Complementing the historical attractions is the coast, where tourists can take boat rides or rent jet skis to get out on the water. Check out our picks for the 10 most beautiful towns in North Carolina. Within the Blue Ridge province itself are two of the state’s major national parks: the Shenandoah National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Some of these beautiful treasures are now bed and breakfasts, shops, and restaurants. The western part of the state of North Carolina is full of beautiful and quaint mountain towns, thanks to the two majestic mountain ranges found there – the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains.Whether as large as Asheville or as small as Saluda, each of these towns is overflowing with character, charm and a host of things to see and do. Settle in and walk around the famed Biltmore Estate, enjoying its accompanying gardens that amaze even the most seasoned visitors. The park, which straddles the border of the state and Tennessee, is home to the Appalachian Trail which runs right the way through its heart. From the coast to the mountains, North Carolina has charm to spare. By now, you've probably figured out that North Carolina is full of lovely coastal towns, and Manteo is yet more proof of that. The Devil’s Head balancing rock is a must for anyone visiting the park, while many of the final scenes of the 1992 adaptation of The Last of the Mohicans were filmed at Chimney Rock State Park. Although this is disputed, some historians claim that this was actually the site of the first attempt at colonization in North America – a Spanish colony that failed after its founding in 1526. The park is also notable for having the tallest natural sand dune system in the eastern United States, while a choice of several historic cottages in the town itself make it a great place to spend a long weekend. Cooper Creek Trout Farm & Pond and the Smokey Mountain Trains Museum are among the other excellent days out in Bryson City. In the east, there’s the windswept, sun bleached Atlantic coast, whereas the west’s heavily forested Appalachian Mountains provide view after amazing view. It was once referred to as the Athens of the South because of its Masonic Temple and Athens theatre, both of which still exist today. Kitty Hawk is especially worth visiting, as it is where Wilbur and Orville Wright flew their airplane for the first time, hence North Carolina’s state motto, First in Flight. We found out by exploring 13 in Western North Carolina that share some characteristics—a population under 5,000, a pedestrian-friendly downtown, ample food and nightlife options—but possess unique attributes as well. Beech Mountain itself is the highest town east of the Rocky Mountains, with the Beech Mountain Ski Resort one of the few places to ski in this corner of the United States. Its heyday years were the colonial period and the very early years of the United States’ existence, and the historical center of the town has changed very little since then. The history of the town dates back over a hundred years and it has been a popular filming spot for Hollywood, with movies such as Thunder Road and Dirty Dancing having been partially filmed in the Lake Lure area. North Carolina has so many beautiful places that it’s hard to decide where to start. Like we said earlier, trying to determine the laziest places in North Carolina is usually a subjective matter. It is in these friendly communities that you’ll find North Carolina’s beating heart. Raleigh is the state's capital and Charlotte is its largest city. A port city from the early federal period, Southport is pretty enough that many people will be able to recognize it without ever having been there. Although it is a long trip to the top, climbing the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is a unique experience and the views are well worth the effort. Cades Cove is the park’s single most frequented destination, offering churches, barns and log cabins. Park the car and wander through small shops, discover local cuisine, ... close to some of North Carolina's most spectacular waterfalls. The Blue Ridge Parkway is nearby, as is the pristine Watauga river. One of Bath’s most famous former inhabitants was the notorious pirate Blackbeard, who lived in Bath briefly. The most visited park in the United States, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a must for anyone on a vacation in North Carolina. Source: Stephen B. Goodwin / shutterstock. Now a quiet, heavily forested town in the Piedmont, Hillsborough was once the site of significant tensions between the colonists and the British government in the lead up to the Revolutionary War. A great time to come to Southport is Independence Day, when thousands of people come to enjoy their Fourth of July Festival. We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. Appalachian State University is in Boone, and every year, thousands of college students enter the town, ready to learn and have some fun in the mountains. Freedom Park is one of the most relaxed spots in Charlotte, with the park among North Carolina’s most beautiful places too. Trout fishermen love to spend time at the Rocky Broad River, while the nearby Rumbling Bald Climbing Access is one of the most popular spots within the park. Besides the many cities and towns there’s a lot of nature to be explored. Set on Albemarle Sound, Edenton is a peaceful escape from the stress of everyday life. Besides a number of buildings appearing on the US National Register for Historic Places, Boone’s heritage also includes the play Horn In The West, performed in the town every summer since 1952. Another one of South