Florida's Carolina Connection to the Western North Carolina Mountains

Discounted tickets to Biltmore - Save up to $20.00 off gate price
NC Mountains Complete Visitor GuideNC Attractions in the Mountains
HOME NC Mountains Map NC Mountain News Specials and Discounts NC Mountain Cities NC Real Estate What to do Where to Stay
Find it Fast:  NC Attractions   Crafts, Galleries   Fishing   Golf Courses    Hiking and Trail    NC Parks    NC Skiing   NC Visitor Centers    Waterfalls    NC Events Calendar     NC Shops Online
Read daily
NC Attractions news and updates on the NC Visitor Guide BLOG
 
North Carolina attractions offer year-around mountain fun, adventure and cultural experiences. Some of the most visited NC attractions are Biltmore in Asheville, The Blowing Rock, Tweetsie Railroad, Grandfather Mountain, Chimney Rock Park and the Cherokee Indian Village.  



advertise your NC Attraction on this page  CLICK HERE
 
Alphabetical List NC Attractions with direct links to the attraction website:

The Appalachian Trail in North Carolina

Asheville Historic Trolley Tours

Biltmore

Biltmore Village

The Blowing Rock Attraction 

The Blue Ridge Parkway

Brevard Music Center

Cades Cove

Carl Sandburg Home

Center for Crafts, Creativity and Design

Cherohala Skyway

Chimney Rock Park

Clingman's Dome

The Cradle of Forestry of America

Flat Rock Playhouse

Folk Art Center

Foothills Equestrian Nature Center

The Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum

Ghost Town (closed)

Grandfather Mountain

Great Smoky Mountain Railroad

Grove Arcade

Henderson County Museum

Hendersonville Historic Train Depot

Historic Johnson Farm

Horn in the West

John C Campbell Folk School

Joyce Kilmer National Forest

LaZoom Comedy Bus Tours
 
Linville Caverns

Linville Falls

The Mineral and Lapidary Museum of Henderson County 

Mt Mitchell State Park

Museum of the Cherokee Indian

Mystery Hill

Navitat Canopy Adventures

NC Ski Resorts

North Carolina Arboretum

North Carolina Stage Company

Oconaluftee Indian Village

Orchard at Alta Pass

Pacolet River Byway

Parkway Craft Center at The Moses Cone Manor

Parkway Playhouse

Penland School of Crafts

Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education

Scottish Tartans Museum

Sliding Rock

Swannanoa Valley Museum

Thomas Wolfe Memorial

Transylvania Heritage Museum

Tryon Equestrian Nature Center

Tsali Recreation Center

Tweetsie Railroad

Unto These Hills Outdoor Theatre

Valle Crucis Community Park

Valleytown Cultural Arts Center

The Western North Carolina Air Museum

Western North Carolina Nature Center

Wheels Through Time Museum

Whitewater Falls

YMI Cultural Center
Discover North Carolina history and traditions at NC Museums.  NC Museums are as varied as the cultures they preserve. From the remarkable culture of the native Cherokee People to indigenous rocks and minerals and historic community heritage, the "mountain ways" and resources are preserved and shared in North Carolina Museums.  Most are open daily with modest admittance fees of voluntary donations.
 
For many, the natural wonders of the NC Mountains are the biggest attractions of all. The natural granite monolith Chimney Rock stands 315 feet high affording a remarkable 75 mile view of Lake Lure and the Hickory Nut Gorge. Linville Caverns offer at look inside the mountains and Mount Mitchell is the highest peak  east of the Mississippi with a Canadian-like  environment. A drive along any NC scenic Byway is breathtaking for all and a shutterbug's dream.
NC outdoor adventures provide year around things to do. From Whitewater rafting on the Nantahala with both class II and III rapids to recreational and competitive mountain biking to world class fly fishing in the pristine mountain waters, there are activities for all ages and abilities.
 
Historic NC Homes offer a look into the past of both mountain communities and the people who created them. The most famous mountain home and most popular NC attraction is Biltmore, the dream home of George Vanderbilt. Over the last 50 years more of the original house and gardens has been opened to the public along with newer additions including the winery, a luxury hotel and Antler Ridge.
 
All Aboard! Take a ride on train through the valleys and mountains, across meadows beside a mountain river. At one time, the railroads were the only means of navigating the the steep and winding grades to bring supplies and passengers what were then remote mountain settlements and towns. Although is very limited rail service today, recreational excursions relive the excitement of yesteryear's train travel. Many of the mountain train depots have been restored and are now open attractions for public tours.
 
