From the winding Blue Ridge Parkway, miles of pristine coastline, and everything in-between, it’s easy to see that North Carolina is one of the most beautiful states in the nation. We’re lucky to be home to some of the most amazing natural beauty, and natural wonders in the country, starting with these fifteen.
1. Jockey's Ridge
Jockey's Ridge is the tallest active sand dune on the East Coast. It's a popular spot for hang gliding, and once you're standing beside it, it's easy to imagine yourself in the middle of the desert.
2. Linville Gorge and Linville Falls
Linville Gorge was formed by the Linville River and today this spectacular wonder has been referred to as the Grand Canyon of North Carolina. Behind the gorge lies the beautiful Linville Falls.
3. Whitewater Falls
At 811 ft. Whitewater Falls is the highest fall east of the Rockies. Marvel at the beauty for yourself in Sapphire.
4. The Outer Banks
The 200-mile stretch of barrier islands is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the nation. Between unique scenery and plenty of history, the Outer Banks is a must-see.
5. Pilot Mountain
Pilot Mountain is a classic landmark and one of the last remnants of the ancient Sauratown Mountain chain. The unique vegetation near the knob and activities such as hiking and rock climbing draw tourists to its beauty year round.
6. Stone Mountain
Not to be mistaken with Georgia's Stone Mountain, North Carolina's Stone Mountain is a 600-ft. dome of exposed granite rising from the ground...certainly a sight to see!
7. Looking Glass Rock
Looking Glass Rock is an ancient beauty composed of Whiteside granite formed 390 million years ago.
8. Linville Caverns
Linville Caverns is like nothing else you'll see in North Carolina. Explore this unique underground world of limestone caverns in the Pisgah National Forest.
9. New River
The New River is one of the oldest rivers in North America and considered by geologists to be one of the oldest rivers in the world. The 320 mile river forms in Ashe County and flows through Southwestern Virginia and on to West Virginia.
10. Mt. Mitchell
At 6,684 ft. there's no denying you'll get breathtaking views atop the highest peak East of the Mississippi.
11. Chimney Rock
The 315 ft. high granite monolith is one of the most popular, and beautiful natural wonders in North Carolina.
12. French Broad River
There's competition for 'oldest river' in North Carolina between the New River and the French Broad River. The river is an example of an antecendence, meaning it or its ancestor existed before the Appalachian Mountains. Because of this, the French Broad is an ancient river that flows across and through the mountains rather than down.
13. Lake Mattamuskeet
As the largest natural lake in North Carolina, you'll find endless coastal beauty here.
14. Hanging Rock
Just 30 miles outside of the Piedmont you'll find the natural wonder of Hanging Rock. At 2,500 ft. elevation this natural rock outcropping offers some amazing views. Located in Hanging Rock State Park, you can also spend the day exploring waterfalls and various hiking trails.
15. Sliding Rock
At 60 ft. Sliding Rock is nature's natural waterslide and one of the most popular tourist destinations on warm summer days. You can't beat the adrenaline rush of sliding down the rock and landing in crisp mountain water.
What did you think of our list? Which one is your favorite to visit? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!