North Carolina is full of beautiful, waterfront places. Some right on the coast and others high up in the mountains. But with the weather warming up and adventure calling – it’s time to plan a trip to these beautiful ‘river towns.’
This cool coastal town is located on the Pamlico River. The main streets are charming and this cool little town is perfect for a weekend getaway or even calling it your forever home.
2. New Bern
Located on the Neuse River, New Bern is a popular destination for beach goers and those looking for a weekend filled with history. Check out my full guide to New Bern
Located on the banks of the Tuckasegee River, many people arrive to this quaint mountain town by train or boat. It's a perfect pit stop if you're riding the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad or even a pitstop between your fishing and rafting adventures.
More a city than a town, this coastal port is located along the banks of the Cape Fear River. Many take day trips here while visiting Wrightsville. The riverwalk is beautiful and filled with shops, restaurants, cafes, and a few places to grab a refreshing beverage. Wilmington was voted Best Riverfront Town by USA Today 10Best.
5. Hot Springs
This cool mountain town is home to the Appalachian Trail (literally straight through the town). Located on the banks of the French Broad River, many pop in while rafting or backpacking. Regardless of your method of transportation, it's a beautiful little place, fun for a day away.
Beaufort is located along the inner-banks and receives tidal waters from both the Newport River and the North River. As North Carolina's third-oldest town, your day will be filled with history and beauty. Perfect for those looking for a unique weekend getaway with plenty of landmarks to see and not far from beautiful beaches.
Located on the Pamlico River, Bath was North Carolina's first port of entry. With history dating back to the 1700s...you can make a whole weekend of sightseeing, experiencing history, and cruising along the river.
While Southport is part of the Wilmington Metropolitan area, this town has an energy of its own. Located on the beautiful Cape Fear River, you can enjoy waterfront dining, strolls through a charming downtown, and a unique coastal experience.
9. Bryson City
Located on the Tuckasegee River, Bryson City is home to the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad and plenty of small town mountain charm. It's not far from popular destinations like Deep Creek. You can paddleboard along the Nantahala River, trout fish, check out galleries, and even have a day of tubing.
Swansboro is just a bridge drive over from popular Crystal Coast destinations ike Emerald Isle. Located along the innerbanks, Swansboro has an extremely charming main street filled with shops and restaurants. You'll def. want to pay a visit to Yana's for the fried fritters...or enjoy a cool afternoon brew with a waterfront view.
Seems like I have my summer planned out, between popping in a quaint mountain town while hiking and taking a day to relax and shop at the beach. We’re lucky to have so many options in this state. What’s your favorite river town in North Carolina?