Top 5 Things you Must Do in North Carolina
A real jewel of the South, North Carolina is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination for savvy travelers. Whether it’s exploring charming Asheville and the rolling green hills that surround it, or dipping your toes into the Atlantic in one of the state’s sunny beach towns, North Carolina represents southern hospitality at its finest. With such a range of things to see and do in the state, it can be difficult choosing the best options. There are, however, a few ‘must dos’ on any trip to North Carolina.
Journey up the Blue Ridge Mountains
Known as ‘America’s Favorite Drive’, the Blue Ridge Mountains feature picturesque scenery at every twist and turn.
Starting at the Virginia border, the Blue Ridge Parkway meanders its way through this scenic slice of Appalachia, passing ski resorts, lodges, and a number of charming mountain towns en route to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As a side trip, don’t miss out on visiting Mt. Mitchell State Park. A short hike up to the park’s peak will put you at the tallest point east of the Mississippi. From here you’ll be on the receiving end of sweeping panoramic views of the Appalachian Mountains and beyond.
North Carolina boasts a strong and proud history in furniture making. As one of the first areas settled in the United States, the state is home to a laundry list of excellent antique shops. Head on down to Highway 321 for 20 straight miles of furniture and antique stores.
Splash around in the Atlantic Ocean
There’s nothing quite like beaches in the South. North Carolina boasts miles of Atlantic coastline, but if there’s one place to experience its beaches at their finest, it’s in Wilmington. The southern city is home to Wrightsville Beach, which looks like it was taken right out of a travel book. Rent a beach house along Wrightsville, watch the sun rise in the morning over the Atlantic Ocean, and spend afternoons collecting seashells or playing in the sand.
Live like Royalty in Charlotte
Known as the ‘Queen City’, in Charlotte you’ll find traditional southern hospitality along with a surprising number of sites and attractions. Downtown you’ll find excellent restaurants, museums and nightlife. Just outside Charlotte, you’ll have access to hiking and mountain biking trails and some of the best whitewater rafting in the country. The area also represents the heart of NASCAR country. A truly American sport, Charlotte is home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Saddle Up in Love Valley
The tiny town of Love Valley in central North Carolina is home to a fully functioning Wild West town. Recalling a simpler time in America’s history when horses were the main form of transportation, visitors to Love Valley will have a chance to view live rodeos, wagon parades, and eat the delicious results of chili cook offs. With over 800 acres, you can rent your own horse and explore the area either alone, or on a guided tour.
Guest post contributed by Neil Willford for Stuffnads. Neil is a freelance travel writer. He enjoys sharing his travel tips and insights on various holiday blogs.