Explore North Carolina By RV
The state of North Carolina has much to offer to RV renters. You can visit the largest home in the United States, climb the highest mountain east of the Mississippi River, watch a play about the famous “lost colony” of Roanoke Island, or see a carnivorous plant in its natural habitat. From the beautiful Blue Ridge, Great Smoky, and Pisgah mountain ranges in the West to the beaches on the Atlantic coast, the natural beauty of the region and the state’s rich historical tradition attract millions of tourists each year. Read on for the best places to swim, hike, learn, and camp in the Tarheel State.
Best RV Rentals in North Carolina
Five Unique RV Resorts in North Carolina
1.Cape Hatteras RV Resort, Waves, North Carolina.
This is a great place to stay while visiting the Outer Banks. Located on 50 acres bordering both the Pamlico Sound and the Atlantic Ocean, the resort offers both oceanfront and sound-front campsites for RVs of all sizes. All sites have full hook-ups, with concrete pads. Other amenities include three pools, a game room, a kitchen for guests to use, and planned activities during the summer. Expect beautiful ocean views, but no wooded sites.
2. The RV Resort @ Carolina Crossroads, Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina.
This fairly new resort was built with large RVs in mind. All sites are pull-through, and offer 50/30amp electric service. Sites are 65-70 feet long and 35 feet wide. Free Wi-Fi and cable TV are available throughout the property. The resort features a swimming pool in-ground hot tub, free mini golf, and a clubhouse. Although the resort is not necessarily intended as a destination by itself, it is a well-maintained, comfortable place to stay while exploring the area.
3. Indian Creek Campground, Cherokee, North Carolina.
If your North Carolina travels include a visit to Harrah’s Casino, or to the Great Smoky Mountains, consider a visit to this secluded resort located on the Cherokee Indian Reservation. Nearby attractions include the casino, which features regular concerts and shows, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Unto These Hills Outdoor Drama, and, of course, the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Trout fishing on Bunche’s Creek is available 50 weeks of the year. Camping rates are very reasonable, but RV camping is not available during winter months.
4. Mountain Falls Luxury Motorcoach Resort, Lake Toxaway, North Carolina.
This first-class resort offers sites for sale and for rent, restricted to Class A motorhomes a minimum of 26 feet in length. The resort’s amenities are numerous, including an executive 9 hole golf course, heated pool and spa, a fully equipped gym, and an onsite concierge. Sites may include covered patios, outdoor fireplaces, and outdoor kitchens. This resort is not to be missed if you are looking for a one-of-a-kind luxury camping experience.
5. Goose Creek RV Camping Resort, Newport North Carolina.
The location of this resort, on the Intracoastal Waterway at Bogue Sound, makes it worth including in this list. A swimming pool with a waterslide, a playground, and a game room make this a good choice for families with children. The resort is close to the unspoiled Crystal Coast beaches, accessible by land and by water. Swimming, boating, and saltwater fishing are nearby, and the resort has many of its own planned activities, like movie nights, dances, pool parties, and cookouts.
Five Great North Carolina State Parks
1.Jockey’s Ridge State Park, Nags Head, North Carolina
There is no camping area in Jockey’s Ridge State park, but the park is worth a day trip if you are on the Outer Banks. The tallest living sand dune on the East Coast is located in the park, and is a perfect location for kite flying, hang gliding, and even sand boarding. Handicap access to the top of the dunes is available with 24 hours’ notice. From the top of the dunes, visitors can enjoy beautiful sunsets and views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Roanoke Sound. Entrance to the park is free.
2. Carolina Beach State Park, Carolina Beach, North Carolina.
RV campong is unavailable in most of North Carolina’s state parks, but visitors to Carolina Beach State Park offers 70 no-hookup sites, and 9 sites with full hook-ups. A 54 slip marina is available, with access to salt-water fishing and boating in the Atlantic Ocean, and fresh water fishing in the Cape Fear River. The park’s hiking trails are flat and easy to navigate, and include wheelchair-accessible trails and a trail designed for kids. Visitors to the park may be fortunate enough to see a rare Venus Fly-Trap.
3. Hanging Rock State Park, Danbury, North Carolina.
This beautiful park is good for short visits, since its RV sites have no hook-ups, and the park does not have a dump station. Bathhouses with hot showers, toilets, and utility sinks are open from March 16 through November 30. A fresh water lake in the park is stocked with catfish, bass, and sunfish. Sunfish and smallmouth bass can be found in the nearby Dan River, where visitors can also enjoy tubing, canoeing, and kayaking. The park boasts 18 miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking. Adventurous visitors may climb (with a permit) a series of cliffs up to 400 feet high.
4. Cliffs of the Neuse State Park, Seven Springs, North Carolina.
The most impressive features of this state park are the cliffs from which the park gets its name, and the 11 acre lake, with a sandy beach, bathhouse, and diving platforms. The park offers sites with electric hook-ups (30 and 50 amp service), drinking water and wastewater for each site, and a dump station.
