N. CAROLINA TRAVEL DESTINATIONS

CHEROKEE INDIAN RESERVATION:  With just one visit to Cherokee, NC, you'll start seeing things a little differently. In the most delightful of ways. Here, you'll discover history isn't something regelated to musty old textbooks- it's alive and thrilling, as demonstrated in Oconaluftee Indian Village and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. And you'll find yourself more keenly aware of how nature inspires artisans and craftspeople, once you try a fun hike to nearby Mingo or Soco Falls and afterwards take in Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual Inc. Maybe you'll stop your drive long enough to see our neighboring elk herd, and some part of you will connect the dots to a different type of outdoor drama "Unto Tese Hills." The point is, its almost impossible not to be stuck by centuries of Cherokee history and stories even while you're having a great time  adventuring in Cherokee NC. Info: www.visitcherokeenc.com or 800-438-1601   
GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NAT. PARK:  Located in the states of North Carolina and Tennesse, encompasses 815 sguare miles of which 95% are forested. World renowned for the diversity of its plant and animal resources, the beauty of its ancient mountains, the quality of its remnants of southern Appalachion mountain culture, and the depth and integrity of the wilderness sanctuary within its boundries, it is one of the largest protected areas in the east. The park is open year-round. Visitor centers at Sugerlands, Oconaluftee, and Cades Cove are open all year, except Christmas Day. There are no entrance fees. Info: www.nps.gov/gsm or 865-436-1200
MAGGIE VALLEY/WAYNESVILLE/LAKE JUNALUSKA/CANTON/CLYDE: Welcome to Haywood County NC, Boasting 46 miles of Blue Ridge Parkway and authentic Appalachian history, culture, and nature. Dont miss Cataloohee Vally, where elk were first reintroduced to the Great Smoky Mountains. Motoring enthusiasts will be in hog heaven at America transportation museum, Wheels Through Time". Catch Haywoods award-winning bluegrass band, Balsam Range, at one of the annual festivals celebrating the best parts of Appalachian heritage like clogging or our state dog, the Plott Hound. Visit Civil War heritage sites and original oioneer settlements or just take a deep breath and enjoy a cascading waterfall, wooded trail or pristine river. Embark on an agri-tourism adventure at a local farmers market or visit one of our U-Pick farms. Get active with scenic bicycling, trout fishing or a relaxing round of golf. After strolling our unique shops and galleries, end the day with a farm-to-table dinner and a locally brewed beer. Info: www.visitncsmokies.com or 800-334-9036
BRYSON CITY: If you have high expectations for your next getaway, look no further than Bryson City- a small mountain town bordered by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Fontana lake, and the Tuckasegee and Oconaluftee rivers. Swain County has the highest peaks and some of the best rushing wate in the Smokies, including Deep Creek's trio of waterfalls just outside Bryson City. Take a hike, a whotewater tube ride, fish for trout, have a picnic and splash in an old-fashioned "swimming hole."
From Nantahala River whitewater rafting to world-class mountain biking, zip-lines, and scenic train rides along "The Dragon," Bryson City offers something for everyone. After an active day, enjpy some downtime with a free concert, eclectic dining or a hometown brew. Stroll through the shops, galleries, and studios of local artisans. Unwind at one of out confortable B&Bs, cabins, motels or resorts. And get ready for another day of fun in the Smokies. Info: www.greatsmokies.com or 800-867-9246
HIGHLANDS: We are Highlands NC. At 4,118 feet, we offer breathtaking views yet are amazingly down to earth. We are the ideal mountain town, nestled in nature; we are home not only to blck bears, but to the most biodiverse collection of flora and fauna in North America. Our publc fountains are waterfalls, our facades are rock faces, and our parks are the best of nature itself. From the top of Sunset Rock our town makes a stunning backdrop for the amazing life we live. Info: visitor@highlandschamber.org    or     866-240-2064
HENDERSONVILLE: Hendersonville is located in the Western North Carolina between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smokies, 22 miles south of Ashville, 15 mile from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Festivals, hiking, biking,historical sites, golf, childrens activities, dinning and a variety of lodging choices will make your visit memorable. Henderson County abounds with many diverse attractions all located within a few miles of downtown: Sierra Navada Brewery, Flat Rock Playhouse, Jump Off Rock scenic overlook, Dupont State Recreational Forest, and the Western North Carolina AIr museum. The Henderson Visitor center is located at 201 S. Main St. in downtown Hendersonville. Info www.historichendersonville.org or 800-828-4244  
