26 Best Things to Do in North Carolina

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Are you planning to visit North Carolina but unsure of what to do while there? Well, look no further! This article will guide you through 26 of the best things to do in North Carolina. From stunning beaches and thrilling outdoor activities to cultural experiences and historical landmarks, this list has got you covered.

Explore the Blue Ridge Parkway

One of the most scenic drives in North Carolina is the Blue Ridge Parkway, which runs for 469 miles through the Appalachian Mountains. Along the way, you’ll find stunning vistas, waterfalls, hiking trails, and plenty of places to stop and take in the views.

Visit the Biltmore Estate

The Biltmore Estate is a massive mansion built in the late 1800s by George Vanderbilt. The estate features 250 rooms, including a library, a bowling alley, and a pool, as well as beautiful gardens and a winery.

Discover the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a beautiful natural area that spans the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. Visitors can go hiking, fishing, camping, and wildlife watching in the park.

Relax on the Outer Banks

The Outer Banks is a string of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina. Visitors can enjoy miles of pristine beaches, go fishing, take a ferry to nearby islands, and learn about the area’s rich history.

Experience the Thrills at Carowinds

Carowinds is an amusement park located on the border between North Carolina and South Carolina. The park features over 60 rides and attractions, including roller coasters, water rides, and live shows.

Go Hiking in Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock State Park is a beautiful natural area located near Asheville. Visitors can hike to the top of Chimney Rock for stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

Visit the USS North Carolina Battleship

The USS North Carolina Battleship is a historic battleship that saw action during World War II. Visitors can tour the ship and learn about its role in the war.

Learn About the Wright Brothers at the Wright Brothers National Memorial

The Wright Brothers National Memorial is located in Kill Devil Hills and commemorates the first flight by the Wright brothers. Visitors can learn about the brothers’ lives and see a replica of their first airplane.

Have Fun at Tweetsie Railroad

Tweetsie Railroad is a Wild West-themed amusement park located in Blowing Rock. Visitors can ride a historic steam locomotive, go on carnival rides, watch live shows, and visit the petting zoo.

Explore the North Carolina Zoo

The North Carolina Zoo is located in Asheboro and is home to over 1,600 animals from around the world. Visitors can take a guided tour or explore the park on their own.

Go White Water Rafting at the Nantahala Outdoor Center

The Nantahala Outdoor Center is located in Bryson City and offers a variety of outdoor activities, including white water rafting, kayaking, and ziplining.

Visit the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is located in Raleigh and features exhibits on dinosaurs, North Carolina’s coastal ecosystem, and more.

Take a Tour of the Old Salem Museums & Gardens

Old Salem is a historic district in Winston-Salem that dates back to the 18th century. Visitors can take a guided tour and learn about the area’s history and culture.

Enjoy the Beaches of Wilmington

Wilmington is home to several beautiful beaches, including Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach. Visitors can swim, sunbathe, and go fishing.

Explore the Historic District of Asheville

Asheville’s historic district is filled with beautiful architecture and charming shops and restaurants. Visitors can take a guided tour or explore on their own.

Go Rock Climbing at Pilot Mountain

Pilot Mountain is a state park located in Pinnacle and is popular among rock climbers. Visitors can also go hiking, camping, and picnicking.

Take a Scenic Drive Along the Blue Ridge Parkway

In addition to hiking and exploring, visitors can take a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway and stop at various overlooks to take in the stunning views.

Visit the City of Raleigh

Raleigh is North Carolina’s capital city and is home to several museums, parks, and cultural attractions. Visitors can explore the city’s rich history and vibrant arts scene.

Explore the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area

The Linville Gorge Wilderness Area is a rugged wilderness area located near Linville Falls. Visitors can go hiking, camping, and wildlife watching.

Have Fun at the North Carolina State Fair

The North Carolina State Fair is held annually in Raleigh and features carnival rides, live music, agricultural exhibits, and more.

Visit the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park

The Guilford Courthouse National Military Park is located in Greensboro and commemorates a Revolutionary War battle. Visitors can take a guided tour or explore on their own.

Explore the Cape Fear Botanical Garden

The Cape Fear Botanical Garden is located in Fayetteville and features several themed gardens, including a butterfly garden and a children’s garden.

Go Skiing at Beech Mountain Resort

Beech Mountain Resort is a popular skiing destination in North Carolina. Visitors can also go snowboarding, snow tubing, and ice skating.

Visit the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is located on the Outer Banks and is one of the most iconic lighthouses in the United States. Visitors can climb to the top for stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Go Shopping at Tanger Outlets

Tanger Outlets is a popular shopping destination with several locations throughout North Carolina. Visitors can find deals on designer brands and more.

In conclusion, North Carolina has something to offer for everyone. From the stunning scenery of the Blue Ridge Parkway to the thrills of Carowinds, visitors will never run out of things to do in this beautiful state.


  1. What is the best time of year to visit North Carolina?
  • The best time to visit North Carolina depends on the activities you plan to do. For outdoor activities, such as hiking and swimming, the summer months (June-August) are ideal. For fall foliage and cooler weather, visit in the fall (September-November). Winter (December-February) is great for skiing and snow sports, while spring (March-May) is perfect for exploring gardens and attending festivals.
  1. Is North Carolina a good place to visit with kids?
  • Yes, North Carolina is a great place to visit with kids. There are several family-friendly attractions, such as amusement parks, zoos, and museums. Additionally, the state has plenty of outdoor activities that kids will love, such as hiking and beachcombing.
  1. What is the best beach to visit in North Carolina?
  • There are several beautiful beaches in North Carolina, but some of the most popular ones include Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, and Nags Head. Each beach has its own unique charm and attractions, so it’s worth exploring multiple beaches during your visit.
  1. Can you climb to the top of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse?
  • Yes, visitors can climb to the top of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. However, there are some restrictions, such as a height requirement and a limit on the number of people who can climb at once. Additionally, visitors must be able to climb 257 steps to reach the top.
  1. What is the best city to visit in North Carolina?
  • This depends on your personal interests and preferences. Some popular cities to visit include Asheville, Raleigh, Charlotte, and Wilmington. Each city has its own unique attractions, such as museums, parks, and restaurants, so it’s worth doing some research to decide which city is the best fit for you.
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Upendra Yadav is a seasoned Data Analyst with a passion for exploring new places and immersing himself in different cultures. With a curious mind and an eye for detail, Upendra delves deep into the history, people, and cuisine of the places he visits, and brings his experiences to life through his writing.. His work has been featured in various travel blogs, where he shares his insights and recommendations for fellow explorers. Through his writing, Upendra aims to inspire others to venture beyond their comfort zones and discover the hidden gems of the world. When he's not analyzing data or traveling to new destinations, Upendra can be found indulging in his other hobbies, such as photography and trying out new recipes. He is currently working on his next travelogue, where he hopes to take his readers on a journey to even more exciting and lesser-known destinations.
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