North Carolina family vacations often begin with trips to Discovery Place in Charlotte, which glows with interactive attractions including a Planetarium and encourages children to learn about science. Family vacations in North Carolina shift gear at the pulse racing NASCAR Hall of Fame, where you get the chance to drive a simulator. At Carowinds amusement park roller coasters and thrilling water park attractions are combined to create the ultimate family day of fun. There is even more to experience in Asheville. Live music emanates on summer days from the gardens of the sublimely beautiful coastal Biltmore Estate. Vanderbilt's winter palace, this chateaux style homestead is one of North Carolina's gems. Hike, horseback ride, or bike in the Blue Ridge Mountains or hunt for waterfalls in Pisgah National Forest, where crystal streams and falls ribbon the lush woodland.