“At last, I have struck it rich here in North Carolina and am in the most peculiar and one of the most poetic places I have ever been in.”
William James, 1891. Even in the early days of NC, people visited and saw the magic. There’s something special about my home state, and today, I’m going to share a bit of what makes this place the best in the US. If you’re thinking about visiting North Carolina or you’re curious about what makes this state so great, you’re in the right place!
- The Tar Heel State
- Population: almost 10 million
- Capital: Raleigh, home of NC State University and the NC State Fair [read a blogger recap here, and read about the State Fair here]
- Neighbors: South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee
- Popular Destinations: Charlotte, Asheville, Raleigh, the Outer Banks, Wilmington
- Flower: Dogwood
- Bird: Cardinal
- In Fayetteville, North Carolina, Babe Ruth hit his first home run as a professional baseball player.
- Mount Mitchell, the tallest mountain in the eastern United States, is in North Carolina.
- Asheville’s Biltmore Estate, the largest privately owned house in the United States, has 250 rooms.
- Virginia Dare, the first person with English parents to be born in America, was born in NC.
- The University of North Carolina was the first public university in the United States.
- North Carolina was the first state to establish a state symphony and art museum.
Source: USA Today
Here’s how it works:
I’m going to share what do to, where to eat, and where to stay for the three popular places of NC: the mountains, the city, and the beach. I’ve collaborated with some of my blogging friends & GlampingHub to provide the ultimate traveling guide.
…so where should I stay?
Enter GlampingHub. Your #1 spot for luxury camping & odd homes across the country. Use GlampingHub to create the ultimate vacation experience with unique getaways in the form of tents, treehouses, airstreams, and so much more.
“Whether you’re in search of a romantic coastal getaway, you’re looking for a unique rental near Asheville, or you’d simply like to escape to solitude for the weekend, we’ve got your covered. With everything from lakeside cottages to unique tents and cozy cabins, we’re certain there’s something here for you. Book your getaway with us, and get ready for a memorable time in North Carolina.”
The Mountains: Asheville
// Visit the Biltmore Estate.
// Walk to the top of Mt. Mitchell, the highest point on the East Coast!
// Go to a farmer’s market, like this one next to UNC Asheville:
// HIKE! Duh!! I just got back from backpacking and it was an interesting experience, to say the least. If backpacking isn’t your thing, find a spot off of the Blue Ridge Parkway, like Rough Ridge or Craggy Gardens and bring your camera! Pictured below is a spot in Pisgah National Forest, which is less than an hour from Asheville.
// Eat at White Duck Taco. Seriously. You won’t regret it. And check out my in depth post about more places to eat in Asheville here.
// If you’re into all things coffee, stop by Jongo Java Coffee nearby in Hendersonville or another shop in Asheville, like Double D’s Coffee and Desserts – and when I say Double D, I mean double decker!!
The City: Charlotte
// If you’re
outdoorsy trying to be outdoorsy like I am, there’s still a mountain for you to hike in Charlotte, NC! Try visiting Crowder’s Mountain.
// Nobody puts Baby in a corner. Visit Lake Lure, close to both Charlotte and Asheville, to see where Dirty Dancing was filmed!
// About 45 minutes away from Charlotte, you can catch a hot air balloon ride in Statesville, NC.
The Beach: Outer Banks
“The Outer Banks, a series of barrier islands on the northeastern edge of North Carolina, truly has it all. The area has seen 500 years of history, from early colonial settlers to pirates and WWII. Atlantic waves make for great surfing, and the quieter waters of the sound side offer other water sports options.”
// Leigh from Hines-Sight wrote a great review of the Outer Banks and includes some fun activities, like watersports such as kiteboarding, paddle boarding, and more! She says, ” , near Rodanthe, offers classes for beginners and rental equipment packages for those who need it. Other active adventures along the Outer Banks include fishing charters, off-roading in 4X4 vehicles (with permit), and hiking and biking the many trails here. Families traveling with younger kids might appreciate the offerings in Nags Head — especially with all the indoor opportunities to escape a rainy day!”
// There is so much history behind the Outer Banks, and you can discover the stories and secrets by taking historic tours, such as the
// Who goes to the Outer Banks and doesn’t see a lighthouse? I mean, seriously! There are 4 active ones and they hold so much history and they make for such a great trip, even with kids!
// Leigh from Hines-Sight also recommends a couple of places to eat in the Outer Banks, like “in Buxton, open mornings, is home to the world famous ‘apple uglie,’ an enormous apple fritter easily shared by 3 or 4, is a great place to get breakfast and cup of coffee.”
Have you been to NC? If you haven’t, better start packing. I love my home state and I know you will too.