North Carolina Nature: 5 Scenic Sights to Visit by Car

North Carolina is home to country music, blues, and Cherokee Indians. Also, this state is quite interesting in terms of traveling – there’s something to see and what to do. Natural attractions take a special place among the many interesting places available there. Indeed, North Carolina is full of parks, beaches, and scenic roads. This makes it a great place to explore with a rental car. 

As the capital of the state, Raleigh will be the best starting point for your journey. You can pick up Budget rental car RDU airport, located a few miles away from the city. Naturally, it’s better to book a vehicle in advance by using a simple car rental app

North Carolina's well-designed road network takes you anywhere in the state with ease. Therefore, with a rental car, you can quickly get to any place that you need. Well, if you're ready to explore North Carolina’s wilderness, start the engine and go!

Cape Hatteras

This promontory on the east coast of North Carolina is located on the Outer Banks, which is 235 miles away from Raleigh. You need about 4 hours to get there in a rental car.   

The waters around the cape are turbulent due to the collision of two ocean currents. In combination with the shallows, they have often caused numerous shipwrecks in this place, which is why the place around the cape began to be called "the cemetery of the Atlantic". 

The history of the name of Cape Hatteras itself dates back to 1585. In 1803, a lighthouse was built on the cape, and in 1870 it was replaced by the brick lighthouse Hatteras. The height of this lighthouse is 60 meters, which is one of the tallest stone lighthouses in the world and the highest in the United States. The lighthouse is part of the Cape Hatteras National Reserve. Cape Hatteras Beach is one of the ten best beaches in America. The beach provides excellent opportunities for swimming, surfing, and fishing.

Blue Ridge Parkway 

This is one of the greatest roads in the United States. Rent a car and drive the nearly 500-mile highway, which will be a perfect idea for a memorable weekend getaway. The road follows the ridge of the Appalachian Mountains through North Carolina and Virginia.

This is an ideal trip for lovers of leisurely driving on winding roads, who want to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding nature. Lack of trucks, a small number of cars, many places for stops and rest, where you can listen to the silence and admire the mountain scenery, make the trip pleasant and unforgettable. Beauty begins immediately after the conditional exit onto the road and doesn’t stop for all 500 miles. The Blue Ridge Parkway is beautiful even in winter, but the best time to visit is during the fall and summer.

Atlantic Beach 

This is a small American provincial town in North Carolina with a population of about two thousand people. Located 150 miles from the state capital, it’s easily reachable by rental car. The pride of Atlantic Beach is its amazing nature and national flavor. 

You will be happy to walk along the coast and take pictures of the local lighthouse, shop in souvenir shops, have a snack in local restaurants or taverns. By the way, fish dishes are especially tasty there. Young people have fun on the beaches and local nightclubs, while couples have cute outdoor picnics in Fort Macon National Park. A walk through the reserve, accompanied by an experienced guide, will reveal the secrets of history and tell you the details of the civil war. 

Water sports enthusiasts will enjoy tons of fun, and those who like fishing can take part in several fishing competitions held here every year. The most famous is the Atlantic Beach King Mackerel Tournament. There are enough hotels in the town, and if necessary, you won’t have any problems with finding a suitable place to stay in Atlantic Beach.

Great Smoky Mountains 

The natural park is considered to be one of the most beautiful and most visited wildlife areas in America. All year round, you can visit the park for free, but in order to experience all the majesty of nature and the beauty of the mountains, we recommend coming there in the summer months. The natural massif is popular with tourists because of the unique blue-gray haze at the tops of the mountains. This painting is mesmerizing and creates its own unique romantic atmosphere. 

Also, part of the famous Appalachian Trail passes through the park. A large number of viewing platforms allow you to get acquainted with the amazing creations of nature. More than 4 thousand plant species are collected there. Many of them are endemic and are found only in the Great Smoky Mountains. The rich vegetation is a favorable habitat for the local animal world. The area is home to about 65 species of mammals.

Hanging Rock State Park 

Hanging Rock Park covers an area of ​​2,838 hectares in Stokes County. Here you will find tranquil forests, cascading waterfalls, a camping site, a bathing lake, and nearly 20 miles of hiking trails with breathtaking views, including the Piedmont Plateau. 

The most important attraction of the park is the rock formation that gave the name to the park. The Hanging Rock is a splendid platform with excellent views of the park that includes Moore’s Knob. The top of the cliff, from which the hanging ledge departs, is located just 400 meters from one of the central paths of the park. However, the rock also has many approaches from other sides. While climbing them you can see no less impressive views.

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