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HomeTRAVEL14 Best NC Small Towns for Road Trips This Summer

14 Best NC Small Towns for Road Trips This Summer

Road trips are the perfect way to explore the hidden gems of North Carolina. From charming small towns to breathtaking natural landscapes, the state offers a plethora of options for those seeking an adventure off the beaten path. If you’re planning a road trip this summer, we’ve curated a list of the 14 best small towns in NC that are worth a visit. So buckle up, roll down the windows, and get ready to hit the road!

1. Asheville: Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is a vibrant town known for its arts scene, craft breweries, and stunning mountain views. Explore the Biltmore Estate, hike along the Appalachian Trail, or simply wander through the quirky downtown streets.

2. Wilmington: Located on the coast, Wilmington offers a mix of history and beach vibes. Visit the historic district, stroll along the Riverwalk, or soak up the sun on Wrightsville Beach.

3. Boone: Surrounded by the scenic beauty of the High Country, Boone is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Hike to the top of Grandfather Mountain, go skiing at Appalachian Ski Mountain, or explore the charming shops and restaurants in downtown Boone.

4. Beaufort: With its picturesque waterfront and historic homes, Beaufort is a charming coastal town that will transport you back in time. Take a boat tour to see wild horses on Shackleford Banks or visit the North Carolina Maritime Museum.

5. Blowing Rock: Known for its stunning views and outdoor activities, Blowing Rock is a must-visit for nature lovers. Visit the iconic Blowing Rock attraction, hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway, or explore the unique shops in the downtown area.

6. Chapel Hill: Home to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill offers a mix of college town charm and cultural attractions. Visit the Carolina Basketball Museum, explore the beautiful UNC campus, or catch a show at the Carolina Performing Arts Center.

7. Hendersonville: Located in the heart of apple country, Hendersonville is a quaint town surrounded by orchards and vineyards. Take a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, pick your own apples at a local farm, or explore the charming downtown area.

8. New Bern: As one of the oldest towns in North Carolina, New Bern is rich in history and southern charm. Visit Tryon Palace, the former state capitol, take a boat tour on the Neuse River, or explore the historic downtown district.

9. Ocracoke: Accessible only by ferry, Ocracoke is a hidden gem on the Outer Banks. Relax on the pristine beaches, explore the quaint village, or visit the historic Ocracoke Lighthouse.

10. Edenton: Known as the “Prettiest Small Town in the South,” Edenton is a historic gem on the Albemarle Sound. Take a walking tour of the historic district, visit the 1767 Chowan County Courthouse, or take a boat tour on the sound.

11. Highlands: Nestled in the mountains, Highlands is a charming town known for its cool summers and stunning waterfalls. Visit Dry Falls, hike to the top of Whiteside Mountain, or explore the unique shops and art galleries in downtown Highlands.

12. Southport: Located on the coast, Southport is a picturesque town with a rich maritime history. Take a stroll along the waterfront, visit the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport, or explore the charming shops and restaurants in the downtown area.

13. Mount Airy: Known as the hometown of Andy Griffith, Mount Airy is a nostalgic town that will take you back to the 1960s. Visit the Andy Griffith Museum, take a ride in a vintage squad car, or explore the Mayberry-themed shops and restaurants.

14. Duck: Tucked away on the Outer Banks, Duck is a quiet beach town known for its pristine beaches and laid-back atmosphere. Relax on the beach, go kayaking in the sound, or explore the unique shops and restaurants in the town center.

No matter which small town you choose to visit, North Carolina offers a road trip experience like no other. So pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime. Happy travels!

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