Notable Cities: Cape Hatteras, Atlantic Beach, Banner Elk
They say opposites attract, which is why North Carolina is such an appealing vacation destination for travelers. The state offers two distinct experiences: relax on the beach on the Atlantic coast or go on a nature hike in the Great Smoky Mountains. Our North Carolina resorts are on the eastern and western sides of the state, so you’ll have to choose one or the other when planning your next trip to the Tar Heel State.
The Outer Banks, which include Hatteras and Roanoke Island, are popular vacation spots because of its surrounding nature and lack of commercialization. Hatteras in particular provides a more laid back atmosphere with watersports and plenty of outdoors to explore.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
The lighthouse is the signature attraction of Cape Hatteras, with 257 steps to climb. That’s like climbing a 10-story building, so be prepared! You can climb the lighthouse seasonally (open from the third Friday in April through Columbus Day). The area has other fantastic lighthouses to views, including the Bodie Lighthouse and the Ocracoke Island Lighthouse (which is not open to the public).
- North Carolina Aquarium
- The Lost Colony open air theater
- Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse
- Equine Adventures Horse Riding
- Maritime Museum
- Kitty Hawk National Monument at Wright Brothers National Memorial
On the other side of North Carolina, you have a wondrous landscape of mountains and forests spanning the Great Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains. The laid-back community welcomes thousands of tourists each year wanting to ski and enjoy the peaceful outdoors.
This 8000-acre property located in nearby Asheville, North Carolina, is an impressive sight, with enough activities to last an entire day. You can stroll through the immaculate gardens, enjoy a concert on the lawn and tour the historical estate itself. The tour itself can last you several hours, which is worth the admission. This amazing house has 250 rooms, 43 bathrooms, a bowling alley, indoor pool and so much more. Definitely must-see material.
- High Mountain Expeditions
- Grandfather Vineyard and Winery
- Pack Place Museum (Asheville)
- Basilica of St. Lawrence (Asheville)
- The Biltmore Estate in Ashville (near Banner Elk) is the largest house in America, with four acres of floor space.
- Mount Mitchell, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is the highest peak east of the Mississippi at 6,684 feet.
- In 1999, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse had to be relocated because of erosion on the shoreline. It’s the largest lighthouse to have ever been moved because of this.
- Member Charles M. stayed at Roanoke Island and gave us a ton of ideas on what to do in the Outer Banks in this Member Monday.
- Member Jason S. has vacationed at Blue Ridge Village in Banner Elk, North Carolina, for several years, so he has some good tips if you’re planning a trip to the area.
- Members John and Susie G. went on a marathon trek throughout the United States and one of their favorite stops happened to be in Banner Elk!