Photo by Valeria via Flickr
North Carolina is a place that I’ve heard a lot about, but never actually been to, unless you count driving through. After doing a few Internet searches, I’ve learned just how much this new-to-me state has to offer: great barbecue, good weather, nice beaches, and historical cities. I think it’s time to go and pay a visit to see just how fantastic it really is.
Here’s where I’m thinking:
The state’s capital and second biggest city, Raleigh has so much to do and see. The Museum of Natural Sciences looks like so much fun and it’s the oldest in the North East. Raleigh is also home to one of the country’s oldest amusement parks, Pullen Park. There’s a carousel there made entirely of wood that was built at the start of the 20th century. It looks absolutely incredible! There’s some really eclectic and unique shopping to be done in the downtown area, as well as some seriously chic boutique hotels in Raleigh — too many to choose from!
As a bit of a history geek, there’s a lot in Charlotte that I would really love to explore. This includes the Levine Museum of the New South which examines the post-civil war American South. There’s also a plethora of art museums to explore, live music, summer festivals, and theater performances running constantly throughout the year. The real draw for me? The yearly two-day Charlotte Barbecue Championship. Being such a big city there are so many options for B&Bs and hotels in Charlotte, you’ll never be short of a stunning place to stay.
Durham is a city I know very little about, but there’s a growing buzz about this place that I can no longer ignore. It’s home to some seriously good independent food vendors. Thanks to that, it’s quickly becoming known for it’s local cuisine. It also has a buzzing craft beer scene that I am dying to explore. Durham is a real locals city and I love that. It’s not the place for big museums or performing arts, but it is the perfect place to get to know the real North Carolina and what makes it so special. There are some great local hotels in Durham that sound like they’d make you feel right at home.
Staying a few nights in a hotel in Greensboro seems like the best way to make sure you see all this city has to offer. Home to some of the state’s most famous food trucks, it seems like a great city to quite literally sink my teeth into. It’s also a great base for exploring some of the areas nearby state parks like Hanging Rock. I’ve always heard that North Carolina has some incredible natural beauty and basing myself in Greensboro seems like a really great place to start.
Doing research on these cities has me so excited about visiting North Carolina. From the food choices to the history, the live music venues to the craft beer scene, I know where my next vacation is going to be!
Have you ever been to North Carolina? What’s your favorite city to explore?