5 Things I Love About North Carolina
Have you ever moved to a new state? I recently pulled up my Georgia roots, where I lived for over 25 years, and landed in the western mountains of North Carolina. There’s no hesitation when I say: “I love living in North Carolina!”
Since the western North Carolina area is now my forever home, I wanted to share the top 5 things I love about North Carolina, so you too can find fun and amazing things to see and do when visiting the Tar Heel State.
5 Things I Love About North Carolina: #1 Asheville
If you’ve visited the blog before, you probably already knew this was going to be my top choice. I love Asheville, and even though I’ve never lived near the edgy, yet laid-back downtown area, I feel electrified every time I’m down there.
And I can’t be the only one who feels this way. Asheville is currently the twelfth largest city in the state – and just over 90,000 people officially call it home. And perhaps best of all, the city currently has 26 craft breweries so you can sample a new one each day for nearly an entire month with no repeats.
If you love vibrantly painted buildings that rival the Painted Ladies in San Francisco, explore the River Arts District (RAD) near downtown Asheville and Biltmore Estate. You can meet over 200 world-class artists in 22 buildings and take home the perfect souvenir for your collection – there’s something in every price range!
The Good Vibes silo recently received a new paint job and there’s a new slogan on it! Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see the new silo!
Not to be left out of must see Asheville attractions, a visit to the beloved Biltmore Estate should be on everyone’s travel itinerary at least once in your lifetime. Pet-friendly and beautiful in every season, you can find out more about visiting the Biltmore Estate here.
5 Things I Love About North Carolina: #2 Recreation Opportunities
North Carolina is the perfect state if you love all things outdoors.
Drive one of America’s favorite highways along the Blue Ridge Parkway and catch some of the most stunning views you’ll find anywhere. Known for its fall foliage, take the drive in late September or early October for the best color. With options for camping, hiking, fishing, biking and even playing a round of golf, there’s so much more to do along the Parkway than just looking at leaves, flowers and wildlife.
Grandfather Mountain offers some of the best hiking trails in the South and America’s highest suspension footbridge. Options are plentiful where you can take a simple walk on their in-park nature trails, or tackle backcountry trails where you’ll find yourself climbing rope ladders and cables off cliffs. If you’re not up for a long walk, visit the always interesting nature museum.
For summer fun, Sliding Rock in Pisgah National Forest is a 60-foot natural water slide that ends in a pool of water about 7-8 feet deep. Requirements are that all sliders need to know how to swim and kids under seven must be accompanied by an adult. Coast guard approved flotation devices are permitted and there are two platforms on-site if you just want to watch while another adult goes slip sliding with the kids.
5 Things I Love About North Carolina: #3 Ocean Beaches
Head to the coast and visit Carolina Beach for mild breezes, a gorgeous beach, and sweet hospitality! Planning a perfect beach vacation is a breeze with these beach travel tips.
CNN Travel ranked the Carolina Beach Boardwalk as one of the best boardwalks in America. While there, you can rent beach equipment, indulge in people-watching or partake in family friendly festivities. Fireworks take place on Thursday evenings Memorial Day through Labor Day and weekly Boardwalk history tours take place during the summer season.
Who’s hungry? Carolina Beach is home to the one and only Britt’s Donuts, one of the town’s more beloved icons. This family owned business, founded in 1939, is a local favorite and its mouth-watering warm doughnuts bring visitors back year after year. Open on a limited basis during the Spring, the shop opens daily after Memorial Day.
Get buggy! Nearby Carolina Beach State Park is one of the few places in the world where the Venus flytrap can be seen in its native environment. This carnivorous plant can be viewed year-round, but only blooms for a few days in the spring so don’t miss seeing this special botanical treat.
5 Things I Love About North Carolina: #4 State Hiking Trails
From Manteo to Murphy, North Carolina definitely has the country’s best state trails. North Carolina’s six state trails provide plenty of opportunities to experience some of the state’s most magnificent landscapes.
My favorite trail, and one I hike regularly with my two pups, is the Mountains to Sea Trail, or simply, the MST. It’s North Carolina’s flagship state trail and stretches 1175 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks, stopping at many of the state’s most beautiful places along the way.
Currently, there are approximately 680 miles of hiking and biking trails, along with almost 500 miles of connecting roads linking segments together, though when completed, the trail will be completely accessible on foot or on bike.
Related posts: Bring Fido! Where to Find Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails and be sure to follow these safety tips to help keep your dog safe out on the trail.
5 Things I Love About North Carolina: #5 Food Trucks
Who doesn’t love a good food truck?
The food truck scene is constantly growing in North Carolina, and every one of them is worth trying at least once.
The variety of culinary creations is quite impressive — North Carolina food trucks have got you covered when it comes to all your cravings for delicious munchies. From hot dogs and barbecue, to dim sum and tacos, to biscuits and doughnuts, North Carolina is teeming with exceptional street food — you just have to know where to go.
