Naturalistic, Nice North Carolina

North Carolina is known well for the state having the best of both worlds. There is the mountains on one side and the ocean on the other side with great city life in between. When I first moved to this state I was completely amazed at how much greenery there is all over the state. I am from Kansas, we do have trees and grass but there is a lot more greenery here than there. I have been to my fair share of places all over my home state of North Carolina. Below I will list a few cities that I have been to in North Carolina and highly recommend going to. Included in the list will be places that I have gone to within the city to give a broader idea of the town.

Cities to Go to in North Carolina:

1.) Raleigh

Raleigh is a wonderful city to go to with a lot to do. My favorite place to go to in Raleigh is Falls Lake. There are several entrances to get into and out of the park. Some entrances cost $6 USD to get in but others cost nothing to get into. There is also many different museums, parks, shopping centers and etc. to go to. I highly recommend this city to visit.

2.) Greensboro

This town is a short drive away from Raleigh. Below is a picture of some penguins in the Greensboro Science Center. My husband and I had a blast here, all of the staff here was friendly and helpful. They were very knowledgeable and kind towards the animal. This is a great place for families to go.

3.) Asheville

This town is nestled in the mountains. My husband and I drive through this town on our way to and from Tennessee. The most famous landmark in this town is the Biltmore Estate. This is a very beautiful but costly landmark to go to. The picture below is of the entrance to get to the Biltmore Estate. Eventually I would love to go back and see it, but for now this town is different and beautiful.

4.) Wilmington

Wilmington is the town right before you get to Wrightsville Beach. There is a few really amazing things to do in Wilmington. My favorite is the USS North Carolina, you can tour the ship. The volunteers and guides are very knowledgeable and helpful about the history of the ship. Just beware the ship does not get air conditioning in some spots so at times it is very hot inside if it is hot outside. There are tight quarters and stairs to climb. I do highly suggest this city for its beauty.

5.) Carolina Beach

This is my all time favorite beach to go to in North Carolina at the moment. There are places to park for free, it is less crowded and has beautiful water. I was very amazed by how clean the beach was as well. I highly suggest this beach if you like less crowded beaches, free places to park and places to use the bathroom that are close.

6.) Asheboro

This city holds the North Carolina Zoo, this zoo the nations largest walk through zoo. This is one of the biggest zoos I have ever been to besides San Diego. My husband and I went in the winter time so a few animals were not out because of the cooler air. There is a geyser there, it is really neat to see. I recommend this city because of the zoo.

7.) Wrightsville Beach

This is North Carolina’s most popular beach to go to because it is the closest to most cities further in from the coast. From Raleigh it takes 2 hours to get to. This beach costs from $20 USD dollars to park and is a bit more populated than most beaches in North Carolina. There is plenty to do, eat and shop in this town. There are very few public restrooms near some entrances to the beach. This is a very well kept beach area though, so I suggest it but make sure you do your research ahead of time.

8.) Top Sail

My husband and I have been here twice. Once to meet friends and the other time just a spur of the moment weekend trip. This beach area is well kept, has free parking and there are port a potties in several locations. This beach had a great collection of shells left over from sea animals that went from one shell to the other. During the summer months they also have a turtles that come and lay their eggs, so there are parts that are marked off. This beach is less crowded than most beach locations in North Carolina, I definitely suggest it for the easiness of access to do things in this beach town.

9.) Surf City

Surf City is located right next to Top Sail. This beach area offers free places to park and a pier that costs $1 USD to walk out on. This cost is to put the dollar towards upkeep and repairs on the pier. The pier offered some amazing views from the end. This beach area is less populated than many of the North Carolina beaches. I definitely suggest this beach for a beach location to go to.

10.) Outer Banks

The outer banks include many cities in one area. This beach area is located near Virginia but has plenty to offer to do, see, shop, eat and have fun. This beach area is one of the neatest beach places I have ever been to. This area is family friendly and offers plenty of places to park, use the bathroom and go to different areas on the beach. I highly recommend this beach area for all it has to offer to do. I suggest going to see the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse as well, it is so tall and a great sight to check out.

