If you know where to look, you can find a variety of hidden treasures in the Tar Heel State. Not many people, except for the locals, know about a Utopian village in North Carolina that sprang up beginning in 1968 outside of Raleigh. It’s called Shangri-La, and it’s much like the fictional Shangri-La written about in 1933 by author James Hilton – only it is better, because it has come to life – and you can visit!

Have you discovered Shangri-La yet? Are there other small towns in NC you’d recommend? We’d love to know and see your photos!

Shangri-La is located on

If you’re interested in staying a night or two in nearby Durham, be sure to consider the AC Hotel Durham.

If you’re still in the mood for more Tar Heel State adventures, take a look at this video:

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article.

More to Explore

More to Love About North Carolina

Where can we find scenic overlooks in North Carolina?

  • The Cherohala Skyway, also in the northwest part of the state, features some of the Appalachian range’s oldest mountains.
  • Mitchel in the northwest part of the state is the highest peak East of the Mississippi River at 6,683 feet.
  • Wiseman's View in Linville Gorge is stunning and called 'The Grand Canyon of the East.”

Read on to learn more about the many beautiful scenic overlooks in North Carolina.

Where can we find lighthouses in North Carolina?

  • The Bodie Island Lighthouse in Nags Head was originally built in 1872.
  • The Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla is the only natural-brick lighthouse on the coast.
  • The Roanoke Lighthouse in Edenton dates back to 1866.

Read on to learn more about the many amazing lighthouses in North Carolina.

Where can we find state parks in North Carolina?

  • Fort Macon State Park, located in Atlantic Beach, is a historic Civil War-era location and North Carolina's first official state park.
  • Goose Creek State Park, located in Washington, features tent camping, a beach, and coastal wetlands.
  • Elk Knob State Park, located in Todd, offers cross country skiing, hiking, and primitive backcountry campsites.

Read on to learn more about some of the many other amazing state parks in North Carolina.