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A good place to 'base" out of?

St. Louis, MO
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143 posts
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A good place to 'base" out of?

My husband and I are just beginning to plan a trip to NC for mid to late March (his spring break). I should add that at the time, we will have a 14 month old traveling with us.

When we visit, we are very interesting in checking out the following:

Queen Anne's Revenge

Historic Bath, NC

Outer Banks Village of Ocracoke

Hatteras Island

WWII's Battleship North Carolina

Crystal Coast Beaches

the Biltmore House (if feasible)

and some of the waterfalls (again, if feasible).

We'll probably be there about a week, and may need to prioritize what we want to do to get it all in, but these are the things that have caught our eye for consideration. So with that in mind, what would be a good "base" city for us? Is Atlantic Beach it? And if so, I'd love to hear your lodging recommendations. We need baby friendly, and we prefer places with modern decor. If breakfast is offered, even better.

Thanks so much in advance for your help!

Wilmington, North...
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1. Re: A good place to 'base" out of?

Well to answer a couple of your questions concerning your trip first I can't think of any place on the NC coast that provides lodging that would not be "child" friendly. Of course not real sure what you are asking there. Are you meaning playgrounds...etc? But your children will certainly be welcome anywhere here.

From the list of attractions you are interested in visiting your best bet may be to "base" yourself in Morehead City, NC. From this point you can easily reach the beaches, Wilmington (battleship) in an hour and half, Bath, Ocracoke would make a great long day trip using the ferry across the sound, and on to HI.

As for the trip to the western part of the state that is one long drive of conservatively 7-7.5 hours. The saying is "Manteo to Murphy" meaning you are driving the entire length of the state.


Cedar Point, North...
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2. Re: A good place to 'base" out of?

If you are driving you could stop in the mountains to see the Biltmore and some waterfalls. If you are flying, there is probably no way to drive that far and back in one week without really limiting your time on the coast.

Clemmons, North...
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for North Carolina, Winston Salem
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3. Re: A good place to 'base" out of?

Why limit yourself to one "base"? At that time of year you can easily find lodging, and the places you've listed are rather far apart. So why not spend a couple of nights in different locations to get a better feel of the place? For example, maybe a couple of nights in the Outer Banks, a couple in Morehead City or at one of the Crystal Coast beaches, then 2-3 nights in Wilmington, etc. While you would have the inconvenience of moving a lot, you'd save an awful lot of driving.

Regarding the mountains, the best/most popular waterfalls are at least an hour's drive from Asheville (like DuPont State Forest or the Cashiers/Highlands area). So if you want to see the Biltmore house, you should probably plan an additional day for waterfalls. If you google "watefalls near Asheville" you'll find lots of info.

St. Louis, MO
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143 posts
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4. Re: A good place to 'base" out of?

Thanks everyone!

In terms of what I mean by "baby friendly", he will be still a bit young for activities, so I simply mean places that are welcoming to babies. We generally prefer to stay in places that are a little more unique than your chain hotels(B&Bs, etc.), but have found that oftentimes these places are geared more towards couples. Sometimes the walls are thin at B&Bs, too, so I would hate to think of him having a rough night and keeping our neighbors awake, too. That's not normal behaviour for him, but as soon as I say that, he'll wake up crying all night one of the nights, haha.

Anyway, we also wouldn't be opposed to staying in multiple locations. I'm guessing we will probably be flying - I think it would be quite far of a drive. But we don't mind driving around a little once we get there either. But, we would be better served to make this trip about the coast, then that's fine too. As I said, I was just throwing a few things out there that grabbed our eye at first glance.

If it helps, we'd probably be able to stay up to 9 days, with 2 of those days being travel days (if we fly).

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5. Re: A good place to 'base" out of?

We just returned from a trip to Atlantic Beach area with our 9 month old son. Our plans were similar to yours - we wanted to check out numerous places along the NC Coast.

We stayed in a condo in Salter Path (right down the road from Atlantic Beach). We went as far south as Wrightsville Beach. We toured Beaufort, Top Sail, Surf City, Wilmington, Camp Lejeune, and everywhere in between. We would have gone up to hatteras and Ocracoke, but because of the damage from Irene we didn't go there.

I thought it was a great area to "base" out of. It really seemed like a neutral spot to us. It was also a great family area. We took our son to the aquarium in Salter Path and it was the highlight of the trip. Granted, he's only 9 months old, but he LOVED it. We didn't go to Asheville and western NC, but I think you would be fine to stay in Atlantic Beach. It worked great for us!

6. Re: A good place to 'base" out of?

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