Claim to fame: Tallest natural sand dune system in the eastern U.S.
Location: Nags Head, N.C.
Drive time from downtown Chattanooga: 10 hours
If you find yourself with the whole week of Labor Day off and for some reason want to avoid the Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga World Championships, you can go fly a kite. Literally.
With its ocean breezes and expansive sand dunes, Jockey's Ridge State Park — right next door to the site of modern aviation's launch pad — is the perfect place for some childhood aerial adventures. Especially when the the Outer Banks Stunt Kite Competition comes to town Sept. 8-10. The high-flying competition is free to the public and features some of the nation's top ground pilots in synchronized performances and more. It isn't hands-off for attendees, either. Guests can be part of free clinics and demonstrations.