10 Best Places to Visit in North Carolina

Martina Rosado
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Map of North Carolina

North Carolina is America’s fourth largest state. It is also one of the most accessible by car.

North Carolina is a diverse state that extends from the mountains to the dependable beaches. Regardless of where you live, it is easy to see why North Carolina is one of the most treasured vacation destinations in the USA.

Despite the wide range of attractions, the state’s most famous attraction by far is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

There are more than 1,600 miles of trails in the Smoky Mountains, which offers the perfect opportunity for hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts.

The Blue Ridge Parkway offers spectacular views as it circumnavigates eastern North Carolina.

North Carolina is also an important industrial state. It is home to a variety of industries, more than any other state in the south.

Some of the most important industries are banking, fishing, forestry and manufacturing.

If your idea of a vacation involves a thriving cultural scene, don’t hesitate to head to the thriving cultural centers of Asheville and Chapel Hill.

In Aslheville, you will find an easygoing and open culture that puts the emphasis on spontaneous entertainment and fun.

The Performing Arts are very important in Asheville, and many theatrical companies and film productions come through the city.

Chimney Rock State Park

Bald Head Island

Bald Head Island, also referred to as just Bald Head, is an island off the coast of South Carolina. At a total size of fourteen miles long, it is only two miles wide from north to south. It is not known as a vacation spot, a place to spend your entire vacation either sunbathing or surfing. Most people go there for the day, but from time to time those brave enough to stay for a week or two.

It has merged many of the many tiny islands into one, and while it does not have the most beaches in the world, there are still plenty of them. Overall, the island feels like a large, quiet resort. You won’t need a motorcycle, as you’ll never have to leave the island and there is a ferry that takes you over to the next island.

It is just a ninety-minute ferry ride from the tiny island of Kiawah Island, which many of the hotels and restaurants cater to.

The island itself, once just used for hunting and fishing, has turned into a huge resort. The island has a marina, a golf course, an eighteen-hole course, a housing area, and camping facilities. There are also two beaches, which make Bald Head Island a great place to get away from civilization for a weekend.

It also has a great look at the Carolina sea turtle on this island.

Hanging Rock State Park

Located just northwest of Winston-Salem, Hanging Rock is a must-visit site for anyone who loves to hike or otherwise enjoy the great outdoors. From waterfalls to picnic areas and from scenic overlooks to cool caves, you’ll be able to find a spot where you can sit back and relax.

These unique features are just part of why the park is so popular. Its history is just as fascinating as what you can see.

The park’s history is especially interesting. Not only were there prehistoric Native American settlements in the area, there are a number of other remains of long-ago human activity.

Hunted extensively, the land was changed forever when two great civilizations, the Native American and the Anglo-Saxon, met. It was the Native Americans’ earthen mounds that came to be known as the “Megalithic Diggings”.

These same mounds that established the “Megalithic” name of the park gave the “Megalithic” part of the name of the park, Hanging Rock. Now, it’s the mounds that attract visitors to the park.

Old Salem

If you’re into history as much as I am, you’ll love the town of Salem. While building a replica of a pre-Civil War town may sound weird, it is perfectly normal in the state of North Carolina and throughout the US. It is also one of the best places to visit in the state.

North Carolina is full of old towns that recreate a time from the past. It is common to see old cars, school houses, and people dressed in period clothing.

Old Salem was built in the early 1800s when the town was in the middle of fighting the War Between the States. This is why it still has such authentic historic buildings and looks like it did over 150 years ago.

After the war ended, Old Salem then turned into a winter campground for the soldiers of the Union Army. It was much warmer and more relaxed than fighting in the cold winter war. Civilians were also able to take advantage of the winter campground, as there was plenty of room to stay and nature was pretty much left alone. The forest was undeveloped until the early 20th century, enabling the wildlife to flourish without having to deal with up-to-date homes and vehicles.

Asheville

Population: 83,583

Anchor: WBTW-TV Channel 10

Asheville is a full service regional media market located in the High Country of Western North Carolina. The Regional Viewer Reach in Asheville is 5.4%. As one of the fastest growing of the nation’s 100 largest markets, Asheville enjoys strong local support on both radio and TV.

There are seven AM and nine FM licensed stations. WQEH-FM is Asheville’s longest running radio station, having begun broadcasting in 1964. The Spanish-language network Noticias 1380-AM with its FM counterpart WQES-FM (106.5) is licensed to Asheville.