 WNC Cheese Trail
 
 
This Month's Special Events at NC Attractions:  
Date and City:  November 19 - January 3, 2017    Asheville NC
NC Attraction:  Smith-McDowell House Museum

Event:              19th Century Carolina Christmas at the Smith-McDowell House
Date and City:  Year around, most Wednesdays   Rosman near Brevard NC
NC Attraction:  The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
Event:              Wednesdays at PARI  
Biltmore and Historic NC Homes
Biltmore_Asheville_NC Biltmore -  America's "Castle", was built in 1895 by George Vanderbilt and is preserved and maintained today by his  descendants. With interior square footage over 4 acres, 250 rooms, 65 fireplaces, 43 bathrooms and an impressive collection of art and period furnishing it is well worth the admission fee and a day's time. Once a working dairy farm the estate now includes a winery, 8,000 acres of trails, Antler Village, gardens and grounds to explore, an on site Inn, fine and casual dining. Biltmore Estate, Escape to timeless beauty and legendary hospitality. Shop, dine and relax on the 8,000 estate
        
Find more Asheville NC Attractions on our Asheville Visitor Guide 
Carl Sandburg Home in Flat Rock NC Carl Sandburg Home - Carl Sandburg, nationally renowned poet, biographer, lecturer, newspaper columnist, folksinger, author of American fairytales, and winner of two Pulitzer Prizes spent the final 22 years of his long and productive life at "Connemara" in Flat Rock, NC. This 264 acre working farm built in 1838,  now houses Sandburgs collection of 10,000 books, notes and papers. Daily tours. 
         Find more Flat Rock attractions on our Flat Rock Visitor Guide
 Thomas Wolfe Memorial in Asheville open daily Thomas Wolfe Memorial - Thomas Wolfe lived in his mother's boardinghouse in Asheville, now the Thomas Wolfe Memorial. The former home has become one of literature's most famous landmarks after being depicted as "Dixieland" in Wolfe's novel Look Homeward Angel, a realistic portrayal of Asheville and its citizens-including Wolfe's own family. The attraction includes an exhibit hall, guided tours, audio-visual program and gift shop. Open daily.
       Find more Asheville NC Attractions on our Asheville Visitor Guide 
Historic_Johnson_Farm_Hendersonville_NC Historic Johnson Farm is a non-profit heritage education center and farm museum for area school children and the community. It features an 1880's home, a barnloft museum, 10 historic buildings, animals, nature trails, and 15 acres of fields, forest and streams. The historic farm is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
      Find more local Attractions on our Hendersonville NC Visitor Guide
Mountain Heritage and Local Tours
Oconaluftee_Indian_Village_CHerokee_NC_Attraction Oconaluftee Indian Village  where the wood smoke drifting on the breeze isn’t like any you’ve smelled before. It’s not the pure tang of hardwood burned  for heat. Nor is it the aroma of a cooking fire, fragrant with baking bread or bubbling broth or roasting meat. There’s something earthy about this fire, because it’s smoldering pitch pine, firing local Cherokee clay into gleaming blackware pottery. Then again, all the sights, sounds, and scents surrounding you are novel. In the Oconaluftee Indian Village, it’s still 1750.  The Village is open May - October, Monday - Saturday.
       
Find more Cherokee NC Attractions on our Cherokee Visitor Guide 
Asheville's Historic Trolly Tour shows all the highlights of the mountain city Asheville Historic Trolley Tours   See all the highlights of Asheville from a charming vintage trolley. The narrated tour covers all major points of interest in Asheville including The Grove Park Inn, Historic Biltmore Village, the downtown shopping and restaurant district, Thomas Wolfe Memorial, the Asheville Art Museum and art gallery district, The Asheville Visitor Center and more. Step off the trolley at any of the convenient stops to shop, dine or sightsee, then re-board and continue the tour. Tours are available year around, 7 days a week.
        Find more Asheville NC Attractions on our Asheville City Guide 
The Orchard at Alta Pass  The Orchard at Altapass is an Appalachian cultural and historical center celebrating the people, music, art, and natural beauty of the Blue Ridge mountains. Over 100 years old, the Orchard sits right on the Blue Ridge Parkway providing some of the most amazing scenery in North Carolina. Open May through October 7 days a week, closed Tuesdays May-August.
 Find more Little Switzerland Attractions on our Little Switzerland Visitor Guide
LaZoom Comedy Bus Tours show you Asheville "with a twist". The daily tour season runs from April 15 through October 31 with special events, live comedy shows, live music and holiday tours all year long. Get on the bus and laugh your Asheville off! 
                    
Asheville Brews Cruise - Take a tour of Asheville's award-winning beer scene with a guided tour of 3-4 of the 10 local breweries. The behind-the-scenes tour includes the processes involved in brewing as well as generous samples of each brewery’s fresh and delicious brews.
                    
Quilt Trails of Western North Carolina -  The WNC Quilt Trails offers over 200 quilt blocks, the highest concentration anywhere in the country. Nine different driving trails traverse beautiful mountain scenery providing the backdrop for vividly painted quilt squares installed on barns and buildings in participating communities.
                    
