Nature November 14, 2017
Shhh… These 8 Hidden Places Are North Carolina’s Best Kept Secrets
There’s plenty of times we’ve covered a hidden gem in North Carolina, and of course, commenters aren’t so happy we spilled the beans and thus brought a wave of tourists to these once secret getaways. While there are plenty of hideaways we go to, there are some places that are too amazing not to share. Looking to get away from it all? These 8 destinations are on the come-up as hidden gems and best visited ASAP.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Winston-Salem Quarry Park
The highly anticipated Winston-Salem Quarry Park opened this summer leaving Triad locals stunned at the epic views. From a platform that leads you above the quarry, stunning views of the Winston-Salem skyline, and even biking and walking trails - there's plenty to do at Winston's newest must-visit destination.
Read our guide
2. Fryingpan Tower
The tallest USFS fire tower is now available to the public to climb (not all the way to the top) and take in stunning Blue Ridge views. In use until the early 1990s, the fire tower remains in good condition and is accessed off milepost 409.6 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Read our guide
3. House of Mugs
Located down a long dirt road in Collettsville, the House of Mugs is a creation years in the making. Originally started by the purchase of a few mugs from an antique sale, the hanging of those few led to a hobby then later an almost museum-like experience where visitors bring their own mugs to hang.
Read our guide and how to visit
4. Lake Lure Flowering Bridge
What once connected the two towns of Lake Lure and Chimney Rock now stands as a beautiful metaphor for community. Built in 1925, the three-arch bridge was almost torn down until a group of dedicated volunteers turned it into the Flowering Bridge. With over 10 separate areas - each containing its own flare - the bridge is open year-round and silhouetted by stunning foothill views.
5. Hubb's Farm
Deemed an 'agri-theme park,' Hubb's is so much more than a farm but a whole amusement park filled with delights almost too extensive to list in one simple paragraph. From climbing the giant sand hill and venturing through the corn maze to lazer tag, hay rides, a train, and farm animals - that's only scratching the surface.
Read all about Hubb's
6. Carolina Beach State Park
When most of us think hiking trails and great views, we think the mountains. Tucked beside Carolina Beach, the 761-acre Carolina Beach State Park is home to gorgeous trails through coastal landscape (some elevated above the swamps on a wooden platform) stunning water views and immense opportunities for exploration.
Read our guide
7. Merchant's Millpond State Park
Located in northeastern North Carolina, Merchants Millpond is something like a fairytale. With cypress trees merely floating in the swamps and dangling over the water, to 9 miles of hiking trails throughout, although the park is best viewed on boat or kayak. See for yourself why it's simply enchanting (and don't be scared of the many alligators who call this place home).
Read our full guide
8. Max Patch
While plenty of people know of Max Patch, few really take the journey here. With wide-open fields of grassy balds surrounded by 360-degree panoramic views it's easy to say, what are you waiting for? While winter might seem like a less-than-ideal time to venture west, Max Patch is equally stunning year-round and even more beautiful covered in a fresh blanket of snow.
Read our full guide to Max Patch
Which ones do you plan to visit first? Which have you visited already?