North Carolina, a southeastern US state, is home to many metropolitan cities and quaint towns. Famous for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the country (The Outer Banks), North Carolina is a charming blend of native american and european roots coupled with majestic nature that is sure to entice you into staying just a little bit longer. With landscapes that range from Atlantic Ocean coastlines to impressive mountain ranges, there is a perfect vacation spot for everyone. Check out our list of 15 best small towns to visit in North Carolina: 1. Boone, North Carolina.
, a southeastern US state, is home to many metropolitan cities and quaint towns. Famous for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the country (The Outer Banks), North Carolina is a charming blend of native american and european roots coupled with majestic nature that is sure to entice you into staying just a little bit longer.
With landscapes that range from Atlantic Ocean coastlines to impressive mountain ranges, there is a perfect vacation spot for everyone. Check out our list of 15 best small towns to visit in North Carolina: 1. Boone, North Carolina Source: Boone, North Carolina Steeped in history and located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Boone is named for the American pioneer and explorer, Daniel Boone. If locals are to be believed, Boone used to camp at a site now within the town limits.
Regardless of the exact location, the town does have a concrete connection to the Boone family: his nephews built Boone’s first church, Three Forks Baptist. You can still see it standing today. A great destination for mountain lovers, walk across the Mile High Swinging Bridge to Grandfather Mountain or journey out to Elk Knob State Park.
If you are more of a cyclist, grab your bike and head out to Pisgah National Forest to explore over 200 miles of trails. Don’t forget to stop by the Tweetsie Railroad or catch a game at the local Appalachian State University if you can.
Finally, relax and enjoy some mountain air while browsing some of the shops in the quaint downtown area and spend a night or two at the Daniel Boone Inn. • Boone, North Carolina: • Bath, North Carolina: • Hillsborough, North Carolina: • Kitty Hawk, North Carolina: • Pinehurst, North Carolina: • Saluda, North Carolina: • Banner Elk, North Carolina: • Sylva, North Carolina: • Hot Springs, North Carolina: • Blowing Rock, North Carolina: • Angel Oak, Tryon, North Carolina: • Bryson City, North Carolina: • Highlands, North Carolina: • Murphy, North Carolina: • Franklin, North Carolina:
best dating north carolina mountain town to visit - 10 Best Places to Visit in North Carolina (with Photos & Map)
We love exploring our cool small towns nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina, filled with historic buildings with a mix of longtime family operated stores and restaurants, along with new galleries and trendy shops.
Each town has its own personality and many things to do. Meet some local folks and experience a leisurely day of exploration, just like Mayberry. Your first stop should be the town's Visitor Center to chat with locals.
They will help you plan the perfect visit to match your interests. Since many of these towns are in close proximity, it's easy visit several in a day (see map at bottom of page). Photo above is Sylva. Enjoy! The largest downtown in western North Carolina outside of Asheville is filled with historic buildings and updated streetscapes with flowers and art. Find many spots for outdoor dining and a big variety of quality shops and galleries along a six-block stretch of Main Street.
Don't miss two street festivals, the Garden Jubilee and the huge . Downtown's quaint old buildings, brick sidewalks, galleries and general store take you back to a more leisurely time. Each summer, attracts entertainers from all over the world. The Museum of NC Handicrafts is housed in the historic Shelton House. On summer Friday nights, come down for the Mountain Street Dances.
This artsy village is just a few miles from Sylva. On the banks of the Tuckasegee River. Dillsboro has been a tourist stop since the late 1800s. Although it's a tiny village, find an impressive mix of specialty shops and galleries representing many local artists. Go to many art festivals. Many arrive by train on the on an excursion. Since the late 1890s, tourists have flocked to this tiny railroad town of 700 residents.
Main Street has many longtime businesses, including fantastic galleries and restaurants. A must stop is the 1899 Pace's "old time" General Store that is part museum. Since 1892 is Thompson's Store and Ward's Grill. Learn about the Saluda Grade at the Depot. Raft and tube on the Green River. Find much to do! Ride the train on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad before you explore their downtown shops and galleries, or paddleboard down the river. Nearby Deep Creek in the Smokies features camping, hiking, trout fishing and the ever-popular tubing.
