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