I’m a North Carolina boy, born and raised. This is still one of my favorite regions even after traveling all over the United States and also getting to spend time in Europe.
This is home.
Here is a short list of a few places I think are worth visiting. Not listed in order of significance.
Nestled in the South Western corner of the state sits Franklin. While many who seek a getaway in the Mountains of NC travel to places like Boone or Asheville, Franklin offers a much slower pace vibe. When you visit Franklin be sure to take a day to tour many of the waterfalls along Highway 64.
To me Ocean Isle is the quintessential Carolina coastal town. Offers all that you would expect: houses that run the range of age and prestige, a few hotels and condo buildings, a corner ice cream shop and of course-—mini golf. Its pace is a bit more low key than many of its counter parts in the state. But don’t worry, you have all the tourist traps and bright lights you could ask for just an hour south in Myrtle Beach, SC if you want it.
Just West of Charlotte this is one of the prettiest views this far East in North Carolina. This state park offers several great hiking trails of different lengths and intensities. If it is your first time there I recommend taking the Backside Trail. Though it is a strenuous hike for this part of the foothills, it is less than a mile in length. The last portion of the trail ends in a staircase of
336 steps that lead up to the beautiful mountain top view.
Morrow Mountain State Park
Sitting on my favorite stretch of the Yadkin River basin, Lake Tillary, this state park offers just about all you could ask for in a North Carolina destination. Whether you are after skiing/fishing/kayaking on the lake, trails for both hiking and horseback, or beautiful scenery—Morrow Mountain certainly has something to offer. My favorite hike at this location is the Rocks Trail.
OBX offers one of the most unique shoreline landscapes on the East Coast. Whether you are strolling the large sand dunes of Kitty Hawk where the first flight of man took place, or a getaway a little more off the path on Cape Hatterus, the Outer Banks offers some of the most memorable experiences a coastline can offer. For the outdoor enthusiast it has some of great fishing and the best waves in North Carolina.
I am happy to call North Carolina home.