Drive Time in the Carolinas

With the winter of 2013-14 safely behind us, you can do more than simply roll down your windows when you hit the road: You can set aside a weekend or a week to explore new destinations in the Southeast or visit your special getaway town and see what’s new. For the spring 2014 Road Trips, we’re putting an emphasis on gotta-see events and new and noteworthy locations for food and drink. Trust us: You’ve earned it.

Joining us for this outing are some of the top travel writers in the Southeast; their names appear at the end of their articles.

Zenda Douglas of Gastonia writes extensively about traveling in the Southeast, and her articles have been published in numerous magazines and newspapers, including The Charlotte Observer, where her Weekend Adventure column – exploring drive-to destinations – appears monthly.

Leah Harrison is a former Observer intern who now lives and works in Charleston. And that’s what she writes about in Road Trips.

Observer beer columnist Daniel Hartis “Beer Lover’s The Carolinas: Best Breweries, Brewpubs & Beer Bars” will soon hit the bookstores.

Randy Johnson, based in the Banner Elk area, is author of an upcoming coffee table book from the University of North Carolina Press: “Grandfather Mountain: Appalachian Icon, A History and Guide.” His other books include “Hiking North Carolina,” and “Best Easy Day Hikes Great Smoky Mountains National Park.”

Observer food editor Kathleen Purvis, whose love of Southern food and drink led her to write “Bourbon” and “Pecans” for the UNC Press’ Savor the South Cookbooks series, offers top destinations in North Carolina for barbecue, wine and cheese.

Lynn Seldon, who lives in Oak Island, is the author of travel books about everything from Maryland to the Virgin Islands. You can follow him on his Carolina TravelPlanner blog (

And Lan Sluder, author of “Amazing Asheville: Guide to Asheville and the Beautiful North Carolina Mountains,” shares tips about making the most of his hometown.

Charlotte freelance writer Amber Veverka writes family-oriented getaway articles for our Travel section; she also handles the Science Blog feature in the Observer’s Monday Sci-Tech pages.

The authors of books published this spring by UNC Press have suggestions for outdoor activities: Johnny Molloy (“Hiking North Carolina’s National Forests: 50 Can’t-Miss Trail Adventures in the Pisgah, Nantahala, Uwharrie, and Croatan National Forests”) and Joe Miller (“Adventure Carolinas: Your Go-To Guide for Multi-Sport Outdoor Recreation”).

Let’s roll.

Road Trips: Drive time in the Carolinas

Spring & summer guide to fun

S.C. Coast

Myrtle Beach | Myrtle Beach events | Charleston | Hilton Head |

Beaufort/Port Royal/Kiawah

Inland S.C.

Columbia | Greenville

Farther Afield

Savannah, Ga. | Atlanta |

Knoxville, Tenn.

Here & There

N.C. cheese trips | Wine trips |

Beer travel | N.C. barbecue

N.C. Mountains

Asheville | Asheville events | Cherokee | Boone/Blowing Rock | Lake Lure/Chimney Rock | Bryson City | Mountain Adventures | Mountain Hikes

N.C. Piedmont

Charlotte area | Raleigh | Winston-Salem | Greensboro | Durham | Great Uwharrie Hiking | Piedmont Adventures

N.C. Coast

Outer Banks | Great Croatan Hikes | Wilmington | Morehead City/Beaufort | Coastal Adventures