North Carolina Quick Facts
Uniquely North Carolina: Cape Lookout National Seashore
Must-See: The Blue Ridge Parkway
Most Unusual: Underwater Bicycle Rae, Beaufort
Highest Point: Mount Mitchell, 6,684 feet
Food to Try: Moravian Cookies
What to Do in North Carolina:
1 Explore Croatan National Forest
2 Visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
3 See some of the waterfalls in Transylvania County
4 Learn about North Carolina farming on a tour of one of the state's working farms
5 Experience the wonder of North Carolina history while exploring the Town Creek Indian Mound
Off The Beaten Path | North Carolina
North Carolina is a beautiful eastern state. Visitors will find many amazing places to visit and enjoy. Throughout the state there are many interesting cities, filled with history and culture. There are historical sites and National Memorials. North Carolina is also a state with varied outdoor enjoyment and recreation options.
Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway, also known as "America's Favorite Drive" is a stunningly beautiful drive, stretching from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. The over 490 miles of the drive encompass opportunities to hike, camp, picnic, explore exhibits and of course enjoy the beautiful views. As visitors enjoy this drive, they can visit Cumberland Knob, Julian Price Memorial Park, the Parkway Visitor Center, Waterrock Knob and Doughton Park. Throughout miles of the Parkway visitors can enjoy animal watching, nature view, vistas of Grandfather Mountain and much more.
Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Durham
Located right on the Duke University campus these public gardens are a great North Carolina destination. Throughout the gardens 55 acres, there are amazing examples of plants and garden design. The H.L. Blomquist Garden of Native Plants is a delightful example of North Carolina's native plant population. There are also four other fantastic gardens encompassed within these public gardens.
Ocracoke Island has 16 miles of undeveloped sandy shoreline. It is a barrier island of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and it is a part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Ocracoke is fairly remote and can only be reached be public ferry, private boat or private plane. The beach is perfect for swimming, fishing, surfing, sunbathing, fishing and even camping. Certain portions of the beautiful sandy beach can be enjoyed by off-road vehicle.
Wright Brothers National Monument
Like Ocracoke Island this National Monument is also located on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Visitors to the Wright Brothers National Monument can lean all about the history of the Wright Brothers accomplishments. At the monument, there are full scale reproductions of the Wright Brothers 1902 and 1903 Glider and Flyer. Visitors will also find the reconstructed Living Quarters and Hangars, and can see the Flight Line, which is a large granite boulder that marks the take-off point of the first successful powered, controlled flight, and smaller markers note the line of the flight.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains are known for their stunning diversity. As visitors enjoy the over 800 miles of trails they can also check out the wide array of flora and fauna. The park is home to many bears, and you may catch a glimpse of one of these bears while hiking. During the spring and summer the mountains host a beautiful range of wildflowers, well worth the visit to the park. The hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains ranges from short day hikes to challenging backcountry backpacking. For non-hikers there are also biking, fishing, camping and more options.
Old Salem, Winston-Salem
Old Salem Museums and Gardens are an fascinating 100 acres of historic buildings, museums, gardens and more. Visitors can enjoy the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, and the Historic Town of Salem. At this fascinating historic site visitors learn all about the history of the early American south, including the Moravians who originally settled the area. There are original buildings and even authentic craftsmen practicing their crafts.
Biltmore Estate, Asheville
Visitors to Asheville should stop and enjoy the 8000 acre estate built by George Vanderbilt. There are guided tours of the house and gardens. Visitors can also enjoy all of the activities at the Antler Hill Village including a winery. For visitors looking for a more outdoor experience there are plenty of activities, including horseback rides, carriage rides, biking, fishing and much more.
North Carolina | Fun and Funky Things to Do
North Carolina is an amazing state filled with fun attractions for the whole family to enjoy. For those visitors looking for something a little different during their time in North Carolina, here are a few of the state's fun and funky destinations.
Wilmington is said to be one of the most haunted cities in the United States, and visitors looking for a fun adventure should take a haunted tour of the city. Within this historic city, visitors can find many tales of the cities long history, as well as many ghosts. Ghost tours take place throughout the year and travel through the most active ghost sites in the city.
Allison Woods, Statesville
Allison Woods is a beautiful and historic location in North Carolina, and a location with historical significance. These historic gardens are open by appointment all year, and also hold events. Visitors looking for a truly unique historical experience should be sure to visit during the historical reenactments held at Allison Woods. Each year over one weekend in September there are Civil War and WWII battle reenactments and more.
Cliffs of the Neuse State Park, Seven Springs
This park has some very spectacular natural features in North Carolina. The Cliffs of the Neuse State Park's main feature are the cliffs on the banks of he Neuse River. These cliffs rise 90 feet above the river, and stretch for 600 yards. Visitors to the park can learn about the role this region has played in the history of the country and the region, and they can learn about the geological forces that shaped the Cliffs.
Energy Explorium, McGuire Nuclear Site, Huntersville
Visitors to North Carolina can stop at the Energy Explorium to learn all about electricity generation and more. There are many activities, including a virtual tour of McGuire Nuclear Site, where the Energy Explorium is located. Visitors can also enjoy opportunities to learn about the environment, and interactive exhibits.
Gillis Hill Farm, Fayatteville
Visitors to the Fayatteville area can stop by the Gillis Hill Farm to see and tour a working farm. The family has been farming in the area since the 1700s, and visitors can learn all about farming and important developments in farming over time. Visitors can also enjoy the ice cream shop and make reservations for guided tours of the farm.