Visiting the North Carolina Mountains
Check out our extensive guides to the best things to do in the North Carolina Mountains, including an overview of the best outdoor activities, restaurants, roadside attractions and accommodations in Western NC.
When we started the Blue Ridge Mountains Travel Guide in 2019, we had two major goals in mind. The first was to explore the countless Blue
Kayaking in North Carolina: The 10 Best Western North Carolina Rivers to Paddle, includes the best kayak launch spots and local outfitters.
[Updated 7/27/2022] When autumn rolls around there are tons of fun activities and annual traditions to look forward to. But you could argue that none
Asheville is beloved for its progressive vibe, anchored in a love of culture and arts, an array of lip-smacking restaurants, and surrounded by some of
Choosing the best restaurants in Cherokee NC is an interesting challenge. Most major tourist towns in the Blue Ridge Mountains– such as Asheville NC, Blue
[Updated 7/17/2022] Most people know Western North Carolina for its beautiful Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests, beloved NC state parks, charming Blue Ridge mountain towns,
Every year in September, visitors to the NC High Country have a rare opportunity to explore the child-like dreamland of a Wizard of Oz theme park.
[Updated July 11, 2022] Located just a couple of hours north of downtown Asheville, the town of Boone NC is the county seat for Watauga
Spanning more than half a million acres, Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. Averaging over 14 million visitors
When my wife and I explore the Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s typically with two main goals in mind. The first objective is to create in-depth
A guide to the 15 Best Blue Ridge Parkway hotels, cabin rentals, and B&Bs in NC & VA, spanning nearly the entire length of the BRP.
The state of North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Appalachian Mountains are all well-known for their considerable musical influence. The music that took
Whether you have your own horses or are new to riding horses, these are the top places for horseback riding in (and near) Asheville NC.
Much of the press on the Blue Ridge Parkway celebrates it as a wonderfully preserved 469-mile scenic route. But much of what makes the world-renowned road
[Updated 5/27/2022] Before Europeans settlers began spreading throughout the southeastern United States, the Cherokee were the dominant Native American tribe in the Blue Ridge Mountains for
American folk music, and particularly traditional Appalachian music, would be incomplete without the signature twang of the banjo. Along with the accompaniment of the fiddle, the
We’ve explored dozens of small towns in North Carolina over the last few years, from tiny burghs like Burnsville, Bryson City, and Little Switzerland to
Adventure travel is a great way to experience nature, and Western North Carolina has more than its fair share of hiking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting,
Occupying a huge swath of North Carolina just south of Bryson City, the Nantahala National Forest encompasses over a half-million acres of wilderness, with elevations
Bryson City is surrounded by Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the north, Fontana Lake to the west, Cherokee NC to the east, and the
Cherokee, North Carolina is not like any other town we’ve ever visited during our extensive explorations of the Blue Ridge Mountains. That’s partly because most
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians strongly resisted the Indian Removal Act of 1830, even as many other Native American tribes were forced westward and out of
The Appalachian Mountains run north to south in the eastern third of the United States, passing through every coastal state north of Florida and all
Nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains near the town of Burnsville NC, Mount Mitchell looms large above the surrounding area. Rising to an
Located just south of Boone, Blowing Rock is a tourism-driven North Carolina mountain town known as the “Crown of the Blue Ridge Mountains.” The town was
[Updated March 18, 2022] Western North Carolina is truly stacked with natural beauty. From the misty hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the towering
For those looking to take on a unique physical challenge, dive into some mental clarity, and explore a beautiful state, we’ve assembled a great list
[Updated on March 9, 2022] The Blue Ridge Parkway road trip is truly an American classic. It’s possible to traverse the entire 469-mile route on
The 25 Best Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls in North Carolina, from Boone and Burnsville to Asheville, Cherokee and beyond!
After driving the Blue Ridge Parkway stretch between Downtown Asheville and Boone NC 4 to 5 times in the last two years, it’s become clear that
Located 16 miles west of Boone and 18 miles from Blowing Rock, Banner Elk ranks high among the most beloved small towns in North Carolina‘s
The Blue Ridge Mountains are known to blow visitors away with its jaw-dropping panoramas. Nature abounds in the region, with countless hiking trails, thunderous waterfalls, mountain
[Updated Feb 22, 2022] Home to the five tallest peaks east of the Mississippi, countless waterfalls, adventurous hiking trails, and bustling Blue Ridge mountain towns
[Updated 2/16/22] Between the vast Pisgah National Forest, rolling Blue Ridge Mountains, wondrous waterfalls, and countless meandering creeks and verdant meadows, there’s no shortage of
When it comes to snakes in North Carolina, some people have a deep, abiding fear that no amount of practical knowledge can subdue. In their
Located about 55 miles northeast of Asheville NC at milepost 316.4, Linville Falls is perhaps the most famous of the many waterfalls on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Located just 10 miles south of Boone, the tiny mountain town of Blowing Rock (population 1,163) is one of the most tourist-friendly towns in the
Winnowing down a list of the best mountain towns in NC is a difficult task, and it’s much less rewarding than actually visiting said towns.