5. Kerr Lake State Recreation Area, Henderson, North Carolina.
The Kerr Lake Recreation area is actually several camping areas located in North Carolina and Virginia, all located on the 50,000 acre John Kerr reservoir. Created between 1947 and 1952 byt the John Kerr Dam, the lake encompasses 850 miles of shoreline. The area offers hundreds of RV sites, most with electric hook-ups , and some with water hook-ups. Swimming, boating, sailing, and fishing are all available on the lake, and all of the camping areas contain public boat launches.
North Carolina Attractions
1.The Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina
Built in 1889 by George Washington Vanderbilt, the Biltmore Estate is the largest privately owned home in the United States, with over 178,000 square feet of living space and 8,000 acres of meticulously maintained grounds. Self-guided and docent-guided tours are available, including “behind the scenes” tours highlighting the ahead-of-its-time infrastructure that supported the residence when it housed the Vanderbilt family. Miles of pet friendly hiking trails, the most visited winery in the country, and regular concerts, lectures, and special exhibits make the Biltmore Estate on of North Carolina’s top tourist attractions.
2. The Outer Banks
The Outer Banks are a group of barrier islands, separating the mainland of North Carolina from the Atlantic ocean. The Northern portion of the Outer Banks may be accessed by bridge, and a ferry takes visitors to the southernmost Ocracoke Island. The Wright Brothers Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, and the site of the Wright Brothers’ first flight in nearly Kitty Hawk are popular tourist destinations. The beaches of the Outer banks are known for their quiet, unspoiled beauty. The famous “lost colony” was located on Roanoke island, home of the county seat of Manteo and the small town of Wanchese. The Wright Brothers national memorial in Kill Devil Hills commemorates their famous first flight.
3. Grandfather Mountain, Linville, North Carolina
The highest mountain in the Blue Ridge mountain range, Grandfather Mountain is one of North Carolina’s most well loved attractions. Take a walk of the mile high swinging bridge, the highest suspension bridge in the country, or visit one of the area’s seven wildlife habitats, where bald eagles, cougars, black bears and elk, can be seen in their native environment. Hiking trails for all levels of ability allow all visitors to experience the spectacular views which make Grandfather Mountain famous.
4. Battleship North Carolina, Wilmington, North Carolina
The authentically restored WWII battleship opened in 1961, and is currently available for tours 365 days a year. The battleship also serves as a memorial to 11,000 soldiers and sailors from North Carolina who were killed in the war. The battleship is moored on the Cape Fear River. The nearby island beaches of Wrightsville Beach, Kure Beach, and Carolina Beach offer a choice between secluded, unspoiled beaches to vibrant boardwalks and watersports.
5. Linville Gorge, Marion, North Carolina
Often called the Grand Canyon of the East, Linville Gorge is located in the Pisgah National Forest. Virgin forests, amazing views, rare plants, and beautiful rock formations abound in this rugged wilderness area. There are plenty of rugged hiking trails, but many short, easy trails lead to some of the best views on the Blur Ridge parkway.
The Best Festivals And Events In North Carolina
1.Mayberry Days, Mount Airy, North Carolina.
Fans of the old Andy Griffith Show and all lovers of country life will enjoy this annual September festival celebrating all things Mayberry. Live music, shows, games, and movies are all designed to entertain families. Visitors can sign up for contests like apple peeling, pie eating, whistling, and pork shop sandwich eating.
2. Autumn at Oz, Beech Mountain, North Carolina.
This unusual event in unlike any other festival. The Land of Oz, a theme park based on the Wizard of Oz, opened in 1970 and, for a decade, entertained thousands of annual visitors by re-creating the movie experience, from the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City. Financial difficulties and mishaps caused the park to close in 1980, but the dream remained alive, and now the park opens once a year for three days, delighting those lucky enough to purchase tickets before they sell out.
3. Folkmoot USA, Waynesville, North Carolina.
What sets Folkmoot USA apart from other folk festivals? This festival features folk music from around the world, nor just from America. The festival starts on the third Thursday in July and continues through the last Sunday of the month, attracting over 100,000 attendees. Local Appalachian and Cherokee performers share the stages with musicians and dancers from diverse places such as Ghana, Italy, Mexico, the Czech Republic, and Thailand.
4. The Lost Colony Outdoor Drama, Manteo, North Carolina.
An English colony was established on Roanoke Island in 1587, with 117 men, women, and children. When supply ships returned in 1590, the colony had vanished without a trace. The mystery of the “lost colony” has intrigued historians ever since. Each summer, the story of the Lost Colony is acted out on the very site where it happened almost half a century ago. The drama’s 82nd season opens in May of 2019 and runs through August, featuring music and dance, battles, and the birth of Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the New World.
5. Lexington Barbecue Festival, Lexington, North Carolina.
This annual fall festival has been in operation since 1984, and is exactly what it name suggests. Serving up over 11,000 pounds of barbecue to over 100,000 barbecue lovers, the festival features the North Carolina Championship Pork Cook-off. Festival goers can expect to see a juried art show, an antique car show, racing pigs, a special section for children, and, of course, the best barbecue this side of the Mississippi!