Raft the Nantahala River. And that's just the beginning! This is the coolest town on our list for temperature (highest town in the eastern USA at 5,506 feet elevation). While it's very popular for skiing and snowboarding each winter, they have an impressive trail system for hiking and mountain biking in the summer. Summer golf and scenic chairlift rides too. Each fall, follow the yellow brick road at Autumn at Oz. Home to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, find a large variety of ways to experience the Indian heritage.
Tour the museum and Indian Village and watch "Unto These Hills." Shop for local crafts, see their painted bears, attend a pow wow or try your luck at the huge Harrah's Casino. It's also a major gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The tiny village (population 109) has a busy downtown at the entrance to popular . Behind the shops and restuarants, the Rocky Broad Riverwalk takes you along the cascading river with places for a picnic. Take a step back in time in this authentic tourist town that has kept the charm of the 60s and 70s.
Located about 60 miles east of Asheville, Morganton's charming downtown centers around the stately historic courthouse. Shop, eat and taste local brews at three breweries. Just outside of town is Lake James, Catawba Valley wineries and Linville Gorge. In September, don't miss the big Morganton Festival. Picturesque Main Street has many local shops, restaurants, galleries, brewery, museums and favorite O.P. Taylor toy store. Big events include the White Squirrel Festival, 4th of July celebration, Brevard Music Festival and Halloweenfest. This is the Land of the Waterfalls with hiking, biking and famous Sliding Rock.
This historic town in Madison County is nestled between rocky cliffs and French Broad River. This "one street wide and a mile long" town of 889 residents has a Main Street with artists’ studios, galleries, music venues, restaurants, Zuma Coffee and shops. Walk across the river to Blannahassett Island and the Marshall High Studios with many events.
Their small downtown area is filled with restaurants, galleries and interesting local shops. And it's only 10 minutes from both downtown Asheville and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Twice a year, they host the big with dozens of artists opening their studios to visitors. Nearby is Vance Birthplace State Historic Site. For the most upscale shopping in the mountains, head to downtown Highlands. It's a popular area for affluent travelers, many with a summer home in the area.
This is one of the highest towns east of the Mississippi River, with an elevation at 4,118 feet. Nearby are many beautiful waterfalls, including the roadside .
North Carolina truly has something for every traveler. It is a state blessed with beautiful beaches, stunning mountain scenery and plenty of Old South charm. North Carolina is also the de facto home to NASCAR, America’s number one spectator sport. Visitors can enjoy outdoor activities from hiking, mountain climbing, and skiing, along with a taste of Appalachian culture in the Blue Ridge and Smokey mountains or visit some of North Carolina’s increasingly diverse cities. Sun, and sand await visitors to the state’s coastal region with secluded barrier islands in the Outer Banks and the bustling beach-side city of Wilmington.
An overview of the best places to visit in North Carolina: wikipedia/ Chimney Rock State Park, which is located approximately 25 miles (40 km) from the town of Asheville, boasts miles of hiking trails and the beautiful 400-foot (120 meter) Hickory Nut Falls. Of course, the most famous destination in this state park is the more than 300-foot (90 meter) monolith known as the Chimney Rock, which boasts amazing views of surroundings. Visitors can either take the 26-story elevator or climb 500 steps — or the approximate equivalent of 31 flights of stairs — to reach the top of the Chimney.
This park is relatively new, having only been authorized by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2005. flickr/ Visitors looking for a destination where the pace is slower and there are no cars should head to Bald Head Island.
This island, which can only be reached by ferry from the town of Southport or by private boat, boasts 14 miles (23 km) of beaches and a laid-back atmosphere. Traveling from one spot to another on this island is by foot, bicycle or on a golf cart. The island’s 1andscapes include marshes, maritime forests and the Bald Head Island Golf Course. This island is also a turtle nesting ground and during the summer months, its Bald Head Island Conservancy hosts Turtle Walks for visitors who want to help monitor a nest for emerging babies or to watch for mothers coming ashore to nest.
wikipedia/ This lovely park, which is located close to the Winston-Salem area in the Sauratown Mountains, offers visitors over 18 miles (29 km) of trails that range from easy to difficult, and a lake that is perfect for boating, fishing and swimming. The park is also home to a number of pretty waterfalls. Hanging Rock State Park has ten cabins as well as a tent and trailer campground available for visitors who want to stay in the park. Hanging Rock State Park is famous for its stunning quartzite formations and ridges, such as the Devil’s Chimney and the eponymous Hanging Rock.
flickr/ Old Salem is a living museum, a recreation of what life was like in the Winston-Salem area of North Carolina during the 18th and 19th centuries. Through interaction with Old Salem’s reenactors and by strolling the streets of this National Historic Landmark, visitors can see and experience first-hand the culture and various trades of the Moravian settlers who lived in this area.
