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Things to Do in North Carolina

North Carolina offers visitors a long list of things to do. Natural attractions include the Blue Ridge Mountains – waterfalls, hiking trails and the parkway, while the Atlantic Ocean beaches, home to the Outer Banks, Kitty Hawk, wild horses, aquariums and lighthouses. Find some of the best golf at Pinehurst, great pottery at Seagrove, museums showing NASCAR, historic houses in Wilmington, the Biltmore House in Asheville, arts museums in Winston-Salem and Charlotte (crafts too), plus the idea for Andy Griffith’s Mayberry in Mount Airy. Cherokee borders on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Restaurants range from world cuisine to home cooking. Accommodations include hotels, motels, inns, B&Bs, vacation rentals and cabins.
Things To & DoSlide showsVacation IdeasPlaces to StayVideos

Asheville Art Museum

2 South Pack Square
Asheville, North Carolina
The Asheville Art Museum is the only visual arts museum serving the 24 counties of western North Carolina.

Incorporated by artists in 1948, the museum collects, preserves and interprets American art of the 20th and 21st centuries with a focus on work of southeastern significance. Their collection contains more than 2,000 objects and 4,000 architectural drawings.
Hours & Admission
Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed major holidays. Admission.
Photo Courtesy: Asheville Art Museum

Sarah P. Duke Gardens

426 Anderson Street
Durham, North Carolina
Composed of 55 acres of landscaped and wooded gardens, it features more than 2,000 kinds of plants. The garden is divided into four areas: native southeastern U.S. plants, an Asiatic arboretum, the terrace gardens and the Doris Duke Center and gardens. There are five miles of walkways and paths.
Hours & Admission
Daily 8:00 a.m. to dusk. Free.
Photo by: Jon Gardiner/Duke Photography. Photo Courtesy: Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Sliding Rock - A Natural Water Slide

U.S. Highway 276
Pisgah Forest, North Carolina
Zzzzip. The 50-foot waterslide over a smooth rock surface with just the right amount of steepness brings children of all ages into a plunge pool at a rather quick pace. Located in the Pisgah National Forest, the slide and adjacent recreation area are under the direction of the Forest Service (NFS). Restrooms and changing areas are open during the summer.

Neighboring attractions include the Cradle of Forestry to the north and to the south the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education and adjacent...
Hours & Admission
Pisgah National Forest District visitor center in Brevard: June to August, Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., plus Saturday and Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during the summer. Sliding Rock: Daily 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Photo by: Tracy Turpen. Photo Courtesy: Transylvania County Tourism

Appalachian Trail

160A Zillicoa Street
Asheville, North Carolina
The Appalachian Trail, under the direction of the National Park Service, is a 2,175-mile primitive hiking trail that runs from Maine to Georgia. Approximately 300 miles of the Appalachian Trail run through North Carolina.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy whose regional office location is listed here works to conserve the trail for present and future use. The trail goes through western North Carolina's Nantahala National Forest (5,300 feet above sea level) and through the Great Smoky...
Hours & Admission
24/7; best mid-May to October, dawn to dusk. Free.

Asheville Historic Trolley Tours

37 Montford Avenue
Asheville, North Carolina
During the 90-minute fully narrated trolley tour of the greater Asheville area, visitors can discover major points of interest including author Thomas Wolfe's home; Biltmore Village, a shopping district, downtown's Grove Arcade, the Grove Park Inn with its massive fireplace and magnificent view, and Victorian-era homes in the Montford Historic District. Guests are invited to spend time at the various stops and rejoin the tour throughout the day.

During a 60-90 minute ghost tour on...
Hours & Admission

Asheville's Fun Depot

7 Roberts Road
Asheville, North Carolina
This family entertainment facility features 18-holes of indoor miniature golf, batting cages, a 24-foot climbing wall, indoor and two-story, quarter-mile outdoor go-cart tracks, laser tag, 360-degree bumper cars, mini-bowling and a soft play area for children, complete with tunnels.
Hours & Admission
Monday to Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Admission.

Bennett Place State Historic Site

4409 Bennett Memorial Road
Durham, North Carolina
Situated between Greensboro and Raleigh, North Carolina, this is the site where Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida troops to Union General William T. Sherman 17 days after the Civil War officially ended at Appomattox, Virginia. View the reconstructed farmhouse and outbuildings; the visitor center displays family memorabilia, Civil War artifacts and items pertaining to the surrender.
Hours & Admission
Tuesday to Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Biltmore Estate

One Approach Road
Asheville, North Carolina
While many visitors often think of the estate as solely the Biltmore House, the largest home in America, in actuality admission also includes access to the gardens designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted that adjoin the house, as well as a visit to the winery that occupies a former dairy barn.

The 8,000-acre estate, home to the River Bend Farm, continues to maintain strong ties with the land as their vineyards produce award-winning wines. From the house and...
Hours & Admission
Daily 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Tunnel Road and Blue Ridge Parkway
Asheville, North Carolina
The 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway begins at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park west of Asheville and traverses east and north to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. The scenery in and around Asheville is especially spectacular. The posted speed limit is 45 miles per hour.

Points of interest near Asheville:

The Linn Cove Viaduct at milepost (MP) 304.4 was the last segment of the parkway to be completed....
Hours & Admission
Folk Art Center: daily January to March 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., April to December 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Closed major holidays.

Colburn Earth Science Museum

2 South Pack Square
Asheville, North Carolina
The Colburn Earth Science Museum fosters an appreciation of earth and its mineral resources. Exhibits showcase astronomy and meteorology, North Carolina mining, 5,500 minerals and gems from the museum's backyard to around the world, and paleontology.
Hours & Admission
Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission.
Information subject to change without notice.
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