Destination Guide: North Carolina

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.


Daddy with daughter relaxing on our vacation at the Villas of Hatteras Landing in North Carolina this June

Panoramic shot of the North Carolina shoreline by member Kip P.

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.

Must-See Attraction

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).

Also Try…
From member Julianne F.: "North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island gave our little ham a chance to be goofy with this shark."

From member Julianne F.: “North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island gave our little ham a chance to be goofy with this shark.”


Member Grant B. arriving at the top of Sugar Mountain with his kids.

Member Grant B. arriving at the top of Sugar Mountain with his kids.

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.

Must-See Attraction
Biltmore Estate and Garden

Photo credit: Biltmore Estate and Gardens.

Biltmore Estate
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.

Also Try…


  • 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.

Suggested Resorts

Member Feedback

  • 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!

Corey is a writer from Overland Park, KS, and has been with Global Discovery Vacations since September 2013. Once a sportswriter, he traveled the country and became proficient in airport security line etiquette and leaving items in hotel rooms.

2 thoughts on “Destination Guide: North Carolina

  1. i wan to buy a special to atlantic city nj and also to new york near dunkirk ny please let meknow what you got available thank

    • Hi Martha,

      Unfortunately, we in the Creative/Marketing department are unable to book vacations for members. We suggest giving our Vacation Specialists a call at 866-467-9007. Hope this helps!

      – Happy Travels

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