Whether you want to experience the grandeur of the mountains or the isolation of the barrier islands, North Carolina offers both options, along with plateaus and coastal plains to explore.
The Tar Heel State also has a rich and storied history and offers visitors a variety of attractions. See why you should check out locum tenens jobs in North Carolina.
Majestic Mountain and Forest Views
North Carolina is known for the Blue Ridge Mountains, including the Great Smoky Mountains, which it shares with Tennessee. To best experience this part of the Appalachians, visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park by starting in Cherokee, N.C., and taking Highway 441 to the other main entrance in Gatlinburg, Tenn. There is no entrance fee to the park, which allows you to explore it on your own timeline. Be sure to explore Pisgah National Forest near Asheville for hiking, biking, camping and swimming, and drive the Cherohala Skyway for spectacular views of the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests in Tennessee and North Carolina.
Isolated Island Life
While Bald Head Island is probably the best-known, North Carolina has three barrier islands (Northern Beaches, Roanoke Island/Dare Mainland, and Hatteras) on its northeast coast as well as the Brunswick Islands (including Bald Head, Holden Beach and Oak Island) near the South Carolina border. These islands are now connected by either bridge or ferry, but Bald Head Island is vehicle-free and Hatteras Island is the furthest from North Carolina’s shores, which gives it an air of seclusion. When you visit the islands, you may be fortunate enough to see some of the state’s wild horses, now living in preserves along the Outer Banks.
Rich Maritime History
Thanks to its coastal location and history as one of the United States’ original 13 colonies, North Carolina has unique historical sites to offer, no matter what interests you. Check out the Wright Brothers National Memorial near Kitty Hawk to see where the first flight took place in 1903, and visit the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort to see artifacts from the pirate Blackbeard’s ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge. The USS North Carolina battleship in Wilmington is also worth a stop, and the 8,000-acre Biltmore Estate in Asheville is a must-see. Finally, be sure to visit North Carolina’s seven coastal lighthouses, including the oldest in the state, the Ocraoke Light Station, which was built in 1823.
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