Best North Carolina Family Resorts for Relaxation & Adventure

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a lake in western North Carolina

North Carolina is the place for families looking for a surf or turf style vacation. You can head to the state’s sandy Atlantic Ocean beaches for fun in the sun. Or, if you’re looking for epic hiking and stunning vistas, the Great Smokies or Blue Ridge Mountains are an option. And family-friendly North Carolina resorts offer an array of experiences served with Southern hospitality.

You’ll find a wide variety of accommodation options in North Carolina, including everything from award-winning luxury resorts and beachfront cottages to rustic mountain escapes. Check out our curated list of the 11 best resorts in North Carolina to begin planning your family adventure in the Tar Heel State.

Living area of a spacious suite at Club Wyndham Saffire Valley.
Living area of a spacious suite at Club Wyndham at Fairfield Saffire Valley. Photo credit: Extra Holidays

This section is sponsored by Extra Holidays, which specializes in offering condo vacations at hotel prices in destinations around the world.

Read More: Is Extra Holidays Legit? We Take a Deep Dive Into this Vacation Rental Site

1. Club Wyndham Resort at Fairfield Sapphire Valley

70 Sapphire Valley Road
Sapphire, NC 28774

A stunning mountain setting is one of the huge draws of the Club Wyndham Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The property is nestled in the Western North Carolina Sapphire Valley ski area that is known as “The Land of Waterfalls.”

Accommodations are one-bedroom suites that comfortably sleep four to eight guests in units that range from 745 to 1,280 square feet. One-bedroom suites feature a private bedroom with one king or queen bed and a queen sleeper sofa in the living area. Two-bedroom suites feature a king bed in each bedroom and two queen sleeper sofas in the living area.  Each unit also features a full kitchen, washer and dryer and a private balcony or patio.

There’s a lot to do on property at the Club Wyndham Resort. Indoor and outdoor pools provide four-season fun. Winter sports include skiing and snowboarding.

Why Club Wyndham Resort Works for Families:

  • Suites provide separate living/sleeping spaces, full kitchens and a washer/dryer
  • Great location in western North Carolina near the Sapphire Valley ski area and “The Land of Waterfalls” for winter sports, horseback riding and boating
  • Fitness center
  • Game room, table tennis, billiards and arcade games on site
  • Basketball and tennis courts and miniature golf.

rear exterior of the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville NC
The mountain views are stunning at the Omni Grove Park Inn and so is the building itself. Photo credit: Cathy Bennett Kopf

2. The Omni Grove Park Inn

290 Macon Ave.
Asheville, NC 28804

Located in Asheville, The Omni Grove Park Inn is a family-friendly escape where you can relax among the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Your family can spend their days floating in the multiple resort pools or competing with each other on the tennis courts.

Looking for adventure? Your family can book additional activities such as kayaking, mountain biking, white water rafting, ziplining or hiking along the resort’s Sunset Trail. When it’s time to grab a bite to eat, you’ll find several resort dining options including a kids menu at the Cabana Grill and Bar adjacent to the outdoor pool. Head there for the holidays; Omni Grove Park Inn is one of the best Christmas hotels in the US!

Why Omni Grove Park Inn Works for Families:

  • Kid’s programs and camps
  • Includes both an indoor and an outdoor pool with cabanas
  • Several indoor and outdoor tennis courts
  • Health and wellness programs like yoga, aerobics and racquetball
  • Activities like kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, zip-lining and whitewater river rafting are available for booking onsite
  • Kids menus available at the resort restaurants
  • On-property shuttle service
  • Pet friendly


North Carolina Resorts: Sanderling Resort
Photo credit: Sanderling Resort Outer Banks

3. Sanderling Resort

1461 Duck Rd.
Duck, NC 27949

Located in Duck, the Sanderling Resort offers families a nautical oceanfront getaway experience. Spend your day either by the zero-entry family pool or with your feet in the sand, as you’ll have easy access to the beach.

If your family is looking for adventure, the Sanderling Resort offers a concierge beach experience with adventure planners who can help you arrange your Outer Banks experiences like hang gliding, parasailing and boat cruises.

When the sun begins to set, you can head over to the fire pits and relax beside the bonfire or grab a bite to eat at any of the resort’s three onsite dining options.

