Cosmopolitan cities, beautiful mountain scenery and a flourishing food scene make North Carolina one of the most captivating states in the Southern United States. Explore museums, galleries and microbreweries in Charlotte or escape to free-spirited mountain towns like Asheville.
Things to do in North Carolina
Fast-paced Charlotte is a great launchpad for visiting North Carolina. The city centre is known as Uptown and offers excellent museums, including the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Visit the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art to admire masterpieces by Picasso and other heavyweights. Nearby Plaza Midwood is known for trendy cafes and boutiques, while NoDa features craft breweries housed in former textile factories.
If you prefer small-town charm over the buzz of big cities, North Carolina delivers. Across the state, you’ll find gems like New Bern, a postcard-perfect town filled with heritage-listed buildings. Bath is one of the oldest colonial towns in North Carolina, with tree-lined streets and white clapboard houses. On the Atlantic Coast, Southport is brimming with coastal charm. The port was discovered by Spanish explorers in the 16th century and is guarded by centuries-old Fort Johnston.
Set on the famous Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville is a gateway to the North Carolina mountains. Admire beautiful Art Deco buildings in the historic centre and sip your way through local microbreweries. The city is a world-class hiking destination, with trails leading to tumbling waterfalls, flower-filled meadows and scenic lookouts. Experienced hikers can complete sections of the famous Appalachian Trail.
North Carolina will tantalise your taste buds with heart, southern-inspired cuisine. Try local specialties like BBQ ribs served with cornbread and slaw, fried green tomatoes topped with melted cheese and shrimp n' grits. Wash down your meal with a Cherry Bounce, the official state cocktail of North Carolina.
Getting around North Carolina
Excellent road, bus and train connections make it easy to get around North Carolina. The state is also connected by several coastal ferry routes. Major cities, including Charlotte, Raleigh and Greensboro, are pedestrian-friendly. Rental cars offer the freedom to explore North Carolina at your own pace and Charlotte Douglas International Airport is a 20-minute drive from the city centre.