June 17, 2024

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One of the fastest-growing destinations in the U.S. right now is the beautiful state of North Carolina.

This Southern state has quickly shot up to the fifth most-visited state in the U.S. according to a recent article from The Carolina Journal.

With nearly 43 million visitors in 2023, here’s why North Carolina is so popular with travelers right now.

Lighthouse in Outer Banks, North Carolina

Great Beaches

North Carolina is perfect for a summer getaway because of its amazing beaches.

The rugged, isolated beaches of the Outer Banks have become more popular thanks to the hit Netflix show of the same name. The Outer Banks refer to a chain of barrier islands along the Atlantic Ocean.

If you’re looking to get away from it all, head to an Outer Banks beach like Cape Hatteras, Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, or Kill Devil Hills.

Outer Banks coastlineOuter Banks coastline

Carolina Beach is another great beach that is more easily accessible, located just 20 minutes from the city of Wilmington, NC.

Gorgeous Nature

Heading away from the coast and further inland, another one of the biggest draws of North Carolina is the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains.

This mountain range runs through much of the western part of the state, and it’s where you’ll find a large part of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the most visited National Parks Site in the country.

Tunnel on the Blue Ridge ParkwayTunnel on the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is an amazing destination for a summer road trip, with breathtaking scenery and tons of cool stops you can make along the way as you drive from Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee towards Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.

You’ll also find lots of other stunning nature in North Carolina, including waterfalls galore. Some of the best waterfalls located along the Blue Ridge Parkway include High Falls, Rainbow Falls, Crabtree Falls, and Looking Glass Falls.

Waterfall near Asheville, North CarolinaWaterfall near Asheville, North Carolina

Charming Towns

One of my favorite things about North Carolina is its charming towns. The best town that you have to visit is Asheville, which was recently named one of the most underrated travel destinations in the world.

This quaint town is packed with cool restaurants, art galleries, and breweries. It’s located in the Blue Ridge Mountains so the scenery is incredible. My favorite place in Asheville is the Biltmore Estate, an opulent chateau-style mansion built by the Vanderbilt family in the late 19th century — it looks like something straight out of the French countryside!

Biltmore Estate in AshevilleBiltmore Estate in Asheville

Some other quaint small towns you should visit are Blowing Rock and Bryson City.

Affordable Prices

Another reason to visit North Carolina? It’s surprisingly affordable! Although it’s been getting a little pricier now that it’s becoming such a popular destination, it’s still relatively affordable as far as things go.

When you compare the prices in North Carolina to other popular tourist destinations in the U.S. like New York and California, you’ll be shocked by how much cheaper it is.

Woman at a scenic overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, North CarolinaWoman at a scenic overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, North Carolina

For example, according to the travel planning resource BudgetYourTrip, a visit to Asheville is around $133 per day. Compare that to NYC ($326 per day) or Los Angeles ($258 per day) and you can see how much more affordable North Carolina is.

Everything from hotels to eating out at restaurants is more affordable in North Carolina.

Easy To Get To

Finally, North Carolina is surging in popularity because it’s easy and convenient to get to.

Charlotte, North Carolina skylineCharlotte, North Carolina skyline

Charlotte, NC has one of the top ten largest airports in the U.S. so you can easily find nonstop flights from almost anywhere else in the country.

From Charlotte, you can rent a car and easily explore the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Raleigh, NC and Wilmington, NC are also fairly large flight hubs and they have the best airports to fly into if you are visiting the coast.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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