It is in these friendly communities that you’ll find North Carolina’s beating heart. This is another good place to come if you’d like to hike, as it’s very nearby the Eno River State Park. We have reviews of the best places to see in North Carolina. The Land of Oz opened in 1970 but closed after just a few years, but there is still a lot of physical evidence of the now-defunct park, as well as the yellow brick road, that remains today. Boone is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Western North Carolina, and it is known as one of the best places to live for retirement. Some of these beautiful treasures are now bed and breakfasts, shops, and restaurants. Despite the population growing exponentially during the summer, Emerald Isle retains a family feel, with Water Boggan a must-visit for anyone with kids. The annual Bull Durham Blues Festival also takes place in Durham, which hosts a diverse local music culture. Waterside and beautiful, Beaufort is North Carolina’s third oldest town. Vance County is changing in terms of bringing new business in the area, but they lack in jobs related to things such as technology, warehouse facilities, and more. Saluda {pop. group facebook - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1787047574894248/ TOP 10. Like Kitty Hawk, it is located on the state's Outer Banks. The history of the town dates back over a hundred years and it has been a popular filming spot for Hollywood, with movies such as Thunder Road and Dirty Dancing having been partially filmed in the Lake Lure area. Current Resident: Excellent small town with beautiful weather most of the year. Just what is it that makes a small town great? There's plenty to do before ski season too, from sampling adult beverages at the Banner Elk Winery and Flat Top Mountain Brewery to checking out October's Wooly Worm Festival, a quirky event celebrating the winter caterpillar that draws some 20,000 people annually. Perhaps the city’s biggest claim to fame is that it is the birthplace of Pepsi Cola. Asheville really has a great deal to sell itself, from beer to great hiking. Davidson, North Carolina can be found in the #3 spot of smartest cities. M.A. Raleigh is the state's capital and Charlotte is its largest city. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK", Mariners' Wharf - Elizabeth City, North Carolina, St Matthews Episcopal Church, Hillsborough, © The Alliance for Historic Hillsborough/Flickr. Deep within Pisgah National Forest in Transylvania County is Grogan Creek and Cedar Rock Falls, the latter of which is a 20-foot falls that is without a doubt one of the most stunning sights anywhere in North Carolina. Bryson City is one of the oldest settlements in North Carolina, with Native Americans having lived in the area for at least 14,000 years. Jockey’s Ridge State Park is the main landmark in the town, offering stunning views of Nags Head and beyond. North Carolina’s state and national parks offer bountiful opportunities to get outside and explore nature’s wonders. Sports fans in particular will find lots to love in Charlotte, as it hosts two NASCAR Sprint Cup races and the NASCAR All-Star Race, as well as an NFL team – the Carolina Panthers, and Charlotte Hornets of the NBA. The Blue Ridge Parkway is nearby, as is the pristine Watauga river. Speaking of beautiful buildings, the Biltmore Estate, the ultimate American castle, is very nearby, and visitors with a car can enjoy a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway through the mountains. 4. Complementing the historical attractions is the coast, where tourists can take boat rides or rent jet skis to get out on the water. The Mountain Farm Museum and Mingus Mill at Oconaluftee within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are worth visiting too. From the coast to the mountains, North Carolina has charm to spare. As one of North Carolina’s largest cities, Durham is also among its top tourist attractions, drawing millions of people every single year. Pinehurst The Southport Marina, a small harbor, gives the town the feeling of an old fishing village, something that the locals really appreciate. The university, one of the more popular ones in the North Carolina system, has brought more and more young people to the area, so there’s always something cultural to do on the weekends. 2 course a frequent stop on the PGA tour. Source: Dave Allen Photography / shutterstock. With Freedom Park and Discovery Place among the most beautiful spots in Charlotte, there is loads to do for all the family. Top things to do in the city include the Levine Museum of the New South, Carolinas Aviation Museum and the Carowinds theme park, which has some of the best rollercoasters anywhere in North Carolina. Most of Boone’s attractions are natural wonders, like Grandfather Mountain and Elk Knob State Park, both nearby. Photograph by Caitlin Ragan. The Blue Ridge Mountains are among the most beautiful natural sites in North Carolina. The city suffered greatly during the Great Depression and took a long time to recover, therefore few of the original buildings were replaced or otherwise changed. In the east, there’s the windswept, sun bleached Atlantic coast, whereas the west’s heavily forested Appalachian Mountains provide view after amazing view. The biggest port city in North Carolina, Wilmington has something for everyone. The large cypress swamps are also home to a number of alligators, while fishing, biking and hiking are all popular activities within the grounds of the park. The town is notable for being surrounded by mountains, which gives it incredible scenery that has to be seen to be believed. Kitty Hawk is one of the most important historic sites in North Carolina, as it is where the Wright Brothers made their first controlled powered airplane flights. Nags Head is one of the most popular tourist locations in North Carolina due to its many superb beaches and wonderfully relaxed atmosphere. They also have a number of gorgeous old buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, and the constant greenery of the Piedmont will never fail to welcome you. The most visited park in the United States, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a must for anyone on a vacation in North Carolina. Kitty Hawk is especially worth visiting, as it is where Wilbur and Orville Wright flew their airplane for the first time, hence North Carolina’s state motto, First in Flight. If you’re a fan of Gone with the Wind, or looking for a taste of the romantic idea of the Old South, then you would do well to come to Pinehurst, a small village in the Piedmont region (the middle section of the state). 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