Planning a trip to North Carolina? Below are some of the best things to experience during your trip.
North Carolina Beaches
North Carolina has over 300 miles of barrier island beaches and two national seashores. From the Outer Banks all the way south down the coastline, you can choose from a variety of different beaches along the way. The best North Carolina beach areas to visit should include The Outer Banks, The Crystal Coast, TopSail Beach, Wrightsville Beach, Wilmington, Carolina Beach, and Kure Beach.
North Carolina is home to hundreds of wild horses. The Corolla wild horses, descendants of the Colonial Spanish Mustangs, roam freely on the northernmost Currituck Outer Banks. The isolated barrier island of Shackleford Banks, and in Beaufort, at the Rachel Carson Reserve, are more wild horses that you can see. A short boat trip is required to gain access to all three of these areas. The Ocracoke “Banker” Ponies are located on NC12 between the Hatteras Inlet ferry landing and Ocracoke Village.
To learn more about North Carolina’s wild horses visit www.ncwildhorses.com.
Seven historical lighthouses adorn the shoreline of North Carolina. Take a few days and cruise down the coast and visit some of these charming, southern lighthouses.
- Starting from the Northernmost coastline is the Currituck Beach Light Station in Corolla. This lighthouse was created with over one million red bricks.
- At the entrance to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, on Highway 12, stands the Bodie Island Lighthouse.
- Continuing south to the town of Buxton, you will find the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. America’s tallest lighthouse standing proudly at 193 feet high.
- Ocracoke Lighthouse is the oldest active lighthouse in North Carolina which opened its doors in 1823. You can take a free ferry from Hatteras to Ocracoke Island. Blackbeard the pirate used this island as a safe haven.
- Cape Lookout is the southernmost lighthouse located on the Crystal Coast along the Outer Banks and is only accessible by private ferry. The unusual black and diamond pattern is now the model for many southern lighthouses.
- The Oak Island Lighthouse, in Brunswick County on Oak Island, is one of the world’s most powerful lighthouses. Its beacon can be seen for 24 miles.
- From Oak Island, you will be able to see the Old Baldy Lighthouse which is located on Bald Head Island. You will need to take the ferry from Southport to Bald Head Island.
North Carolina has some of the best farms I have encountered anywhere.
Some of my favorite edibles from local farms are nuts from Hampton Farms, watermelon from Clark’s Produce and the delectable Muscadine grapes from Hinnant Family Vineyards. As I was looking over the grapes in Harris Teeter recently, a friendly local told me I must try their wine too. I will be taking her advice very soon.
Next time you’re out shopping, be sure to look for the local farm labels and you will be in for a very special treat.
Road Trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway
One of the most awe-inspiring road trips you can experience in America is along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The parkway runs from Shenandoah National Park’s Skyline Drive in Virginia to Route 441 at Oconaluftee in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Cherokee, North Carolina. The panoramic vistas and views are one of the main reasons that thousands take to the open road every year to enjoy one of America’s favorite journeys.
To help plan your trip, visit the National Park Service website.
North Carolina is home to some of the friendliest people I have ever encountered, anywhere. They are polite, caring and ready to loan a helping hand. Take your time and slow down a bit. If you’re lucky enough, you may encounter a great story, a piece of historical wisdom, or simply a friendly smile throughout your journey in North Carolina.
For more information on things to do in North Carolina, click here.
Have you ever visited North Carolina? What are your favorite things to do? Please share with us below and happy travels!