Western North Carolina is a nature lover’s paradise. There are so many outdoor activities to enjoy here, from mountain climbing and biking to hiking and white water rafting. This blog post will provide a two-day itinerary for those looking to explore Western North Carolina’s natural beauty. Whether you’re an adventure seeker or a sight-seer, we have something for everyone!
Before you plan your getaway, take some time to browse through our free Vacation Guide to discover all the great activities and attractions that our breathtaking region has to offer.
Best Ways to Have an Adventure in Western NC
For the adventurers out there, we’ve mapped out some of the best mountain climbing, biking, hiking, and white water rafting Western North Carolina has to offer. If you want to get your heart pumping and experience all that Western North Carolina has to offer, this is the itinerary for you!
Western North Carolina is home to some of the best mountain climbing in the eastern United States. There are countless peaks to choose from, so you can find a climb that’s perfect for your skill level. Some of our favorite climbs include Looking Glass Rock, Linville Gorge, and Mount Mitchell.
Looking Glass Rock has a well-blazed 1,700-foot high, 6.5 mi trail that offers a beautiful look over the Western NC hillside. The rock itself is a monolith and is a popular spot for free climbing as well as hiking.
Linville Gorge is one of two wilderness gorges in the Southern United States, covering over 11,000 acres of untouched countryside. The Linville Gorge’s steep cliffs made 19th and 20th-century logging unprofitable, leaving it as one of the last old-growth forests in the Blue Ridge Mountain range. If you’re looking for a true adventure, the Linville Gorge is only recommended for professionals as its wilderness designation means the trails are not cleared/graded like those in national parks.
Mount Mitchell State Park is home to the highest point east of the Mississippi. The peak offers an unmatched vantage point to take pictures and catch a beautiful sunset. The trail to the 6,684-foot summit is a 12-mile roundtrip trek that is recommended for experienced climbers.
Western North Carolina is also a great place for biking. There are many scenic routes that wind through the mountains, so you can take in all the natural beauty while getting a workout. We recommend several of our favorite biking trails for all skill levels.
Western North Carolina has an abundance of hiking trails, ranging from easy strolls to difficult hikes. No matter your fitness level, you can find a hike perfect for you. Some of our favorite trails include the Appalachian Trail, Black Balsam Knob, and Devil’s Courthouse. Some others include:
- Chimney Rock State Park
- Craggy Pinnacle Trail
- Mount Mitchell State Park
- Grandfather Mountain Trail
- Hawksbill Mountain Trail
White Water Rafting:
Western North Carolina is home to some of the best white water rafting in the United States. There are many different rivers to choose from, so you can find a trip that’s perfect for your group. Some of our favorite rivers include the Nantahala River, French Broad River, and Watauga River. Visit one of these tour companies to
Best Ways to Sightsee in Western NC
Now let’s move on to the second part of our Western North Carolina itinerary – sightseeing! Western North Carolina is absolutely gorgeous, with so many amazing things to see. From majestic drives and fall foliage to cave tours and the Lake Lure flowering bridge, there’s something for everyone.
Scenic Drives in Western NC
Western North Carolina is home to some of the most scenic drives in the United States. There are many different routes to choose from, so you can find a drive that’s perfect for your group. Some of our favorite drives include the Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Cherokee National Forest.
Best Places to See Fall Foliage in Western NC
Western North Carolina is absolutely stunning in the fall. The leaves start changing color in early October and peak around mid-November. If you want to experience all the beauty of Western North Carolina, then this is the time to visit a forest in Western NC.
Best Cave Tours in Western NC
Western North Carolina is home to several caves, including Linville Caverns and Grandfather Mountain Caverns. These caves are perfect for those looking to explore the underground world of Western North Carolina.
The Lake Lure Flowering Bridge
The Lake Lure Flowering Bridge is a must-see for anyone visiting Western North Carolina. This bridge is covered by 15 gardens filled with hundreds of thousands of flowers and supports an ecosystem of hummingbirds, red cardinals, and butterflies. Visiting the Flower Bridge Garden is something everyone should do when they visit the area.
Unwind at The Esmeralda Inn Spa
If you are searching for the best massage in Western NC, look no further than The Esmeralda Inn, Restaurant & Spa. Whether you are a parent in need of some “me time” or a weary traveler looking for relaxation, our spa offers everything you need to get your body feeling its best! Read on to learn more about the types of massage available at our spa, and find out which service would best benefit you. Afterward, view our specials to start planning your spa day!