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.
YOU'RE ALL SET!
Look out for our newsletters in your inbox soon.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the best beach resorts in North Carolina is the Winds Resort Beach Club in Ocean Isle. It’s in the southern part of the state, just north of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and perfect for family vacations and romantic getaways. You might be on the mainland U.S., but you’ll feel like you’re in the tropics while staying here. Hibiscus and banana plants set the stage for tiki bars by the pool. Guests can choose beachfront cottages or guest rooms that have views of the Atlantic Ocean and spend lots of time in the water while staying here. Kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding are popular activities here, as well as golf, while its multiple swimming pools and hammocks offer plenty relaxation.
Luxury accommodations are wonderful, but sometimes travelers want to get back to basics and reconnect with the great outdoors. One of the best places to do this is Hidden Creek Cabins, which is just a few minutes away from Bryson City, North Carolina. These Smoky Mountain cabins are pet-friendly and offer several cabin and lodge sizes for guest groups. You’ll get to spend time near Fontana Lake, the Nantahala River, and the Tsali mountain bike trails while staying in these log homes, cottages, and chalets. For a more luxurious cabin stay, choose one that has a hot tub, fireplace, and lovely views of the creek.
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.
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 are just eight 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.
The Carolina Hotel is a golf lover’s dream because of its eight golf courses, and it’s the largest golf resort in the nation. 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.