The North Carolina Mountains

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The North Carolina Mountains - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Black Mountain College

    Educational Institution

    Originally housed in rented quarters at nearby Blue Ridge Assembly, southeast of the town of Black Mountain, in 1941 Black Mountain College...Read More

  • 2. Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site

    Farm/Ranch

    Connemara is the farm to which the famed poet and Lincoln biographer moved with his wife, Lillian, in 1945; he lived there until his death in...Read More

  • 3. Cradle of Forestry in America

    Historic District/Site

    The home of the first forestry school in the United States is on 6,500 acres in the Pisgah National Forest. Started in 1898 by Carl Schenck...Read More

  • 4. Flat Rock Playhouse

    Arts/Performance Venue

    This theater, the official state theater of North Carolina, is known for its high-quality productions, with sophisticated sets and professional...Read More

  • Grandfather Mountain

    5. Grandfather Mountain

    Mountain–Sight

    Soaring to almost 6,000 feet, Grandfather Mountain is just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at mile marker 305. The state parks system owns 2,456...Read More

    Grandfather Mountain
  • 6. Mt. Mitchell State Park

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    This park—established in 1915 as North Carolina's first state park—includes the 6,684-foot Mt. Mitchell, the highest mountain peak east of the...Read More

  • 7. Mt. Pisgah

    Mountain–Sight

    The 5,721-foot Mt. Pisgah is one of the most easily recognized peaks around Asheville due to the television tower installed there in the 1950s...Read More

  • 8. Museum of the Cherokee Indian

    Museum/Gallery

    The Museum of the Cherokee Indian, with displays and artifacts that cover 12,000 years, is one of the best Native American museums in the United...Read More

  • 9. Nantahala River

    Body Of Water/Waterfall

    The most popular river in western North Carolina for rafting and kayaking is the Nantahala, which races through the scenic Nantahala Gorge,...Read More

  • 10. Sliding Rock

    Body Of Water/Waterfall

    Skid on your tush 60 feet on a natural rock waterslide, fueled by 11,000 gallons of mountain water a minute, into a clear, cold pool. The pool...Read More

  • 11. Cold Mountain

    Viewpoint/Scenic Overlook

    The vivid best-selling novel by Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain, and its movie adaptation have made a destination out of the real Cold Mountain...Read More

  • 12. Craggy Gardens

    Trail/Path

    Located at an elevation of 5,500 to 6,000 feet, Craggy Gardens has some of the Blue Ridge Parkway's most colorful displays of rhododendrons...Read More

  • 13. Cullasaja Gorge

    Scenic Drive/Tour

    West of Highlands via U.S. Route 64 toward Franklin, the Cullasaja Gorge (cul-lah-SAY-jah) is a 7½-mile gorge passing the Cullasaja River, Lake...Read More

  • 14. Daniel Boone Native Gardens

    Garden/Arboretum

    On 6 acres adjacent to the Horn in the West amphitheater, Daniel Boone Native Gardens highlights local plants and trees in a setting of quiet...Read More

  • 15. DuPont State Forest

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    Between Hendersonville and Brevard you'll find this 10,400-acre North Carolina State Forest with four major waterfalls, five lakes, and 80 miles...Read More

  • Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

    16. Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

    Body Of Water/Waterfall

    The popular train rides of the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad include excursions from the railroad's Bryson City depot and a number of special...Read More

    Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
  • 17. Highlands Botanical Garden and Biological Station

    Garden/Arboretum

    In the center of Highlands the Highlands Botanical Garden, run by Western Carolina University, is a 30-acre biological reserve of native plants...Read More

  • 18. Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest

    Forest

    One of the few remaining sections of the original Appalachian forests, Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, a part of the 17,000-acre Joyce Kilmer...Read More

  • 19. Julian Price Park

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    Green spaces along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Grandfather Mountain include this park, which has hiking, canoeing on a mountain lake, trout...Read More

  • 20. Lake Santeetlah

    Body Of Water/Waterfall

    Formed in 1928 with the construction of the Santeetlah Dam, Lake Santeetlah, meaning "blue waters" in the Cherokee language, has 76 miles of...Read More

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