Carolina’s oldest cities, Georgetown is now one of the state’s most important ports. An historic port city, Elizabeth City became very successful in the 19th century after the construction of the Dismal Swamp made shipping easier, and it has remained the man hub of its region ever since then. Kitty Hawk is a perfect place to relax to the rhythm of the waves. Wilmington was also founded in the first half of the 18th century by colonists, so it has a number of historical buildings. Located in the Pisgah National Forest, near Brevard and Asheville, thousands of kids and adults slide down the falls every year. This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Asheville, the most popular “cool” city in North Carolina. North Carolina’s state and national parks offer bountiful opportunities to get outside and explore nature’s wonders. Boone is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Western North Carolina, and it is known as one of the best places to live for retirement. The signature 315-foot spire overlooking Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure is the highlight of the park, which has a range of child-friendly nature explorations and more challenging hikes. It may be located right next to the Dismal Swamp, but Elizabeth City is anything but dismal. The quirky little town of Bath is the perfect site for history lovers, as it is North Carolina’s oldest town by five years (it was founded in 1705, five years before New Bern). If you come in the spring or summer, you’ll see some of the thousands of crape myrtle trees in beautiful bloom. Six individual downhill areas, in fact, and Banner Elk sits between two of them, Beech and Sugar Mountains. The history of the town dates back over a hundred years and it has been a popular filming spot for Hollywood, with movies such as Thunder Road and Dirty Dancing having been partially filmed in the Lake Lure area. But if you’re analyzing cities where people don’t work, where a good education is rare, and no one’s willing to put in the long hours, then this is an accurate list of laziness. Despite the population growing exponentially during the summer, Emerald Isle retains a family feel, with Water Boggan a must-visit for anyone with kids. The main street leads up a hill and you’ll encounter a plethora of charming restaurants and cute shops in addition to the historical buildings along the way. The town is notable for being surrounded by mountains, which gives it incredible scenery that has to be seen to be believed. Based on the Outer Banks of North Carolina in Dare County, Kitty Hawk has a wide range of plant and animal life at a 461-acre maritime forest reserve called Kitty Hawk Wood, while there is also a small and relaxed beach community of residential cottages and hotels. It’s gained a reputation as a bit of a hipster haven, focusing on living locally and organically. Source: Dave Allen Photography / shutterstock. Merchants Millpond State Park is perfect for anyone who wants to try kayaking or canoeing during a trip to North Carolina. Deep within Pisgah National Forest in Transylvania County is Grogan Creek and Cedar Rock Falls, the latter of which is a 20-foot falls that is without a doubt one of the most stunning sights anywhere in North Carolina. The large cypress swamps are also home to a number of alligators, while fishing, biking and hiking are all popular activities within the grounds of the park. Bridal Veil Falls is definitely one of North Carolina’s most beautiful places to visit. Altapass Orchard – an Appalachian cultural and historical center – is a great spot to visit during a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains. With nearly 85 percent of its total area a preserved landscape of salt marshes, tidal creeks, and scrubby, subtropical forest, plus 14 miles of pale sands, the oldest lighthouse in North Carolina, and a community of beautiful beach houses, this is most certainly a Treasure Isle. The Southport Marina, a small harbor, gives the town the feeling of an old fishing village, something that the locals really appreciate. The park is built around a 200-year-old, 700-acre millpond and Lassiter Swamp and can be found near Gatesville. They also have a number of gorgeous old buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, and the constant greenery of the Piedmont will never fail to welcome you. ... Aug 14, 2019. This is one of the highest towns east of the Mississippi River, with an elevation at 4,118 feet. Sports fans in particular will find lots to love in Charlotte, as it hosts two NASCAR Sprint Cup races and the NASCAR All-Star Race, as well as an NFL team – the Carolina Panthers, and Charlotte Hornets of the NBA. From beautiful historic buildings to brick-lined streets, Wilmington sets a perfect blend of the past and present. Tours of Lake Lure are popular, with one of the most stunning parts of this corner of the state being the gorgeous Lake Lure Flowering Bridge. We have reviews of the best places to see in North Carolina. North Carolina (/ ˌ k ær ə ˈ l aɪ n ə / ()) is a state in the southeastern region of the United States.North Carolina is the 28th largest and 9th-most populous of the 50 United States.It is bordered by Virginia to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Georgia and South Carolina to the south, and Tennessee to the west. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK", Mariners' Wharf - Elizabeth City, North Carolina, St Matthews Episcopal Church, Hillsborough, © The Alliance for Historic Hillsborough/Flickr. Check out our picks for the 10 most beautiful towns in North Carolina. Top things to do in the city include the Levine Museum of the New South, Carolinas Aviation Museum and the Carowinds theme park, which has some of the best rollercoasters anywhere in North Carolina. The beach is right around the corner and if you don’t fancy getting sand on your feet, you can meander down the Riverwalk, named the Best American Riverfront by USA Today. