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North Carolina is a state with a little bit of everything: history, outdoor adventure, beautiful beaches, culinary delights, and homegrown wineries and breweries. Here you’ll also find 300 miles of shoreline, scenic mountain drives, the Biltmore Estate, eclectic neighborhoods, and world-class golf and spa facilities. This is a beautiful part of America to visit at any time of the year, and there are some amazing places to stay when you visit. To help narrow down your choices, here are some of our favorite hotel and resort picks.
Inn on Biltmore Estate, Asheville
Also situated in the scenic mountains of North Carolina, the Inn at Biltmore Estate is one of the most romantic places to stay in Asheville. From the fresh mountain air outside to the elegant furnishings and fabrics inside, you’ll feel like royalty yourself when you stay here. In addition to the numerous amenities available like a day spa, heated outdoor pool, fitness center, 24-hour room service, and shops that offer complimentary delivery to your room, you can also choose to enhance your stay by adding on romantic gestures like flowers, chocolate-covered strawberries, champagne or a custom cake made by Biltmore’s pastry chefs.
Umstead Hotel and Spa, Cary
Looking for a romantic spa resort in North Carolina? Umstead Hotel and Spa is located next to a state park with the same name, and the hotel, restaurant, and spa have all won highly-coveted hospitality awards. This is an ideal pick for art and nature lovers because the location is serene, natural, and cultured with a large collection of the original artwork. Hiking trails are nearby, and you can come back to a poolside cabana or a cozy fireplace depending on the season. There are 12 acres of forest and gardens surrounding the hotel, so you’ll feel like you’re a world away from your routine even though you’re just five minutes outside of Raleigh.
Omni Grove Park Inn, Asheville
The Omni Grove Park Inn is one of the most famous and luxurious places to stay in North Carolina, and a top pick for couples in Asheville. The décor here is rustic, antique, and elegant, which goes perfectly with the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains providing a picture-perfect backdrop. Want to get pampered? There’s a luxurious and ambient spa here with features that resemble natural caves and waterfalls. It’s become even more famous after the Obamas stayed here for a special weekend away from the White House.
Inn on Pamlico Sound, Buxton
North Carolina is also known for its beaches along the eastern shore, and there are several beach resorts worth a visit as well. The Inn on Pamlico Sound is located on the North Outer Banks and on Hatteras Island in the village of Buxton. It’s a boutique hotel that’s well-decorated with lovely views of the Outer Banks and the Pamlico Sound. Hatteras has 70 miles of shoreline to stroll along for a relaxing beach vacation. The inn offers premium sound-view and sound-front king rooms, while Café Pamlico is a casual fine dining restaurant that offers excellent food and hosts weddings and special events too.
Princess Anne Hotel, Asheville
Set in the picture-perfect town of Asheville, the Princess Anne Hotel combines the charm of a bed and breakfast with the luxury and privacy of a hotel. It has a gorgeous shingle-style exterior dating back to the 1920s, as well as a beautiful outdoor garden, furnished side porch, and a variety of room and suite options to suit all types of travelers. You can mingle with guests at the complimentary wine and hors d’oevres, and take advantage of their packages and perks, which includes a Beer Tour Special, Romance Package, Biltmore Estate pass discounts, hike recommendations, and local restaurant and bar reservations. On-site, you can enjoy a made-front-scratch menu selection for brunch in its historic dining room.
Blockade Runner Beach Club, Wrightsville Beach
Located just outside of Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach consists of a cozy four-mile-long island lined with cute beach house rentals, a couple of high-end resorts, two fishing piers (including one with a gift shop and snack bar), and a variety of delicious restaurants and cute shops, as well as plenty of sandy beach for sunbathing. For over 50 years, the Blockade Runner Beach Club has been one of the most popular hotels on the beach, thanks to its charming boutique style and its long list of amenities, including a beachfront bar, an indoor/outdoor pool, sauna, hot tub, fitness center, oceanfront dining, and the Aquarium Bar, where you can unwind with your favorite cocktail while watching colorful fish and overlooking the hotel’s lush gardens. Keep your eyes peeled for the bunnies that like to hang out there too!
Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock
Located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in the mountains of Western North Carolina, the charming small town of Blowing Rock is like something out of a storybook. In addition to the infamous rock formation that gave the town its name, there is also a quaint downtown district that is full of shops and restaurants. Within walking distance from the village, sits Chetola Resort – an 87-acre resort with first-class accommodations, fine dining, and plenty of opportunities for rest and relaxation.
Fearrington House Inn, Pittsboro
The Fearrington House Inn is a favorite pick among nature lovers seeking a little tranquility in North Carolina. Located on the site of a former dairy farm near Chapel Hill and Raleigh, the inn features elegant guest rooms inspired by upscale country living. It’s easy to settle in and relax while staying here and spending time in the outdoor gardens, on-site spa, and farm-fresh restaurant. Actually, the inn is part of a whole village full of farm-fresh restaurants, as well as cute shops and locally made wine. Full breakfast and afternoon tea are included in the room rates.
The Sunset Inn, Sunset Beach
Sunset Beach, a small seaside town near Bird Island, is the perfect place for a relaxing beach vacation, away from all the commercial chaos. In fact, it was named as one of the 21 Best Beaches in the World by National Geographic because of its long stretches of pristine beaches and marshes with no boardwalk or high-rise buildings on site. It only makes sense then that one of the best places to stay in Sunset Beach is The Sunset Inn – a bed and breakfast that resembles a grand Southern home from the 1940s. From the beautiful guest rooms with private screened porches, wet bars, and luxury linens to the breakfast buffet and large wrap-around porches, the inn offers everything you need to feel right at home.
The Carolina Hotel, Pinehurst
The Carolina Hotel is a golf lover’s dream because of its eight golf courses, and it’s the largest golf resort in the U.S. It also has been the destination for several USGA major championships, including the U.S. Open and the U.S. Women’s Open Championship. But there’s more than just drivers and putters at this North Carolina resort. Some favorite activities include fishing, the lakeside beach club, the spa, tennis, cycling, lawn sports, and family-friendly games for the kids. Guests can stay in the luxury hotel, charming inn, or cozy lodge and choose from both casual and upscale dining options. Condos also are available for families and groups that have full kitchens and large living areas.
Dillsboro Inn, Dillsboro
North Carolina is known for its scenic flowing rivers, and Dillsboro has some really beautiful riverfront rooms and suites that are great for fishermen and families. There is just a small collection of suites here, which have balconies overlooking the river. Guests can also take a five-minute walk to downtown historic Dillsboro to see some quaint Smoky Mountain craft shops. This is a great home base for whitewater rafting adventures and trout fishing excursions.
High Hampton Resort, Cashiers
The High Hampton Inn & Country Club is kid-friendly and pet-friendly, set upon a 1,400-acre property listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Cashiers, North Carolina. Guests can stay in the historic inn, cottages, or rental homes – all of which have rustic décor and hand-crafted furniture. The inn has been in operation since 1922 and is referred to as a Southern interpretation of the great camps of the Adirondacks. Popular activities in the area include golf, tennis, hiking trails, children’s programs, and the European spa. Sample some high-quality Southern cuisine at the onsite restaurant, including specialties like fried chicken, locally caught rainbow trout, locally grown vegetables, and homemade breads.