Exploring the beauty of North Carolina

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Whether you enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, or skiing, you can experience it all in the state of North Carolina. When the sun shines and the air warms, you can take a refreshing swim under waterfalls or dip your toes in the Atlantic Ocean. In autumn, the landscape transforms into a vibrant blanket of blue and red hues, and when the snow begins to fall, the mountains turn into spectacular white plains. No matter the season, a journey through the United States would be incomplete without exploring the wonders of North Carolina.

Situated just an hour's drive from Asheville the Blue Ridge Mountains is one of the highlights of North Carolina. The Blue Ridge Parkway, known as America's Most Beautiful Route, winds its way along the Blue Ridge Mountains, offering breathtaking views of the mountain peaks. This parkway lives up to its reputation as one of the most scenic routes in the United States.

The Blue Ridge Parkway

One of the most distinctive features of the Blue Ridge Mountains is Mount Mitchell, standing tall at over 610 meters (2000 ft). As part of the Appalachian Mountains, this mountain range is covered in a mesmerizing bluish haze. The unique phenomenon arises from the presence of oaks and other trees endemic to the Blue Ridge habitat. These trees release isoprene, a common hydrocarbon, to safeguard their leaves from heat stress. This results in a blue tint which cast upon the mountains.

During your journey along the Blue Ridge Parkway, take the opportunity to pause frequently and enjoy the beauty of the surroundings. Make a stop at The Folk Art Center, where local artists showcase their exceptional work, or explore the Museum of North Carolina Minerals, home to a vast collection of minerals. Or go to the museum of the Cherokee Indian. Although not directly on the parkway, this museum is located in Cherokee, North Carolina. The museum offers an in-depth look at the history and culture of the Cherokee people, with exhibits on their art, language, traditions, and the Trail of Tears

For nature enthusiasts, Chimney Rock State Park awaits southeast of Asheville, a striking red-colored rock formation with a cascading waterfall. You can go hiking on the easy Hickory Nut Falls Trail, leading you to the base of the waterfall. From there, an elevator will transport you to the top of the rock.

If hiking is your passion, go to the Linville Ranges and make your way to the lookout at Grandfather Mountain. Here you find diverse flora and fauna while enjoying panoramic views from the Mile High Swinging Bridge, suspended high above the ground.

If time allows, drive to Cape Hatteras off the coast of North Carolina, where you can enjoy the beach and engage in excellent wildlife spotting. Bird watchers, in particular, will be enthralled by the variety of bird species in the area.


Be sure to experience the village-like ambiance of Asheville, the most captivating and popular city in North Carolina. This bustling city manages to retain a charming small-town feel.

Picture by Travel and Leisure

The city offers outstanding and environmentally conscious restaurants and eateries. For example Plant, a vegan restaurant in Asheville, offers plant-based meals that are incredible. The menu changes seasonally to feature locally-sourced, organic produce.

Also don't miss the chance to indulge in the region's craft beer scene. For the rest Asheville also boasts colonial architecture and a thriving local art scene.

Where to stay

If you like to stay at an idyllic, historic building with incredible views go to the Omni Grove Park Inn. It is beautifully situated and has received a GreenLeaders Silver level badge from TripAdvisor for its eco-friendly practices.

The hotel has a strong commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainable practices and the management and staff are great.

This article was last updated on November 30, 2023.