Who didn't love field trips as a kid? They promised a day of adventure, of stepping away from normal responsibilities and having a blast with your friends. Sure, maybe you learned something along the way—but you were usually having too much fun to tell.
But why should that stop as an adult? NC’s got plenty of hookie-worthy excursions, all within a few hours of the Triangle. You may not have a school bus, but grab some friends, tell your boss you caught that bug that’s been going around and hit the road—you and your inner child are taking a field trip!
Visit the conservation lab for a free behind the scenes tour of the work being done to conserve and study the infamous pirate Blackbeard's ship, Queen Anne's Revenge. You'll be among the first to see artifacts that have been hidden under water for nearly 300 years, and will get the inside scoop on how the lab uses modern technologies to learn more about our past.
Tours occur on the first Tuesday of each month, at 10:00 am or 2:00 pm, and last between 1 and 1.5 hours. It's a great excuse to play hookie from work for a day!
Distance from the Triangle: 97 mi, 1.5 hours
Zoos are the quintessential field trip activity, but this new exhibit at the North Carolina Zoo adds the perfect twist. This high ropes course features 11 platforms and 23 obstacles, perfect for seeing a new perspective on the zoo and getting your heart racing.
Check their height/weight restrictions, grab your crew, some closed-toe shoes and you're good to go! Open daily through October, you'll want to get this field trip on your calendar very soon!
Distance from the Triangle: 73 mi, 1.5 hr
Escape from your computer and dig into the state's rural past with a visit to Horne Creek Living Historical Farm. The farm is a living experience of everyday farm life in North Carolina's northwestern Piedmont around 1900. Encounter unique farm animal breeds, eat heritage apple varieties, and learn historical skills like cutting grass with a scythe or basket weaving.
Enjoy a simpler time with a trip to this quaint farm, open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 AM to 5 PM.
Distance from the Triangle: 112 mi, 2 hr
There's good luck in the air at Reed Gold Mine, the site of the first documented gold find in the United States. If you're brave enough, take a free tour that plunges you 50 feet down into the earth through 450 of restored tunnel to see the original mines. If you're hoping to strike it rich, come April 1 through October 31 for gold panning. Who knows: The $3 plus tax per pan could pay off big time.
The mine is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM except for major holidays.
Distance from the Triangle: 121 mi, 2 hr
Pork, pickles and peanuts—oh yum! Duke Homestead State Historic Site and Tobacco Museum is always a fun place to go learn about our state's history, and this special free event will let you dig in (literally) to all the food culture and history that North Carolina has to offer.
There will be BBQ and pie contests, live music and local vendors, and costumed history buffs there to teach you about cooking methods of yore.
Distance from the Triangle: 14 mi, 20 min
All aboard for an evening of choo-choos and brews. This partnership event between the N.C. Transportation Museum, New Sarum Brewing and Morgan Ridge Railwalk Brewery & Eatery is the perfect way for adults (or kids!) to enjoy some railway fun. For just $12 you get a ride on the train, samples of beer brewed just for the event, snacks and a souvenir glass.
Put this August event on your calendar before the train leaves without you!
Distance from the Triangle: 108 mi, 1.5 hr