NC Museums and Historic Attractions
Museum_of_The_Cherokee_Indian_Cherokee_NC_Attraction The Museum of The Cherokee Indian  -  Totally renovated in 1998, the new  museum tells the story of the Cherokee people using today's high-tech computer wizardry, life-sized figures and an extensive artifact collection.  It is considered on og the top ten native sites east of the Mississippi. Follow the "Trail of Tears" , hear and learn about the language, customs and crafts of a remarkable civilization and its people.  Open year around, 7 days a week.   Find more Cherokee NC Attractions on our Cherokee Visitor Guide 
The YMI Cultural Center  is an Asheville landmark in the heart of downtown, convenient to City Hall, and Pack Place. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the YMI has served Asheville's minority citizens since it was first established in 1893 as the Young Men's Institute. It houses numerous exhibits, many dealing with the history of African Americans in Western North Carolina, and sponsors such cultural events as Asheville's Goombay! Festival, an Annual Kwanzaa Celebration and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration. All people  are welcome to come share in the rich heritage and celebration of African and African American culture.  
        Find more Asheville NC Attractions on our Asheville City Guide 
Scottish_Tartan_Museum_Franklin_NC_Attraction Scottish Tartans Museum  - A visit to the Scottish Tartans Museum and Gift Shop in the Smoky Mountains is a stroll through the history and culture of Scotland. The 4800 square foot location on Main Street in downtown Franklin, showcases a large Museum area as well as an expansive Gift Shop.
            Find more Franklin NC Attractions 
Wheels_Through_Time_Museum_Maggie_Valley_NC Wheels Through Time Museum - the museum that runs, is easily the finest collection of all American vintage motorcycles in the world and an astounding collection of rare American made automobiles. A  collection of over 250 rare antique American Motorcycles and Automobiles. Equally as astounding is the memorabilia collection. A ride through history has something for everyone. Open 7 days a week.
 
Find more Maggie Valley NC Attractions on our Maggie Valley Visitor Guide  
The Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum Located in Franklin’s historic “Old Jail” on Phillips Street across from the Macon County Courthouse, the Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum has thousands of specimens on display including a local ruby weighing 2 ¼ pounds! The museum was founded in 1974.
         Find more Franklin Attractions on our Franklin NC Visitor Guide
Swannanoa Valley Museum documents history of the region Swannanoa Valley Museum - For millennia, the Swannanoa Valley has been a pathway for both animals and humans. After the Revolutionary War, pioneers entered the Valley. Some such as Col. Samuel Winslow Davidson (left) settled here. Others, including famed frontiersman Davy Crockett, passed through on their way west. Discover for yourself the historical pathways that led to the settlement of the Swannanoa Valley, Buncombe County, and Western North Carolina. Located at 223 W State Street  Black Mountain.  
   Find more Black Mountain Attractions on our Black Mountain Visitor Guide
Transylvania Heritage Museum - During the 125th anniversary celebration of Transylvania County, NC in 1986, hundreds of people signed a petition encouraging the formation of a county museum. The Jim Bob Tinsley Museum, a non-profit organization, was opened in May 1994 in Brevard, NC. In 2003 the Transylvania Heritage Coalition (THC) was formed. The THM opened in May 2008. It now houses temporary and permanent displays of heirlooms, artifacts, genealogical exhibits, vintage photographs, and other exhibits reflective of the history and heritage of the county.
         Find more Brevard NC Attractions on our Brevard NC Visitor Guide
click here to see more of these exhibits The Mineral and Lapidary Museum of Henderson County was established in 1997 and houses exhibits from North Carolina, replicas of world famous diamonds, English minerals, Indian artifacts, a dinosaur egg nest, fossils, fluorescent minerals, gems, and faceted minerals1. The Museum's specialty are Geodes, which are sold, cracked and/or displayed. Admission is free.
 Find more Hendersonville NC Attractions on our Hendersonville Visitor Guide 
The Western North Carolina Air Museum is the first air museum in the state of North Carolina known as the "first in flight" state. The museum features award winning restored and replica antique and vintage airplanes. Open (weather permitting) Mar-Oct, Wed and Sun 12 Noon-6 PM, Sat 10 AM-6 PM; Nov-Feb Wed, Sat and Sun Noon-5 PM . Admission is free.
Henderson County Museum   is located within the Henderson County Historic Courthouse and consists of six rooms, approximately 2000 square feet designed for flexibility, capability, and versatility. The Museum collects, preserves, researches, and exhibits a collection of historical and cultural artifacts. Hours are Wed - Sat 10 AM- 5 PM, Sun: 1- 5 PM Local history, culture and artifacts with special events, children's exhibits and events and a gift shop.
 
Mountain Gateway Museum is a NC Museum of History Mountain Gateway Museum  and Heritage Center   The museum is the westernmost branch of the NC Museum of History family. As a part of the NC Department of Cultural resources, it is dedicated to bringing life to the wonderful history of the "Old North State".  A variety of educational and historical exhibits are available for public viewing including: Remedies From the Past: Folk Medicine in Western NC; Spinning and Weaving; Moonshining; A Time to Plant and a Time to Pluck and two 19th Century cabins on the museum's grounds. The Mountain Gateway Museum is located at 102 Water Street in Old Fort NC.
 