[Updated January 21, 2022] One of the things people don’t tell you about taking a Blue Ridge Parkway road trip is how remarkably uncommercialized this
North Carolina, nicknamed the “the Tar Heel State,” is filled with a rich history of colonial heritage, Appalachian culture, and noteworthy natural landmarks. Encompassing 53,819
[Updated January 13, 2022] The first time we visited the city back in 2012, we were absolutely blown away by the Asheville food scene. For
The waterfalls in Pisgah National Forest rank among the best waterfalls in Western North Carolina. Some of their cascades plummet over 100 feet, pushing thousands
[Updated 12/20/2021] Personally, I’d argue that the best Western NC small towns easily rank among the best small towns in America on the whole. Western
One of the most popular Western NC Christmas events, Tweetsie Railroad Christmas is a must-see for residents and holiday visitors who spend Christmas in Blowing
[Updated December 6, 2021] In a region wrought with spectacular waterfalls, no place has as many as Transylvania County, North Carolina. Encompassing 381 square miles,
[Updated December 5, 2021] Whether you’re continuing a lifelong Christmas tradition or getting your first ever live tree, picking out a tree from one of
[Updated on 1/24/22] Just east of the Blue Ridge Mountains, rocky ridges smooth out into the rolling hills and lively mountain streams known as the
[Updated 12/4/2021] There’s nothing quite like celebrating the holiday season in a magical place, and many of Western North Carolina’s small towns offer something special
Though the tourist season may have its peaks and valleys, the North Carolina mountains are truly a nature-lover’s playground 365 days a year. Spring brings an abundance
One of our favorite ways to take a deep dive into the beauty of nature is to enjoy the myriad campgrounds in the North Carolina
[Updated November 1, 2021] From Blue Ridge and Clayton GA to Asheville and Burnsville NC, nearly every great mountain town we’ve visited has had
Of the 2,000-plus miles of AT stretching up the East Coast, the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina has just under 100 miles of the world-famous
Boone NC is perhaps best known for its iconic Blue Ridge Parkway overlooks and the easy access it offers to excellent campgrounds, hiking, snow tubing,
From basic items like extra clothing, food, and water to survival gear, read on for our 10 hiking essentials packing list.
[Updated September 18, 2021] Fall in the North Carolina mountains is particularly special because the autumn leaves are around for an extended amount of time.
The history of the Blue Ridge Mountains is riddled with Appalachian folklore, including the Mysterious Brown Mountain Lights of Morganton NC. They range from various
Western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains are renowned for their rugged beauty, and the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area ranks among the most dynamic places to
For me, the monolithic majesty of Grandfather Mountain preceded itself. On a few occasions in the past, my wife Emma and I visited friends who
[Updated March 18, 2022] As anyone who has ever visited will tell you, Western North Carolina is truly a haven for nature lovers. The region
The short stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway that runs from just east of Boone NC to just west of Blowing Rock is particularly packed with
[Updated August 12, 2021] If you’re looking for challenging North Carolina waterfalls to hike, Hooker Falls is probably not for you. Located between Brevard and
[Updated July 29, 2021] You don’t have to look very hard to find great bed and breakfasts in Asheville NC. In fact, the Montford Area
The Cradle of Forestry in America was originally known as the Biltmore Forest School. It was founded in 1898 by Carl A. Schenck, a German
[Updated April 5, 2021] When we first moved to NC in 2017, I was beside myself envisioning the many cascading waterfalls and breathtaking vistas to
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail (a.k.a. the MST) stretches from North Carolina’s western border with Tennessee all the way east to the Atlantic Ocean. This epic NC
The Southern Appalachian Historical Association was formed to preserve the history and cultural heritage of Watauga County and the surrounding areas in the North Carolina
If you enjoy getting deep into the forest, exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains, and looking up as gorgeous waterfalls cascade down, then Pisgah National Forest is
North Carolina is home to the five highest mountains east of the Mississippi: Mt. Mitchell, Clingman’s Dome, Mt. Guyot, Richland Balsam, and Potato Knob. In