July 5, 2022
Inspired by Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, Our State and AAA Vacations present an Outlander experience from New Bern to Blowing Rock. Meet in Raleigh to be transported to Tryon Palace in New Bern, glean more fascinating history from the New Bern area, then head west for additional Outlander-themed adventures. Trip dates are July 5-10, 2022.
This morning we depart Raleigh to begin our Outlander North Carolina Journey to New Bern. Settled in 1710, New Bern was the first state capitol. It is the second oldest city in NC and home to Tryon Palace, a replica of the original home built by Governor Tryon. It is easy to imagine the pages of The Fiery Crosscome to life and to understand the Regulator’s escalating anger regarding the use of tax payer’s dollars. No wonder Governor Tryon accepted the commission of the Governor of the State of New York in late 1771 and quickly left town.
We will arrive late morning into New Bern and will be picked up at our hotel for a historic trolley tour of New Bern. The town’s rich history, stately Colonial and Victorian houses, churches and location along the Trent and Neuse Rivers make it a charming place to soak in the sites. Lunch will be included at the Chelsea, an upscale bistro in downtown New Bern.
Following lunch, enjoy some free time before checking into your hotel, the Doubletree by Hilton Waterfront. Join us for a welcome reception, followed by dinner where we can all delight in our Outlander obsession.
Wednesday July 6, 2022
This morning following breakfast, Dr. Kimberly Sherman, a history professor at the Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington will present – “The Real Outlanders of North Carolina.” Dr. Sherman received her Ph.D. in Modern History from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and will regal us with stories from Scottish history as they relate to Outlander.
Next, we visit the NC History Center where NC history will come alive through the artifacts and exhibits. There is also a great shop there for souvenirs, including a few inspired by Outlander. Lunch on your own.
Join us back at the hotel for a presentation from Scotland (TBA)
Later this afternoon is a tour highlight. We will have a special Outlander-designed tour of Tryon Palace wherewe will travel in Claire Fraser’s literary footsteps in the Governor’s Palace and meet servants who will share insights regarding Claire’s place within the household, and other 18th century news. We will also meet the Governor’s Cook in the Kitchen Office, get advice from the Palace Apothecary, and learn about the fabrics best suited for this southern colony with one of the on-site weavers.
After the tour, we will enjoy a private cocktail reception near the stables and proceed to an outdoor dinner on the stately North Lawn. Our feast is inspired by recipes featured in “Outlander Kitchen: The Official Outlander Companion Cookbook.” Scottish and Celtic folk music will accompany our lively gathering of food, friendship, and fun.
Thursday, July 7, 2022
Breakfast is included this morning and then we begin our journey to Blowing Rock, NC. The surrounding mountains are the inspiration for Fraser’s Ridge. Enjoy Outlander trivia and prizes on the drive.
We will be making a lunch stop at Alamance Battleground for a guided tour and boxed lunches. The Battle of Alamance, which took place on May 16, 1771, was the final battle of the War of the Regulation, a rebellion in colonial North Carolina over issues of taxation and local control, considered by some to be the opening salvo of the American Revolution. In Outlander, Roger was hung after the battle. Luckily, he survived.
We will arrive at our home for the next three nights, Chetola Resort, at approximately 4pm. You will have a little time to settle in and then we will meet for an informative talk with Bill Caudill, the Director of The Scottish Heritage Center and Instructor of the St. Andrews University Pipe Band at St. Andrews University.
Following the talk we will do a bit of whiskey tasting (trying three different bourbons) followed by dinner at the resort. Enjoy the rest of the evening at your leisure.
Friday, July 8, 2022
Breakfast this morning will be followed by a day at the Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain. Celebrating the history and culture of Scots in North Carolina, it is among the first and largest modern Highland Games established in the United States. Watch traditional dancing, piping, drumming, athletic games and music and learn to speak Gaelic.
Spend a few hours or the entire day. We will have regular pick-ups scheduled back to the hotel.
Dinner is on your own this evening. Make a reservation at the Timberlake restaurant or enjoy one of the many great places in Blowing Rock. We will have a few scheduled pickups to and from town. There is normally entertainment on Fridays and Saturdays at the resort.
Saturday, July 9, 2022
After breakfast, we will be making a visit to the Cone Manor at Moses Cone memorial Park. There is a great local Craft Center there that is operated by the Southern Highland handicraft Guild. This is a perfect photo spot. We will then make our way back to the village of Blowing Rock. Following a short tour to visit the local churches, you will have free time to explore and shop. Lunch is on own and pickups will be offered back to the hotel.
Join us this evening for a farewell reception and dinner in the boathouse by the lake to celebrate with all your new Outlander friends.
Sunday, July 10, 2022
This morning, we say goodbye to Blowing Rock as we head back to Raleigh. We will arrive back at approximately 3pm.