Why Sanderling Resort Works for Families:

  • Located beachfront with views of the Atlantic Ocean
  • Enjoy three pools and private beach access
  • Activities such as bike riding, yoga, surf lessons, horseback riding and more are available for booking
  • Lawn games and outdoor fire pits are available for everyone to enjoy
  • Several choices for onsite dining or snacks


North Carolina Resorts: The Ballantyne, A Luxury Collection Hotel
Photo credit: Marriott

4. The Ballantyne, A Luxury Collection Hotel

10000 Ballantyne Commons Parkway
Charlotte, NC 28277

For a luxurious getaway in Charlotte, head over to The Ballantyne to enjoy resort-style swimming pools and rooms with upscale finishes such as marble flooring and balconies. If your family is looking for a bit more room, you can also opt for the resort’s four-bedroom cottage instead!

When you’re ready to explore the area, hop on one of the resort’s complimentary bikes and ride around the grounds or head out into nature at the nearby Greenway trail.

After a morning of fun, retreat back to the resort for your afternoon tea. Available Saturday and Sundays only for an added fee.

Why The Ballantyne Works for Families:

  • Includes both a heated indoor pool and seasonal outdoor pool
  • Complimentary bike rentals to explore the nearby Greenway trail
  • Hotel balcony rooms are available
  • Large families can book a four-bedroom cottage located one block from the hotel
  • Free wifi


SheBuysTravel Tip: This is a Marriott property, so join the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty club before you book to get the best deals and accumulate points for perks on future stays.

North Carolina Resorts: Holiday Inn Resort Wilmington East Wrightsville Beach, an IHG Hotel
Photo credit: IHG

5. Holiday Inn Resort Wilmington East Wrightsville Beach, an IHG Hotel

1706 N. Lumina Ave.
Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480

If your vacation dreams include the sounds of waves crashing along the beach, you’ll want to head to the Holiday Inn Resort in Wrightsville Beach. This oceanfront resort offers fun kids’ suites with bunk beds and rooms with private balconies so you can capitalize on the incredible ocean views.

Along with soaking up the sunshine on the beach or at the resort’s multiple pools and hot tubs, your family can enjoy the scheduled activities or get some wiggles out at the resort playground. When you’re ready to venture off the property to explore the area shops and restaurants, the front desk can help you with arranging bike rentals or you can simply take the free area shuttle.

Why Holiday Inn Resort in Wrightsville Beach Works for Families:

  • Kid suites include bunk beds or traditional rooms and suites are also available
  • Stay active with the onsite playground, three pools and sports courts
  • Rent bicycles, beach chairs and umbrellas instead of bringing them
  • Weekly scheduled family-friendly activities
  • Kids Stay and Eat Free program
  • Free area shuttle
  • Free wifi


SheBuysTravel Tip: Join the IHG Rewards loyalty program before you book. It’s free to join and being a member gives you the guaranteed lowest rate on your room.

North Carolina Resorts: Grandover Resort & Conference Center
Photo credit: Grandover Resort & Conference Center

6. Grandover Resort & Conference Center

1000 Club Rd.
Greensboro, NC 27407

At the Grandover Resort, a AAA Four Diamond Resort in Greensboro, your family can enjoy activities such as tennis, swimming, sand volleyball, billiards and other games. Relax your days away with a one or two-bedroom suite or head out and explore the area’s many family-friendly attractions.

After a day of golf at either of the resort’s two 18-hole championship golf courses or riding bikes around the nearby trails, kick back at the fire pit and upload all of the photos of your incredible day using the resort’s free wifi.

Why Grandover Resort Works for Families:

  • Families can choose between traditional guest rooms or a one- and two-bedroom suite with a kitchenette and up to 2,300 square feet of space.
  • Outdoor recreation includes tennis courts, a pool with cabanas and sand volleyball courts
  • An indoor pool, shuffleboard, billiards and classic video games keep everyone busy even on rainy days
  • Bicycle rentals are available to explore the miles of walking and biking trails nearby
  • Close to family-friendly attractions such as the Greensboro Science Center, NC Zoo and the Wet ‘N Wild Emerald Pointe Waterpark
  • ​Airport pickup and dropoff available
  • Free wifi


North Carolina Resorts: The Carolina Hotel, Pinehurst Resort
Photo credit: The Carolina Hotel, Pinehurst Resort

7. The Carolina Hotel, Pinehurst Resort

80 Carolina Vista Dr.
Pinehurst, NC 28374

The Carolina Hotel is just one of the accommodation options at the Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina. The iconic golf resort offers families a century-old experience paired with modern luxuries such as a BMW guest drive program, 9 legendary golf courses and resort-style pools.

Kids can also partake in the fun at Pinehurst with a playground, kiddie pool and misting pool made just for them. For kids who have dreams of becoming a golfer, look for seasonal Junior School or Parent/Child School packages before booking.

