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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

    4. 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
  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. 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

  • 11. 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

  • 12. 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

    13. 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
  • 14. 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

  • 15. 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

  • 16. 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

  • 17. Linville Caverns

    Cave

    The only public caverns in the Carolinas, they go 2,000 feet beneath Humpback Mountain and have a year-round temperature of 52°F. ...Read More

  • 18. Linville Falls

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    A ½-mile hike from the visitor center leads to one of North Carolina's most-photographed waterfalls. The easy trail winds through evergreens...Read More

  • Looking Glass Falls

    19. Looking Glass Falls

    Body Of Water/Waterfall

    Getting to this waterfall is easy, as it's right beside the road in Pisgah National Forest, though parking is limited. Water cascades 60 feet...Read More

    Looking Glass Falls
  • 20. Mast General Store

    Store/Shop/Mall

    This is the original Mast General Store, originally called Taylor General Store. Built in 1882–83, the store has plank floors worn to a soft...Read More

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