As you can see there are so many beautiful towns with plenty to do within the town. There is a lot more that I would love to do and see all over North Carolina. You have a choice between the mountains, in between towns and the ocean. Each beach town is different from the next, some have you pay to park where others it is free to park. Do your research about this before you pick a beach to go to. Wrightsville you have to pay, whereas Top Sail you do not have to park. Some beach towns also do not have bathrooms neat the pier, but some do. There is a lot to think about before you head to the beach towns. There are other towns such as High Point, Charlotte, Blowing Rock and so much more that I have heard wonderful things about. Some of which are the cities I am eager to explore this year.

Have you ever been to North Carolina? If so, let me know any places you recommend. If you have not followed the blog, follow The Different Frame of Mind. The follow button is newly located in the sidebar or at the bottom of any post if you are on a mobile device.

Stay tuned this week to learn about my move from Kansas to North Carolina, all the ups and downs of moving away from everything you have ever known. In that post I will share what I have in store for the next week. I am also thrilled to announce we will have another hometown series this month, so definitely stay tuned for that. See you soon!



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  1. North Carolina looks beautiful from your photos. I love penguins so I would be visiting those and the beaches look gorgeous.

    1. Thank you for your wonderful compliment and comment. The beaches are amazing, the whole state is quite beautiful actually.

  2. I’m all for visiting beautiful and green, green places! I’ve never been to America before but I’d absolutely love to one day, North Carolina looks beautiful in each of these pictures. I’d go to the Surf city and outer banks!

    1. I hope you get to America one day, it truly is a beautiful place with so much to do and see. Thank you for your wonderful comment, I really appreciate it.

  3. North Carolina looks like a state worth visiting, for sure. I liked all the attractions you shared with us, but mostly the penguins that can be visited in the Greensboro Science Centre! The Carolina Beach seems lovely, too! Me and my husband were in some states of the USA, but not here!

    1. This state truly is worth visiting! Thank you for your wonderful feedback, I hope you get to go one day. Carolina Beach is amazing, it is a wonderful town.

  4. Ugh!!! Makes me miss the beach and not like the cold weather we’ve been having even more! I’ve been to the Carolinias many times. Mostly the beaches though!

    1. I am so over the cold weather, I am truly ready for spring and summer. I hope you get to go to the beach soon. Is there any beach in the Carolinas you recommend that I have not covered? Thank you for your great feedback! I really appreciate it.

  5. I have never been to America so I am very unfamiliar with the states and the touristic attractions from each of them. Thank you for taking the time to write this article and point out the best places to go to North Carolina. The beaches look beautiful but I would also like to see Raleigh, it looks peaceful.

    1. I hope you get to come to America sometime, it is beautiful with a lot to see and do. You are welcome, I’m so glad you enjoyed it. That means a lot to me. The beaches are beautiful and Raleigh definitely has peaceful places. I am thankful for the opportunity to live here.

  6. This is so pretty and beautiful. loved the peace and serenity

    1. Thank you very much. I really appreciate the great feedback, it’s a beautiful place.

  7. Great review of North Carolina!

    1. Thank you. I appreciate that.

  8. I rememeber visiting NC when I was younger! We went to Greensboro, but I never did go to the Science Museum there! How cool!

    1. That’s so neat you went there when you were younger. There is a few things to do in Greensboro but we decided to do that. Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it!

  9. North Carolina is so pretty! I haven’t been in so long, but I love it there!

    1. It truly is! I’m still amazed by all the greenery. I hope you get to go again one day. Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it!

  10. It’s always amazing to sit back and really think about how vast our states really are. I’m originally from NY. There was hills, grass, farms but keep driving you have city upon city. I think everyone should explore their whole state to see what it really has to offer. I’m trying to visit all my state parks because they also vary so much.

    1. I definitely agree with everything you said. All parts of any state are truly different from the next. That’s so neat you are from NY. I have yet to go there although I am heading there this summer. I am so excited! Thank you for your wonderful comment, I really appreciate it.

  11. North Carolina is one state I have not really explored. Based on all your descriptions I need to plan a visit soon.First stop will be the beaches. Your pictures are gorgeous!

    1. I hope you get to explore it, this state is truly something else. All the beaches are amazing. Thank you for your wonderful comment and compliment. I really appreciate it.

  12. Those pictures are breathtaking. When I look outside my window, all I see is dirty snow. I wish I could be in North Carolina right now.