Wilkes Heritage Museum  Exhibits Range from Civil War to NASCAR.  ne of the race cars driven by NASCAR legend and Wilkes County native Junior Johnson is here‚ and so is a piece of the military jacket worn by Gen. Robert E. Lee. They are among the hundreds of exhibits being showcased at the Wilkes Heritage Museum‚ which opened to the public in November 2005.  Candlelight Ghost Tours at Wilkes Heritage Museum - Think you’ve seen a ghost? That just might be the case if you take part in the Wilkes Heritage Museum’s monthly Candlelight Ghost Tours. The nightly excursions take place from May through Halloween in buildings located throughout Old Wilkes‚ including the Old Wilkes Jail‚ Smithey Hotel and the Presbyterian Cemetery.  
Live Entertainment and Theatre
Unto_These_Hills_Cherokee_Theatre_Attraction Unto These Hills  is an outdoor drama presenting the history of the Cherokee Indians in a beautiful Mountainside Theatre.  In 2006, “Unto These Hills” began a new script, new director, new score, new choreography, new set design, new costuming and new cast members ­ all aimed at conveying a more culturally authentic, historically accurate and Cherokee-centered experience. The new play traces the Cherokee people through the eons, through the zenith of their power, through the heartbreak of the Trail of Tears, finally ending, appropriately, in the present day, where the Cherokee people, much like their newly re-scripted drama, continue to rewrite their place in the world.  Performances are offered mid-June through late August,  Monday - Saturday at 7:30 PM.
         Find more Cherokee NC Attractions on our Cherokee Visitor Guide 
Flat Rock PlayhouseThe Flat Rock Playhouse  has been operating for more than 53 years.  This State Theatre of North Carolina has been thrilling audiences with Broadway musicals, comedy and drama. From the Youth Theatre education program to professional main stage performances, Flat Rock Playhouse offers the best live entertainment in Western North Carolina. In 2011 the Playhouse added an additional venue in historic downtown Hendersonville.
  Find more Hendersonville NC Attractions on our Hendersonville Visitor Guide
  Brevard Music Center - Each summer more than 400 students, ages 14 through post-college, join professional musicians to eat, breathe and sleep music for seven weeks. In addition to a rigorous schedule of instruction, students collaborate with faculty and guest artists in more than eighty public performances.
         Find more Brevard NC Attractions on our Brevard NC Visitor Guide
 
Horn in the West Boone's Outdoor Drama since 1953 Horn in the West at Hickory Ridge Homestead is an outdoor Historical Drama and 18th Century Living History which first premiered in 1952. One of the nation's oldest Revolutionary Dramas still performed, Horn in the West portrays the lives of pioneers who survived the wilderness challenges to settle in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Through drama, dance and music a cast of 50 performers takes you back 230 years to the American frontier. 
             Find more Boone NC Attractions on our Boone Visitor Guide
Parkway_Playhouse_Burnsville_North-Carolina Parkway Playhouse - Celebrating 60+ years! Parkway Playhouse, established in 1946, is North Carolina’s oldest continually operating summer theatre. Past productions have included: Annie, Guys and Dolls, Tom Dooley, Leaving Iowa, Pride and Prejudice - plus children's and holiday productions.
  
          Find more Burnsville Attractions on our Burnsville NC Visitor Guide
North Carolina Stage Company provides a variety of live theatre performances North Carolina Stage Company  Asheville’s professional theatre performs in an intimate off-Broadway style venue in the heart of downtown Asheville. Voted Asheville's Best Local Theater for three years in a row for a diverse season of gripping dramas, classics, family plays and outrageous comedies. Schedule varies.

             Find more Asheville NC Attractions on our Asheville City Guide 
 
 
NC Train Rides and Railroad Attractions
Great_Smoky_Mountains_Railroad_Bryson_City_NC_Attraction The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers the romance and mystique of an era gone by.  Guests on board the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad will enjoy scenic train journeys across fertile valleys, through tunnels and along river gorges in a spectacular region called the Smoky Mountains. Excursions are available all year with special holiday and seasonal events. For more physical adventure check out GSMR packages for train rides and whitewater rafting, hiking trails or the Tarzan Train.
      
Find more Bryson City NC Attractions on our Bryson City Visitor Guide
Tweetsie_Railroad_Blowing_Rock_NC_Attraction Tweetsie Railroad, North Carolina's first theme park, takes a trip back into the days of the Old West. Hop aboard the train for an unforgettable three-mile journey through the scenic mountains. Even in today's high-tech world, there's still a place for old-fashioned fun. Tweetsie Railroad is a unique attraction that allows children and families to explore their imaginations and a whole lot more. Be a cowboy, Indian or an engineer and take a ride on  historic steam locomotive, Number 12, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Open daily April - October with special events offered.
  
Find more Blowing Rock NC Attraction on our Blowing Rock Visitor Guide 
Hendersonville_Historic_Train_Station_Hendersonville_NC_Attraction Hendersonville Historic Train Depot  The first steam engine puffed up the Saluda Grade to the Hendersonville Depot in 1879, the steepest main-line standard gauge railroad in the United States. The Carolina Special ran between Charleston, South Carolina and Cincinnati, Ohio from 1911 until 1968.Today the exterior paint has been restored to its original color. A Southern Railway caboose is located at the south end. The depot's baggage room houses the Apple Valley Model Railroad Club and their HO scale model railroad.  Open to the public on Saturdays.
 
Find more Hendersonville NC Attractions on our Hendersonville Visitor Guide 
NC Mountain Craft Centers
Folk_Art_Center_Asheville_Attraction The Folk Art Center  is home base for the Southern Highland Craft Guild. The Center includes a permanent collection, theme exhibits, demonstrations, education, special events, and a shop. The beautiful grounds are nestled in the woods along the Parkway in West Asheville. A short trail surrounds the building and features exhibits of native trees. Another trail connects with the Mountain to Sea trail. The Center also houses a Parkway Visitor Information booth and book store.
          Find more Asheville NC Attractions on our Asheville City Guide 
 
