Posted by: RasmaSandra | July 9, 2018

Exploring North Carolina

Linn Cove Viaduct at Milepost 304.4 on the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC

In North Carolina, the 495-mile Blue Ridge Parkway has been nicknamed “Americas Favorite Drive“. The parkway was designed by landscape architect Stanely Abbott. The drive offers fantastic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is popular with bicyclists and motorcyclists. There are many hiking trails that branch off from the parkway as well as picnic areas and campgrounds.

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In the autumn the changing colors are spectacular and in the summer you can delight in colorful azaleas and rhododendrons.

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Along the way, you can stop by several visitors centers and museums. Mabry Mill offers demonstrations like the grinding of corn in the original mill, board cutting at the sawmill and the art of blacksmithing.

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The Folk Art Center has a gallery displaying folk art and demonstrations by local craftspeople.

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The Museum of North Carolina Minerals has exhibits of the mineral resources in the region and the mining industry.

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The Biltmore Estate is one of the top attractions in Ashville. At the center of this large complex is the Vanderbilt Mansion which is the largest private home in the U.S. There are 250 rooms with impressive artwork, antiques, and architecture. You can see collections of vintage clothing and accessories.

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The gardens are lovely including the Italian Garden with ornate pools and sculptures

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and the Rose Garden with over 250 varieties of roses. On the grounds you’ll also find the first managed forest in the country, a deer park and miles of paths and walking trails.

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On the estate, the Antler Hill Village offers visitors shopping, dining and entertainment options.

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The Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is located at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. It presents over 15 planetarium shows on a rotating schedule. Permanent exhibits take a look at a variety of topics like the history of the planetarium as a training center for astronauts.

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Linville Gorge is known as the “Grand Canyon of the East” It is one of the most scenic gorges in the eastern U.S. The gorge is located in the Pisgah National Forest.

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The Linville River enters the gorge at Linville Falls and then drops 90 feet, continuing for 12 miles within the steep rock walls. Trails can be accessed from the Blue Ridge Parkway. From the Linville Falls Visitor Center, you can take a short hike to the lovely

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Duggers Creek Falls.

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Other beautiful spots nearby include Crabtree Falls

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and fantastic views from Table Rock Mountain

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and Hawksbill Mountain.

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The USS North Carolina is located in Wilmington. It was the first of 10 battleships to join the American fleet in WW II. The vessel has nine 16-inch 45-caliber guns in three turrets and 20 5-inch, 38-caliber guns in ten twin mounts. At one time she was the world’s greatest weapon at sea. Today tourists can take a look at this magnificent ship.

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The North Carolina Aquarium has four coastal locations at Roanoke Island, Pine Knoll Shores, Fort Fisher and Jennette’s Pier. At the pier, you can see humpback whales in their natural habitat.

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Roanoke Island features the largest collection of sharks in the state. Pine Knoll Shores informs visitors about the varied marine life of the state and at Fort Fisher, you can find out about the freshwater streams, swamps and open ocean of Cape Fear.

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North Carolina Zoo has many shaded pathways for strolling and over 1,600 animals and 52,000 plants. Located in Asheboro the animals represent species from Africa like elephants and lions

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and North America like cougars, alligators and grizzly and black bears. The exhibits are designed to resemble their natural habitats.

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Cape Hatteras Nationa Seashore was the country’s first coastal preservation area. It includes the important barrier islands along North Carolina’s coast in the Outer Banks region. Visitors enjoy the beaches and the unique wildlife. Bird watchers can see the threatened piping plovers nest on the beach and the American Oystercatcher, gull-billed tern, and black skimmer. On the beaches, you can also find nesting sea turtles among them the endangered loggerhead turtle. In the winter months, seals come to nest.

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You can see historic lighthouses like the Bodie Island Light Station dating from 1872

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and the Cape Hatteras Light Station from 1803.

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The Ocracoke Light is not open to the public but has been in operation since 1823.

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It sits on an island known for its unique breed of Ocracoke Ponies.

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Chimney Rock State Park has a granite spire that rises to an elevation of over 2,280 ft. A 26-story elevator was built inside the mountain to make it easy for tourists to reach the top.

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For hiking, there is the Hickory Nut Falls Trail that takes you to the base of the 404-foot Hickory Nut Falls.

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At Grandfather Mountain you can find trails of different challengers some which can include ladders to offer expansive views.

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Visitors can walk across the park’s well-known Mile High Suspension Bridge that offers 360-degree views.

https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/north-carolina-usnc.htm

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