North Carolina December 29, 2017
8 Places In North Carolina That Are Better Than Anywhere Else In The Country
As North Carolinians, we’re all a little naturally biased when it comes to recognizing the beauty of our home state. But can you really call it biased? Sure, we have deep love for the Tar Heel state, but it’s also a fact North Carolina is one of the most beautiful places to call home. From the mountains to the coast, we have it all and are truly blessed to live here. Just when you think about getting a plane ticket and getting away, explore your own state with these 8 amazing destinations.
1. Blue Ridge Parkway
Spanning 469 miles, the Blue Ridge Parkway attracts 15 million visitors a year. Between breathtaking overlooks and hairpin turns, it's no surprise for many this is a driver's (and more so passenger's) dream come true. Between hopping off the Parkway to explore waterfalls and enjoying a lunch at a scenic overlook, there's nothing like a Parkway drive...especially in fall.
Unlike many destinations, the Blue Ridge Parkway is the place where you can have the time of your life from the comfort of your car. Yet, there are also plenty of reasons to get out and get hiking or exploring. Read about the 15 best-kept secrets of the Parkway
2. Outer Banks
While the Blue Ridge Parkway is chock full of mountain scenery, the Outer Banks is a world away from it all with crashing waves, wild horses, fresh seafood and quaint coastal villages. From historic lighthouses to the epic Outer Banks Scenic Byway, many take an OBX vacation year after year.
One of the most coveted ways to experience the OBX is hopping on the Outer Banks Scenic Byway. Spanning 138 driving miles and 25 ferry miles, the byway is your North to South journey of everything Outer Banks. Of course, one of the best parts of the drive is the water views with the Pamlico Sound on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. There's a reason many come to the Outer Banks, it's a place lost in time that is the perfect escape from the modern world. Thinking of driving along the Byway? Read our guide
As the pottery capital of the U.S., Seagrove is a hidden gem for many North Carolinians. Well known among artists and potters, many come here for a simple countryside life and of course, the rich clay deposits that help craft the gorgeous pottery. You can drive for miles along Pottery Way, stopping at elaborate galleries and even some secluded down long, country roads. Seagrove has achieved national status with some potters having their work featured in the Smithsonian.
4. Chimney Rock
Nestled in the foothills, this 6,807-acre state park is so much more than the famous Chimney but an entire adventure packed full of dangling cliffs and stunning views. While many make the trek to the top of the Chimney (499 steps to be exact) you'll also want to save some energy for all else there is to see here.
A popular attraction is Hickory Nut Falls. Featured in the movie Last of the Mohicans, the waterfall drops a total of 404-feet and accessed via the Hickory Nut Falls Trail. The 535-million-year-old Chimney is easily a Top 5 must-visit North Carolina location. Read our full guide to Chimney Rock
5. Roan Mountain
Home to magnificent, wide-open fields with panoramic mountain views, Roan Mountain offers some of the most unique scenery found in North Carolina. Located on the TN/NC border, this small mountain chain is referred to as a 'massif.' Home to stunning hiking trails and equally stunning views, you can do a short and sweet day hike or make a longer expedition by hopping on the intersecting Appalachian Trail.
From pitching a tent to catch the sunrise or even doing the brisk 1.5-mile Cloudland Trail, Roan Mountain is a stunning experience through and through. Read
why Roan Mountain will have you believing you've entered Middle Earth.
6. Dry Falls
There are plenty of breathtaking waterfalls in North Carolina, and over 200 in Transylvania County alone. While you might want to visit the highest, Whitewater Falls, or the most popular, Linville Falls; Dry Falls is like an experience you'll have nowhere else. The gorgeous waterfall drops 75-feet over a cliff, and the best part, you can walk right underneath Dry Falls. While this might not be the most ideal winter destination, it's perfect in the late spring and summer. Read our guide to Dry Falls
7. Jockey's Ridge
Jockey's Ridge is more than just the largest active sand dune on the east coast; it's a place of the fight for preservation, a place to stand atop and stare out into the distance - seeing the ocean for miles and miles, it's a place the brave hang glide and a place that gives you a Sahara-like experience steps from the ocean. This stunning sand dune is one of those see-to-believe type places.
In the northernmost corner of the Outer Banks exists an enchanted place where wild horses roam and sometimes even take a dip in the ocean. As descendants of Spanish Mustangs left hundreds of years ago by explorers, these adaptable and resourceful horses learned to survive on the harsh landscape and today, it's almost more their home than ours.
Thanks to programs like the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, the animals are able to live and thrive on the island despite an influx of humans and construction over the years. Today, it's totally common to see horses roaming the beach. Visitors are asked not to feed the horses and to stay 50 feet away. To learn more about the wild horses,
read their story here.
North Carolina is filled with so many treasures and unique destinations, what are some of your favorites? Any you’d add to the list.