North Carolina Bucket List – Reasons To Visit The Tar Heel State

Things To Do In North CarolinaAre you in North Carolina and can’t find anything to do? Here’s a list of a few things that are sure to blow you away!

Things To Do In North Carolina

1. Pisgah National Forest – Encompassing some of the highest mountains in the Southern Appalachians, and all of the Eastern U.S. It covers about 500,000 acres across the central mountains in western North Carolina. Tremendous recreational opportunities, including hundreds of miles of trails for hiking and backpacking, abound within its boundaries. The Pisgah National Forest covers over 500,000 acres of forest land across the central mountains of Western North Carolina.

2. Sliding Rock – Located in the Pisgah National Forest, Sliding Rock is a naturally occurring 60-foot waterslide with a seven-foot deep pool that has been developed by the US Forest Service into a recreation area. There is a small fee to enter the recreation area. The recreation area is open year-round, but the bathrooms and changing rooms are only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Lifeguards are on duty during that time as well.


3. Wright Brothers National Museum – Wind, sand, and a dream of flight brought Wilbur and Orville Wright to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina where, after four years of scientific experimentation, they achieved the first successful airplane flights. Explore this museum to learn more about the brothers and how they unlocked the secrets of flight.

4. Cape Hatteras National Park – Few visitors to the Outer Banks realize that nearly 150 years ago these same islands were battlefields. The barrier islands of the North Carolina coast and the adjacent Pamlico and Albemarle sounds were the gateway to the rest of the state. Whoever could control these barrier islands and sounds could control North Carolina. Although not as famous as other great Civil War battles, the actions on the Outer Banks were pivotal for control of North Carolina, and even amid the hardships of the war, one island became a symbol of hope for slaves seeking a new life.


5. Ghost Town Village – This amazing village, formerly “Ghost Town in the Sky” was a Wild West-themed amusement park in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, United States. An unusual aspect of this park is that it is located atop a mountain which can only be accessed by visitors via a 3,370-foot-long (1,030 m) chair lift or an inclined funicular railway. The lower level of this park is 4,400 feet with the higher level being about 4,650 feet. Ghost Town is promoted as “North Carolina’s mile-high theme park.”

6. Reed Gold Mine – Located right outside of Concord, the Reed Gold Mine is the only underground gold mine open to the public. Rumors say it is the very first location of documented commercial gold in America.

reed-gold-mineFlickr/Neal Wellons

6. Mount Mitchell State Park – One of those places that stand apart from the ordinary, Mount Mitchell’s dramatic summit is the highest point east of the Mississippi at 6,684 feet and was inspiration for one of the nation’s first state parks. From its easily accessible observation deck, the spruce-fir forest of Mount Mitchell State Park leads the eye to unmatched views. A museum explains the mountain’s cultural and natural history, and its trail network allows visitors to explore up close, offering short hikes near the summit and challenging treks leading to adjacent wilderness areas.


7. S.S North Carolina – USS North Carolina (BB-55) was the lead ship of North Carolina-class battleships and the fourth warship in the U.S. Navy to be named for the State of North Carolina. She was the first newly constructed American battleship to enter service during World War II, and took part in every major naval offensive in the Pacific Theater of Operations; her 15 battle stars made her the most decorated American battleship of World War II.

uss-ncFlickr/Zach Frailey

8. Bellamy Mansion – Follow curved oyster-shell paths through our lush Victorian garden shaded by 150-year-old magnolia trees. Climb the stairs to the elegant main entrance surrounded by soaring columns and gleaming windows. Hear the stories of the Bellamy family, as well as those of the free and enslaved black artisans who built the home and crafted intricate details throughout the house. Know that you are walking through history.Welcome to the Bellamy Mansion Museum, one of North Carolina’s most spectacular examples of antebellum architecture.

9. The Land of Oz Theme Park – The Land of Oz is an amusement park located in the resort town of Beech Mountain, North Carolina, USA. It was opened in 1970 by Grover Robbins, who had been successful with Tweetsie Railroad, and was fully operational until 1980. It is now open on weekends in June, July, and the fall. The costumes of the actors were based more on the book descriptions until later on in the park’s history when they were changed to look more like the film (one obvious exception was that the shoes worn by “Dorothy” around the park were red, representing the ruby slippers from the movie, instead of silver as in the book).

10. Bojangles’ Coliseum – Bojangles’ Coliseum (originally Charlotte Coliseum and formerly Independence Arena and Cricket Arena) is an 8,600-seat multi-purpose arena located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, which also oversees nearby Ovens Auditorium and the uptown Charlotte Convention Center. The naming-rights sponsor is Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits. The building’s signature domed roof is made of tin and not steel or iron. The dome spans 332 feet in diameter and rises to 112 feet tall.

11. Grandfather Mountain – Best known for its mile-high swinging bridge, Grandfather Mountain is the highest peak on the eastern escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains (5,946 feet). The bridge links two of the mountain’s rocky peaks, and is known as the “swinging” bridge due to its tendency to sway in high winds.

scott-swinging-bridgeFlickr/Scott Thompson

North Carolina has the best of both worlds. Ocean front one one side, mountains on the other. What hidden gems have you discovered in North Carolina?


  1. ellen beck says

    We have visited North Carolina. I have to agree it is quite beautiful. We liked their beach. Being so far frrom the beach we gravitate toward seeing them.

  2. vickie couturier says

    ive been to NC but never saw anything like this,,good to know its there the next time we go back

  3. Julie Wood says

    I have heard of Cape Hatteras National Park, and would love to take the kids to see this park and we would have a blast visiting NC! I have never been there.

  4. Oh another state I have never been to! I have never heard of The Land of Oz Theme Park! That sounds so neat…I love the yellow brick road! We will have to plan a vacation here!

  5. I’ve only passed through the state. Will have to visit someday.

Speak Your Mind