SET YOUR SIGHTS ON FAVORITE NORTH CAROLINA DESTINATIONS

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Whatever your traveling heart desires can be found between the coast and the mountains of North Carolina. These destinations are easily accessed from interstate routes.

THE OUTER BANKS: Water, windswept beaches and wild horses are calling cards of the band of islands that line North Carolina’s northern coast. Follow the footsteps of the Wright Brothers and other history-makers, comb the sand for sea glass and shells, glimpse wild horses on the beach, or soar in a hang-glider from the East Coast’s highest dune.

There’s no better place than here to cast a line or enjoy what the working watermen have caught. Picture-perfect golf courses carve challenges into the natural contours of the coast. Beyond resort and hotel lodging, find spacious vacation homes ― including the Inn at Rodanthe from Nicholas Sparks’ “Nights in Rodanthe.”

PINEHURST: Nine courses awaitPinehurst-250x188 at the storied Pinehurst Resort ― and that’s just the start of what makes the area a golf paradise. Within a 15-mile radius, players will find 40 world-class courses and packages that will get you out on the greens.

The region has other appeals as well, including a pit-cooked barbecue restaurant with its own landing strip, potteries with traditions that run generations deep, and dining distinguished by locally produced ingredients. The Village of Pinehurst and the towns of Southern Pines and Aberdeen offer their own special charms, one-of-a-kind shopping, and watering holes for ending the day.

CHARLOTTE: North Carolina’s largest city Charlotte-Firebird-250x188keeps cultivating excitement without losing any of its Southern charm and hospitable warmth. Within the past couple of years, Charlotte has arrived as a culinary destination and a craft beer hub, and the Carolina Panthers’ 2015-16 play shows that sports lovers can take this place seriously.

Charlotte’s allure begins with a walkable center city full of eye appeal. The NASCAR Hall of Fame, with its simulated race experience and other interactive features, gives even motorsports newbies a need for speed. The Levine Museum of the New South bridges the past in ways that make the modern age more interesting. And the U.S. National Whitewater Center takes outdoor adventure to new heights this spring by adding a deepwater climbing facility to a campus that’s home to rafting, stand-up paddle boarding, mountain biking, zip-lining and other activities that get the adrenaline pumping.

ASHEVILLE: With a long history of hosting theAsheville-Biltmore House-250x188 rich and famous, this small city just off the Blue Ridge Parkway meets the highest of expectations. Luxurious lodging and the finest of dining are easily found, yet the city’s appeal embraces far more than jet-setters. It’s telling that the most talked-about new restaurant this culinary capital is Buxton Hall, a barbecue joint with only-in-Asheville flourishes.

Invest in admission to Biltmore and be rewarded with a full day’s adventure exploring the 250-room mansion, bountiful gardens, the winery, and paths throughout the 8,000-acre estate. Hop a purple LaZoom bus for an experience that’s equal parts comedy and city tour. Explore downtown, stopping at Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar, French Broad Chocolate Lounge, “Beer City” breweries, or anything else that catches your eye. And make time for a hike or at least a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Find everything you need for planning a trip at VisitNC.com.

 

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