Attractions January 09, 2017
The 10 Towns You Absolutely Need To Visit In North Carolina In 2017
North Carolina has a wealth of unique, small towns that are dotted throughout our state. Each town possesses its own flair and culture which makes visiting each a priority for 2017. If you live in the state but haven’t had the opportunity to travel around to the quaint towns that make North Carolina so North Carolina – what are you waiting for?
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Most overlooked small town with great BBQ: Shelby
Located between Charlotte and Asheville, Shelby indeed flies under the radar but should be on your list. The downtown is packed with historical buildings, houses, and a carousel. If you're looking to chow down , try Alston Bridges BBQ or Red Bridges BBQ. They're both amazing places with a bit of a BBQ rivalry. Read more about Shelby
2. The oldest town with a colorful past: Bath
Bath, established in 1705, was North Carolina's first town and port. It was also a haven for piracy as the governor preferred to turn a blind eye. Partying, pirates, and of course a few battles paint the history of Bath. You can't forget that Blackbeard also called it home. Today, it's a small and quaint riverside town but still echoes historic memories of the past. Read about Bath
3. The most unique town in North Carolina: New Bern
New Bern is an amazing, charming place. Between being the first state capital, home to Tryon Palace, the birthplace of Pepsi, and having a unique mix of Swiss and German style architecture found throughout - it's quite possibly the most unique town in North Carolina. Read all about New Bern, the history, and things to do and see
4. Best town for the adventurous: Hot Springs
With the Appalachian trail running right through, you know there are going to be plenty of outdoor activities in Hot Springs. The town's namesake is the natural, mineral hot springs that occupy the area (you can even take a Hot Springs dip). It's a haven for hiking, backpacking, whitewater rafting, or even just kicking back at a great restaurant or a five-star B&B. Read all about Hot Springs
5. Town on the rise you need to visit now: Bryson City
I don't think Bryson City will stay a well-kept secret much longer. From the growing popularity of Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and new breweries to the amazing restaurants and lodging, this town is more than just a mountain getaway. Book your trip and hop on board before word gets out. Read about Bryson City
6. Most remote town with so much to offer: Ocracoke
Ocracoke is considered the most remote place in North Carolina - it's only accessible by boat or ferry. Once there, the small town offers gorgeous walking trails, a historic lighthouse, uncharted marshes and coastal plains, and some gorgeous beaches. It's the perfect getaway for an isolated vacation or even just a day trip to leave the world behind. Read more about Ocracoke
7. Best town for an extended trip and great food: Banner Elk
Banner Elk has so much to offer - and it's in close proximity to major sites like Beech Mountain, Sugar Mountain, Grandfather Mountain, and hiking trails off the parkway. Yet, you might not want to even leave the little town. You can choose five-star dining at Louisiana Purchase or a quick, delicious grab-n-go from Dunn's Deli. There's also an alpaca farm nearby as well as Artisanal, an Open Table Top 100 Restaurant. You'll want to spend more than just a day or two here - and we've already made your itinerary
8. Scariest abandoned town: Henry River Mill Village
Not all towns come equipped with smiling faces to greet you, things to do, and places to visit - some are simply abandoned and deemed ghost towns. But they're still interesting and filled with a unique energy. Henry River, which was used as District 12 in the Hunger Games movies, has got to be one of the scariest but also most interesting ghost towns. Read the full story
9. The coolest small town you never thought of visiting: Washington
This riverside town remains fairly inland but is a well-kept secret once you near the coast. It's a laid back place but still has plenty to do. It made our list of
10 coolest small towns
, and has received national attention.
10. Best small town for a day trip: Saluda
Saluda is a quaint mountain town that is surrounded by mountains, hiking trails, waterfalls and a bit of locomotive history. You can see a genuine 19th century caboose at the train station and also stop by the historic Ward's Grill for a great bite to eat. If you find yourself on a camping trip in the mountains this spring or summer - add it to your list. Saluda made our list of
the top 10 most beautiful small towns in North Carolina
, and it's easy to see why.
All of North Carolina’s small towns have so much to offer – and they’re all unique in their own way. While it was hard to narrow it down to just 10, you’ll love your time at each of these places!
Which towns would you add to the list and which ones are on your ‘must-visit’ list for 2017?