Waynesville, Lake Junaluska, and Maggie Valley in the southwestern part of NC’s Smoky Mountains. 

Of these three towns, Waynesville is a “headquarters, ” housing most of the cabins or inns to stay at. If making the trip as a “romantic getaway,” this is your stop, too, as The Swag is a must for you and your partner. But no matter who is with you for this North Carolina Memorial day getaway, some exploring has to be on the agenda in the Smoky’s! Head over to Lake Junaluska for a bike ride, hike, and some water fun, or at least to soak in the gorgeous scenery. 


Ok, so maybe not as well-known of a name as the Smoky’s, but this voyage still has you “in the mountains” for your North Carolina Memorial Day. Come to think of it, this “mountain town” and the Blue Ridge Mountains in which it’s situated are probably just as popular a vacation spot as the Smoky’s, or at least close to it. 

Regardless, whether your long weekend is one you are looking to be an outdoors themed trip or one giving you a “culinary adventure,” Brevard is the place. the Pisgah National Forest and Looking Glass Rock are spots to check out at some point in your North Carolina Memorial Day trip for sure. However, don’t snooze on the fantastic shops and restaurants downtown, as they are worth the getaway themselves.

Spending Your North Carolina Memorial Day “in the Sand”

Hey, it’s the “Tar Heel State,” right? You have the unique location where you can, as above suggested, “head to the mountains.” Or you can just as easily take our advice and roll to one of the next two entries for our North Carolina Memorial Day vacation suggestions. Either of these two options will find you spending your three-day break at the beach.


Much like we said in explaining the North Carolina Memorial Day tradition of the mountains, for many residents, this three-day weekend is always spent at the beach. For countless North Carolinians annually, that brings them in for the long weekend to Wilmington.

Whether it’s the great places to eat along the Riverwalk. The boat tours that you can take along the Cape Fear River. Or the short drive and access to either of three beaches (Wrightsville, Carolina, or Kure). Starting your own North Carolina Memorial Day tradition on the beach and in Wilmington is one you won’t wind up regretting.


Lees known, but arguably even more scenic and beautiful. Our next North Carolina Memorial Day vacation spot is the quaint, coastal town of Edenton.

Earning accolades as one of “America’s Prettiest Small Towns,” the gorgeously preserved homes here coupled with a vibrant and fun downtown area gives you the best of the past and the present on this North Carolina Memorial Day getaway. Sure, the shopping and the food are second to none, but befitting to the holiday you are celebrating is to enjoy some of the town’s rich historical attractions, too. Between the Chowan County Courthouse building, the 1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse, or others, history awaits your presence here in Edenton. Who knows, maybe you will be starting to make your own family’s history in this town.

North Carolina Memorial Day is for Racing!

Ok, we explained the year-round tendencies of residents. We explained where they visit and spend time. Yes, many NC residents spend this holiday weekend at either the beach or the mountains in NC. Both of these are true and no question, traditional NC vacation spots. However, when it comes to a true North Carolina Memorial Day, in the eyes of many, there is one city to be in. Likewise, there is just one place to be for this holiday weekend when in this city. Consequently, there would just be one place to go to that spot in this city, and where would you go? You would go RACING!


Yes, Charlotte is one of the fastest-rising city’s not just in NC, but nationwide. Yes, we know,, the nightlife scene in the “Queen City,” is one that has a fun night waiting for you. But for a North Carolina Memorial Day weekend in Charlotte, many feel differently. This is because to many, the place to be is Charlotte Motor Speedway. These same folks feel whatever other attractions you see are merely secondary to going “racing.”

Every North Carolina Memorial Day is celebrated with the huge annual Coca Cola 600 NASCAR race. The festivities which surround the weekend of racing are truly second to none also. The “Speed Street Festival,” coincides with the race each year. This “fanfest” runs for three days and is a racing fan’s dream come true. Honestly, there may be no more fitting place to celebrate our country and the heroes who have defended it proudly than among this red, white, and blue soaked crowd every Memorial Day in Charlotte.

It’s Your Weekend, Our Country, and Your Tradition to Create

Memorial Day weekend is one of the most celebrated three day weekends throughout the calendar year. So let’s give a tip of the cap to those who came before us and defended our country. This is a weekend Americans historically take a few days and relax.. Regardless of what your own traditions are. No matter what you think of the afore suggested North Carolina Memorial Day. It’s your choice as to where and what you’d like to spend this weekend doing. Those we are celebrating fought hard to give you that right. So, however you decide to, you might as well enjoy it!

For more information on the South Lakes new home neighborhood including the new homes available in Fuquay Varina in the community, visit southlakesliving.com