With the current economy being in such a fragile and uncertain state many financial advisers are saying gold should be part of your investment strategy. That being the case, why not take their advice, take a vacation and go prospecting for gold. What a fun way to relive the past, enjoy nature and maybe even strike it rich.

Once such place to try your luck is Cotton Patch Gold Mine and Campground in New London, North Carolina. The entire family can camp out, stay in an RV or rent a cabin and have a vacation and prospect for gold at the same time. You can prospect for gold by the bucket, by the truckload or by the day. You can bring your own pans or rent the tools right at the campground. You can pan for gold at one of their stand up troughs and have an easy and fun way to search for the nuggets.

The Cotton Patch Gold Mine was opened in 1860 with the discovery of a large gold vein. It was later closed and then reopened in 1958 when another vein was discovered. In 1961 the mine was opened for tourists and rockhounds. Today people come from all over to try their hand and enjoy the natural beauty of North Carolina.

Another option is to rent magic spiral wheels which allow the prospector to scoop up the "dirt" and the magic wheel does the rest depositing the gold in the center of the wheel. Or for the more adventurous you can reserve your place on the creek for some sluicing and hibanking and watch for the gold to accumulate.

There are cabins for rent and numerous outdoor recreation facilities located right near the campground. There are hiking, biking and kayaking journeys at your disposal. Paddling on the Yadkin River or the Rocky River. Morrow Mountain State Park is nearby for equestrian or hiking trails. There is boating and fishing on the Reservoir Lake. For those that enjoy Jeep trails the Uwharrie Jeep Trail is sure to be a hit. The Uwharrie National Recreational Trail is a great place to hike amongst the deciduous trees.

For those who miss the more civilized attractions the Mountain Brook Golf Course is nearby and Charlotte and Raleigh are both within driving distance.

For your next vacation think about taking a different path and go prospecting in North Carolina. Who knows what you will return home with. You will probably bring home some gold but more importantly you will be creating fun filled memories in the heart of North Carolina.