In 2021, around 45 million travelers chose to take a trip to North Carolina. With so many things to do in North Carolina, planning a trip requires careful consideration.
If you’re on the fence about visiting North Carolina, the following guide will explain why it’s worth it. Whether you’re a foodie, nature lover, or history buff, there’s something in NC for everyone.
Read on to learn 9 Awesome reasons to take a trip to North Carolina.
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1. Hanging Rock State Park
You’ll find Hanging Rock State Park in the Sauratown Mountains near the Winston-Salem area. The park has more than 18 miles of hiking trails for hikers of all skill levels.
It also includes a lake that boaters, fishermen, and swimmers love. You’ll find beautiful waterfalls scattered throughout the park as well.
The state park includes ten cabins for rental and a tent and trailer area for travelers who wish to stay overnight. Hanging Rock Park is very popular for its enchanting quartzite formations and gorgeous ridges.
As far as travel tips go, make sure to check out Devil’s Chimney and the famous Hanging Rock while visiting the park.
If you plan to travel to North Carolina, you should consider making a stop in Wilmington. Here you’ll find Kure, Carolina, and Wrightsville Beach, which are three of the best beaches in NC.
It also has an awesome riverwalk that goes along the Cape Fear River. If you’re looking for the best riverfront restaurant in Wilmington, try Smoke On the Water for excellent seafood and cocktails.
3. The Outer Banks
The Outer Banks consists of a series of barrier islands that follow along NC’s coast. At one time, the famous pirate Blackbeard stalked these small islands. Today, it’s simply a great destination for travelers trying to beat the summer heat.
At the north end, you’ll find wild horses roaming the dunes. In middle sits Bodie Island which is home to the small towns of Nags Head and Kitty Hawk. There, visitors can play a few rounds of miniature golf, shop, and eat at local restaurants.
West of Bodie Island is Roanoke Island which houses the town of Manteo. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the location of the Lost Colony where British settlers vanished without a trace in the late 1500s.
4. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a quick drive from several major east coast cities. That’s one reason why it’s the most visited national park in America in addition to its beauty.
The park has plentiful wildlife and captivating scenery to explore. It’s home to over a thousand black bears and other animals such as deer, turkey, fox, and the newly introduced elk.
Pack your hiking boots because this national park has exactly 850 miles of trails to walk.
5. Scenic Drives
Many Americans consider The Blue Ridge Parkway to be one of the most picturesque drives in the entire country. The 469-mile winding road is designated both a National Parkway and an All-American Road.
If possible, try to take this drive in the fall for amazing autumn views. Spring also makes for an excellent drive because that’s when dogwoods and rhododendrons bloom.
If you make a stop in Ashville, you’ll find a creative setting full of talented musicians and street performers. It’s also important to note that this North Carolina town is just as beautiful as it is quirky.
It’s also near the Biltmore Estate, which was constructed between 1889 and 1895. The mansion is the biggest privately owned home in America and draws in nearly a million tourists annually.
7. Bald Head Island
For a more relaxed and easy-going NC stop, consider visiting Bald Head Island where there aren’t any cars. You’ll have to access the island via the town of Southport or by taking a private boat across the water.
The island has 14 stunning miles of beaches and visitors can explore the whole thing on foot, by bicycle, or by golf cart. Keep your eyes peeled for maritime forests, marshes, nesting turtles, and even a golf course.
8. North Carolina BBQ
It won’t take you long to realize that barbeque is a huge deal in North Carolina. You’ll find two official barbecues during your visit, Eastern BBQ and Western BBQ.
Try a serving of pulled pork cooked in both styles and decide which NC BBQ is your favorite. The Western-style has a smoky flavor and contains ketchup. The eastern style uses a whole hog and excludes all tomatoes which set it apart.
9. Dog Friendly
Let’s face it, leaving your furry friend behind on a trip isn’t an easy thing to do. Plus, it can cost a lot of money to board your pet while you’re away.
Fortunately, you’ll find many dog-friendly towns throughout the state and a ton on the western side. You’ll see locals walking their dogs everywhere, whether it’s in town or on hiking trails.
So, if you prefer to travel with your dog, North Carolina might be the perfect destination for you. You’ll also find a lot of dog-friendly hotels and motels throughout NC, but make sure to check ahead for added fees.
Taking a Trip to North Carolina
Now you have 9 reasons to take a trip to North Carolina and travel tips to help make it seamless. Take a hike, explore towns, eat some NC BBQ, relax, and enjoy your decision to visit the Tar Heel State.
Check out our travel section under the “more” tab for more vacation tips and interesting destinations.