Filed under: Destination Camping & RV Resorts, Historic Places & Landmarks
Exploring North Carolina
In North Carolina, there is a foot path called the Mountains-to-Sea Trail that meanders 1,000 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks on the Atlantic Ocean. It is the ideal way to discover the Tarheel State but you don’t need to strap on a backpack to roam in the footsteps of famous North Carolina travelers such as Blackbeard and Daniel Boone. There are plenty of roads that trace the trail and generous camping opportunities from the Crystal Coast to the Carolina Blue Ridge.
The notorious pirate Blackbeard, better known in local telephone directories of the day as Edward Teach, did his Crystal Coast camping in the early 1700s. He was hanged by the British Royal Navy offshore on Ocracoke Island in 1718, so he didn’t get a chance to build his retirement home or enjoy the region’s famous seafood or crystalline surf that washes up on the south-facing beaches.
So many ships wrecked on the North Carolina shoals off the seemingly placid waters of the Crystal Coast that the shore earned the nickname “Graveyard of the Atlantic.” The stories of those ill-fated voyages are told in the North Carolina Maritime Museum. For first-hand Civil War history, Fort Macon still stands at the far eastern end of the Bogue Banks.
As you head west towards the Appalachians you pass through North Carolina’s most populated regions, but that does not mean an end to the camping adventure, including full service RV camping for all the events held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Also don’t miss out on the state culinary obsession in places like Lexington, self-styled Barbecue Capital of the World.
The RV parks around Asheville are home base for exploring the Blue Ridge and the Great Smoky Mountains. One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the culture of the region and to see the diverse mountain towns is through art. Consider such annual art tours as the Weaverville Art Safari, the Open Studio Tour of Henderson County, the Toe River Studio Tour, the East of Asheville Studio Tour and the Leicester Studio Tour. Just north of Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 382 is the catch-all Folk Art Center; and further along is Mount Mitchell, the highest point in America east of the Mississippi River.
South of Asheville the Parkway spills into the Land of Waterfalls which will keep lovers of hydro-spectaculars busy for days. Movie fans may recognize the waterfalls of the DuPont State Forest from starring roles in The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans. When you want to feel like a movie star tour the Biltmore in Asheville that was the largest private house in America when it was constructed with Vanderbilt money in 1895 and still is today. Even seeing only a fraction of the 250 rooms in the French Renaissance chateau can make you feel like royalty.