North Carolina

Travel Guide
North Carolina showing forest scenes, a river or creek and a waterfall
Soaring mountain peaks, atmospheric islands and a fascinating colonial past make North Carolina an exciting state with trendy, welcoming cities.

Visit North Carolina for a trip that combines wilderness escapes in dramatic mountains, city breaks exploring museums and relaxation by the Atlantic coast. The “Tar Heel State” offers such a diverse array of attractions that it is a consistently surprising and exhilarating destination.

Visit the mysterious island of Roanoke to learn about North Carolina’s colonial past. This barrier island was the landing and settling point of more than 100 colonists in 1587 who disappeared without a trace. Follow in the footsteps of the infamous Lost Colony in the town of Manteo and at the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site.

Explore North Carolina’s creative, colorful cities. Asheville is located in the mountains in the west of the state and features a combination of historical and artistic sites. Roam the expansive grounds of Biltmore, one of the largest stately homes in America. The River Arts District has several independent galleries and stores.

Families will enjoy the thriving city of Charlotte, which features several all-ages attractions. Engage with science at the Discovery Place or plunge down rides at Carowinds. The city also has botanic gardens, pleasant parks and museums dedicated to NASCAR and aviation.

Drive along the spectacular Blue Ridge Parkway into the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Bring your binoculars to spot black bears roaming through the landscape in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where you can hike along miles of trails.

Relax on the state’s coastline and explore scenic barrier islands. Learn to surf at Wrightsville Beach or escape to the solitude of quiet Hatteras Island or undeveloped Cape Lookout. The Wright Brothers National Memorial, located in the Kill Devil Hills, commemorates humankind’s first powered flight.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport is one of the busiest transport hubs in America, offering several flights to destinations around the U.S. and beyond.

The best time of year to visit North Carolina depends on what you want to do. Head to the southern coastal areas in spring or fall for warm but mild days by the ocean. Explore the northern mountains in summer for the clearest weather.

Where to stay in North Carolina

Asheville

Downtown Asheville

4.5/5(969 area reviews)

Travelers to Downtown Asheville praise its popular shops. If you've got some more time to explore, be sure to make a stop by Pack Square and Wicked Weed Brewing.

Downtown Asheville
Charlotte Center City showing outdoor art and modern architecture

Uptown Charlotte

4.5/5(2,123 area reviews)

Boasting a bustling business district, Uptown Charlotte offers over 245 restaurants, 50 nightspots, and attractions like the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Easily accessible via the Lynx Blue Line, it's perfect for sports enthusiasts and foodies alike.

Uptown Charlotte
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Downtown Raleigh

4.5/5