Penland_School_of_Crafts_Spruce_Pine_Attraction Penland School of Crafts  is a national center for craft education located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. Penland offers one, two and eight week workshops in books and paper, clay, drawing, glass, iron, metals, photography, printmaking, textiles, and wood. The school also sponsors residencies, educational outreach programs, and an exceptional Gallery and Shop. Studio tours are open to the public.
     Find more Spruce Pine NC Attractions on our Spruce Pine Visitor Guide 
 
John_C_Campbell_Folk_School John C Campbell Folk School  provides experiences in non-competitive learning and community life that are joyful and enlivening. Located in scenic Brasstown, North Carolina, the Folk School offers year-round weeklong and weekend classes for adults in craft, art, music, dance, cooking, gardening, nature studies, photography & writing.  Gallery and Craft Shop and special events are open to the public.
    Find more Attractions near the Folk School on our Hayesville Visitor Guide
 
Parkway Craft Center at Moses Cone Manor Parkway Craft Center at the Moses Cone Manor  at Milepost 294 on the Blue Ridge Parkway is home to abundant natural beauty and the best quality Appalachian Mountain hand-made crafts from the Southern Highland Craft Guild. Parkway Craft Center is one of five shops of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and features work from over 300 Southern Appalachian craftspeople. The Manor includes 3600 acres of pristine mountain terrain and a wide variety of activities available at no cost to the public  
   Find more Blowing Rock Attractions on our Blowing Rock Visitor Guide
 
Asheville's River Arts District offers open studios, galleries, restaurants and special events The River Arts District  is open year around  with the opportunity to meet artists in their studios. Schedules are available online. This unique area along the French Broad River is home to more than 165 artists with working studios located in 18 turn-of-the-century industrial buildings. The artists of the River Arts District welcome you into their studios to talk with them, see their latest artwork, watch demonstrations, and experience for yourself the magic hidden inside the time-worn factories and warehouses along the French Broad River.
 
Center for Crafts, Creativity and Design  CCCD is a regional center of the UNC with a strong nonprofit support organization. It is located at 67 Broadway Street in Asheville NC. It supports research in craft and design and curates exhibitions for a small gallery space and the sculpture and public art on the property's one-mile Rudnick Nature Trail. 
 
The Bascom Fine Art Center is an important cultural resource for the Western North Carolina region and its many residents and visitors. The Fine Art Center is a not-for-profit art center now located 323 Franklin Road in at Highlands NC. For over twenty years The Bascom - Louise Gallery / Highlands Visual Art Center has been the only non-profit visual art center in Highlands. From humble beginnings in the Hudson Library as a room to display regional art, the Bascom has evolved into a dynamic visual art center with a six building six acre campus with diverse exhibitions, studio art instruction and cultural experiences. Exhibits and educational programs operate year around with season hours, Tuesday - Saturday.  Find more Highlands Attractions on our Highlands NC Visitor Guide
Family Fun Attractions
Mystery Hill Attraction near Blowing Rock NC Mystery Hill  is a fascinating exploration of science, optical illusion and natural phenomena. The tour includes the Mystery House where visitors can stand at a 45° angle, the Hall of Mystery, the Puzzle Room, and Bubble-Rama. It also includes the Appalachian Heritage Museum and the Native American Artifacts Museum with 50,000 relics. 

     Find more Blowing Rock Attractions on our Blowing Rock Visitor Guide
Shopping Venues
Historic Grove Arcade in downtown Asheville NC The Grove Arcade  - Built by E.W. Grove, the visionary and creator of the Grove Park Inn, the Grove Arcade opened in 1929 and thrived until World War II as one of the country's leading public markets. Asheville's historically renovated Grove Arcade has once again returned as a destination featuring the best the region has to offer from fabulous foods to delicious dining and local crafts. The wonderful design and architecture alone are worth a trip to Asheville.
 
Asheville's Historic Biltmore Village with unique shopping, dining, galleries and lodging Biltmore Village   Built in the late 1890's as a classic planned community at the entrance to George Vanderbilt's Biltmore Estate, Biltmore Village today is truly one of the Carolinas' most unique touring and shopping environments.  It's the way shopping used to be - relaxed and enjoyable with top quality merchandise at realistic prices and wonderful customer service.  Enjoy quaint tree-lined streets, brick sidewalks, open air dining, original houses from the 1900's, all combined with amazing collections of one-of-a-kind merchandise of true quality and value. 
National Scenic Byways 
The National Scenic Byways Program is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. The program is a grass-roots collaborative effort established to help recognize, preserve and enhance selected roads throughout the United States. Since 1992, the National Scenic Byways Program has provided funding for almost 1500 state and nationally designated byway projects in 48 states. The U.S. Secretary of Transportation recognizes certain roads as All-American Roads or National Scenic Byways based on one or more archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational and scenic qualities.

NC has 54 Scenic Byways selected to embody the diverse beauty and culture of the Tar Heel State and provide travelers with a safe and interesting alternate route. Some of the mountain byways include:

Cherohala Skyway    Length: 43.0 mi / 69.1 km  Time to Allow: 2 hours to drive the byway . The Skyway offers the cultural heritage of the Cherokee tribe and early settlers in a grand forest environment in the Appalachian Mountains. Enjoy mile-high vistas and brilliant fall foliage, as well as great hiking opportunities and picnic spots in magnificent and seldom seen portions of the southern Appalachian National Forests.

