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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.
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Sarah P. Duke Gardens

426 Anderson Street
Durham, North Carolina
919-684-3698
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

Blue Ridge Parkway

Tunnel Road and Blue Ridge Parkway
Asheville, North Carolina
828-298-0398
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.

Historic Bethabara Park

2147 Bethabara Road
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
336-924-8191
The first Moravians in North Carolina settled here almost 250 years ago on a 100,000-acre tract. These German-speaking Protestants established the first colonial town in an area known as Historic Bethabara Park. Intended to be a temporary settlement from which the town of Salem (now Old Salem Museums and Gardens*) and outlying farming communities would be developed, Bethabara continued long after Salem was established.

The national historic landmark consists of the...
Hours & Admission
Park, gardens and trails: daily dawn to dusk. Visitor center: April to November, Tuesday to Friday 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., early December to mid-December, Tuesday to Friday 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving. Free.

Old Salem Museums and Gardens

601 South Main Street
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
336-721-7300
Founded in 1766 to house professional Moravian craftsmen, Salem - a congregational town and trading center - was a haven for entrepreneurs. Now known as Old Salem Museums and Gardens, it is one of America’s most authentic and well-documented colonial sites with 100 restored and reconstructed buildings.

Ticketed visitors learn from costumed interpreters the household activities of European settlers and African Americans who resided here from the 1760s to 1840s. Skilled trades are...
Hours & Admission
Visitor center: Tuesday to Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Key exhibit buildings: Tuesday to Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA): Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed major winter holidays and Easter. Admission.

Reynolda Gardens of Wake Forest University

100 Reynolda Village
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
336-758-5593
Reynolda Gardens, adjacent to Reynolda House, Museum of American Art*, was designed in 1915 by Thomas Sears, a landscape architect from Philadelphia. The garden design is geometric and symmetrical with tree-lined walkways.

Find well-defined open areas and vistas that are heavily planted with perennials, annuals, bulbs and shrubs. Half of the original gardens were intended for fruit and vegetable growth....
Hours & Admission
Daily dawn to dusk. Free.

Tanglewood Park

4061 Clemmons Road
Clemmons, North Carolina
336-778-6300
Tanglewood, a county park, offers numerous recreational opportunities. Depart from the stables on horseback trail rides along the Yadkin River, or take riding lessons. During the summer, canoe and paddleboat rentals are offered at the lake.

The seasonal Aquatic Center with an outdoor swimming pool features a diving area, two water slides and a children’s pool with water play features. Two lakes are stocked for fishing (license required). Also find picnic areas,...
Hours & Admission
Park: daily 7:00 a.m. to dusk. Pool: late May, Saturday and Monday 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., late May to mid-June and late August to early September, Monday to Friday 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., mid-June to late August, Monday to Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Closed December 25. Admission.

West Point on the Eno

5101 North Roxboro Road
Durham, North Carolina
919-471-1623
Located along a two-mile stretch on the scenic Eno River, this 388-acre city park offers a variety of recreational activities such as picnicking, hiking, canoeing, and rafting.

Historic buildings in the park include the reconstructed 1778 West Point Mill, a gristmill once the center of the community; the 1880s McCown-Mangum House and surrounding gardens; and the Packhouse and Hugh Mangum Museum of Photography, once used to process tobacco.
Information subject to change without notice.
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