Note: As of publication (early 2024), room renovations are ongoing at The Carolina Hotel. Contact the hotel directly for the latest updates.

Why Carolina Hotel Works for Families:

  • Families can choose between traditional rooms, villas or 2- and 3-bedroom condos
  • Enjoy several pool options including a heated outdoor pool, kiddie pool, misting pool and outdoor whirlpool
  • Take a ride on a resort bike, which is free for guests to use
  • Get competitive on the resort croquet or tennis courts
  • Play in the sun at the resort’s private 200-acre lake where you can rent kayaks, pontoon boats or spend the day fishing and swimming
  • Complimentary valet and shuttle service
  • Rollaways, cribs and pack and plays are available
  • Free wifi


8. Chetola Resort

185 Chetola Lake Dr.
Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Sitting along 78 acres of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Chetola Resort in Western North Carolina offers families a modern sporting lodge-style vacation. If your family is looking for outdoor adventure, you’ll find it here with plenty of daily scheduled activities and options such as hiking, fishing, water sports, lawn games and more.

The Chetola Sporting Reserve also offers archery lessons and other activities for children 6 and up (or 12 and up depending on the activity).

Why Chetola Resort Works for Families:

  • Families can choose between a traditional room with Chetola Lake views, suite or a 1, 2, 3 or 4-bedroom condominium
  • Stay active with a heated indoor pool, tennis courts, Chetola Lake activities, hiking trails, playground and lawn games
  • Recreation Center has puzzles, board games, DVDs and books to rent, plus ping pong tables and trail strollers available to use
  • Daily family-friendly activities such as game night, bonfires with s’mores by the lake and wellness activities are available
  • Kids menus available at resort restaurants
  • Pet-friendly


9. Blockade Runner Beach Resort

275 Waynick Blvd.
Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480

The Blockade Runner Beach Resort in Wrightsville Beach is a coastal resort with lots of fun water activities available for your family to enjoy! Younger guests can join the Kids Camp programs for supervised fun or your entire family can book an activity to enjoy together like surf lessons or a sunset cruise.

Why Blockade Runner Beach Resort Works for Families:  

  • Relax either at the beach or resort pool with cabanas or take a stroll along the resort gardens
  • Kids Camp programs include fun activities such as touch tanks, kayaking and dock fishing
  • Additional activities such as surf lessons, yoga and boat cruises can be booked


North Carolina Resorts: The Umstead Hotel and Spa
Photo credit: The Umstead Hotel and Spa

10. The Umstead Hotel and Spa

100 Woodland Pond Dr.
Cary, NC 27513

The Umstead Hotel and Spa, a Forbes Five-Star Hotel in Cary, offers families a luxurious getaway with lakeside walking trails, complimentary bike rentals, a 24-hour fitness center and a seasonal outdoor pool. Only five minutes from Raleigh-Durham International Airport, it’s the perfect location for families to relax with exquisite views, fine dining options and luxury amenities.

Why Umstead Hotel and Spa Works for Families:

  • Balcony rooms with outdoor seating available
  • Fine dining and room service offer meals with locally sourced cuisine
  • Complimentary bike rental
  • Lakeside walking trails
  • Seasonal outdoor pool
  • Free wifi
  • Pet-friendly


SheBuysTravel Tip: If you’re flying in and out of CLT, here’s where to find the best Charlotte airport food.

Biltmore bathed in light during the Christmas season in Asheville NC
Biltmore’s facade bathed in light is simply stunning. Photo credit: Cathy Bennett Kopf

11. The Inn on Biltmore Estate

1 Antler Hill Rd.
Asheville, NC 28803

The Inn on Biltmore Estate in Asheville offers families world-class service, natural landscapes, and rich history as the past luxurious home of the Vanderbilt family. During your stay, your family can experience activities such as hiking the estate grounds, touring the Biltmore house, taking a bike ride or participating in meditation sessions. Some activities may incur additional costs.

Beyond The Inn on Biltmore Estate, you can also book a room at the village hotel or cottages on the Biltmore Estate.

Why The Inn on Biltmore Estate Works for Families:

  • Kid-friendly activities include playing at the Pisgah Playground, hiking, biking and additional tours and programs (some may have additional costs)
  • Heated outdoor pool and hot tub
  • No resort fees


Mary Moore is the retro ­loving mother of two young children who enjoys the freedom of driving the open road in search of adventure. She and her family are working their way through the backroads and cities of America in their seafoam green 1950s Bel Air. You can read more about their lifestyle and adventures on the blog Raising Dick and Jane.
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