10 Best Retirement Activities in North Carolina

Retirement is the time to get out and do the things you’ve always wanted to. Gone are the days of the nine to five. Now, you get to utilize your time as you wish. It’s all about art museum trips, cooking classes, winery visits—you name it. Here are just a few of the best retirement activities to enjoy in North Carolina. 

Shackleford Wild Horse & Shelling Safari, Beaufort, NC

Take a short ferry ride to the island of Shackleford Banks, and then scout out the wild horses residing there. A guide will lead the way to one of the last isolated roaming herds of wild horses—descendants of those brought to North Carolina more than 400 years ago. Following the horse tour, you’ll be led to one of the region’s best beaches for seashells. Collecting here is a favorite pastime and often results in several species including Conchs, Whelks, Olives, Sand Dollars and more. This leisurely adventure takes several hours. 

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North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC

Exhibits abound at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Guests create their own experiences each time they visit. Peruse paintings. Take part in a tour. Join a workshop or art class. Attend the Lunch and Lecture series. There’s something for everyone, no matter if you know art or not, at this amazing museum.

Woodmill Winery, Vale, NC

Visit the gorgeous grounds of Woodmill Winery. Strolls between the rows of sweet Muscadine grapes, ripening in the sun—soon to be turned into delicious wine. Sample the various wines made on-site, and be sure to take a bottle home for later.

Airborne & Special Operations Museum, Fayetteville, NC

Take a tour of the Airborne & Special Operations Museum and see countless artifacts related to airborne and special ops. It’s the most advanced of all the Army museums. Those who have ever served in the military or know someone who has will truly appreciate everything on exhibit here. All the exhibits and grounds are easily accessible.

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Latta Plantation, Huntersville, NC

North Carolina is home to several historical plantations and visiting Latta Plantation is a wonderful retirement activity. Guests learn about the back-country of the Tar Heel State and enjoy tours of the cook’s kitchen, the smoke and well house and a reconstructed slave home—in addition to the plantation home. The last tour starts at 4 p.m. every afternoon.

Pilot Mountain State Park, Pinnacle, NC

Hike Jomeokee Trail at Pilot Mountain State Park. The one-mile long hike allows for a leisurely pace with beautiful scenic views. There are plenty of stops along the hike to sit and enjoy a picnic or simply take a break. This is the perfect hike to master before taking on other trails at Pilot Mountain.

The Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC

Visit the Biltmore and pretend you live like the Vanderbilts. Stroll the grounds of the winery. Take part in a wine tasting. Check out the list of seasonal events that are scheduled throughout the year. Splurge on dinner. The options are endless and there’s something for every budget.

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Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro, NC

Go beach camping at Hammocks Beach State Park. Bear Island is a three-mile long barrier island accessible by the state park ferry or via canoe or kayak. Primitive campsites for tenting are available, and programs on the ecosystem, sea turtles and the island’s bird species are available throughout the summer months.

North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, Pine Knoll Shores, NC

Visit or become a volunteer at North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. The area surrounding the aquarium is home to countless ocean creatures. Kayak along the shores during spring, summer and fall. Take a behind-the-scenes tour and learn how marine wildlife are cared for. Contact the aquarium if becoming a volunteer is a consideration. Classes for volunteers are scheduled several times yearly.

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Chapel Hill Cooking Classes, Chapel Hill, NC

Take a cooking class at Chapel Hill Cooking Classes. Check out the menus that are scheduled and get ready for a lesson in world cuisine. Enjoy this privately or as part of a group.

North Carolina Search
Best Things To Do Near You
Best Things To Do Near You
Oct
26
Oct
27

Liz Cooper and The Stampede

8:00 PM
Cat's Cradle Back Room Carrboro, NC
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Oct
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Food Truck - Let's Eat!

5:00 PM
Bombshell Beer Company Holly Springs, NC
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Oct
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Spooktacular

5:00 PM
Jefferson L. Sugg Farm Park Holly Springs, NC
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Oct
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NCA&T Homecoming Concert

7:00 PM
Greensboro Coliseum Complex Greensboro, NC
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Oct
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Gary Clark Jr

8:00 PM
Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts Greensboro, NC
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JJ Williamson

7:00 PM
Raleigh Improv Cary, NC
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Best Places To Go Near You
Best Places To Go Near You
4401 Zoo Parkway, Asheboro, NC
About Us:Located just south of Asheboro, the North Carolina Zoo is seated on a 1,500-acre tract of land in the Uwharrie Mountains.  Approximat... Read More
233 East Avenue, Seagrove, NC
Welcome to the North Carolina Pottery Center, the only state-wide facility in the nation devoted solely to pottery. Designed, funded, and construct... Read More
572 Pumping Station Road, Sanford, NC
San-Lee Park is a 177+acre park, located at 572 Pumping Station Road, that offers hiking trails, a mountain bike trail, a Nature Center, playground... Read More
1024 Ft. Bragg Road, Southern Pines, NC
Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve is a unique window onto the longleaf pine forests that once covered millions of acres in the southeastern ... Read More
3910 South Holden Road, Greensboro, NC
When you think summer, think Wet'n Wild. The largest water park in both the Carolinas is the place to cool off, get sun and have fun. With over 36 ... Read More
280 State Park Road, Apex, NC
Jordan Lake State Recreation Area is a collective of nine access areas scattered around the shoreline of this undeveloped, 14,000-acre reservoir. M... Read More
1615 Kersey Valley Road, High Point, NC
Maize Adventure is the most famous corn maze in NC that is the perfect way for your family, school, home school or church group to experience a day... Read More
131 West Church Street, Ellerbe, NC
The Rankin Museum is fun for all ages. Take yourself away from your everyday world and explore faraway places and times past in our exhibits. Imagi... Read More
310 South Greene Street, Greensboro, NC
History:The Carolina Theatre, originally billed as “The Showplace of the Carolinas,” opened on Halloween night in 1927 as a 2,200-seat ... Read More
134 South Elm Street, Greensboro, NC
Vision:We seek to memorialize the courageous stand of the Greensboro Four as they launched, for posterity, the sit-in movement on February 1, 1960.... Read More
200 North Davie Street, Greensboro, NC
Mission Statement: Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art is a non-profit organization devoted to the stateÔ³ visual arts, artists, and cultura... Read More
220 North Church Street, Greensboro, NC
Mission StatementThe Greensboro Children’s Museum’s Mission is to provide children and families with fun, interactive, educational expe... Read More
200 North Davie Street, Greensboro, NC
The Greensboro Cultural Center provides four levels of galleries, studios, classrooms, and rehearsal halls to stimulate the mind and excite the sen... Read More
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