BLUE RIDGE NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA: Learn about the beautiful and authentic natural and cultural heritage of the North Carolina mountains and foothills with a visit to the Blue Ridge Parkway Visiter Center near Ashville. Here you can get personal guidance and information from both park rangers and the Blue Ridge Heritage Areas reginal information desk. Info: www.blueridgeheritage.com or
828-298-5330
ASHVILLE: Explore Ashville, a sophistcated little city in the mountains with a rythm and vibe all its own. Get your fill of inventive cuisine from more than 250 independent resturants that take rarm-to-table to a whole new level. Take your pick of clubs offering live music from local legends and national names in a variety of soul-stirring styles. Sip innovative cocktails and award-winning craft beers. Wander through the 250-room Bilmore House, Americas largest home. Browse downtown Ashville's 30 plus galleries and stroll through working artist' studios in the River Arts District. Go zip-lining and whitewater rafting just outside the city or venture out on the cheese trail. Whether you come for one of the city's many festivals or just to get inspired, start your trip at the Ashville visitor center. There you can purchase Biltmore tickets and jump on a trolly tour for an introduction to the area. Info: www.exploreashville.com or 877-GO-TO-AVL
BILTMORE ESTATE : Enjoy once-in-a-lifetime experiences at Biltmore in Ashville. Explore our refuge from the everyday at Americas largest home, magnificent gardens, winery, farm, resturants, and shops. For a complete escape, relax in luxurious comfort at our four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate, the only accommodations on the estate grounds. Opon daily. Annual events include: Festival of Flowers; Summer Evening Concerts; Flower Carpet; Christmas at Biltmore; and Canlelight Christmas Evenings. Located on US 25, just north of the Blue Ridge Parkway and I-40 iNFO: www.biltmore.com  or 1-877-BILTMORE
SEVEN DEVILS: Convenient to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Grandfather Mountain and Bear Paw State Natural Area, The Town of Seven Devils offers a great starting point for your visit to the NC High Country. Located between Boone and Banner Elk, visitors can take advantage of easy access to area skiing, golfing, gem mining, trout fishing and more while enjoying the truly peaceful atmosphere of our quaint mountain community. If you prefer your vacation a bit more action-packed, visit Hawksnest which boast the largest snow tibing park on the east coast as well as high-flying zip-line tours throughout the year. From chalets and condminiums-to mountain homes and log cabins, you will find private and unique lodging options surrounded by beautiful views in Seven Devils. Info: wwwsevendevils.net or 828-963-5343
BLOWING ROCK: High in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, Blowing Rock has been a destination for travelers seeking a place to rest and rejuvenate since the 1800's. Known as the "Crown of the Blue Ridge" Blowing Rock offers visitors sweeping vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are cool and refreshing in the spring and summer, before blazing into a beautiful tapestry of changing leaves in autumn and frosting with snow in winter. Just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, the village of Blowing Rock is a place where time-honored charm and tradition meet modern style and sophistcation, With an excellent selection of shops and restaurants, the village offers something for all taste and a wealth of hidden treasures along the way. Visitors enjoy year-round festivals and attractions including Tweetsie Railroad and The Blowing Rock, as well as a wide array of outdoor adventures from hiking, biking and horseback riding to skiing at Appalachian Ski Mountain.
Info: www.blowingrock.com or 877-750-4636
NASCAR HALL OF FAME: Located in uptown Charlotte, the 150,000-square foot NASCAR Hall of Fame is an interactive, entertainment attraction honoring the history and heritage of NASCAR. The high-tech venue, desighned to educate and entertain race fans and non- fans alike, opened May 11,2010 and includes artifacys, interactive exhibits, and a 278-person state-of-the-art theater. Also on the property is Buffalo Wild WIngs restaurant and the Nascar Hall of Fame Gear shop. The goal of the facility is to honor NASCAR's icons and create an enduring tribute to the drivers, crew members, team owners and others that have impacted the sport in the past, present and future, Info: www.nascarhall.com  
LINVILLE CAVERNS, MARION,: Located at the southern gateway to western NC's High Country region, Linville Cavers is an ideal destination for visitors of all ages. The beauty of our mountains is echoed within Humback Mountain and visitors are invited to explore the splendor and wonders created 'inside a mountain". For centuries, the marvels of Linville Caverns were unknown to man, In the early 1800's a fishing expedition headed by Henry E. Colton, of eastern NC. were astounded to see fish swimming in and out of what appeared to be rather solid rock. A small opening in the mountainous terrain allowed them to enter the subterranean recess that is still home to native trout in an underground stream.
