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Mountains Or The Beaches When Considering A NC Vacation And Travel?

Our hope for this article is it being a ongoing community discussion relating to your decisions and thoughts when planning a family or personal vacation to North Carolina and considering either the western mountains or eastern beaches.

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Additionally, this discussion can include questions by people planning to visit our state in an effort to help make their decisions. And, of course, we want to hear from readers who did visit NC to get their insights on tourism, places to see, and things to do in the mountains or beaches so others reading this article will have good information when planning.

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The distance in miles from the easternmost portion of the state from Cape Hatteras in Dare County on the Outer Banks to the westernmost portion of the state near Cherokee is ROUGHLY 560 miles and a travel time of 10.5 hours. This route was calculated by using Interstate 40 through Raleigh, to Asheville, and then to Cherokee County.

Western Mountains or Eastern Beaches

NC is a very diverse state divided in to 3 sections. The coastal plains make up the Outer Banks, Crystal Coast, and the beaches of New Hanover and Brunswick County near Wilmington. The central piedmont, or triad, encompases places like Raleigh / Durham, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and Charlotte. And finally, the western mountain ranges make up places like Asheville, Hickory, Maggie Valley, Brevard, Boone, and Cherokee.

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Generally speaking, Western NC and Eastern NC are somewhat very rural and secluded with deep traditions and their own small town quaint feel perfect for those looking for a unique vacation.

For the beaches, expect very secluded and remote white sandy beaches, clean water, lighthouses dotting the coast, seeing wild horses roam the beaches, world-class inshore and offshore fishing, freshly caught seafood, and coastal heritage.

For the mountains, expect an explosion of deeply colored leaves in the fall months overlooking deep valleys, secluded winding roads, extremely remote forests, hidden waterfalls, whitewater rafting, diverse nature, and mountain heritage.


As a reader of this article, and as someone who’s visited both the North Carolina mountains and beaches, which do your prefer? What’s some information someone planning travel to the area should know?

What are some questions you have about both locations in the state?

Obviously, the spring, summer, and fall months are when most people vacation along coastal beaches, and fall and winter months are when people seem to enjoy the ski resorts and the changing of the leaves and their colors. However, what do readers need to know about travel to these locations outside of these seasons?

Notable Landmarks

In coastal areas: Cape Lookout National Seashore and lighthouse, Cape Lookout, Ocracoke Island, Nags Head, NC Aquariums, Pamlico Sound, Cape Fear, and Topsail Island.

In mountainous areas: Blowing Rock, Banner Elk, Sugarloaf Mountain, Blowing Rock, Blueridge Parkway, Asheville, Brevard, Maggie Valley, Tweetsie Railroad, and numerous ski resorts.

In both locations, what are some major attractions you enjoyed visiting?

Michael Sharp

Native of Carteret County NC, Father to Makayla and Savannah. You can add me on Facebook. Interest include web development, encryption, and other technologies.

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