Nine North Carolina Cities You Have to Visit

Nine North Carolina Cities You Have to Visit

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North Carolina is known for many things and people keep realizing that it’d be easier to discover it all by moving here. The state is home to many wonderful things to do, eat, and see. So, of course, it’s a given that so many people would choose to relocate here. But if you’re new to the area and want to learn more about it, where do you start? Well, that’s why we’ve created this guide to the largest North Carolina cities and what you should see and do in them.

Looking for places to stay in North Carolina? Check out our favorite hotels in the state! If you’re looking for something in particular, check here for the best prices and availability. 

North Carolina Cities


Things to do in Charlotte NC

Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina and is home to the largest airport, so many travelers have probably passed through the Queen City. In nearby Cabarrus County, Charlotte Motor Speedway gets busy each year when the big races come to town. Closer to the city, there are some interesting neighborhoods that have a good selection of restaurants and breweries.There are also tons of lighter food options, as we covered in our guide to healthy places to eat in Charlotte. The US National Whitewater Center is another fun thing to do in the Queen City, and wildly popular during the warmer months. Of course, the Carolina Panthers and Charlotte Hornets are a big deal and the Charlotte Knights play Minor League Baseball at the beautiful BB&T Ballpark.

We enjoyed our stay at Hilton Charlotte Center City but if they are fully booked, but if they are fully booked, there are tons more awesome Charlotte hotels at great prices. Check them out via our favorite booking sites! (TripAdvisor |

The Triangle

North Carolina Raleigh Museum of Art Park

The Research Triangle is made up of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill.


Fun Winter Things to Do in Raleigh

Start enjoying these three North Carolina cities by spending time walking around the North Carolina State Capitol in Raleigh. Get outside and walk around Umstead State Park, the Neuse River Trail, or the Museum of Art Park. If you like a good brew, visit the Raleigh Beer Garden and search through their Guinness World Record-winning selection of drinks.

Looking for a Raleigh hotel? Check out the best pricing and availability in Oak City! (TripAdvisor |


The Ultimate First-Time Visitors Guide to Durham, North Carolina

If you’re looking for a cool city that’s a bit lower key than Raleigh, then Durham is perfect for you! Sarah P. Duke Gardens and Durham’s quaint, historic downtown are great ways to enjoy the interior of the city, but it’s quite spread out. There are also quite a few ways to enjoy the outdoors in Durham

If you want more details on things to do in Durham, check out this guide by yours truly!

Chapel Hill

North Carolina Cities Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill is smaller than the other two, but still full of fun stuff to do. Franklin Street is filled with restaurants and things to do. Nearby Carrboro is one of our favorite small towns in the Triangle, with tons of fun restaurants and more worth exploring! Want to know more about this area from one of its own? Want to know more about this area from one of its own? We interviewed Teddy Diggs on our sister site NC Tripping. He’s a chef in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area who previously ran the kitchen at Il Palio.

Looking for a place to stay in the Triangle? Check out the best hotels in RaleighDurham, and Chapel Hill

The Triad

North Carolina Hanging Rock State Park

Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point are referred to as “The Triad” and they work together to make a great cluster of cities.


Greensboro NC Carolina Theatre

Greensboro is a busy destination for conventions. There’s also the beautiful Carolina Theatre that you should check out for a show or just to stare at from the outside. However, even the most business-centric travelers have some pretty fun things to do in the city. Outdoor options include the Bog Garden and Bur-Mil Park. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, head to the Greensboro Science Center for the kids or even yourself. Finally, if you’re interested in digging into the Greensboro food scene, join a Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tour as we did here!

There are so many things to do in Greensboro that we think you should spend at least a weekend there! Read this guide to The Gate City that includes our favorite ways to enjoy it! 


Things to do in Winston-Salem NC Foothills Brewing

Winston-Salem is an up-and-coming city that was once two separate cities (hence the hyphen), and you can visit Old Salem any time of the year to get a look at a previous era. Spend a weekend there, grab a room at The Cardinal Hotel, and you’ll realize that it’s more than a cool place to stay. Foothills Brewing Company makes some of our favorites. They also have a tasting room for visitors to come and try their special creations.

Our weekend guide covers things to do in Winston-Salem while staying there or visiting for the day! 

High Point

High Point is known as the “Furniture Capital of the World” and there are some interesting places to explore there. If you visit from mid-April to October, check out All-A-Flutter Farm, you can see a real working butterfly farm in person! For day trip options, I’d recommend traveling to nearby Hanging Rock State Park. It’s beautiful from the top!

Looking to spend more time in the Triad? Search for the best-priced hotels in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point via our favorite booking sites! (TripAdvisor |


Asheville NC River Arts DistrictMention Western North Carolina and you’ll hear one word come out of people’s mouths—Asheville. There’s so much to do in Asheville, and we love it for almost too many reasons. Whether it’s the hikes, the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway, or the awesome Downtown itself, there’s just something about this part of the world. When you visit, plan to do as much as possible, but don’t worry if you can’t knock it all out. Settle in and walk around the famed Biltmore Estate, enjoying its accompanying gardens that amaze even the most seasoned visitors. You can spend even more time in the River Arts District and grab a beer at nearby New Belgium Brewing Company. Either way, you’re going to have a good time in Asheville, so sit back and let North Carolina’s coolest small town take the wheel.

Quick tip: You’re also within a short drive of Brevard, which we’re quite partial to as well!

Find the right Asheville hotel for you and at the best price! ( | TripAdvisor)


North Carolina Cities Wilmington NC Wrightsville Beach

Wilmington is a popular port town with tons of fun things to do for all travelers. The big event that happens here is the annual Azalea Festival, though there’s a lot to do throughout the year. Wilmington has tons of outdoor options, from kayaking to scuba diving. Relax after the adventure with some locally caught seafood by the beach or venture into Wilmington’s historic downtown. One of North Carolina’s most popular coastal destinations—Carolina Beach—is right around the corner. For a scaled-down and more relaxing beach experience, I’d recommend visiting Kure Beach. Wrightsville Beach has the most beautiful water I’ve seen in North Carolina, and that’s a pretty tough list of challengers to top! Regardless of when you visit Wilmington, I’d recommend checking out all of these spots!

Search for the best-priced hotels in Wilmington and find your place to stay there! (TripAdvisor |

Our Thoughts and Yours, Too!

We’re huge fans of North Carolina so if you ever want to know more about it, just ask us. No matter when you plan to visit the Tar Heel State, be ready for an absolutely fun and fulfilling trip. I guarantee that you’ll enjoy North Carolina so much that it could turn into your permanent home. Just wait and see after checking out everything that these North Carolina cities have to offer!

This article was originally published on November 13, 2017. It has been expanded and revised (as of November 2, 2018) to stay current while also reflecting our blog’s current viewpoints and travel trends.

4 thoughts on “Nine North Carolina Cities You Have to Visit

    • Carl Hedinger says:

      We were just back in Asheville and loved it again! Thinking we’ll have to explore more of West Asheville, as well as every brewery in and around the city (maybe impossible?) Thanks for stopping by, Kevin!

  1. Jeri says:

    I’ve been to both Asheville and Wilmington more than once. Each city has a lot of personality and so many fun things to do. The NC Battleship that’s in Wilmington is well worth the tour. I didn’t think I would like it at all, but was absolutely won over.

    • Duke Stewart says:

      Thanks, Jeri. I’ll definitely be checking Wilmington out in more detail during the summer:)

      Asheville is probably my favorite place to drive through but hey, I’m stuck on Durham these days. It’s awesome in so many ways!

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