Hot air balloon floating over fall foliage in Asheville
Summer rhododendrons and scenic lookouts in Craggy Gardens near Asheville
Fog hugs the ground on the historic Biltmore Estate in Asheville
The sun rises behind the historic Bodie Island Lighthouse in Nags Head
Wild horses roam the beach in Corolla on the Outer Banks
Footprints lead to the beach in Nags Head
- Tar Heel State
Explore the Appalachians to the Outer Banks
North Carolina has the highest mountain peaks in the eastern U.S. and 482 kilometers of shoreline. It’s home to hundreds of waterfalls, two national forests and dozens of lakes, rivers and streams. A true four-season state, six weeks’ worth of foliage dapples the mountain region each year. Drive the Blue Ridge parkway, sample the state’s famous barbecue or spend some quality time in an off-the-beaten-path town. Sunbathe on the barrier islands of the Outer Banks or go hang-gliding just a stone’s throw from the Wright Brothers National Memorial.
Here naturally beautiful landscapes stretch from the coast to the Great Smoky Mountains. Explore the breathtaking views the range offers while hiking, camping, rafting or zip lining. Along the coast, make time to relax or find adventure. Dive into water sports, including kiteboarding, surfing, stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking. Climb historic lighthouses or board a historic battleship. Savor Calabash seafood, fresh from the sea and fried to golden perfection in a style all its own. And get your camera ready: wild horses roam over the sands of two separate banks here.
With all there is to do on land and by sea, save time for all that’s happening within North Carolina’s vibrant cities and eclectic college towns. Here the dynamic natural landscape gives way to vineyards and valleys, as well as premiere golf and stock car courses, historic sites, plentiful shopping and restaurants that carry on the state’s distinct culinary tradition. Foodies can indulge in delights from James Beard nominees and barbecue pit masters alike. And those looking for nightlife will find the cities filled with a booming music scene, bustling breweries and enough entertainment to last for several lifetimes. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, mountains or beaches, the rhythm of city life or the tranquility of nature, your stay in North Carolina will definitely stay with you.