North Carolina is blessed with a beautiful, wide, windswept expanse of beach in the east and the heavily, forested slopes of the Great Smoky Mountains along its western borders. In between the two fascinating boundaries, lies the rest of the state, which is quite interesting in its own way. Here are some vacation ideas for visiting the Tar Heel State.
The Outer Banks
Choosing a place to stay on North Carolina's barrier islands is difficult indeed, because there are so many choices. One of the most unique choices though is the little town of Ocracoke on Ocracoke Island. Blackbeard. the pirate, once lived here in the quiet lagoon on the lee side of the island, but current day visitors will find only a small lighthouse and some motels and guesthouses. It is definitely a unique place for a vacation.
Hit the Links at Southern Pines
Here in the vicinity of three towns, Southern Pines, Pinehurst and Aberdeen, golf enthusiasts will fine 43 golf courses within a 15-mile radius. This is a situation that is hard to beat, plus golfing is possible 12 months out of the year. Besides this, nearly half of the courses are rated within the top 100 for the United States. This is definitely golfing at its finest.
Cruise the Intercoastal Waterway
You will need a motorized houseboat, cruiser or sailboat to do this and a onboard cabin to sleep in, but if you are fortunate to own such a craft, this might be just the experience for you. The Intercoastal Waterway is a water route than traverses the Atlantic seaboard without ever entering the ocean waters. It is a series of bays rivers and canals where one can travel from Maine to Florida, entirely on inland waterways.
Explore the Waterfalls Byway in Western North Carolina
This scenic stretch of highway that begins in Rosman and follows State Highway 64 all the way to Murphy. Along the short route there are approximately 200 different waterfalls with overnight accommodations possible in Murphy or Highlands. All of the waterfalls can be reached by a short day hike. Some of the more noted falls include Bridal Veil Falls and Dry Falls.
Hike Linville Gorge
In the northwest section of the state, there is the Pisgah National Forest and within the national forest, there is the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area. This wonderful backcountry can be explored by day hikes or an overnight trek through the area. The best time to explore the area along the Linville River is in the spring or fall as the summertime can be hot and crowded. If hiking through the gorge along the river, it is best to allow several days and be aware that not all trails are maintained and marked.
Article Written By Henri Bauholz
Henri Bauholz is a professional writer covering a variety of topics, including hiking, camping, foreign travel and nature. He has written travel articles for several online publications and his travels have taken him all over the world, from Mexico to Latin America and across the Atlantic to Europe.