It’s hard to believe we’re almost halfway through July. Before you know it, the kids will be heading back to school and summer days will be traded in for cool, crisp, fall weather. While I’m not going to lie when I say fall is the best in North Carolina, summer is also SO amazing. Don’t let those lazy days of summer pass you by, make the most out of the time we have left with this warm North Carolina weather and visit these destinations.
1. Mount Mitchell
Even on summer days, the top of Mount Mitchell can get a bit chilly (I was wearing a hoodie there in June). Get to the top of the highest peak East of the Mississippi while these nice temperatures last!
2. Lake Norman's public beach.
Recently opened this summer, LKN's new public beach saw unpredicted crowds and LOTS of people looking for a spot to lay their towel or take a dip. As the newness dies down, this little beach is an easy getaway, perfect for those last weekends of summer.
3. Roan Mountain
Roan Mountain is by far one of the best kept secrets in North Carolina. More a mountain chain than one mountain, this gorgeous place filled with grassy balds, 360-degree mountain views, and hiking trails can fill up a whole weekend. Check out our guide
4. The Road to Nowhere
The Road to Nowhere is filled with mystery, history, and an eerie yet beautiful atmosphere. You want to visit North Carolina's
most unique tunnel
in the summer or early Fall before the access road ices over or is unaccessible.
5. Sliding Rock
Sliding Rock is chilly enough during the summer months, so make sure to pay this natural waterslide a visit before that fresh water is TOO cool. You can't beat the thrill of Sliding Rock.
6. Frisco Beach
Summer is the perfect time to pitch a tent at Frisco Beach and wake up to the sound of the surf. There's no beating this one-of-a-kind North Carolina experience.
7. Crabtree Falls
While this amazing waterfall is also gorgeous in the fall - summer is one of the best times to take the hike down to see it. The dense greenery surrounding the fall and along the hiking trail is simply incredible. It can be reached at milepost 339.5 off the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the 2.5-mile hike takes you down to the stunning waterfall.
8. Carolina Harbor, Carowinds
With a grand opening this summer, Carolina Harbor is the largest waterpark in the Carolinas. Spend a day cooling off in-between exhilarating waterslides and calm, lazy rivers.
This exquisite farm-to-table restaurant made Open Table's Top 100 list and is one of the best in North Carolina. Using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, Artisanal is only open from May to October. Get a seat at this coveted restaurant before it's too late.
10. Jockey's Ridge
The tallest active sand dune on the East Coast, Jockey's Ridge is a place that gives you a Sahara-like experience right next to the ocean. If you're planning an end of summer beach trip, add this to your list.
11. Bridal Veil Falls
Located RIGHT off the Blue Ridge Parkway, this roadside waterfall usually freezes over in the winter months (which is still cool) but with parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway closing in the winter, you'll want to access this fall while you still can.
12. Lake Lure
This gorgeous lake is perfect for taking a cool dip in the summer. With the sixth annual
Dirty Dancing Festival
coming up August 19-20th you won't want to miss out on participating in the fun!
13. Britts Donuts
This Carolina Beach classic creates a line down the boardwalk almost daily during the summer. As the
best donut in North Carolina
, Britts can afford to be closed during the winter months, so get this glazed goodness while you still can.
Now that’s a jam packed summer of fun! Have you added any of these destinations to your summer bucket list?