Explore the BEST Mountain Towns in NC
Having lived in the North Carolina mountains for several years, I was not at all surprised to find the mountains was a popular vacation destination for domestic and international travelers. The North Carolina mountains offer a break from summer’s scorching temperatures and are a top choice of many Floridian’s looking to escape the heat.
Asheville is the largest city in the mountains of North Carolina and has something to suit everyone. From is rich history to the downtown art scene, young or old, you will fall in love with Asheville.
A visit to the North Carolina Mountains would not be complete without a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Hop on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville and travel north on up to the Boone and Blowing Rock areas. Downtown Blowing Rock has many quaint shops that sell hand-made North Carolina crafts. Grab lunch at one of the many cafes on the main strip. You will find many vacation home rentals and mountain cabin rentals in this area. If you plan on spending a few days, make your reservation well in advance, as they stay booked throughout the summer into the fall season.
Great Smoky Mountains National Forest
Further south is the Great Smoky Mountains National Forest. It is the most visited scenic destination in North Carolina. You will find plenty of campsites, RV parks, vacation home rentals and mountain cabin rentals along with hotels for your stay.
Cherokee is a popular tourist destination in the North Carolina Mountains. Visit an authentic Indian village or gamble at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino. You will also find top- notch entertainment and shows at Harrah’s. Cherokee is full of bustling activity full of shops and places to eat.
Looking for high adventure? Take a trip down the Nantahala River on a white water rafting excursion. The water stays a cool 50 degrees throughout the year and is the perfect cure for hot summer days.
Great Smoky Mountain Railroad
While you are in Western North Carolina, take a trip on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. Offering daily trips from Dillsboro and Bryson City, the train ride is a great side trip that offers an up close view of North Carolina scenic beauty.
Fall is a great time to visit the North Carolina Mountains. The fall foliage is breathtaking and second to none. Driving through Hickory Nut Gorge will take you through the small towns of Bat Cave, Chimney Rock, Lake Lure and Gerton.
Hickory Nut Gorge
If you are a movie buff and watched Dirty Dancing and Last of the Mohicans, you will recognize the area as these movies were filmed in Hickory Nut Gorge. Hickory Nut Gorge is sometimes called a hidden treasure. Beginning in the higher elevations of Gerton, the Gorge winds down to Bat Cave with its shop, lodges and cabins along the rushing Rocky Broad River. It continues into Chimney Rock Village and on to the crystal waters of Lake Lure. All along the way are spectacular scenery and great opportunities for fun and relaxation.
The docks of the homes on Lake Lure area very popular to photographers. These beautiful boat houses offer many “Kodak moments” and are especially beautiful with a backdrop of fall foliage. Lake Lure is full of history. The Lake Lure Inn and Spa has been around since 1927 and attracts visitors from all over the world. Lake Lure’s simple charm and beauty has recently attracted many people to move to the area.
Blue Ridge National Heritage area
If you are visiting Hendersonville or Flat Rock you will discover true hospitality and tranquility in the heart of the Blue Ridge National Heritage area. Just 22 miles south of Asheville, known for its gentle climate of four season, beautiful scenery, a richness in culture and history and friendly people has been a popular vacation destination for well over a century. You will find many quaint bed and breakfast and lodges for you stay. If you are in Hendersonville around Labor Day, check out the 61st annual Apple Festival. You will be glad you included it into your North Carolina Mountain vacation.
Planning your trip to the Mountains of NC
If you are traveling in the mountains of North Carolina, there are many things to see and do. The North Carolina Tourist Guide can help you when planning your trip.
Flat Rock Playhouse, designated as the State Theatre of NC is located in the village of Flat Rock. The Flat Rock Playhouse hosts over 80,000 visitors annually and is a major contributor to the local economy and the Arts of North Carolina.
Located at the base of Humpback Mountain, in the beautiful Linville Valley, lies a natural wonder, Linville Caverns. The natural limestone caverns feature guided tours showing spectacular formations.
Beech Mountain is Eastern America’s highest town at 5506 feet above sea level. Located in the Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina. The resort offers an abundance of outdoor activities such as hiking, golf, tennis and mountain biking. Beech Mountain is also home to Ski Beech, the South’s highest ski resort, where you can ski, snowboard and ice skate.
Chimney Rock is a scenic attraction located 25 miles southeast of Asheville. The park offers 75 mile views, numerous hiking trails, 404 foot waterfall, nature center and more.
Tweetsie Railroad has been around since 1957. Thousands of visitors to Tweetsie Railroad have enjoyed a “blast from the past” as they visit a western town. Hop aboard a historic steam locomotive for a 3-mile trip around the mountain, pan for gold, enjoy music and dancing, visit the petting zoo and take in the beautiful mountain scenery.
Nestled in the foothills of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, the Brevard Music Center, the premier music festival and comprehensive music training program has set the highest standards in performance and education for more than six decades.
In Tryon, visit the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center, the 320-acre nature education and recreation center in the beautiful foothills. The center offers 5 miles of hiking and riding trails.
Visit the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. You can see three sparkling waterfalls, go whitewater rafting or hike some of the park’s 800 miles of mountain trails.The Nantahala River is one of the most popular whitewater rivers in the nation. Biking enthusiasts from all over the world come to Swain County to ride the Tsali Trails.
Whatever you like to do, you will easily find something in the mountains of North Carolina.