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  • North Carolina
  • North Carolina

Holidays to North Carolina

With soaring mountains in the west, a 300-mile coastline to the east and a whole lot more in between, North Carolina holidays have more variety than Heinz 57. This is the state where you can surf the breakers on deserted Atlantic beaches one day, follow a wine trail or visit the biggest private estate in the States the next, and finish up on the Road to Nowhere in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

There's beauty everywhere you look on North Carolina holidays. If you hike through Chimney Rock Park you'll snake past thundering waterfalls and soaring granite outcrops. Meander through Piedmont and you'll find yourself in a world of rolling hills draped with vineyards and cotton plantations. And drive the Blue Ridge Parkway through two national forests complete with spectacular tree tunnels and dramatic views, and you'll discover why it's nick-named 'America's favourite drive'.

The North Carolina coast is not only gorgeous, but has something for everyone. With 130 miles of barrier islands known as the Outer Banks, you can choose between the sheltered landward side and the crashing Atlantic surf. There are busy beach communities with striped lighthouses and boardwalks if you want them - or there's mile upon mile of protected seashore at Cape Hatteras where the dunes tower and wild ponies graze on the beach.

There are towns and cities to discover too, whether it's Wilmington with its antebellum homes and moss-draped live oaks; Beaufort with its maritime museums and legacy of Blackbeard the pirate; or artsy Asheville in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. Then, when it's time to refuel, there's delicious BBQ pork (discover whether you like it eastern or western-state style) or fresh seafood to choose from, and you can wash it all down with local wines. As they say, variety is the spice of life.

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Why not explore the following destination in North Carolina


Asheville

Tucked away among the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina, Asheville lures visitors with its natural beauty, thriving arts scene and historic charms. Find out more >>

Biltmore Estate

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.

Chimney Rock

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.

Tee Off

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.

 

Our Top Hotels in North Carolina

The Inn on Biltmore Estate

The Inn on Biltmore Estate

4.0

Enjoy impeccable hospitality, meticulous attention to detail, and the level of personalised service.

Contact our travel experts for more details


Charlotte Marriott City Center

Charlotte Marriott City Center

4

Situated in the heart of downtown, this hotel features spacious guest rooms with 37-inch LCD TVs, upgraded bathrooms, signature furnishings and plush bedding.

Find out more about this hotel >>


Holiday Inn Wilmington - Market St

Holiday Inn Wilmington - Market St

4

Enjoy Beautiful Historic Wilmington, NC. Your arrival at the Holiday Inn® Wilmington places you in a unique area of antebellum charm and thriving 20th century buzz.

Find out more about this hotel >>


Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks

Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks

4.0

Enjoy the hotel's unique view of the ocean, and location just minutes from the best shopping, dining and attractions on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Contact our travel experts for more details


 
 

Fly Drive Holiday: North Carolina's Mountains and Coast

Raleigh - Durham - Boone - Asheville - Charlotte - Wilmington - Carolina Beach - Beaufort - Outer Banks / Kitty Hawk - Raleigh - Durham

This wonderful itinerary takes you on a complete North Carolina discovery so that you can experience all the remarkable contrasts that this fascinating state has to offer, from the breathtaking vistas of the Blue Ridge Parkway over the Smoky Mountains, to the dramatic windswept shoreline of North Carolina’s Outer Banks with its eventful history, seaside towns, and pirate tales.
Click here for more details

 

Fly Drive Holiday: Southern Charms

Raleigh/Durham - Cape Hatteras - Myrtle Beach - Charleston - Savannah - Atlanta

This wonderful fly drive suggestion takes you on a southern discovery of the South’s historical cities and dramatic windswept shorelines, ranging from the from the rocky coastline of the Outer Banks, to the hidden islands and the tropical climes of South Carolina and the laidback southern charms of Savannah. This is one fly drive holiday not to be missed!
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Fly Drive Holiday: Scenic Roads of the South

Atlanta – Savannah - Charleston – Asheville – Nashville - Memphis – Little Rock – Springfield – St Louis

Travel from Atlanta to St Louis on this essential Southern itinerary taking in some world famous and some less-famous gems of the coast, mountains, plains and mid-west. Your journey takes you to the grand dames of the South, Savannah and Charleston before heading inland up into the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. From here, you’ll drive through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to country music capital Nashville and blues capital Memphis. Next, it’s across to cosmopolitan state capital Little Rock, where a visit to the replica Oval Office is a must-see at the Clinton Presidential Center. Then travel via Route 66 from Springfield Missouri to St Louis when your journey of discovery ends.
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Time Difference:
GMT- 5hours

Closest Airport:
Charlotte Douglas International Airport (approx.. 9 hours 15 minutes). Raleigh-Douglas International Airport (approx. 8 hours 50 minutes).

Getting around:
Hire a car from £19 a day and discover some of the best scenery in the nation in North Carolina. The Blue Ridge Parkway has mountain meadows and scenic overlooks all along the way. The Cherohala Skyway features sweeping panoramas and picnic areas. The Forest Heritage National Scenic Byway travels through Pisgah National Forest and past Looking Glass Falls. And on the coast, the Outer Banks Scenic Byway boasts impressive views of the barrier islands.

Insider Tip:
Mac's (officially Mac's Speed Shop as it used to be a garage) is a great place to try Charlotte’s favourite cuisine, barbeque. There are rows of motorcycles parked in front of the restaurant, and then inside the clientele is a mix of bikers, businessmen and families. Just going there is an experience.

You’re going to need an ESTA:
For anyone travelling to the USA, the US authorities have imposed a requirement for passengers travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), to register for Electronic Travel Authority. Just fill in the online application form which you can find at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. You will need to apply for entry via ESTA at least a minimum of 72 hours prior to travel.

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