Check out this comprehensive food truck guide that lists nearly 200 food truck locations all across North Carolina, so wherever you roam, you’ll be able to find tasty street food offerings.
There you have it, the 5 Things I Love About North Carolina. Of course, there are many, many more reasons to love the Tar Heel state, so make plans to visit soon!
If you have fallen in love with North Carolina too, perhaps you’re considering moving here. If so, then you owe it to yourself to check out these detailed pros and cons of moving to North Carolina.
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Who else loves North Carolina? I do! I do! I moved to the Tar Heel state in January, leaving the great state of Georgia after living there for nearly 30 years and celebrating with three kids who graduated from University of Georgia. No matter where we live, Go Dawgs will always fly out of our mouths during football season but that’s another story! . . North Carolina has many things to love! If you are a craft beer aficionado, there are over 300 breweries and brew pubs, more than any other state in the South! Asheville has 26 breweries and is a must-do destination for all things edgy and fun. . . The beaches! If you love warm, sandy beaches, there are many great choices for dipping your toes in the water. Check out the beaches along the Atlantic coast or one of the many lakes dotted around the state. . . The mountains and hiking trails! There are over 618 miles of state park trails and almost 96 miles of Appalachian Trail in North Carolina. The hiking can’t be beat no matter if you prefer flat trails or serious elevation. . . There are so many reasons to love North Carolina and hopefully my article “5 Reasons I Love North Carolina” make you want to jump in a plane, train, or automobile and come visit the Tar Heel State!! . . #wetravelgirls #girlsborntotravel #wearetravelgirls #girlslovetravel #femaletravelbloggers #womenwhoexplore #sheadventures #radgirlslife #adventureladies #globelletravels #girlsborntotravel #getoutside #adventuretime #makingmemories #outdoorwoman #findyourepic #thisgirlcan #outdoorlife #ncblogger #bibisadventures
Have you visited North Carolina or have other things we should love about the state? Let me know in a comment below.
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We love North Carolina too! Asheville is our favorite – my son got married in Asheville we love it so much!
That’s awesome Janice! I’ll bet your son’s wedding was simply beautiful.
Your posts make me want to runaway to North Carolina! NC has a special place in my heart. Even though my husband and I are both from Florida, we met at a camp in North Carolina. I just love it!
Sweet! I didn’t discover the magic of North Carolina until I was in my 50s. Now, I’ve moved from Georgia and call western North Carolina home!
I love this. We go to NC for summer vacation every other year or so. I plan on retiring down there. I am tucking this away for reference later
That’s awesome Heather! I just retired in January and here I am in western NC!
We are headed to North Carolina in a couple months, and we can’t wait! Thanks for sharing the things that you love about it!
It’s a great state Trisha. I hope you have a wonderful visit to NC!
I’m from GA, but the NC state parks are hard to beat!
I lived in Georgia for nearly 30 years before retiring in North Carolina. I’ve never regretting it for one second!
North Carolina is on the top of our possible next home locations!!
It’a an awesome state! Come on!
I love NC as well! I loved the Outer Banks and the mountains are stunning! Planning on doing some day trips from our place in TN this summer!
Sweet! I’m very near Great Smoky Mountains National Park so just over the mountain from TN.
I’ve only been to NC once, but LOVED IT! And definitely hope to return.
There’s something for everyone with it’s three distinct regions.
We have visited North Carolina and enjoyed the hiking.
There’s literally thousands of miles of hiking trails throughout the state of NC. The Great Smoky Mountains NP has 900 miles of hiking trails itself!
This post is perfect timing for me as my friend and I are doing a road trip from Atlanta to Asheville in a couple of weeks! It’ll be my first visit to the area and super excited to discover new things to do…will definitely reference this list!
Asheville is so fun! I hope you love its quirkiness as much as I do!
I love NC too, we have lived here for years and one of the things I love about this state is variety! BTW we love going to Sliding Rock and Asheville is one of our favorite towns too!
Sliding Rock is super fun!!!! There’s nothing like dropping into a cold mountain pool on a hot, sunny day!
With 26 craft breweries, donuts, beaches, and food trucks, we will definitely have to plan a trip to North Carolina. Great post!
The breweries are the best! I especially love the brew tour at New Belgium. So fun!!!
We have an upcoming trip planned to North Carolina and this list will come in handy! Thank you so much for sharing!
You’re welcome Trisha!!
NC is a State I’d love to become more familiar with. Your article expresses the reasons why, thank you for the share.
Gotta make a trip out to NC now!
Yes! Come visit soon if you can!
This is great! I may be planning a group trip to Asheville this coming year so I appreciate the advice! Looks like fun.
Asheville is awesome! Come visit soon!
I have never heard of the sliding rock and now I have to go!
Yes it’s great natural slide in the heart of Pisgah National Forest!
So many great things in North Carolina. Thanks for your sharing!
You’re welcome Lara!
This post was great and very informative. I have only been to North Carolina once or twice( I live on the other side of the world almost, haha) but it made me want to visit. It looks like tons of fun!