Hop in the car, drive anywhere in North Carolina and you’re sure to be impressed with the passing scenery. But some roads are just better than others and some roads are tailor made for a beyond-scenic drive. Luckily, North Carolina has over 60 scenic byways for making the most of your views – but these 10 will give you the best experience.
1. Outer Banks Scenic Byway
With the Pamlico Sound on one side and the Atlantic on the other - it's no wonder this gorgeous byway has been featured in multiple movies. It's one of the most breathtaking byways in North Carolina.
2. Pisgah Loop Scenic Byway
Rivaling the Blue Ridge Parkway (and running parallel to it in parts) the Pisgah Loop Scenic Byway gives you access to some of the most beautiful, untouched areas of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
3. Pamlico Scenic Byway
The byway starts you in historic Washington and you'll travel along the Pamlico River and through gorgeous, flat coastal plains until reaching Manteo. A perfect way to go from the inner to outer banks.
4. Waterfalls Scenic Byway
Properly named, this beautiful byway runs West along the French Broad River eventually ending at the Toxaway River and Toxaway Falls. You'll be in close proximity to Panthertown Valley, which is a great place to stop for the waterfall lover.
5. Whitewater Way
Not far from Waterfalls Scenic Byway, Whitewater Way is named after Whitewater Falls, the highest waterfall east of the Rockies at 411 ft. This byway gives you access to some of the most beautiful waterfalls you'll find on the East Coast.
6. Hanging Rock Scenic Byway
Flickr / NCDot communications
Located amidst gorgeous rolling hills of the northern Piedmont Region, this byway provides motorists with great views of Hanging Rock and the ancient Sauratown Mountain chain.
7. Meteor Lakes Scenic Byway
Starting in Elizabethtown, this byway takes you through some of North Carolina's most gorgeous fertile farmland. Perfect for sweeping, wide open views and a different kind of scenery.
8. Black Mountain Rag
Stop by the quaint mountain town of Black Mountain then hop on the Black Mountain Rag for some great views. With close access to the Blue Ridge Parkway, the byway puts you in close proximity to Mt. Mitchell.
9. Upper Yadkin Way
Drive through North Carolina's own version of Tuscany (or Napa) along this beautiful byway. Stop at wineries and vineyards, and maybe bring a DD with you. Between rolling hills, wide open spaces, and foothills in the distance it's a gorgeous drive.
10. Pottery Way
Seagrove is known worldwide for its pottery legacy, and this byway takes you straight through. Perfect for the pottery lover, you begin in the Sandhills and end near the Piedmont. The drive is gorgeous with pottery shops hiding behind dense forest brush and some smack dab in the middle of rural fields. It's an interesting and beautiful place.