10 Most Beautiful Small Towns in North Carolina | Attractions of America

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The Most Beautiful Towns in North Carolina


Let the seasons guide your vacation in North Carolina. North Carolina ‘s coast boasts more than miles of barrier island beaches , romantic lighthouses , idyllic small towns, and national seashores.

Fall lures travelers to the spectacular colors along the Blue Ridge Parkway. We recommend that you call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times. The surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains provide many outdoor adventures for the active traveler. Biltmore Estate, built by George Vanderbilt in as a retreat after he acquired the land, is another great place to visit. Vanderbilt loved the mountains of North Carolina, and this prompted family friend Frederick Law Olmsted to create a landscaped masterpiece — from naturalist forest to formal gardens.

Things to Do in Asheville. The town itself is full of sounds, sights, and tastes, and is home to musicians, authors, and artists. Franklin Street, named after Benjamin Franklin, is the focus of downtown life. Here, visitors will leisurely come upon coffee shops, restaurants, bookshops, museums, bars, and music stores.

Chapel Hill was originally created to serve the University, for when the UNC Board of Trustees selected the area in around New Hope Chapel for its first State University, they gave a committee the goal of creating a town adjacent to the site. Things to Do in Chapel Hill. It is renowned the world over for its variety of animal and plant life, its stunning ancient mountains, and visible remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture. In Cades Cove, visitors will partake in viewing wildlife, seeing gorgeous mountain scenery, and exploring historic homes and churches.

There are wildflowers galore — from early hepaticas in late winter to the asters in late fall. Spend a day at the North Carolina Museum of Art which houses over 40 galleries, an outdoor amphitheater, and a acre park. Visit the largest natural history museum in the Southeast, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences where you can learn through an amazing array of fun exhibits.

Things to Do in Raleigh. Named after Daniel Boone, the American pioneer, Boone is true to its roots in adventure. Boone also offers more than adventures for the outdoor-minded. From theatre to shopping to sports at Appalachian State University, visitors will find unforgettable experiences no matter what their preference.

Steeped in the Blue Ridge Mountains area, Boone is the ideal destination for weekend getaways and lengthier vacations. Things to Do in Boone. Expert opinion: Where should I go this weekend for fun?

Visitors have a choice of diverse restaurants, cafes, music venues, theaters and fun tours perfect for getting to know this unique city. The Mint Museum, North Carolina’s oldest art museum, houses an impressive art collection and is a must-see for art lovers. Things to Do in Charlotte. Its six historic districts bring to mind the time of Blackbeard, when trains were still a prominent form of travel, and the Wright brothers stopped for goods as they were passing through.

Situated on the Pasquotank River, the city was incorporated in This special road is one of the top places to visit in NC and winds for miles, protecting animals and plants, and special attractions.

On the website, visitors can find basic information about weather, operating hours, road status, reservations, and permits. Learn about the nature you will encounter on the drive and plan to join rangers for tidbits about the history and nature along the Parkway. There are more than miles of trails along the Parkway, plus popular destinations.

There are also concerts and music to be enjoyed along the journey. Things to Do in Greenville. The town is pedestrian and bicycle-friendly.

Its walking trails and greenways connect neighborhoods, giving residents alternate ways to buzz around town and access nature. In fact, the town believes heartily in open space, and in the last decade, Davidson has acquired almost acres of preserved land. Each summer, birds and sea turtles find local beaches, and off-road vehicle use is most definitely allowed in certain areas. There are four campgrounds located across Cape Hatteras National Seashore which offer a unique experience of the barrier islands.

Consult the ferry schedule, which is available on the website, and get ready for horse watching, fishing, shelling, birding, lighthouse climbing, camping, and touring historic villages. First, visitors may want to climb the Cape Lookout Lighthouse. Visitors may want to join a Park Ranger to see into the world of the wild horses of Shackleford Banks.

There are even beach cabins to rent. One can trace the roots of the region through the gardens. Things to Do in Winston-Salem. Those who seek the sun and history will find a refreshing respite here.

Two rivers meet in New Bern, where guests will find Tryon Palace, homes laden with history, stunning gardens, shops, outstanding restaurants, and entertainment.

Just south, visitors will enjoy the ,acre Croatan National Forest, known for its trails and numerous outdoor opportunities. Experience everything from outdoor excitement and scenic trails to seeing sculptures and art galleries.

The High Point Museum is where guests can see first-hand the individual stories of those who worked, lived, and worshiped in this area of North Carolina. Individual ticket prices vary depending on the attraction, and reservations are required for laser tag, High Ropes, and the zipline. Among the reasons for this are its attractions. Places to visit near me: Connecticut beaches , Anniversary trip ideas , Jeffersonville Despite hosting visitors by the millions, each town maintains its individual character.

Outdoor experiences are amazing throughout the Outer Banks and there are definitely attractions for each style of adventurer. To a certain degree, each has water, wind, and sand to its credit. These elements form the landscape and the culture. The National Register of Historic Places-listed district has been converted into one of the city’s premiere downtown entertainment and retail districts, converting historic buildings such as the Italianate-style W.

Blackwell and Company Building and the Romanesque Revival-style Hill Warehouse into modern shopping, dining, and entertainment experiences. A plethora of dining options are offered, ranging from national chain favorites such as Mellow Mushroom and Moe’s Southwest Grill to Cuban tapas joints, acclaimed steakhouses, and taphouses showcasing more than 60 craft beers on draft.

Visitors will find hiking trails throughout town, and Kitty Hawk Woods are big for biking. There are paddling trails which are perfect for kayaking, an immensely popular activity here. Experienced surfers will want to head out to the ocean to catch some great waves, and those looking to take lessons can do so at Kitty Hawk Kayak and Surf School. The town is some 20 miles away from the Currituck Beach Lighthouse and the Bodie Island Lighthouse is about 25 miles away.

