Enter to win a weekend getaway to the NC mountains

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CHOOSE YOUR CHOICE GIFT CARD OFFER TODAY


CHOOSE YOUR CHOICE GIFT CARD OFFER TODAY

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In Haywood County, see the Ten Acre Garden in Canton.

In North Carolina, you don’t have to tell us twice that our state is full of Southern charm.

CHOOSE YOUR CHOICE GIFT CARD OFFER TODAY

Not long ago, Southern Living called Charlotte and Asheville two of the South’s best cities. Concord was named one of the 30 Most Charming Downtowns in America by HGTV.

CHOOSE YOUR CHOICE GIFT CARD OFFER TODAY

CHOOSE YOUR CHOICE GIFT CARD OFFER TODAY

And when we asked you to tell us your favorite charming downtown in the Carolinas, we got hundreds of responses with dozens of towns included (Coming soon: a full list of your favorites!)

[HAVE YOU ANSWERED OUR POLL? What’s your favorite charming small-town downtown to visit in the Carolinas?]

Dream Big in Small Town NC

So, when the Visit North Carolina team reached out to tell CharlotteFive about its new tourism initiative to boost economic recovery for the state’s small towns and rural spots, we were more than a little excited to learn more.

Madison County-Town of Marshall on the French Broad River-Credit VisitNC.com.jpg
Marshall sits along the French Broad River. Emily Chaplin and Chris Council/VisitNC.com

CHOOSE YOUR CHOICE GIFT CARD OFFER TODAY

“Dream Big in Small Town NC” launches later today, and its first sweepstakes will include a chance to win a free Airbnb vacation in the North Carolina mountains. The program will highlight three regions of the state:

  • The Scenic Mountains
  • The Northeast Lakes and Rivers
  • The Inner Banks.

How to enter

Want to win the Dream Big in Small Town NC sweepstakes? There will be five winners, and each will receive:

  • A $1000 Airbnb voucher to experience our state’s small town life.
  • A $500 Visa gift card for travel expenses
  • Gift cards and attractions passes — your choice of dining, recreation and shopping in the mountains.

HOW TO ENTER: Visit https://www.visitnc.com/dreambig.

If you share your small town adventures on Flip.to, you’ll get another chance to win stays and unlock discounts in North Carolina communities. Opportunities include:

Your Airbnb in the NC Mountains

Tuesday’s launch will focus on the Scenic Mountains region, which includes Graham, Haywood, Madison, Mitchell and Yancey counties.

“When people visit Waynesville, Canton and the other small towns in Haywood County, connecting with the community comes naturally,” said Lynn Collins, executive director of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority. “The pace is relaxed, and conversations flow whenever people visit shops, restaurants and other places as they explore. They can relate to the local residents they encounter and get a sense of the impact of their visit.”

Here’s a look at two Airbnbs in Waynesville, a Haywood County mountain town just a short drive from Asheville in western North Carolina. During your stay, you can hike near waterfalls, browse local businesses in the charming downtown and enjoy spectacular mountain views.

“With Dream Big in Small Town NC, we hope they’ll also find common ground along with reasons to settle in for more than a getaway,” Collins said. And she may be right — Airbnb stats show that stays of 7-27 nights in rural North Carolina grew nearly 200 percent in 2021, compared to 2019. And stays of 28+ nights in rural North Carolina in 2021 grew over 160 percent, compared to 2019.

Similar sweepstakes are planned for the state’s Northeast this summer and Inner Banks in the fall.

[RELATED CONTENT: Tell us what you think: How should Charlotte regulate short-term rentals?]

Northeast Lakes and Rivers and Inner Banks

NORTHEAST LAKES AND RIVERS: Edgecombe, Halifax, Vance and Warren counties will be highlighted during the second part of the Dream Big initiative as part of the Northeast Lakes & Rivers area of North Carolina.

INNER BANKS: Chowan, Gates, Hertford, Martin, Perquimans, Tyrrell and Washington counties will be the focus of the Inner Banks, the third region of Dream Big’s focus.

Visit NC is part of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina and is coordinating the Dream Big program with the N.C. Department of Commerce and other private and public entities. Dream Big is being funded with $1.5 million from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The program will also have space on Airbnb’s website and VisitNC.com, with links for job postings.

[MORE ON SHORT-TERM RENTALS: NC court ruling, public concerns, could force Charlotte to revise short-term rental rules]

Related stories from Charlotte Observer

Melissa Oyler is the editor of CharlotteFive. When she’s not writing or editing, you’ll find her running, practicing hot yoga or snuggling with her rescue dog, X. Find her on Instagram or Twitter: @melissaoyler.





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