The Ultimate Guide To North Carolina, home of Southern hospitality and most delicious BBQ food around!
It is located in the southeast region of the United States and is the 9th most populated state in the country. It even shares a border with the Atlantic ocean!
Because of this, North Carolina has so much to offer. You can spend part of your trip hiking and exploring the infamous Blue Ridge Mountains, or you can spend the day along the Carolina coast with your toes into the sand. Whatever you like this state has it all.
Perhaps one of the biggest things that stands out to us each time we visit, are the people. The people of North Carolina are super friendly and eager to show foreigners around. You almost always will be greeted with, yes “mam,” or “sir” no matter where you are.
Below we have highlighted our top recommendations on things to do, places to eat and where to stay. We hope this will help you plan your perfect trip to the South!
The Ultimate Guide To North Carolina
Things to Do
Have you ever heard of an escape room? Don’t worry if you have no idea what it is, we are here to fill you in! Escape rooms are essentially giant rooms filled with puzzles and riddles, aimed to challenge you and your group of friends to find your way out. It may sound scary, but trust us, it’s not. It is a blast and we really enjoyed it. One afternoon we went out with my mom to Breakout Games in Greensboro. We attempted to escape their “Hostage” room, where we were left to find who hijacked our plane. The entire room is decorated in theme and had hidden puzzles to find. Luckily, we ended up breaking out in just 44 minutes, which we were told was very fast! Overall, escape rooms are really fun team building activities that aim to challenge your mind and test your thinking under pressure.
The Biltmore Estate, otherwise known as America’s largest home, was built back in 1895 by George Vanderbilt. With a whopping 250 rooms and 35 guest rooms alone, you are destined to get lost in this mega-mansion. It was so incredible to see the intricate design, architecture, and attention to detail in this elaborate home. To have the chance to walk through its doors and envision what life may have been like back then was incredible! With the entrance to the house, you are also granted access to their expansive gardens and winery. A visit here makes for a wonderful day out and is a must when in North Carolina.
We are huge fans of wine, so when we found out that included in our ticket to the Biltmore Estate came a free wine tasting…we were thrilled! We spent the afternoon inside the beautifully decorated tasting room and sampled several wines. It was a relaxing and enjoyable way to end our day of sightseeing.
Sierra Nevada Brewery
A brand new brewery is in town! If you find yourself near Asheville, North Carolina, be sure to stop by the Sierra Nevada Brewery. There, you can take a free walking tour through their facilities and even see them at work. Outside you can also enjoy lawn games, fire pits, and more! Although no performers were playing when we were there, we saw a ginormous stage outside equipped for holding summer concerts and music for your enjoyment.
Beer has become a big thing in the South and particularly in North Carolina. There are hundreds of breweries large and small to explore. If beer is your thing, we suggest you take the time to check a few out. Here are a few of our favorites- Wicked Weed in Asheville, Little Brother Brewing in Greensboro, Joymongers Brewing Co in Greensboro, and Old Hickory.
The Ultimate Guide To North Carolina
Places to Eat
Now, if you are a fan of wings, let it be known that Hops Burgers is home to the best buffalo wings we have ever had. This place has some killer food and delicious burgers as well. 10 out of 10 it is one of our first stops every time because the food is so good.
Prissy Polly’s BBQ
Some good southern cooking! Prissy Polly’s is located in Kernersville. The prices are fair and the portions are HUGE. What we like best about Prissy Polly’s is that they serve both Eastern and Lexington style BBQ so you can decide for yourself which one you prefer. They also have great live music during the week.
Print Works Bistro
If you are looking for a more formal lunch or dinner, definitely stop by Print Works Bistro. The food is super fresh and the menu is seasonal, so they are constantly changing it up. The interior design is also noteworthy.
For our number one place to go and visit in North Carolina is Chez Genese. This beautiful french cafe serves some of the best breakfasts and lunches you’ll find in Greensboro. However, something amazing about this cafe is their vision of helping mentally challenged individuals find work. Check them out here.
Biscuit Head is a super yummy and popular breakfast place! This spot had a line out the door when we first arrived and we now understand why. With practically any and every biscuit combination you can think of, homemade jams, and biscuit doughnuts, this place is a MUST for breakfast lovers. They even have gluten-free biscuits!
Lexington is home to some of the most famous BBQ around. Each year BBQ festivals are held in this town. Lexington BBQ is one of the most popular joints in North Carolina. When you visit, ask the staff if you can visit the smokehouse outback. It is a super cool experience to see the love and work that goes into smoking some of the greatest BBQ there is!
Stamey’s wins the award for George’s favorite BBQ joint. They have a wide selection of sliced or chopped meat cooked to perfection. Super tender with great flavors and their famous slaw, you seriously can’t go wrong!
Smitty’s is a fun family-style restaurant and a guaranteed good time! The majority of the seating is communal, so you are forced to make friends with your neighbors. The food is delicious and they have a large selection of different types of seafood. We suggest you try the tugboat so that you can try a bit of each thing. They also have great specials and a killer happy hour!
1618 West Seafood Grille
If you want fine dining this is the place for you. The presentation of the dishes here is incredible! Additionally, also have some pretty tasty craft cocktails. Just be prepared to spend a pretty penny for the premium service and food.
We were told that cookout is where you can find all the high schoolers and angsty teens after school, but they are known for their incredible milkshakes. For just $2 you can choose from over 40 flavors, or mix to create your own concoction. They were pretty delicious, especially as a late-night treat. If you like sweets, definitely give it a try.
The Ultimate Guide To North Carolina
Where to Stay
Since we are lucky enough to have family that lives in North Carolina, for the most part, we are taken care of. However, there is one iconic hotel in particular that we think deserves a mention. It was also the place we decided to stay to celebrate my mom’s birthday on our weekend trip to Asheville. That is the historic, Omni Grove Park Inn located in Asheville, North Carolina.
This picturesque hotel is famously known for its sunset terrace which overlooks the famous Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville, North Carolina. The terrace boasts sweeping views that leave you awestruck. Guests can dine, or enjoy a lovely cocktail whilst watching the sun go down on the horizon. The hotel is also home to one of the most famous spas in the country and placed 13 worldwide in Travel and Leisure’s World’s Best Hotel Spas in 2008. Getting a treatment requires a booking far in advance. The spa facilities alone cost the hotel roughly 44 million dollars!
The hotel rooms at the Omni Grove Park Inn are also extremely spacious, clean and comfortable. If you get lucky, you can request a room with a view that overlooks the mountain view. Another stand out feature of the hotel is the giant fireplaces. They are enormous and surrounded by rocking chairs for you to sit and warm up, especially after a long cold winter day!
Overall this historic hotel is a treat and a wonderful place to stay if you find yourself in the Asheville area.
Furthermore, here are some amazing blogs on travel and where to stay and eat, Click Here.