    1. Thank you so much for your wonderful compliment and comment. It’s pretty dreary here at the moment but rather warm. I hope that snow melts soon for you!

  13. Interesting place to see! North Carolina looked beautiful in those images of yours and you just detailed the best things that can be found there!

    1. Thank you very much for your kind comment and compliment. North Carolina truly is an interesting state.

  14. Carolina beach and surf city are definitely places I want to add to my travel list! They look beautiful! I moved from Alberta Canada to Wisconsin and seriously the difference in greenery is amazing!

    1. They both are really amazing. I hope you get to make it one day! That’s so neat you just moved from there to Wisconsin. I enjoyed going to Milwaukee recently. I haven’t been to Canada yet but am really wanting to go. Thank you for your wonderful feedback, I really appreciate it.

  15. Those pictures makes me wanted to visit North Carolina. I really adore the peaceful ambiance and the beautiful scenery of this place. Will add this to my travel lists.

    1. I hope you get to go to North Carolina one day, it truly is beautiful and quite peaceful in some places. Thank you for your great comment, I really appreciate it.

  16. surf city looks so promising! I think your post is overall an amazing idea for a good weekend getaway! you know how sometimes life just seems to beat the crap out of you and you get to friday and really need to relax and recharge? I feel like this post is exactly what we should do when you feel like that – just peace and relaxation 🙂

    1. I definitely think you are very right. I’m ready for spring and summer to be here so I can do just that. Surf city was amazing! It’s probably my second favorite beach we have been to here. Thank you for your wonderful comment. I really appreciate it.

  17. I am all about mountains and oceans when planning a vacation, this sounds perfect for me with both of them. All the tourist attractions look great, thank you for the recommendations. Love all the pictures.

    1. This is definitely a great state for it then! I hope you get to see this State one day. You are welcome. Thank you for your wonderful compliment and comment. I really appreciate it!

  18. I’ve been to North Carolina so many times but it is always the same places! I really need to branch out a little more and discover more places!

    1. I hope I listed some new places for you to explore. There is so much to do in North Carolina. I have yet to do everything I even want to do. Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it!

  19. These are some great places to visit in North Carolina. I love the Greensboro Science Center!

    1. Thank you! I thought it was a great little list. I still have so many cities I would love to go. The science center is so amazing. Thank you for your wonderful comment, I really appreciate it.

  20. I just got back from Raleigh/Durham and loved how hip and artistic is was! Also such good food!

    April |

    1. That’s so neat you just got back from this area. I’m so glad you had a wonderful time. Did you go any place that you really recommend food wise or things to do wise? Thank you for your wonderful comment!

  21. I’ve been to Carolinias once. I like the beaches there, very comfortable and peaceful. Your post reminds me of happy memories.

    1. I am so glad that my post reminds you of happy memories. That means a lot to me. The beaches are really comfortable and peaceful, it’s one place I really enjoy going in the Carolinas.

  22. really liked how you explained all the features of different beaches in detail…will bookmark this post for future reference!

    1. Thank you! I feel that they are all different but similar in some ways. I know food and bathrooms are always important. Thank you for bookmarking it, that means a lot to me.

  23. It is a beautiful state. I have not spent much time there but have driven through. Now when we drive through I have places I will want to stop at. Thanks!

    1. I hope you will get to stop sometime, it really is a beautiful place to stop and see some sights. I still have a few places I really want to go. You are welcome! Thank you for your wonderful comment, I really appreciate it.

  24. It does look so beautiful there. It reminds me that I need to go back there to visit my Aunt and Uncle. It has been quite some time.

    1. I hope you do get to go back sometime to visit them. It’s definitely a great state to visit (and live in). Thank you for your wonderful comment. I really appreciate it.

  25. Raleigh sounds really nice. Ooh that beach at Wilmington; so breathtaking.

    1. Thank you, they both are wonderful places. Thank you for your comment, I appreciate it.

  26. These photos are so beautiful! I would love to visit the Outerbanks and get a house on the beach! it’s on my list!!!

    1. Thank you for the compliment and comment, I really appreciate it. The Outerbanks are beautiful! I hope you get to go one day!

  27. What a beautiful place!! I have never been but my uncle lives there and loves it!! Now I am going to have to go visit!!