Linville Caverns was opened for public touring in 1937. Since that time many upgrades to the pathways and lighting system have enhanced the safe touring experience that now exists. Couteous and experienced guides take you into the sbterranean world, giving you the history of the caverns and allowing you to view the grand work of nature. Info: www.linvillecaverns.com or 800-419-0540
CHIMNEY ROCK STATE PARK: Climb to the top of this towering 315-foot monolith located on the very edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains high above beatiful Hichory Nut Gorge. At a soaring elevation of 2,280 feet with it's 75 mile views; This mountaintop experience will take your breath away, and you can get to the top of the "Rock" with just a bit of effort. It's worth the hike. Info: www.chimneyrockpark.com or
800-277-9611
BATTLESHIP USS NORTH CAROLINA @ Wilmington. Welcome to the Battleship USS North Carolina, moored in quite dignity and majesty, across the river from downtown Wilmington, becken visitors to walk her decks. Envision the daily life and fierce combat her crew faced in the Paciffic Theatre during world war II. From all across our nation they came, young men who had grown up in the crucible of the Great Depression and now determined to serve their country in its time of need. These are the men whose stories you will encounter through their oral histories, photographs, and mementos as you experience the ship and the exhibits, step back in time and let history come alive through the crews stories. Discover and build your personal connection by steering the ship, starting her engines or even firing the guns. The Battleshipp North Carolina, its your experience. www.battleshipnc.com or 910-251-5797  
FORT RALEIGH NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE, ROANOKE ISLAND: Roanoke Island has been the scene of historical dramas for more than four centuries, Algonquians, Europeans, and African Americans have all played their parts here. First here were the Carolina Algonquians, who farmed the land and fished the sounds. In 1584, English explorers sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh arrived here. It was the first of three voyages in Englands attempt to colonize North America. During the American Civil War, the US Army established a freedmens colony here. The lost Colony dramatically interprets the 1580's interactions between the Algonquian and the English. On these small wooded grounds lie many stories of families and their struggles that have continued through time, resulting in the creation of a nation and its people. Here the first infant cries of English colonization in the New World (1584-1590) burst upon the world. These efforts, sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh, ended with the disappearence of 116 men, women, and children, including two that were born in the New World. The fate of this "lost colony" remains one of the worlds great mysteries. This site also celebrates the preservation of Native American culture and was the location of an important Freedmen's Colony during the Civil war era. The American tradition of sacrifice, inventiveness, and courage in the face of great adversity was defined by the actions on these grounds and continues to thrive in our national spirit. Visit Fort Raleigh National Historic Site for our visit into our past and a glimps of our future. Info: www.nps.gov/fora or 252-473-2111
ROANOKE ISLAND: Theres no other area of the Outer Banks that can top Roanoke Island and the Town of Manteo. The restored and lovely waterfront/downtown area is an attraction in itself, with the boats sitting in the Shallowbag Bay and the surrounding boardwalk and all the quaint shops, galleries and eateries, but the island is also home to hugely popular Maneo attractions- Roanoke Island Festival Park, The Lost Colony, The Elizabethan Garens, North Carolina Aquarium, Island farm, N.C. Maritime Museum and the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse- that you won't want to miss. Info: www.roanokeisland.net
WRIGHT BROTHERS NATIONAL MEMORIAL, KILL DEVIL HILLS: Wind, sand, and a dream of Flight brought Wilbur and Orville Wright to Kitty Hawk, NC where after four years of scientific experimenttation, they achieved the first succesful airplane flights on Dec. 17, 1903. This was the not a chance event, however, for thhey had been coming to the Outer Banks for years before this event to conduct flight experiments with their gliders. Come experience the place where two young brothers from Dayton, Ohio finally succeeded on a cold winter day, the first controlled, sustained powered, heavier-than-air flight. Stop by the visitor center to learn about Wilbur and Orville Wright, their glider experiments, and how they achieved ther dreams. Examine the replicas of the 1902 glider and the 1903 flyer. Exploring the grounds gives you a opportunity to see reproductions of the brothers 1903 camp buildings, stand at the place where Wilbur and Orville first took to the air in their 1903 flyer and landed, and climb Big Kill Devil Hill to see the Nations Monument Commemorating the brothers historic achievment.
1401 National Park Dr. Manteo, NC, 27954 Info: www.nps.gov/wrbr  or 252-473-2111  
FORT FISHER STATE HISTORIC SITE, SOUTH KURE BEACH: Until the last few months of the Civil War, Fort Fisher kept North Carolina's port of Wilmington open to Blockade runners supplying necessary goods to Confederate armies inland. By 1865, the supply line through Wilmington was the last remaining supply route open to Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. When Ft. Fisher fell after a massive Federal amphibious assault on Jan. 15, 1865, its defeat helped seal the fate of the Confederacy. Visitors are invited to tour the remains of the fort's land face featuring an impressive reconstruction of a 32-pounder seacoast gun at Shepards Battery. Shaded by gnarled live oaks, a scenic trail leads tourists from the visitor center past the gigantic earthworks and around to the rear of the fort. Guided tours and wayside exhibits provide historical orientation. Other exhibits include items recovered from sunken blockade runners. 1610 Ft. Fisher Blvd. South Kure Beach, 28449
Info: www.nchistoricsites.org/fisher 
FORT MACON STATE PARK: Fort Macon State Park has multiple persoalities as the site of a perfectly restored Civil War-era fort, a museum-quality coastal education center and an unspoiled shoreline for swimming, surf fishing and beachcombing. Nearly surrounded by water at the eastern tip of Bogue Banks, the park offers undisturbed natural beauty and opportinities to explore and learn about salt marshes, estuaries and dune fields. The fort- once a project of Robert E. Lee as a young army engineer- has a history as intricate and unigie as the the ecosystem. Cannon and musket demonstrations and a guilded tours are regular features, complementing exrensive exhibits indoors and out.
2303 East Fort Macon Rd, Atlantc Beach NC. 28512 Info: www.ncparks.gov/fort-macon-state-park or 252-726-3775
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