All posts by Alana-Nicole Dery

Outdoors in the Old North State

When I moved to North Carolina, I never could have imagined the treasures this state would have in store.  I came to Charlotte, rather unexpectedly and discovered in many ways Western North Carolina wasn’t too different from New England.  From Charlotte it’s under 150 minutes to the mountains and under 4 hours to scads of beaches.  Also the craft beer scene matches and dare I say exceeds, that in Vermont. For me the biggest change was swapping out seafood for barbecue – yummy in a more indulgent way!  This page will serve to help educate visitors and new comers to the natural wonders

 North Carolina

Image result for western north carolina map
Most the posts will focus in this region of North Carolina

Western North Carolina is land of grandeur.  It is home to the highest mountain (Mt. Mitchell at 6,684 sq.ft) & the tallest waterfall (Whitewater Falls) on the East Coast.  Maids tremble in fear at the thought of cleaning the largest private residence (The Biltmore Estate & its 250 rooms).  While atop Grandfather Mountain, you can walk across a mile-high suspension bridge (How about that Bronco fans!).  

Charlotte was the heart of the original frontier during colonial era.  Deemed a “Hornet’s Nest” by the British there has long been an independent strike by people who live in this region. Charlotte celebrates Meck Day on May 20th as a celebration of the reading of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence on 5/20/1775 in response to the battles of Lexington & Concord in Massachusetts. It is considered to be the first Declaration of Independence against Britain and an inspiration for Thomas Jefferson. 

Typically much of what I have seen Charlotte focus its historical identity has been post Reconstruction Era (following the Civil War) and raising out of the war’s ashes to embrace an identity as a hub of the “New South.”  You can learn more about the New South identity at the Levine Museum of the New South or the Harvey B. Gantt Center, named for one of the city’s more popular mayors.  Other museums to explore include the Mint Museum of Art or the Discovery Place, the area’s science museum. 

But for me, I enjoy the accessibility Charlotte affords, being able to enjoy dynamic neighborhoods, boisterous sporting events & innovative restaurants.  When I want to recharge my batteries, its a quick interstate trek to the mountains out west or beaches, southeast. It’s this accessibility coupled with the sincere warm of residents that endears me to this vibrant region.

Greetings from the Chilly South East

In 2017, Take A Day Trip is branching out from New England excursions to a new geographic pocket!  The South East, specifically most of Southern Appalachia and the Southern North Carolina, South Carolina and Northern Georgia coast.

I’m Alana and I have known the founder Shawn, since our very first day at college! I relocated to Charlotte, NC in the summer of 2013 from Massachusetts.  Prior to moving,  I had a limited knowledge of the South East including historical sites, the various ecosystems and the rich cultural diversity.  In less than 4 years, I have grown to marvel at this corner of the country. The natural beauty never falls to leave me awestruck and I can never speak higher of the local food and drink scenes I have discovered. You can expect to find new places to hike, local businesses to support and where to get that next great meal (drinks included)!  Also, being a history and anthropology buff I’ll try to share some fun facts and trivia along the way.  Knowledge is power people and we’ll try to make each other the next pub trivia champ!

My posts will typically focus on things within a 4 hour drive from my home.  This means highlighting the following areas:

  • Western – Central North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Eastern Tennessee
  • South-western Virginia
  • Northern and (hopefully) coastal Georgia.

However, I will try to expand upon that focus if my travels take me beyond this scope.

We welcome anyone in these states to also share their favorites spots, whether they are hikes, experiences and even fun facts.  Also, we also open to suggestions on what people would like to gain from their experience with Take a Day Trip.  I’m excited to grow the scope of Take a Day Trip and I’m also looking forward to your suggestions on where to explore next.

Happy Trails to You… Until We Meet Again!