    1. Thank you, I hope you do get to go one day. It really is beautiful. Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it.

  28. Wow all of the places are really pretty!! I need to visit NC more!

    1. Thank you, they definitely are all worth going to. I hope you get to explore it more. Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it.

  29. Wowww so many lovely places! Thanks for sharing this with us – hopefully I can visit this places one day :*

    1. I hope you do get to visit this state one day! You are welcome! Thank you for your wonderful comment, I really appreciate it.

  30. From beaches to mountains, North Carolina really does have so much natural beauty, and all worth visiting. Thank you for putting this lovely list together!

    1. You are welcome! Thank you for enjoying the list. I hope you get to see some of these places! Thank you for your wonderful comment. I appreciate it!

  31. I haven’t been to North Carolina in years but it is definitely a gorgeous state! I’ve been to a few of the cities you listed but I’d love to go back with my hubby to visit them (along with the others) one day! Just gorgeous!

    1. It really is a gorgeous state. I’m amazed more and more the more I explore this stage. I hope you do get to go back and explore more! Thank you for your wonderful comment, I really appreciate it!

  32. Mountains and oceans are two of my favourite things! Some gorgeous beaches here. I really like the looks of Carolina Beach.

    1. They really are the best! There definitely are some amazing beaches in North Carolina, Carolina Beach is my favorite! I love how they are all different. Thank you for your wonderful comment.

  33. Looks like there is a ton to do and see in North Carolina and some great beaches. I have been to Wilmington but outside that haven’t explored much.

    1. There really is so much to do in North Carolina. I love Wilmington, I hope it had a great time when you went. Thank you for your wonderful comment, I really appreciate it.

  34. Everything looks so beautiful! Sky from the first one is breathtaking!

    1. Thank you so much! That sky picture was definitely amazing to see in person. I truly love sunsets and sunrises!

  35. I so love North Carolina! Some of the locations I’ve been to, and some I haven’t heard of so thanks for putting them on my radar. I spent some time in Kinston last year, and loved it. so want to go to the Outer Banks!

    1. North Carolina is definitely beautiful. Glad I could inform you of some different locations. I haven’t heard of Kinston so I will have to research that. The outer banks are amazing! I’m hoping to go some different places this year! Thank you for your wonderful comment, I really appreciate it.

  36. I never knew that much about North Carolina to be honest as it is quite off the tourist trail! However I really do want to come back to the US and explore more of these amazing local place, some wonderful options here.

    1. It definitely is, which is what I love about it. Well the only big tourist places here are Wilmington and Outer Banks, everything else is not that big. I hope you do get to come back and explore more. Thank you for your wonderful comment. I really appreciate it.

  37. I’ve saved this post and it’s gone straight in my USA trip folder – It’s such a helpful post for me, North Carolina had always been a state I’ve wanted to visit, it just has this harm that pulls me to it ad I love that the state has so many beaches to chose from 😀 – The outer banks intrigue me, and thanks for the tip on visiting the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

    1. This is definitely a beautiful place. I hope you get to go one day! The lighthouse is amazing! Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it.

  38. This was a fun snapshot view of North Carolina! It’s been ages since I’ve been there. My kids love science museums and would love Greensboro Science Center!

    1. Thank you! I hope you and your kids get to visit sometime, it’s definitely full of great things to do! Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it.

  39. I really love the Carolinas but haven’t explored much of North Carolina. I’m a city girl and I loved Raleigh but would like to see more. Now Asheville is high on my list, thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. You are welcome! I hope you get to come back and explore. I really enjoy exploring the Carolinas!

  40. Jealous to see the beaches and the warm weather from Scotland! As an American, North Carolina was never on my radar but I never knew how much nature there was there! Haven’t been in that part of the states as a whole yet, definitely looking forward to exploring more. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I’m jealous you are in Scotland! There is definitely a ton of nature here! I hope you get to go sometime, it is very beautiful! Thank you for commenting, I really appreciate it!

  41. Wow! This looks like an amazing place to visit. And those peguins looks so cute. I havent seen one. So sad.

    1. I hope you get to see some penguins sometime! They are super neat creatures! I hope you also get the chance to come to North Carolina, it is a truly amazing state!

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