North Carolina Top 10 Attractions

With the Atlantic Ocean to the east, North Carolina features plenty of shoreline for visitors to enjoy with water activities, sunbathing, or simply relaxing on the beach. The state's long history means that you can find important historic sites from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.

The changing seasons mean that you can warm up in the spring in North Carolina by visiting mountains or coastal retreats. There are also vineyards for adults to enjoy and theme parks geared to guests of all ages.

Visiting during the spring or summer gives you the bonus of being able to attend a world-famous music festival, but no matter when you visit, check out these top 10 attractions in North Carolina.

1: Biltmore Estate

Biltmore Estate
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Jennifer Boyer

Explore history, culture and everything about living the high life. You can take the family through a guided audio tour of the house. If you are an architecture enthusiast, you can go on the 60-minute tour to take a closer look at the design and construction of the house.

Don't forget to spend a few hours exploring their winery and sample some of the best wines North Carolina has to offer.

Address: 1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803


Also Read: Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Asheville, North Carolina

2: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/rftrudeau

The Great Smoky Mountains is America’s most visited National Park. Take one trip to the park and you’ll immediately see why. Great Smoky Mountains is located on the North Carolina-Tennessee border. It’s home to some of the most diverse groups of plants and wildlife in the world.

But that’s not all you’ll find. There’s a wealth of natural beauty including the Southern Appalachian mountain range, numerous valleys and vistas, and lush forests. That’s not to mention the 150 hiking trails with 800 miles of walkable land. This might just be the perfect American park.

Address: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC


Also Read: Top 10 Things To Do In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

3: USS North Carolina Battleship

USS North Carolina Battleship
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Mr.TinDC

There’s no denying the impact the USS North Carolina Battleship had on World War II. This esteemed vessel has a laundry list of accolades. It traveled over 300,000 miles, carried out nine shore bombardments, demolished 24 aircrafts, and even sunk a troopship.

Commissioned in 1941, this ship was once thought to be the world’s greatest sea weapon. Thousands of men proudly served aboard the North Carolina.

You can honor them with a trip to this legendary warship. During a tour, you’ll learn more about its esteemed history and walk in the footsteps of American heroes.

Address: 1 Battleship Rd NE, Wilmington, NC 28401


4: Museum of Life and Science

Museum of Life and Science
Photo Courtesy: Facebook/lifeandscience
This museum is the perfect place to take your children. Here they can enjoy some of the highly interactive displays where they get to learn, explore and discover all about Planet Earth and beyond. You can enroll them in some of their day camps and classes while you and your wife have a leisurely meal at the cafe.

Address: 433 W Murray Ave, Durham, NC 27704


5: North Carolina Zoo

North Carolina Zoo
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/John

The North Carolina Zoo known as one of the country's largest natural habitat zoo. Here you will get to see exotic wildlife situated through five miles of the park's trails.

Spend about 4 to 6 hours here where your children will squeal with delight as they get up close and personal with the zoo's 1,600 animals from 225 different species.

Address: 4401 Zoo Pkwy, Asheboro, NC 27205


6: Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway
Photo Courtesy: NPS Site

The infamous Blue Ridge actually runs across multiple states, connecting with multiple national parks, and the Great Smoky Mountains along the way. Most of it can be found in Virginia and North Carolina, however.

North Carolina is especially breathtaking, giving visitors a great view of the mountain crests and old settlements from early American life. Trails are many and varied, great for both beginners and experienced adventurers.

Go for a scenic ride with the family through Blue Ridge Parkway and have a fun picnic along their camping grounds. You could also opt to spend a weekend at one of their campsites and arrange a hiking tour or a bicycling tour with a group.

Address: 2551 Mountain View Rd, Vinton, VA 24179


7: Wright Brothers National Memorial

Wright Brothers National Memorial
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/trent roche

Learn about the Wright Brothers' story by going through a gallery of photographic exhibits. Visit the Centennial Pavilion where you can enjoy more exhibits, movies and educational programs that will interest your kids.

If your family loves being close to nature, you can go on a mountain climbing trip up the Big Kill Devil Hill to see an absolutely breathtaking view.

Address: 1000 N Croatan Hwy, Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948


8: Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock State Park
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/dconvertini

This is one of North Carolina's most visited attractions mainly because it offers a lot of fun things to see and do with the family. Feel close to nature as you go fishing, bird watching and rock climbing.

Spend quality time with your family and friends as you explore 75 miles of hiking trails that also includes a majestic 404 feet waterfall.

Address: 431 Main St, Chimney Rock, NC 28720


Also Read: 10 Best State Parks in the United States

9: Charlotte Motor Speedway

Charlotte Motor Speedway

A visit to North Carolina would not be complete without touring the Charlotte Motor Speedway. You can go on the "Feel the Thrill Speedway" tour, which offers racing enthusiasts a closer look at limited access areas on race days.

Take your little boys to the Little Luggies tour where they can meet and greet some of the most famous drivers and they can enjoy some games and art activities all related to cars and racing.

Address: 5555 Concord Pkwy S, Concord, NC 28027


Also Read: Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Charlotte, North Carolina

10: Discovery Place

Discovery Place
Photo Courtesy:

This is where your children will have all the fun, adventure and excitement that they crave for. With the Discovery Place's highly interactive exhibits, larger than life IMAX movies and hands-on experiments, an afternoon here will definitely be a time that they will never forget.

Some of their most exciting displays include 101 Inventions, Animal Grossology, Fantastic Frogs and the Hubble Space Craft on 3D IMAX.

Address: 301 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202


Also Read: Top 10 Tourist Attractions In Charlotte, North Carolina

North Carolina Travel Guide

Explore Guide