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8 Places in North Carolina with Beautiful Scenery

The state of North Carolina boasts so many picturesque spots, from its majestic mountains in the west to its pristine beaches in the east. You’ll find beautiful vistas, exquisite sunsets and shorelines that seem to stretch for miles. So, if you’re in the mood to enjoy some truly breathtaking scenery, check out these eight North Carolina spots.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Buxton Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, North Carolina
Credit: Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, North Carolina by Bigstock.com

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Buxton

When you visit the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in Buxton, you’ll feel like you’ve entered a postcard. The lighthouse is one of the most recognized in the world, with its famous black and white spiral stripes, and is also the tallest brick lighthouse in the world, at 208 feet tall. If you’re brave (and fit) enough to climb the 248 steps to the top, you’ll be privy to a fantastic view of the surrounding Cape. But, even if you stay on the ground, the backdrop is still pretty beautiful.

Chimney Rock Chimney Rock
Credit: Chimney Rock by daveynin via Flickr

Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock, a massive 315-foot granite outcropping located in the Chimney Rock State Park, provides unparalleled Blue Ridge Mountain views from its elevation of 2,280 feet above sea level. In fact, from the top, you can take in a 75-mile view in all directions, including the Hickory Nut Gorge and nearby Lake Lure. Although the climb to the top is intermediate in difficulty, the views make the climb worthwhile.

Cades Cove - Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Bryson City Cades Cove
Credit: Cades Cove by janice edge/shutterstock.com

Cades Cove - Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Bryson City

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which spreads across North Carolina and Tennessee, is the most visited national park in the United States. Offering multiple natural wonders considered a must-see, including Clingman’s Dome and the Oconaluftee Valley, the most frequented spot in the park is Cades Cove. This peaceful valley with a majestic mountain backdrop is also excellent for spotting wildlife, including turkeys, bears, coyotes, and more. A one-way road loops for 11 miles through the entire area, so allow yourself enough time to take it all in and get your camera ready.

Pisgah National Forest, Asheville Pisgah National Forest
Credit: Pisgah National Forest by Sean Board/shutterstock.com

Pisgah National Forest, Asheville

The Pisgah National Forest stretches for over 500,000 acres outside of Asheville. Besides offering hundreds of miles of trails for hiking and plenty of whitewater rafting opportunities, the Forest is also home to some of the most breathtaking views of the western mountains of North Carolina. Some of the best spots for taking in the scenery include Looking Glass Rock, Mt. Pisgah and Mount Mitchell.

Jockey's Ridge, Nag's Head Jockey’s Ridge State Park – Nags Head, North Carolina, U.S.A.
Credit: Jockey’s Ridge State Park – Nags Head, North Carolina, U.S.A. by bigstock.com

Jockey's Ridge, Nag's Head

The tallest natural sand dune on the East Coast stands in Nag’s Head. Jockey’s Ridge ranges in height, depending on the wind conditions, but can reach heights of up to 60 feet. It offers amazing views from the top, as well as unique opportunities for kite flying, hang gliding and sand boarding. Make sure to also stick around until dusk, so you can take in a breathtaking sunset.

Goose Creek State Park, Washington Goose Creek State Park
Credit: Goose Creek State Park by NC Wetlands via Flickr

Goose Creek State Park, Washington

Goose Creek State Park, located along the Pamlico Sound, offers unique views of the wetlands, complete with Spanish moss and large oak trees. There’s an extensive boardwalk that winds through the area and eight miles of trails, so there are plenty of opportunities to stop and take in the scenery. A visitor’s education center is nearby to learn about the area’s plants and wildlife.

Cape Fear Riverfront, Wilmington Cape Fear Riverfront
Credit: Cape Fear Riverfront by Darwin Brandis/shutterstock.com

Cape Fear Riverfront, Wilmington

Downtown Wilmington is situated right on the banks of the Cape Fear River and features a Riverwalk with shops and restaurants. You don’t have to head out of civilization to find the most beautiful scenery in North Carolina, as evidenced by the gorgeous views you can find right in the middle of historic downtown Wilmington. This quaint waterfront town offers impressive views of the Cape Fear River, particularly along its award-winning Riverwalk, where you’ll find plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants. You’ll also catch glimpses of the U.S.S. North Carolina Battleship, permanently docked across the river.

Grandfather Mountain, Linville Mile high swinging bridge at grandfather mountain
Credit: Mile high swinging bridge at grandfather mountain by Grandfather Mountain

Grandfather Mountain, Linville

Grandfather Mountain, located just outside of Linville, is the highest peak in the Blue Ridge Mountains, measuring 5,946 feet. Because of this, it provides some of the most breathtaking views in the area, making you feel like you are floating above the mountains. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you may also want to check out the Mile High Swinging Bridge, which offers 360-degree panoramic views over one mile in elevation.

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