WSPA-TV 7 is the market’s NBC affiliate. WLOS-TV 13 is the market’s ABC affiliate. The area is also home to two public television stations, WUNC TV-17 and WXLV-TV 22, which broadcast from nearby UNC campuses.

Asheville has numerous events, festivals, and attractions. They include Asheville BluesFest, The Biltmore Estate, Asheville Tattoo, Asheville Pride, and The Herb Festival.

Blue Ridge Parkway

NC.

The Blue Ridge Parkway stretches for……two million three hundred ninety-four thousand six hundred miles, or……2,394 miles. It’s a long road as far as highways go, but it’s also a beautiful one that makes up one of the most popular national park systems in the country.

Here, you’ll find scenic overlooks, deep canyons and waterfalls, historic buildings, and wildflowers in the summer. Add in a little wildlife and hiking, and you’ve got one of the best places in the country to visit.

The road follows the Blue Ridge Mountains on the border of Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. The Parkway is a joint effort between the United States Federal Highway Administration, the National Park Service, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, and the states of Virginia and North Carolina.

This amazing road is almost always open. The sections that are closed are posted, so you’ll just need to consider road conditions before hitting the road.

The typical trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway takes about three to four days. The total trip from Virginia to North Carolina on the Blue Ridge Parkway encompasses 359 miles.

Charlotte

North Carolina.

Charlotte has what you need for fun both indoors and outdoors. The city is home to not only the tallest building in the state, but also to the world’s largest US bank, the Bank of America. The city’s location between the foothills and piedmont makes it a unique and thriving place to spend your time.

No need to worry about buying gas or paying parking fees, as you take your car to one of the city’s four car rental agencies available. Make the most of having plenty of choice with a weekend stay at one of the city’s four major convention facilities.

Also, the Charlotte 49ers professional football team is a major attraction in the city, playing in the NFL. The team has won two Super Bowls and is the only team from the state of North Carolina to do so.

The Charlotte Checkers pro hockey team has been consistently ranked by the hockey experts as one of the top three minor league franchises in the United States.

Make some good family memories with the Bowman Gray Stadium. This historical stadium has six levels of seating, including a tower that rises a breathtaking 100 feet above the ground. Watch the action unfold with the panoramic views from the most expensive seats in the house.

Wilmington

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This is also one of the most visited National Parks in the United States, and it’s probably the most visited National Park for a reason. The park is so large that the further you go from the entrance, the less populated it gets.

It’s also home to the Appalachian Trail, which is the longest footpath in the world. The Appalachian Trail starts in Georgia and ends in Maine, so visitors can hike and camp there for over 2,100 miles.

The Smokies are widely known for their scenery. As you get deeper into the park, you’ll see an incredible diversity of trees and plants.

Hiking is the most popular activity for visitors to the park. It’s a great way to explore and experience incredible scenery.

Rock climbing is also a very popular activity. The park offers many incredible boulder areas that are great for rock climbing.

The park also has a wide range of different trails. Great Smoky Mountains offers hiking and mountain biking trails as well as the Appalachian Trail.

If you’re visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you can combine it with the Blue Ridge Parkway to make a full day trip. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Mountains that you can enjoy with stunning views.

Outer Banks

One thing that everyone should know about the Outer Banks is that everything is within driving distance. Hence, Outer Banks National Seashore is also within driving distance of the mainland.

A mosaic of picturesque islands, the Outer Banks are wonderful for kayaking, naturalistic and cultural history, wildlife watching, beaches, and native fauna and flora.

Military facilities in many parts of the seashore border the Atlantic Ocean. Now, the outdoor recreationists are coming back to the Outer Banks for the tranquility.

The beaches of the Outer Banks are 2 miles of quiet calm, and the wildlife is wild, including bald eagles, brown pelicans, seals, manatees, and interesting plants.

What better place to camp? The Outer Banks National Seashore encompasses several parcels of land, including Cape Hatteras, Smith Island, Bodie Island, Ocracoke, Hatteras, and Nags Head.

These beaches are World Renowned for their pristine nature, and are listed in the The National Geographic Traveller as one of the Top 25 Places to Go before you die.

These beaches are usually quiet, protected, and private. Once a year, during the first week of October, the whole of the Outer Banks is dedicated to the ocean and its creatures known as "Octoberfest".