Forest Heritage National Scenic Byway Travel back in time and explore history and beautiful scenery on the Forest Heritage National Scenic Byway (U.S. 276) through the Pisgah National Forest. As you wind your way on old settlement roads past mountain peaks and cascading waterfalls, imagine how this landscape looked decades ago when modern forestry began. Begin your driving journey at the southern entrance to the Pisgah National Forest, once marked by an arch. Today twin columns greet you as you enter one of the earliest National Forests in the eastern United States.

Download the pdf  NCDOT Scenic Byways Book for:

Appalachian Medley,  Black Mountain Rag,  Drovers Road,  Forest Heritage Scenic Byway,  French Broad Overview,  Indian Lakes Scenic Byway,  Little Parkway,  Mission Crossing,  Mountain Waters Scenic Byway,  Nantahala Byway,  New River Valley Byway,  Pacolet River Byway,  Pottery Road,   South Mountain Scenery,  Upper Yadkin Way,  Waterfall Byway,  Whitewater Way
Newsletter Sign-up
Be the first to get NC Mountain Attractions news, specials and discounts  CLICK HERE
 
Nature Attractions and NC Parks
The Blue Ridge Parkway  at 469 miles long is the nation's longest scenic rural parkway. Now 70 years old it is administered  by the  National Park Service and host to  approximately 20 million visits annually. It connects the Shenandoah Valley National Park with the Great Smoky Mountains National park in North Carolina and Tennessee. Along the route are opportunities for lodging, dining, camping, hiking and simply enjoying breathtaking views from easily accessible overlooks and picnic areas. For additional information visit : The Blueridge Parkway Association
 
Mount Mitchell State Park, at an elevation of 6684, is the highest peak in the Black Mountains. Named for Dr. Elisha Mitchell, a  professor of sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill who first suggested that the peak that bears his name was the highest in the range. Dr. Mitchell died at a waterfall on the western slope of the mountain while returning from one of many exploratory trips to western North Carolina. Between Asheville and Little Switzerland 
Western_North_Carolina_Nature_Center_Asheville_AttractionWNC Nature Center  is a living museum of plants and animals native to the Appalachian region. Our purpose is to increase public awareness and understanding of all aspects of the natural environment of Western North Carolina through hands-on and sensory experiences.  Each year welcome 100,000 visitors attend - of which 30,000 are school children expanding their classroom curriculum. Asheville NC
Chimney_Rock_Park_NC_AttractionChimney Rock State Park is named for a 500 million-year-old giant granite monolith overlooking Hickory Nut Gorge. Visitors are awed by the breathtaking view that spreads 1200 vertical feet beneath them and 75 miles across the Carolinas. The now state owned park encompasses 1,000 acres offers the best of the mountains in one place with spectacular 75-mile views, hiking trails for all ages, a 404-foot waterfall, a variety of special events and much more.  Chimney Rock NC
Grandfather_mountain_NC_Attraction_near_Blowing_Rock_and_LinvilleGrandfather Mountain  is the highest mountain in the Blue Ridge Mountain range at an elevation of 5,964 feet.  The Mile High Swinging Bridge gives visitors easy access to the breath-taking view from Grandfather Mountain's Linville Peak. Grandfather Mountain is a Nature Lovers' favorite offering Wildlife habitats, Nature Walks and Trails, Nature Programs, and a Nature Museum.  The complex natural terrain includes 16 different classifications of natural communities with backcountry trails providing access to all. Linville NC
Sliding Rock  is a recreation area set up by the US Forest Service. It's a 60' natural rock slide with a 6-7 foot deep pool at the base. Lifeguards and staff are on duty from Memorial Day week end to Labor Day and there is a fee of $1 per person to access the area, which is 7.5 miles north of Hwy 64 on Hwy 276. For more info, call the US Forest Service at 828-877-3350. Kids have to be a certain size to slide alone, otherwise they can sit on the lap of an adult and slide. Near Brevard NC 
The North Carolina Arboretum offers activities and exhibits for all agesThe North Carolina Arboretum   Magnificent gardens and miles of woodland trails. Continual special events and touring shows. Just as our experience of nature is intimate, visitors to The North Carolina Arboretum connect with plants in personal ways that are as diverse and rich as the land itself.  Whether you enjoy strolling through gardens, exploring exhibits, enriching your mind or hiking and biking, the Arboretum offers activities for all ages.  Asheville NC
The_Blowing_Rock_NC_Oldest_AttractionThe Blowing Rock Attraction   is North Carolina's oldest travel attraction (since 1933). A short scenic walk includes views of Grandfather Mountain, Table Rock, and Hawksbill. Also enjoy a small garden waterfall, observation tower and unique gift shops. Open daily April-December. January, February and March open weekends only, weather permitting. Located on Highway 321 South across from Green Park Inn. Blowing Rock NC
The Appalachian Trail in North Carolina.   The Trail crosses Western North Carolina from the Georgia border to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for about 95.9 miles before turning along the Tennessee border for another 287 miles until it exits NC at the Virginia border.  There are long climbs in the Stecoah-Cheoah Mountain area, and an outstanding section in Nantahala with 4,000-foot gaps and 5,000-foot peaks. Cheoah Bald offers panoramic views of western North Carolina. This part  of the A.T. provides a feeling of remoteness, and a sensation of being in deep forests. The variety of forest growth and the beauty of the flowering shrubs, along with the many spectacular views, make this entire section of Trail memorable.