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI's most recent report of crime (Published Sept 2019) in North Carolina. North Carolina is also the de facto home to NASCAR, America’s number one spectator sport. Bryson City is one of the oldest settlements in North Carolina, with Native Americans having lived in the area for at least 14,000 years. Home to Pinehurst, one of the country’s most beloved golf courses, Seagrove, the handmade-pottery capital of the U.S., and Biltmore, America’s largest home, North Carolina has a strong tourism industry. Emerald Forest Golf is another terrific day out for all the family when visiting Emerald Isle, while there are lots of great spots for kitesurfing and fishing in the area too. North Carolina has a lot to offer nature lovers. Home to Appalachian State University, Boone has a lively vibe with plenty to do for young people despite its small population, which is under 14,000. The yellow brick road from abandoned theme park The Land of Oz in Beech Mountain is one of the strangest and most beautiful sites in North Carolina. The lighthouse is open seasonally but only the fittest should take on the climb to the top as there are almost 250 steps to get up. Southern hospitalities and centuries-old culture are simple to find in the Tar Heel State. Only the second town founded by European immigrants in the territory of what would become North Carolina, New Bern goes all the way back to 1710, when immigrants from Switzerland named it after their country’s capital. Visit top-rated & must-see attractions. Just what is it that makes a small town great? Named after the famous explorer and pioneer Daniel Boone, this sweet town tops our list of North Carolina’s most charming small towns. The state’s inhabitants have built cities, towns and villages to match the beauty that the land already provides. The Blue Ridge Parkway is great for driving enthusiasts, offering quite astonishing views across the state. From the overlook’s observation area you can look straight across to see Brown Mountain (home to of one of the state’s biggest mysteries), Hawksbill and Table Rock. Nags Head is one of the most popular tourist locations in North Carolina due to its many superb beaches and wonderfully relaxed atmosphere. Asheville is known for its outdoor recreation, craft beer scene, and overall artsy vibe. Photograph by Caitlin Ragan. Nearby are many beautiful waterfalls, including the roadside Dry Falls. Asheville, Greensboro and Charlotte are among the best places to live in North Carolina, a state experiencing continual economic growth. North Carolina: The Old North State. The Mountain Farm Museum and Mingus Mill at Oconaluftee within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are worth visiting too. Go ahead. In the Tar Heel State, there are so many great small towns—far too many to count—so choosing our favorites is a monumentally challenging task. Head to Wiseman’s Overlook in the Pisgah National Forest for incredible views of some of North Carolina’s most treasured landscapes — all in one place. With Freedom Park and Discovery Place among the most beautiful spots in Charlotte, there is loads to do for all the family. North Carolina’s most accessible coastal destination, Wilmington is located in New Hanover County. Have a look at some awesome pictures I found of the most beautiful places to visit in North Carolina. In the east, there’s the windswept, sun bleached Atlantic coast, whereas the west’s heavily forested Appalachian Mountains provide view after amazing view. Current Resident: Excellent small town with beautiful weather most of the year. Known as the Tarheel State, North Carolina is the 10th largest state in the U.S. and had a population of over 10 million. Cities are fun but sometimes it's nice to swap the busy roads for the peaceful streets of a small mountain town. The natural beauty surrounding each adds to the sense of tranquility that seems woven into the state’s DNA. The annual Bull Durham Blues Festival also takes place in Durham, which hosts a diverse local music culture. The Blue Ridge Mountains are among the most beautiful natural sites in North Carolina. Hiking to Bridal Veil is possible from either the High Falls or Fawn Lake parking areas within DuPont State Forest. Architecture buffs will also love wandering through downtown, which is populated with a number of fantastic Art Deco buildings. Let us leave the cities for a while and enjoy the beautiful nature of North Carolina. Saluda {pop. Easy to get around (no major highways running through) with easy commutes, great school public school system, excellent larger cities within 50-100 miles for big city things like live theatre, concerts etc. Here Are The Most Beautiful Places In North Carolina That You Must Visit ASAP. Take time to slow down and wander. Bridal Veil Falls are far from the only waterfalls within the park, with Wintergreen Falls and nearby High Falls, Triple Falls and Hooker Falls all worth seeing during a trip to North Carolina. North Carolina in Pictures: 15 Beautiful Places to Photograph. Now it’s one of the more historically focused cities in the state, with multiple historical districts full of buildings listed on the state historic register. The state’s inhabitants have built cities, towns and villages to match the beauty that the land already provides. The Land of Oz opened in 1970 but closed after just a few years, but there is still a lot of physical evidence of the now-defunct park, as well as the yellow brick road, that remains today. The university, one of the more popular ones in the North Carolina system, has brought more and more young people to the area, so there’s always something cultural to do on the weekends. They really embrace their local craftsmanship in this region, so you’ll find all sorts of interesting shops and galleries in Elizabeth City’s historic downtown. Some 11,000 gallons of water flow down the rock each minute and Sliding Rock is extremely popular on hot summer days, when large queues can form at the site. It’s best known for the Pinehurst Resort, home to nine golf courses, with the Pinehurst No. 4. There is no doubt that Lake Lure is one of the most beautiful places to visit in North Carolina. 