Guests to Old Salem, for example, can watch shoemakers, gunsmiths and tailors go about performing their respective services or making their particular wares. In addition, some areas of Old Salem also offer visitors hands-on activities. flickr/ The town of Asheville, which is set in the beautiful Blue Ridge Foothills, enjoys a reputation for being a vibrant, artsy community. Its town center features a number of boutiques that showcase local creations as well as bars and great places to eat.
Strolling musicians and street performers only add to Ashville’s overall creative vibe. Over the years, this beautiful and unique town has won a host of awards, including “America’s Quirkiest Town” from “Travel & Leisure” in September 2014, and it was named by “Good Morning America” as being one of its “Most Beautiful Places in America.” Ashville is also located very close to the world-famous Biltmore Estate.
Built between 1889 and 1895 this Châteauesque-styled mansion is the largest privately owned house in the United States and attracts almost 1 million visitors each year. flickr/ The Blue Ridge Parkway is considered by many to be one of the most scenic roads in the United States and one of the best places to visit in North Carolina. This winding stretch of asphalt, which has earned both the National Parkway and All-American Road designations, is especially gorgeous during the fall months when the surrounding hills turn shades of oranges, yellows and reds.
The parkway is also very pretty in the spring months when the Carolina rhododendrons and dogwoods are in bloom. The Blue Ridge Parkway runs for 469 miles (755 km) from the Great Smokey Mountains National Park to Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park. flickr/ Charlotte, which is the largest city in North Carolina, has a lot to offer visitors, especially those who love motorsports. Nicknamed the Queen City, Charlotte is home to a number of interesting attractions including the amusement park, Carowinds; the largest man-made whitewater park, the US National Whitewater Center; and the family-friendly Discovery Place, which combines a science museum with an aquarium.
This city is also where visitors can find the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Charlotte Motor Speedway. In addition, just about every NASCAR race shop, most of which are open to the public, can be found in the nearby suburb of Mooresville. flickr/ The Wilmington area is home to some of North Carolina’s most popular beaches — Carolina, Kure and Wrightsville Beaches.
This historic port city is also a family-friendly destination. Its NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher was named by the “Travel Channel” as one of the best in the United States. Visitors can also enjoy taking leisurely strolls along Wilmington’s Riverwalk, which runs alongside the Cape Fear River. There are also a number of mansions and plantations in the area, including Poplar Grove Plantation, the oldest peanut plantation in the United States, and the antebellum Bellamy Mansion. flickr/ Because the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located within easy driving distance of a number of large East Coast cities, it is the most visited national park in the United States.
But it’s not just this park’s accessibility that makes it so popular. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is also famous for its abundant wildlife and beautiful scenery. Over 1,500 black bears, for example, wander this natural wonderland, as do deer, fox, turkey and even elk, which were recently re-introduced.
In addition, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park boasts approximately 850 miles of trails and many pretty waterfalls. flickr/ The Outer Banks — or OBX, as it is known to the locals — is a string of barrier islands that hug the North Carolina coastline. These narrow islands were once a favored haunt of pirates, including the infamous Blackbeard.
Today, the Outer Banks is a popular destination for vacationers seeking a break from the summer heat. The northern end of the Outer Banks is famous for the wild horses that still wander its dunes. The middle section is home to the towns of Nags Head and Kitty Hawk on Bodie Island, where travelers can find numerous miniature golf courses, gift shops and restaurants.
Roanoke Island, west of Bodie Island, is home to the town of Manteo, home to the ‘Lost Colony, ’ whose British settler inhabitants disappeared without a trace in the 1580s. Farther south lie the beautiful and relatively wild Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Cape Lookout National Seashore.
TOP 10. Most Beautiful Small Towns in North Carolina