A trip to North Carolina should be packed with adventures and activities, and thankfully this state serves up a healthy dose of many amazing attractions and sights that you’ll want to add to your itinerary.

Part of the challenge of organizing a trip to NC is narrowing down your list of options, so we’ve compiled an overview of the must-visit destinations to make things easier.

Planning your journey to North Carolina, e.g. via Charlotte Douglas International Airport

There are lots of ways to get to North Carolina, and once you’re in-state it makes sense to move around via road, as this gives you ultimate flexibility, and there are also some very scenic routes to soak up.

However, if you’re arriving from further afield and you don’t feel like making a long distance road trip, picking CLT Airport as your jumping off point makes sense. It’s on the outskirts of the famous city of Charlotte, and offers all the amenities you’d want, including ample rental car options.

Head to the Outer Banks

If beaches are your thing, then you’ll be blown away by what the Outer Banks has to offer. Extending for a full 200 miles, this is the place to be for sand, sea and sun.

As you’d expect, there are tons of towns and settlements scattered along the extent of the Outer Banks, so whether you’re looking for a high-end hotel, a family-friendly resort, or a rental property to make your own for a few days, there’ll be something to suit.

Ski down Sugar Mountain

Time your trip to NC correctly, and you’ll be ready to enjoy the ski season, with the resort of Sugar Mountain offering everything you could hope for from this type of vacation.

Of course even if your visit is in the summer months, there are plenty of activities on offer, with hiking trails, mountain bike courses, music festivals and more all being hosted on Sugar Mountain.

Bask in the elegance of Biltmore Estate

If you think you need to go to Europe to see an aristocratic estate, you’d be wrong. Still owned by the Vanderbilt family and yet kept accessible to members of the public, Biltmore Estate was originally constructed over 125 years ago, and is still immaculately maintained and presented, with extensive grounds as well as the body of the house itself being a joy to stroll through.

Many of the original interior furnishings are maintained, which makes it something of a time capsule, giving you a sense of what this era of industrial expansion and economic growth was like for those at the very top of the food chain.

Gaze over the Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains are a range contained within a national park that attracts millions of tourists annually, and for good reason. Part of the Appalachian trail runs through this region, and if you’re a fan of the great outdoors then there is so much to see and do, all within a modest distance of established urban areas.

From hiking and biking to camping and fishing, whether you’re into physical exertion or simple living, the Great Smoky Mountains will sweep you off your feet.

Broaden your mind at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Finally, if you’re heading to Raleigh, then an exploration of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences should certainly be on the cards.

From daunting skeletons of long-extinct animals, to amazing interactive exhibits that kids and adults alike will enjoy, it’s a place to laugh, learn and discover more about the world we live in.