When you explore the stunning beauty of North Carolina, you would be converted into your best self. You may get your inner peace outside by exploring sandy shores, hike to breathtaking mountain vistas that help you breathe easier, and feel refreshed by vibrant cities,
North Carolina shivers you with swashbuckling pirates and marvelous mountain highways, spectacular beaches, and a gamut of historic sites.
White sand and surf entice adrenaline junkies and sun worshipers to the state’s 480km (300 miles) of barrier island beaches. Hang-gliders set in dunes the size of little mountains at Jockey’s Ridge. Surfers climb up to ride the famous swell at Cape Hatteras. Wild horses ramble around the beach at Corolla in the Outer Banks.
Ridge Parkway, a 406km (252 miles) scenic drive in between dense forests and mountains, to capture the state’s kaleidoscopic colors.
But pièce de résistance of North Carolina is its world-class ice climbing. When you can halt and stare at plummeting waterfalls in summer, climbing your way up to them with crampons and an ice axe is a sure-fire way to crank up the adrenaline. A 60m (200 ft) route on Whitesides Mountain named Starshine is considered to be one of the gnarliest.
Checking out for some city action? Charlotte is also home to the US National Whitewater Center and the outstanding Blumenthal Performing Arts Center famed for its NASCAR racing. Raleigh meanwhile is proud of over 40 free attractions, including the terrific North Carolina Museum of Art.
A. Travelling to North Carolina by plane
Main airports are:
# Charlotte Douglas International Airport: Charlotte-Douglas International Airport is located 11km (7 miles) west of Charlotte.
# Raleigh Durham International Airport: Raleigh-Durham International Airport has dwelt at Morrisville, 20km (13 miles) southeast of Durham and 20km (13 miles) northwest of Raleigh
# Piedmont Triad International Airport: Piedmont Triad International Airport is established between the cities of Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point. It would be about 15km (9 miles) northwest of Greensboro and the nearest among the three as well.
B. Travelling to North Carolina by train
There are a good number of Amtrak routes across the state which includes a daily New York-Miami via Orlando. The 'Piedmont' gives a passenger train service from Raleigh to Charlotte. The station in Raleigh is situated at 320 West Cabarrus Street. Therefore, the Charlotte station is located at 1914 North Tryon Street. Visit www.amtrak.com for more updates.
C. Travelling to North Carolina by bus
There are Amtrak Bus Services to North Carolina as well. They also have different packages which include trips to traveling places within North Carolina. Visit www.amtrak.com for the latest information.
There's a lot of accommodation options in North Carolina, from big hotels in the main cities to low-cost bed and breakfasts. Many of the famous brands, guest houses, independent boutique hotels, and budget motels are found in North Carolina. There is a few good numbers of camping grounds, resorts, and vacation rentals with great facilities in North Carolina as well.
Places to visit in North Carolina
A. Biltmore Estate: Tour George Vanderbilt's elaborate 250-room Biltmore Estate situated in the western Blue Ridge Mountains town of Ashville. The estate covers a winery with a visitor center, tasting room, and shop where bottles of the local vintage are being sold. Visit www.biltmoreestate.com for more information.
B. Blue Ridge Parkway: Visit along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, which includes 755km (469 miles) along the spine of the Blue Ridge and the Great Smoky Mountains from Tennessee to Virginia. Browse www.nps.gov/blri and learn more.
C. Cape Hatteras National Seashore: Explore the attractions along with the Cape Hatteras National Seashore including the Outer Banks ponies, Bodie Island, and the candy-striped Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the nation's tallest and most renowned. Visit www.nps.gov/caha for more updates.
D. Carowinds: Head for the adrenaline rush on adventurous rides at the state's largest theme park, Carowinds, 10 minutes south of Charlotte. It gives tribute to the film Wayne's World with a white-knuckle, wooden rollercoaster ride named Hurler, which rises riders through eight inversions. Browse www.carowinds.com for the latest information.
E. Crystal Coast: Experience the Crystal Coast area that adds the seaport of Morehead, the historic waterfront town of Beaufort, and many beautiful beaches. Visit www.crystalcoast.com for more updates.
F. Durham: Travel to Durham which is also known as 'The City of Medicine'. The city is renowned for the world-famous Research Triangle Park. It has over 150 research and development opportunities (www.rtp.org). Last but not the least, there's Duke University (www.duke.edu) with its wonderful chapel and gardens.
G. Fireman's Museum: Trip to New Bern's Fireman's Museum, established by the two oldest fire companies in the United States. Added in the exhibits is 'Fire Horse Fred', who trained the fire-hose wagon for 17 years. He passed away in 1925 while tugging the fire wagon to a false alarm.
H. Morehead Planetarium: Travel through the Morehead Planetarium in Raleigh where more than 100 of the USA's astronauts got training before daring to venture into space.
I. Mount Mitchell: You can camp, drive, ski, or hike in the stunning North Carolina Mountains like Mount Mitchell. It is the highest peak in Eastern America with a height of 2,040m/6,684ft. Two hundred peaks in the Appalachian Mountain chain covers more than 1.6km (1 mile) height.
J. New Bern's Tryon Palace: Go for the restored New Bern's Tryon Palace. It was made in the 1760s. It was built as the first permanent capital and home for the Royal Governor of North Carolina as well.
K. North Carolina Museum of Art: Explore the works by Botticelli, Monet, Raphael, and Rubens at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh.
L. Old Salem: Old Salem is a preserved and restored 18th-century Moravian village that you can step back in time viewing. Attractions add the Old Salem Visitor Centre providing tours of the districts, the St Philips Moravian Church, the Old Salem Toy Museum, and the restored Herbst House.
M. Raleigh: In Raleigh, experience the North Carolina Botanical Gardens, covering almost every plant found in the state.
N. Tweetsie Railroad: Have an adventurous ride on the Tweetsie Railroad, a steam locomotive that carries passengers in between mountains and a frontier village next to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
O. USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial: Around the river from Wilmington's Cotton Exchange, make a journey to the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial and go on foot to the decks of this renowned WWII battleship. Its tale is elaborated on summer nights in 'The Immortal Showboat', an outstanding sound and light show.
P. Wilmington: Travel to Wilmington. It is considered to be North Carolina's largest seaport. Moreover, it was once the site of sailing ships fetching treasures from around the world. The Cotton Exchange, a 19th-century structure transformed into shops and boutiques, once sold more cotton than any other port in the world.
Q. Wright Brothers Memorial: Stand on the windswept beach at Kitty Hawk and see where the first-ever powered flight off Kill Devil Hills was made by the Wright brothers in 1903. The event is commemorated at the Wright Brothers Memorial and visit www.nps.gov/wrbr for more information.
So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get ready for exploring the beautiful North Carolina. Happy Journey!