1. This is another good place to come if you’d like to hike, as it’s very nearby the Eno River State Park. Home to more than 10 million people, North Carolina is a scenic mash-up of snow-capped mountain ranges, urban cities, obscure communities and gorgeous beaches. As the main city in North Carolina, visiting Charlotte is a must for anyone vacationing in the state. While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in a state are the safest, we didn't want to rely on speculation and opinion. It sits in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and if a Bohemian vibe sounds like your kind of thing, you can’t do better than Asheville. The city suffered greatly during the Great Depression and took a long time to recover, therefore few of the original buildings were replaced or otherwise changed. 4. Speaking of beautiful buildings, the Biltmore Estate, the ultimate American castle, is very nearby, and visitors with a car can enjoy a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway through the mountains. All of North Carolina’s Outer Banks islands are a paradise for quiet beach lovers, as they are more difficult to get to and therefore less developed. River rafting is one of the most popular things to do in Bryson City, while taking a trip on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is well worth it too. From hiking to the summit of Eastern America’s tallest peak to relaxing on the undeveloped beaches of the Outer Banks, here are 10 park visits to add to your plans. 2 course a frequent stop on the PGA tour. The city is home to some of the state’s most important historic sites, such as Bennett Place, where the negotiations that effectively ended the Civil War took place. As soon as you get onto this string of barrier islands, you’ll be greeted with the smell of salt water coming off the warm Atlantic Ocean, the pale colors of the beach, and perhaps even one of the state’s several light houses, all painted their own pattern of black and white. Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is a particularly notable North Carolina landmark due to the fact it is the tallest brick lighthouse structure in the United States. If you’re a fan of Gone with the Wind, or looking for a taste of the romantic idea of the Old South, then you would do well to come to Pinehurst, a small village in the Piedmont region (the middle section of the state). North Carolina has skiing? 30 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in California, 25 Most Beautiful Medieval Castles in the World, 40 Places to See in Florida Before Your Kids Grow Up, 14 Best Things to do in Rowland Heights (CA), 15 Best Things to Do in Hacienda Heights (CA), 13 Best Things to Do in South Whittier (CA), Lake Lure, North Carolina: digidreamgrafix / shutterstock, Bryson City: digidreamgrafix / shutterstock, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse: Stephen B. Goodwin / shutterstock, Chimney Rock State Park: Alexey Rotanov / shutterstock, Emerald Isle: Bryan Pollard / shutterstock, Freedom Park, Charlotte, NC: cpaulfell / shutterstock, Grogan Creek Falls: Jess Whitney / shutterstock, Great Smoky Mountains National Park: anthony heflin / shutterstock, Merchants Millpond State Park: Pi-Lens / shutterstock, Kitty Hawk: Stephen B. Goodwin / shutterstock, Blue Ridge Mountains: Dave Allen Photography / shutterstock, Bridal Veil Falls, North Carolina: Steve Heap / shutterstock, Bodie Island Lighthouse: Kenneth Keifer / shutterstock. Wilmington – North Carolina’s iconic Port City which has an interesting history. M.A. With a population of 86,800, the Buncombe County town is a hotspot for nature lovers who flock here for its scenic vistas. group facebook - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1787047574894248/ TOP 10. 713} That’s undeniable. Many tv shows and movies have been filmed there, such as Dawson’s Creek and most of the film adaptations of writer Nicholas Sparks’s books, for example A Walk to Remember and Nights in Rodanthe. Vance County is changing in terms of bringing new business in the area, but they lack in jobs related to things such as technology, warehouse facilities, and more. Right next to the park is the Charlotte Nature Museum, where families can learn all about the animals and plants that can be found in the Piedmont area. So, if you have nothing planned for the next winter, why not go to one of the most beautiful places to visit in North Carolina. Lake Lure, North Carolina There is no doubt that Lake Lure is one of the most beautiful places to visit in North Carolina. The first Colonial capital of North Carolina, this 300-year-old town is replete with wonderfully restored historical homes and buildings. Waterside and beautiful, Beaufort is North Carolina’s third oldest town. 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