#71 best destination in the world


North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh


  • Oldest established museum in North Carolina and the largest museum of its kind in the Southeastern United States
  • The collection contains more than 1.7 million specimens of amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish, mammals, invertebrates, invertebrate and vertebrate fossils, plants, geology, and meteorites

Biltmore Estate, Asheville


  • Châteauesque-style mansion built for George Washington Vanderbilt II between 1889 and 1895
  • Largest privately owned house in the United States, at 178,926 square feet
  • Still owned by George Vanderbilt’s descendants, it remains one of the most prominent examples of Gilded Age mansions (1870s-1900s)

Clingmans Dome, Great Smoky Mountains National Park


  • Mountain in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina, it is the highest mountain in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the highest point in the state of Tennessee, and the highest point along the 2,192-mile Appalachian Trail

Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Outer Banks

  • National seashore which preserves the portion of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, stretching over 70 miles
  • Once dubbed the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” for its treacherous currents, shoals, and storms, Cape Hatteras has a wealth of history relating to shipwrecks, lighthouses, and the US Lifesaving Service
  • The park’s fishing and surfing are considered the best on the East Coast

Carowinds, Charlotte

  • Amusement park located in Charlotte, the park straddles the North Carolina-South Carolina state line
  • The park opened in 1973, Carowinds also features a water park, Carolina Harbor

Bald Head Light, Bald Head Island

  • Oldest lighthouse still standing in North Carolina, it is the second of three lighthouses that have been built on Bald Head Island since the 19th century to help guide ships past the dangerous shoals at the mouth of the Cape Fear river

Ocracoke Beach

  • Secluded 16-mile stretch offering ocean swimming, surfing, and fishing

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh

  • Museum in Raleigh, opened in 1956 as the first major museum collection in the country to be formed by state legislation and funding
  • Today, it encompasses a collection that spans more than 5,000 years of artistic work from antiquity to the present, an amphitheater for outdoor performances, and a variety of celebrated exhibitions and public programs
  • The Museum features over 40 galleries as well as more than a dozen major works of art in the nation’s largest museum park