The Appalachian Trail crosses western North CarolinaThe AT section from the Nantahala River to the Georgia border features some the best-graded trail at high elevations and there are lots of views from natural openings and fire towers, some requiring short side trips. 

Roan Mountain: Known for it's expansive grassy balds and flowering rhododendrons this area of the AT offers gorgeous panoramic views. Visit the Roan Mountain recreation area to find restrooms, picnic tables and a paved half-mile trail. Or park at Carver's Gap for a longer seven-mile hike.  Get a description here.

Clingman’s Dome: At 6,643 feet, this is the highest point along the AT. From here you can hike on a number of different trails that provide stunning mountain vistas. Read more here

Max Patch: Located near Hot Springs, Max Patch offers 360 degree views atop 350 acres of open grassy field. The AT passes right through the middle and is a popular place especially during leaf season.  Get Madison County Trail Access Points here

Foothills_Equestrian_Nature_Center_Tryon_AttractionFoothills Equestrian Nature Center  welcomes you to the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center, a 390-acre nature education and recreation center nestled in the beautiful NC foothills. Whether you're interested in outdoor recreation, nature education or preservation of precious open space, you'll find something of interest at FENCE. FENCE came into being in 1985 as a non-profit nature education and recreation center. Since then, FENCE has grown to its present 390 acres& serves some 5,000 people each year with programs in nature study, outdoor recreation and equestrian competition. Tryon NC
Little Santeetlah CreekJoyce Kilmer / Slick Rock Wilderness  A virgin hardwood tract  named after the author of "trees" includes 400 year old poplars with 20 foot diameters. Beautiful walking trails including one of the most adventurous in Slickrock Wilderness.  Robbinsville NC
Linville_Falls_NC_AttractionsLinville Falls  is located at the head of the Linville Gorge and is actually two falls: Upper Falls (50 feet) and Lower Falls  (60 feet). A well used (and maintained) trail leads you in the long climb to both lower and upper falls. The climb is strenuous but the rewards are great. They have placed benches along the way for those of us needing to take the climb in stages. The view of the Linville Gorge from the upper vantage point is worth the effort.  Linville NC
Linville Caverns - Marion, NCLinville Caverns, located at the base of Humpback Mountain in the beautiful Linville Valley, is a natural wonder.  After remaining a mysterious secret for centuries, the caverns were opened for safe and convenient public touring.  Nature has sculpted a veritable masterpiece in stone with centuries of slowly moving ground water being the primary artist for this creation of underground labyrinths. Linville NC
Cherohala_Skyway_Smoky_Mountains_AttractionCherohala Skyway  was completed in the fall of 1996 after nearly thirty-four years. It is North Carolina's most expensive highway carrying a price tag of $100,000,000. Winding up and over 6,000 foot mountains for 15 miles in North Carolina and descending another 21 miles into the deeply forested backcountry of Tennessee. The road crosses through the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests thus the name "Chero...hala".  
Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education  has mountain streams where water and life begin, the theme of this state-of-the-art educational facility dedicated to exploring the wonders of North Carolina's wildlife. The wildlife center is a program of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and admission is free. The wildlife center's attractions include aquariums, a 20-minute video, hand-on exhibits along a paved walkway, garden displays, educational programs, viewing and feeding of trout, and a gift shop.  Brevard NC 
Photo: Pearson's FallsThe Pacolet River Byway  begins at the South Carolina state line and traces its way through the Tryon Thermal Belt, an area with an unusual climate that is usually free from dew or frost. The route crosses the Pacolet River several times and runs parallel with the Saluda Grade, the steepest mainline railroad grade in the United States. Old railroad depots, log cabins and other historic buildings can be found in the towns of Saluda and Tryon, while Pearson Falls Natural Heritage Site is a 259 acre botanical wonderland where visitors can hike, bird watch or just enjoy the outdoors. Tryon houses the Polk County Historical Museum, whose 1906 train station was once the center of activity for the area. Tryon NC and Saluda NC  area. 
Great Smoky Mountains National ParkClingman's Dome rises 6,643 feet above the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Clingman's Dome is the highest point along the Appalachian Trail and provides a 360º view of the surrounding mountains. From it's 54 foot observation tower the average viewing distance is about 22 miles, but on a clear pollution free day, views can amplify as far as 100 miles into 7 states. It is located  on the state line ridge of North Carolina and Tennessee, the observation tower sitting equally in both states.  Bryson City NC 
Asheville Botanical Gardens includes 600 plants native to the AppalachiansAsheville Botanical Gardens  is an independent non-profit organization housing a collection of over 600 plants native to the Southern Appalachian Mountains. The Gardens also provides refuge to more than 50 species which are considered uncommon, rare or endangered on a regional, state or federal level. Indoor facilities offer a library, lecture room for meetings and programs and a gift shop stocked with garden-themed items all ages. The Center housing the Garden Path Gift Shop is open daily, from mid-March through mid-December. The Gardens itself is open every day of the year from dawn to dusk. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated and memberships are encouraged.  Asheville NC
Cradle of ForestryThe Cradle of Forestry of America - The Cradle is a place of people, nature, history and the future. The story of the birth of forestry in America is told through exhibits at the Forestry Discovery Center, the Biltmore Campus trail and the Forest Festival Trail. There are nature programs and special
Outdoor Adventures
Navitat Canopy Tours 20 minutes north of AshevilleNavitat Canopy Adventures, a world-class zip line canopy tour near Asheville,  combines the exhilaration of a zip line tour with the educational experience of a Costa Rican rainforest-style canopy excursion. Night tours had been added for the 2011 season. The canopy tour course is entirely tree-based and features two sky bridges, two rappels, and 10 zip lines ranging from 120 to 1,100 feet in length -- including one that sends guests soaring more than 200 feet above the forest floor. Located 30 minutes north of Asheville in Barnardsville NC.
Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventures is located within the city limits only a half mile from downtown Asheville. Its unique urban location allows views of both treetop and mountains along with the beautiful Asheville skyline. The Adventures includes 11 zipline sections, nine treetop platforms, three adventure tower platforms, three sky bridges and ziplines from several hundred feet long to almost 1200 feet long. Participants are able to reach heights of more than 70 feet and speeds of about 30 miles per hour. All tours include full instruction and orientation.
 
Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tours soar through the Smoky Mountains with views of  views of Clingman’s Dome, Fontana Lake and waterfalls. The adventure takes place over 20 acres with 13 ziplines, 8 bridges and 4 tandum zips. Zip instructions and ecosystems information is provided by knowledgeable guides.  Zip and Rail packages now available. Located near Bryson City NC.
 
Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC)  offers white water river rafting trips,  kayak and canoe instruction and mountain biking. NOC is a a complete outdoor destination with  three restaurants and a pub, a fully-stocked Outfitter's Store, the Wesser General Store and Fly Shop and the Nantahala Welcome Center.
 
Wildwater Nantahala offers 8 miles of exciting rafting on the pristine Nantahala River. Facilities include changing rooms with hot showers, a well-supplied river store, WIFI and picnic tables. Each trip includes a guide and over 3 hours of class I and II rapids, ending with class III. Located near Bryson City NC.  
 
Mountain bike the 40 miles of trails at TsaliTsali Recreation Area  is an outdoors lover's paradise. Probably the most popular features of Tsali Recreation Area are the 39 miles of trails suited for mountain bikers and horse-back riders, as well as hikers. The 4-loop system offers a variety of landscapes. You can climb 1-foot wide rugged paths or travel flat, well-beaten roads. The four trails--Right, Left, Mouse Branch, and Thompson Loops--meander through mixed pine and hardwoods on a peninsula stretching into Fontana Lake. Near Bryson City NC and Robbinsville NC
 
NC_Ski_Resorts_Winter_AttractionsNC Ski Resorts and Ski Areas offer the highest mountains east of the Rockies for skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, ice skating and winter sports. With minimal natural snowfall in the NC Mountains the ski season relies on snowmaking machines and cold temperatures. The season begins in November and continues into March, with specific times varying depending on the having enough cold weather to allow for snowmaking.
 
North Carolina Biking Trails  There are mountain biking trails throughout the NC mountains from flat and leisurely to steep and strenuous and for all levels of skill and all ages. Listed here are some of the most popular:
New River Route - a flat, gentle trail along the south fork of the New River in Ashe County.The route, which follows Railroad Grace Road, is extremely level and easy to ride. Views from the route include the river, lush pastoral settings and Christmas tree farms.
Linn Cove Viaduct - a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway which dramatically snakes around mountainsides and seems to float magically above Linn Cove. The route begins at Julian Price Memorial Park with a slow, gradual seven-mile ascent. There are overlooks and beautiful views along the way including the distant Grandfather mountain. The good news is that the return trip is downhill.
Cashiers Tour - enjoy being surrounded by the Nantahala National Forest. At 10 miles, one of the shorter routes, but certainly challenging with a significant ascent to the Cashiers plateau. Wonderful views are found at every turn including peaks, valleys, waterfalls and lush forests.

Tsali Trails - in the heart of the Nantahala National Forest are a series of mountain biking trails for the off-road enthusiasts. With more than 40 miles of hilly trails sectioned into Loops offering varying degrees of difficulty. Discover interior hills, creek crossings and overlooks.

Big Avery Loop - a strenuous 12.9 mile trail through the Pisgah National Forest. The challenges include ascents over at least eight water bars, a series of rock steps called Satan’s Staircase, a harrowing ride through a rhododendron tunnel and a track so narrow it’s not much wider than a bike tire. Among the highlights is a stunning view of Looking Glass Rock. This is a trail for experienced mountain bikers.
 
 
This site is dedicated in loving memory to Teacher Beth, whose spirit still climbs every mountain HOME   NC Mountains Map   NC Mountain News   NC Shops online   NC Favorite Places  Events Calendar
What to Do    Where to Stay   Specials and Discounts   NC Cities   Advertise on this Site   NC Real Estate

NC Attractions including the Blue Ridge Parkway, NC Heritage Centers, North Carolina Museums,
 Biltmore, Tweetsie Railroad, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and What to do in the NC Mountains

Headquartered in Jacksonville FL, Copyright Corbin Publications 2008-17 All rights reserved  ClimbEveryMountain.com
CONTACT US
TERMS & CONDITIONS OF USE
visits since 6/08