Top 10 Vacation Spots in North Carolina

Top 10 Vacation Spots in North Carolina
North Carolina offers everything from beach vacations, backpacking along the Appalachian trail, quaint and quiet Southern towns, and chic bustling urban centers of art and culture. Where you choose as your vacation destination will largely depend on what type of vacation you are looking for, but whether you want to enjoy the night life of Raleigh or kick back in the Great Smoky Mountains, you can find the right place in North Carolina.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Hike or camp along the Appalachian trail in this park located on the Tennessee border. A family afternoon can be spent at the Smokies Discovery Center learning about the park's biodiversity and ecosystems.

Outer Banks

Head to the northern islands of Corolla, Duck and Southern Shores for some peace and quiet, or discover the protected national seashore and tiny fishing villages of Hatteras Island in the south. The Outer Banks area is popular with shipwreck divers, and you can feel as if you've stepped back in time while watching wild ponies run on the beaches of Ocracoke.


A picturesque colonial town on the way to the Outer Banks, Edenton offers plenty of opportunities for biking, kayaking, sailing and fishing.

Goose Creek State Park

Between Bath and Washington, Goose Creek State Park is a place for camping, backpacking, boating, hiking, fishing and paddling.


Imagine what it was like to live in the early 20th century while hanging out in Asheville's art-deco inspired downtown area. This funky town with its boutique hotels and hippie scene is a great jumping off point for exploring other areas along the Blue Ridge Parkway.


Take a break from North Carolina's sand, sea and mountains to visit the state's business capital and largest city: Charlotte. There's plenty for visitors to do in Charlottel it's chock full of museums and historical sights.

Mount Airy

The hometown of Andy Griffith, located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, has a quaint feel to it. Listen to live bluegrass music, taste wine at a local vineyard, ramble around historic sites, canoe on the Yadkin River or camp in Pilot Mountain State Park.


Halfway between Charlotte and Raleigh, Pinehurst has long been a golfer's paradise. There's plenty more to do in this picturesque town including horseback riding, cycling, kayaking and a nature walk. Enjoy the refined South by taking part in a Southern high tea, going for a carriage ride or spending an afternoon playing croquet on the lawn.


North Carolina's state capital offers fine dining, Broadway shows, live music and a myriad of shopping opportunities. Nicknamed the City of Oaks, Raleigh seems as if it's a giant park showcasing historical sites on a scenic backdrop.


The center of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, this town at the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway offers more than glitzy casinos. Check out Cherokee Botanical Garden and Nature Trail, or hike up Mount Guyot. There are plenty of opportunities to learn more about Cherokee culture at the Cherokee village of Ocanaluftee or by visiting the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.

Article Written By Heather Carreiro

Heather Carreiro is a certified English teacher who has been writing since 2008. The editor of Matador Abroad, her work has appeared online at BootsnAll, Matador Network, GoNOMAD, Journey Beyond Travel and Expat Women. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics and Middle Eastern studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is pursuing a Master of Arts in English at Bridgewater State University.

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Nice easy flat trail that leads to beautiful red rocks.
Stunning hike but extremely steep and tiring! Bring plenty of water.