Best Places to Visit in North Carolina (United States)

Are you searching for the Best Places to Visit in North Carolina? Are you thinking of a trip to the South and wondering what to explore in North Carolina? We’ve got you covered. North Carolina has something for everyone. The state has stunning mountains, beautiful beaches, and Old South charm. NASCAR is America’s most popular spectator sport, and North Carolina is its home state.

Outdoor activities such as skiing, mountain climbing, and hiking are available. Visitors can also experience Appalachian culture at Blue Ridge and Smokey Mountains or in some of North Carolina’s diverse cities.

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The state’s coast region offers sun, sand, and tranquility with the Outer Banks barrier islands and the vibrant beach-side city Wilmington. A list of North Carolina’s best places to visit.

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Outer Banks

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Outer Banks is one of the best places to visit in North Carolina. The Outer Banks, or OBX, commonly known to locals, is a series of barrier islands that hugs the North Carolina coast. These islands, which are narrow and beautiful, were once the favorite haunt of pirates such as Blackbeard. The Outer Banks is a popular vacation spot for those seeking to escape the summer heat.

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Wild horses still roam the Outer Banks’ dunes at the northern end. This is the Outer Banks’ most famous section. The middle section houses Nags Head on Bodie Island and Kitty Hawk, home to numerous miniature golf courses, gift shops, and restaurants.

Roanoke Island is west of Bodie Island and home to Manteo. This town was home to the Lost Colony, founded by British settlers. It disappeared in the 1580s. Further south lies the wild and beautiful Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

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Wilmington

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Some of North Carolina’s most famous beaches are in the Wilmington area. This historic port city is also a great family destination. The “Travel Channel” named the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher one of the tops in the United States.

You can also stroll along Wilmington’s Riverwalk, which runs alongside the Cape Fear River. You will also find a variety of mansions, plantations, and estates in the area. These include Poplar Grove Plantation, the oldest peanut plantation in America, and the Antebellum Bellamy Mansion.

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Bald Head Island

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Bald Head Island, North Carolina, has major Mackinac Island vibes. The only way to get around the island is by foot, bicycle, or golf cart. It is only accessible by private boat or ferry. This makes it an unforgettable experience for everyone.

You and your family can enjoy 14 miles of beachfront on the island. An island is a relaxing place where you can relax or play a round at the Baldhead Island Golf Course.

This island is a popular turtle nesting site during the summer months. The island conservancy hosts Turtle Walks to allow visitors to see the baby turtles epic journey to the ocean from their nest.

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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It’s impossible to visit North Carolina without seeing the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This national park is the most visited in the United States, offers breathtaking views, and accommodates all visitors. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to a wide range of wildlife and breathtaking views. There are miles of hiking trails.

It is a paradise for photographers, with its lush forests and colorful wildflowers making it an ideal destination for hiking trails. You can camp in the park under the stars, at either one of the designated camping spots, or on a rugged hiking trail.

Additional lodging at LeConte Lodge is available for those who want to stay in the national parks but don’t feel like camping. This lodge is accessible only to hikers and is located on the third highest peak in the park.

Charlotte

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Charlotte is one of the best places to visit in North Carolina. Charlotte is North Carolina’s largest city. It has many attractions for motorsports lovers.

Charlotte, also known as Queen City, is home to many interesting attractions such as Carowinds, an amusement park; the US National Whitewater Center, the largest artificial whitewater attraction; and Discovery Place, a family-friendly aquarium and science museum.

Visitors can also find the NASCAR Hall of Fame in this city and Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mooresville is also home to nearly every NASCAR race shop.

Asheville

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Asheville, North Carolina, is located at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Asheville is well-known for its beautiful views and artistic community. It is home to many small boutiques and art galleries. Asheville was awarded the titles “America’s Quirkiest Town” (Good Morning America) and “America’s Most Beautiful Places.”

You will find a variety of unique bars and outstanding dining options to complement the town’s unique atmosphere. One of the most visited attractions is the Biltmore Estate in Asheville.

The rich history of this mansion is evident in its extensive collection of 16th-century art, an enormous ballroom, endless fireplaces, and other valuable features of George and Edith Vanderbilt’s original artwork collection. For the ultimate experience, explore the mansion and stroll the grounds.

Raleigh

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Raleigh, North Carolina’s capital, is worth a visit. Many amazing activities in Raleigh will keep you busy for several weeks.

The beautiful North Carolina State University is the city’s most prominent feature. It also happens to be part of the “Research Triangle,” which includes Durham and Chapel Hill (as well as their universities, Duke and the University of North Carolina).

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The capital of North Carolina is also home to many museums, including the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, where you can see dinosaur bones, the North Carolina Museum of Art, which dates back to 1956, and other interesting museums.

William B. Umstead State Park is a great place for nature lovers. You can go boating, hiking, and camping. You can also enjoy a picnic in the NC sun at small parks like Pullen Park.

You can also take day trips to Raleigh for a quick getaway. Although there are many places in North Carolina that I have visited over and over, Raleigh ranks high on my list. It feels so familiar to me no matter how many decades pass.

Blue Ridge Parkway

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Although a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway can be found in Virginia, most of it can be found in North Carolina. It truly is one of the most beautiful drives in America.

It connects Shenandoah National Park with Great Smoky Mountains National Park and runs through 29 counties in the two states. The Blue Ridge Parkway has many waterfalls and hikes.

You can find some of the most beautiful waterfalls close to Asheville and many more. The Blue Ridge Parkway is known for its Linn Cove Viaduct and Mount Pisgah. Looking Glass Rock, Pisgah National Forest, and many other highlights are also included. It is truly spectacular.

Old Salem

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Old Salem is a living museum that recreates the life in Winston-Salem during the 18th- and 19th centuries. Visitors can interact with Old Salem’s reenactors and stroll the streets of this National

Historic Landmark to experience the culture and trades of the Moravian settlers that lived in the area.
Visitors to Old Salem can, for instance, watch gunsmiths, tailors, and shoemakers go about their work or make their wares. Some areas in Old Salem offer hands-on activities.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore

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Cape Hatteras National Seashore is one of the best places to visit in North Carolina. Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a beautiful beach in Nags Head (North Carolina).

Enjoy the beach with your family. There are many things to do in Cape Hatteras. These include swimming, surfing, and kiteboarding. Rent a bike and go on a ride around the beach. Depending on the season, you may also visit the lighthouses, museums, campgrounds, and other attractions.

Check the calendar to see what activities are available for each season. Children can also purchase special passes to the park to explore its history.

Conclusion

All destinations are awesome! According to my opinion, Wilmington is the best to start. I hope you have enjoyed our list about Best Places to Visit in North Carolina.

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Henry
Henry

Hi! I'm Henry. I'm a best-selling travel writer who has been teaching people how to travel on a budget for sixteen years. 

And I'm here to help you spend less on your next trip.

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