North Carolina is a vacationer's paradise, with some of the best coastal beaches on the Atlantic seaboard to the east and the world's oldest mountain range cutting through the heartland. With such diverse landscape, North Carolina travel can include trips to the Appalachian Mountains for a ski trip; a weekend spent lounging on the beach, or an upscale golfing resort vacation in the Sandhills. Appealing North Carolina vacation spots are truly spread throughout the state, and millions of visitors come to the area for North Carolina vacations each year.
The three major cities in North Carolina are usually considered to be Charlotte, Raleigh and Greensboro, but some of the smaller towns such as Winston Salem, Durham and Fayetteville offer some of the best opportunities for historical sightseeing. North Carolina travel through the larger cities, however, will reveal some great sites as well. As the state's capital, Raleigh is where travelers will find the state capital building as well as the North Carolina Museum of Art. Charlotte is home to the Mint Museum of Art and Discovery Place, two unique museums that can easily fill a day of exploration.
The smaller tourist town of Winston Salem is a true delight, with many of the best traditions of the Old South and the Old World combined in one charming village. This town is one of the best places to go for traditional festivals and cozy hotels, including a number of great Bed and Breakfast inns. Many travelers take North Carolina vacations simply to this town to see some of the surrounding colonial villages and the nicely restored architecture.
The Appalachian Mountains are of course another major attraction and one of the busiest North Carolina vacation spots during the summer. A driving tour along the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the best ways to spend your North Carolina vacations; along the way you will find camping spots (try Great Smoky Mountain National Park) as well as hiking trails that lead to waterfalls and excellent views of the valley below. Skiing is another popular way to enjoy this mountain range, particularly by heading to Appalachian Mountain Resort for some North Carolina travel while strapped to your skis.
Another of the most popular places for North Carolina vacations is the Outer Banks region along the coast. Whether you choose to stay in a rental home or a beachside hotel, the beaches here are among the most entertaining North Carolina vacation spots. Cape Fear to the south is a great place to see some of the most interesting sea and plant life you are likely to see in the state, and is a protected area. Cape Hatteras is truly a beach playground. Here, you can climb a lighthouse, spend an afternoon fishing from a pier (no boat necessary), or swim and lounge to your heart's content. Four separate campgrounds can also be found within the park boundaries, and some excellent marine forest hikes are spread throughout.
Golfing is yet another great way to spend your time in North Carolina. The best golf resorts are all concentrated in the Sandhills area; particularly the golfing village of Pinehurst. Many of the world's best golf courses are found here, some designed by the greatest golfers in the world. With just over 30 golf courses in the vicinity, the Sandhills draw thousands of golfers of every ability each year to relax at a resort and play some excellent golf.