Leland NC is a must-visit destination during the holiday season with their grand illumination event that spans December 4th through January 10th. Leland in Lights brings in locals and visitors from all over the state to experience awe-inspiring Christmas lights and holiday theming.
For those traveling from various sections of the state, it’s a great opportunity to enjoy the journey. As Local Wanderlusters, we are big believers that the fun of traveling should begin before even reaching your destination. A road trip to Leland can be a festive, delicious voyage with our tips to help guide you!
There are some great stops on the way to Leland NC
We’ve looked at the navigation to Leland from Raleigh, our home base, and are mapping out some ideas of places you should stretch your legs.
The drive from Raleigh to Leland is about two hours, making it a perfect destination for both a day trip or an overnighter. The fastest route will take you almost entirely on I-40. Benson is a town half an hour south of Raleigh with two beloved barbecue restaurants that are each worthy of a stop.
The Redneck BBQ Lab has won more than forty championships and festivals with their fresh meats, sauces, and rubs. You won’t find a freezer in this little barbecue eatery attached to a gas station! Everything is prepared the day of for maximum flavor and quality.
With a focus on eastern NC style ‘cue, Stephenson’s Bar-B-Q is five minutes down the road from Redneck BBQ Lab in a small town called Willow Spring. Stephenson’s serves traditional southern cooking that locals have loved since the 50’s.
For a unique picture opportunity, pull over at Rose Hill to visit the World’s Largest Frying Pan. Yes, you read that right! If there’s one thing North Carolinians love, it’s fried food and Rose Hill commemorated that greasy romance in 1963, leaving a roadside attraction for your road-tripping entertainment.
Further along I-40, Burgaw is home to the oldest train depot in North Carolina. Dating back to 1850, the train depot is now a historical site worthy of a visit and pictures. There’s also a small transportation museum within the depot.
Traveling with kids? Here are some ways to make it a smooth drive.
Traveling with kids is no easy task. Sometimes simply getting everyone packed and into the car can eat up so much energy, it’s hard to think about how to keep them entertained once the vehicle is moving. We know a thing or two about keeping kids happy in the car and are providing links to products that may help. Please note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Keep babies happy with car seat toys! We have used both of these with our kids and they are so helpful on long car rides.
Play games as a family that encourage conversation and laughs. I love the idea of bringing along these conversation cards to keep the dialogue flowing with older children. It would help the time pass quickly while learning a thing or two about one another!
Another fun idea is to bring along this Christmas bingo game. Younger kids would have a blast listening to Christmas music while picking up on festive words to cross off on their board. A little friendly competition to get everyone in the spirit!
Finally, we are not above screen time here at NC Eat & Play! Sometimes you have to pull out all the tricks to keep kids happy and this tablet has been a game-changer for our car rides with our three year old. Load it up with games and a couple shows!
Once in Leland, there are many exciting parks and restaurants to fill your time with during the hours that you aren’t visiting Leland in Lights. Read our recommendations and enjoy!