North and South Carolina have the benefits of long and interesting coastlines as well as Appalachian scenery in the western part of the states. They also have a pleasant climate, never too cold in the winters and long summers. There is history as well, since these states were among the original 13 American colonies and have participated in many of America’s struggles since then. Here are my choices for the top attractions in these inseparable states. A photo album will follow shortly.
1. Charleston, SC – This city which preserves much of its Southern charm and ambience, is great for walking and delightful to explore. In addition, drive to Magnolia Plantation for a look at a real southern plantation and its exquisite grounds.
2. Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC – Probably America’s premier residence, this glorious mansion built by the Vanderbilts, is the main attraction in this interesting city at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
3. Wright Brothers Memorial, Kittyhawk, NC – This tribute to the pioneers of air travel is set on the grounds where they experimented with and finally achieved flight.
4. Myrtle Beach, SC – This well-developed area is a Mecca for beach-lovers and golfers. The many recreational opportunities in the area make it extremely popular, especially with families.
5. Outer Banks Beaches and Lighthouses, NC – The narrow but lengthy ribbon of land that comprises the Outer Banks is a popular beach and fishing area, especially in the summertime. The many lighthouses and interesting little hamlets make it a fun area to explore.
6. Blue Ridge Parkway – This classic American scenic highway threads it way across the Blue Ridge Mountains, offering dramatic overlooks and walking trails for visitors.
7. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina – This is the most visited National Park in the United States. Drive along Newfound Gap Road which bisects the park for mountain vistas; check out Cades Cove for historical relics and wildlife sightings; get a true feel for the park ecosystem by taking one of the many nature trails or hikes.
8. Fort Sumter National Monument, SC – This historic fort is located at the entrance to Charleston harbor and was the scene of the first battle of the Civil War. Boats to the fort are available from the Charleston waterfront.
9. Hilton Head Island, SC – This delightful community is meticulously planned and maintained. It offers great golfing and numerous water activities, as well as just relaxation.
10. Charlotte, NC – One of America’s great financial centers, Charlotte is well-known for it many, quality museums and cluster of nearby colleges.