Attractions

Top Choice House in Asheville

Biltmore Estate

The country's largest privately owned home, and Asheville's number-one tourist attraction, the Biltmore was completed in 1895 for shipping- and railroad-heir George Washington Vanderbilt II. He modeled it after thre…
Top Choice Zoo in Durham

Duke Lemur Center

The secret is out: the Lemur Center is the coolest attraction in Durham. Located about 2 miles from the main campus, this research and conservation center is home to the largest collection of endangered prosimian pr…
Top Choice Museum in Raleigh

North Carolina Museum of Art

The light-filled glass-and-anodized-steel West Building won praise from architecture critics nationwide when it opened in 2010. The fine and wide-ranging collection, with everything from ancient Greek sculptures to …
Park in Outer Banks

Wright Brothers National Memorial

Self-taught engineers Wilbur and Orville Wright launched the world's first successful airplane flight on December 17, 1903 (it lasted 12 seconds). A boulder marks the take-off spot. Climb a nearby hill, where the br…
Museum in Raleigh

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Whale skeletons hang from the ceiling. Butterflies flutter past your shoulder. Emerald tree boas make you shiver. And swarms of unleashed elementary-school children rampage all over the place if you arrive after 10a…
State Park in North Carolina Mountains

Mount Mitchell State Park

Be warned. A trip to Mt Mitchell might lead to a fight. Will you drive to the top of the highest mountain east of the Mississippi, or will you hike there? Make your decision at the park office (open 8am to 5pm daily…
Park in Asheville

Chimney Rock Park

Views of the Broad River and Lake Lure are superb from atop the namesake chimney – a 315ft granite monolith. An elevator takes visitors up to the chimney, but the real draw is the exciting hike around the cliffs to …
Island in Outer Banks

Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Extending some 70 miles from south of Nags Head to the south end of Ocracoke Island, this fragile necklace of islands remains blissfully free from overdevelopment. Natural attractions include local and migratory wat…
Historic Site in Durham

American Tobacco Campus

Cigarettes no longer pay Durham's bills, but this massive former industrial tobacco factory, home to the American Tobacco Company until the 1950s, still does a bang-up job filling downtown Durham's coffers. Part of …
University in Chapel Hill & Carrboro

University of North Carolina

America's oldest public university has a classic quad lined with flowering pear trees and gracious antebellum buildings. Don't miss the Old Well, said to give good luck to students who drink from it. Pick up a map o…