The largest private home ever built in the States is a monument to opulence. The Smoky Mountains retreat of the Vanderbilt family, the house was designed to resemble a French chateau and has 250 rooms stacked with priceless antiques and artworks by masters like Renoir and Whistler. There are also 8000 acres of beautiful grounds to amble round, plus a winery.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore
This protected section of the Outer Banks stretches for 75 stunning miles and is presided over by the tallest brick lighthouse in North America. Deserted beaches and unobstructed ocean views are the order of the day here, along with top birding, surfing, fishing, and shelling. It's the perfect place to get away from it all.
Take the elevator or the steps all the way to the top of 315-ft Chimney Rock - a massive granite outcrop with spectacular views over the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains and Lake Lure. Then hike the trail through the Park to see Hickory Nut Falls, plunge 400 feet down the rock face, or take the Skyline Trail to discover the mysterious rock that looks like the Devil!
The First Flight
In 1903, the Wright Brothers made aviation history with the first ever powered flight at Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks. You can visit the towering monument that marks the site of this great feat, as well as tracing the flight's launch and landing points. There are also a clutch of museums that tell the Wright Brothers' story, plus a full-size replica of their flying machine.
Fans of the greensward have a real treat in store on North Carolina holidays. There's dozens of superb courses to play including the legendary Pinehurst No.2 - designed by Donald Ross and home of the 2014 US Open.