Fishermen may find themselves at the oceanfront beaches or Kitty Hawk Pier for surf fishing. Kitty Hawk swimming beaches are outstanding. Visitors may see an owl one day and rare wildflowers in bloom the next. Naturalists are available to guide visitors on their journeys. There is a display of North Carolina minerals and gems and the birds of North Carolina, plus early explorers of the area — including Daniel Boone. It contains a fascinating and detailed collection that covers piracy, shipwrecks, the Civil War, hurricanes, commercial fishing, and other events that have left their mark on the coast.

While there is plenty of time for relaxing in downtown, with its ample supply of porches, other visitors prefer a sojourn at the Southport Waterfront Park. Downtown is also host to the Historic Riverwalk, which introduces newcomers to the waterfront milieu.

The town, which was originally incorporated in , serves as a popular gateway to the nearby Appalachian Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway, with excellent fishing and watersport opportunities offered due to the town’s designation as a Mountain Heritage Trout City.

Though the town is home to a population of less than , it is known as a world-class art community, with top regional galleries showcasing the works of hundreds of local artists. Other attractions include the beautiful Rhododendron Gardens and the picturesque heights of nearby Roan Mountain. The Trail consists of certain places throughout where photographs and words on interpretive signs at each site tell a story.

Some of the topics covered are the Cherokee, agriculture, traditional music, and crafts. Linville Gorge encloses the Linville River for 12 miles. The entire Wilderness Area is quite a draw for rock climbers, backpackers, and hikers. Linville Gorge is home to bear, deer, raccoon, ruffled grouse, and turkeys. Fishing and hunting are allowed with permits. The road crosses through the Nantahala and Cherokee National Forests, creating its namesake. It begins at Santeetlah Gap on the North Carolina side and then the road climbs to Santeetlah, which is an overlook at the highest elevation.

Travelers follow the mountain tops along this highest section for another several miles, taking them to the state line of Tennessee. The Skyway is well known for its gorgeous mountain views, overlooks, and hiking trails. Learn about what grows in the area at the Wake Forest Farmers Market, stretch your legs at Factory Skateboard Park on skates, on the football field, or on a go-cart track.

Check out what local artists are doing at the Art After Hours gallery or enjoy some fresh air on the lake at the Falls Lake Recreation Area. At Chimney Rock Access, there is ample opportunity for hiking and picnicking. Trail difficulty ranges from easy-going nature explorations to moderately strenuous treks to the summit of Chimney Rock Mountain, for example.

Gift shops and concessions are available, and a must-see for trout fishermen exists at Rocky Broad River. It is complete with a site campground, a lake for swimming and canoe rentals, grounds for picnicking, plus more than 20 miles of hiking trails. These trails wind their way to spectacular views and weave alongside waterfalls and streams.

Paddle on the Dan River or bike 8. With a permit, rock climbing opportunities abound. Vacation cabins are available for long visits, and there are free interpretive programs that complement the educational offerings of a park museum, which explores the cultural and natural history of the Sauratown Mountains.

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15 Best Small Towns to Visit in North Carolina – The Crazy Tourist.


North Carolina has a lot to offer nature lovers in the US. Yet the state is also home to some truly beautiful cities, towns and villages to match the allure of the landscape. Check out our picks for the most beautiful towns in North Carolina.

Did you know you can now travel with Culture Trip? Book now and join one of our premium small-group tours to discover the world like never before. 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 a perfect place to relax to the rhythm of the waves. Home to just over 13, people, the village hosts a constant stream of visitors for the resort and the golf. 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.

High up in the Blue Ridge Mountains near the border with Tennessee lies Boone, a town named after the well-loved American pioneer, Daniel Boone, who is said to have camped often in the area. 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, The Blue Ridge Parkway is nearby, as is the pristine Watauga river. Autumn is a fantastic time to visit, when the changing colors of the leaves will light up the mountains.

Complementing the historical attractions is the coast, where tourists can take boat rides or rent jet skis to get out on the water. The biggest port city in North Carolina, Wilmington has something for everyone. Wilmington was also founded in the first half of the 18th century by colonists, so it has a number of historical buildings.

It may be located right next to the Dismal Swamp, but Elizabeth City is anything but dismal. 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.

Due to this period of success, it boasts the largest group of antebellum-style homes and mansions, so this is another great place to come and imagine what the Old South might have been with. 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.

The Eno, a very well loved part of the community, is one of the more pristine rivers in the country. 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.

The Southport Marina, a small harbor, gives the town the feeling of an old fishing village. A great time to come to Southport is Independence Day, when thousands of people come to enjoy their Fourth of July Festival.

Interested in exploring more of the US? Check out our eight-day adventure to Colorado and Utah — highlights include hiking in Arches National Park and whitewater rafting down the Colorado River.

Alternately, browse our collections of Epic Trips , Mini Trips and Sailing Trips to find your next exciting destination. We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click “OK”. Sign Up Log In. You’re back! Log in to see your past and present bookings. Continue with Facebook or Google. Email Address. Password Show.

Forgot password? We use your data to offer you a personalised experience. Find out more. Lani Seelinger. Natural Feature. Copy link. Asheville really has a great deal to sell itself, from beer to great hiking. Architecture buffs will also love wandering through downtown, which is populated with a number of fantastic Art Deco buildings. 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.

Speaking of beautiful buildings, the Biltmore Estate, the ultimate American castle, is located nearby and visitors with a car can enjoy a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway through the mountains.

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