Summer means one thing: finding a way to beat the heat and cool off. Luckily, North Carolina is home to many amazing, gorgeous
swimming holes. For this list, we’ve included a mix of old favorites and new discoveries. Sometimes, nature throws the best pool parties.
1. Skinny Dip Falls
Skinny Dip Falls is well worth the .5 mile hike down. With places to jump or places to splash, this freshwater swimming hole is a 'cool' mountain experience.
2. Hooker Falls
Hooker Falls is a popular destination for a little swim with a gorgeous view. Go on the weekdays to avoid crowds!
3. Sliding Rock
As North Carolina's natural waterslide, Sliding Rock should be the top of your bucket list! While a popular destination, the adrenaline is worth the wait. Located in Brevard, you can take a fun dip in-between hiking.
4. Lake Norman Public Beach
With a grand opening this weekend, LKN's public beach is the perfect destination to lay your towel or bring a chair.
5. White Lake
White Lake is a gorgeous, crystal clear lake perfect for dipping your toes in (and still seeing the bottom). The lake is filled with coastal charm minus the shark scares. It's a unique destination!
6. Upper Creek Falls
This gorgeous swimming hole in the Pisgah National Forest comes equipped with its very own rope swing! You'll love the multiple cascades and relaxed pools perfect for cooling off after a day in the mountains.
7. Elk River Falls
This breathtaking 50-ft. waterfalls is conveniently located near Beech Mountain and Banner Elk. With a small beach, you can work your way into the water, or just swim right in!
8. Nantahala River Jump Off Rock
While the Nantahala River is more suited for whitewater rafting, the jump off rock at the Nantahala Outdoor Center allows you to dive right in to the rapids.
9. Eno River
While many of these are located in the mountains, Eno River is located west of Durham. The state park offers swimming, hiking, and a rope swing.
10. Badin Lake
Another centrally-located swimming hole is Badin Lake. Located in the beautiful Uwharrie Mountains, you can get plenty of freshwater fun without the long drive to the mountains.
11. Hanging Rock
Hanging Rock is the perfect place for a little adventure and a quick dip. Hike down to Lower Cascade Falls and cool off in the mountain water. If you're craving more, there's also a gorgeous lake.
12. Lake Lure
While many people know of Lake Lure (thanks, Dirty Dancing) it's a spot you MUST experience for yourself. You can't beat a day swimming or boating while surrounded by 360 mountain views.
Alright, I’m ready to take a dip in some cool, freshwater! What about you? Did your favorite swimming hole make the list, or any you would add?