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Best things to do in North Carolina Mountains

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Where in the world: USA  /  North Carolina  /  North Carolina Mountains
Things to do in North Carolina mountains appeal to adventurous visitors and avid nature lovers. The Land of the Blue Mist offers versatile outdoor opportunities that include whitewater rafting and river tubing from Bryson City and hiking up Grandfather Mountain. One of the country's longest scenic drives, Blueridge Parkway is particularly beautiful in the spring when the surrounding landscape blooms with native wildflowers. For a bit of Wild West history, check out the exhibits at Museum of the Cherokee Indian or board a fully restored vintage train and take a ride on Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.

North Carolina Mountains is best known for its Historic Sites, Zipline, and River Rafting & Tubing.

Top 15 things to do in North Carolina Mountains

1. River Rafting & Tubing, Bryson City

Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about River Rafting & Tubing

2. Blue Ridge Parkway

One of the country's longest scenic drives, Blue Ridge Parkway runs for 755 km (469 mi), cutting its way through two states and 29 counties. Constructed in the 1930s to connect two major national parks, the road runs mostly along the Blue Ridge, a mountain chain of the Appalachian Mountains. Most visitors choose to travel this road in the spring when the surrounding landscape blooms with native wildflowers. You can also pick a less crowded time of year, like autumn, when you can photograph the changing colors of the forest. Stop at any one of a dozen visitor centers scattered along the road to take a short rest, re-energize with a cup of coffee, or get a free map.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
Tours from $25 › Learn more about Blue Ridge Parkway

3. Zipline, Lake Lure

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about Zipline

4. Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls Hiking Tour from Asheville

FROM $97
We pick you up! Our 9th Season offers a local guide who will pick you up at your location within 3 miles of city center (One North Pack Square) . A small group tour, we provide all window, captain chair seating in a late model Ford transit van , drinks/snacks as part of our service. We will travel along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway to discover the amazing views and scenery surrounding this iconic road that connects two National Parks on our way to the hiking portion through the  mountains near Asheville. (scheduled bathroom stops :). We will drive through some beautiful mountain scenery on the way visit three waterfalls and two protected forests IMPORTANT Before booking this tour please know that we will be walking approximately 3 miles on the hiking portion of this tour over 2 hours at pace of about 1 1/2 miles per hour, including stops at the falls and you should feel comfortable walking this distance before making a booking. We will return to Asheville is between1:30 & 1:45pm.
Suggested duration: 5h 30min
Tours from $97 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
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6. Zipline, Blowing Rock

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Zipline

7. Zipline, Bryson City

Suggested duration: 4 hours
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8. Waterfalls and Blue Ridge Parkway Hiking Tour with Expert Naturalist

Likely to sell out FROM $99
As featured in Southern Living Magazine and MSN News, discover the authentic beauty of the Blue Ridge Parkway with a naturalist guide to show you the best vistas, photo spots, and waterfalls that make Asheville famous. This intimate, small-group tour makes it easy to get to know your experienced, expert guide and learn more about the region. -Learn about the area’s history, plants, and wildlife from your naturalist guide -Visit famous waterfalls and ones that most tourists miss -See the best of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s expansive mountain views
Suggested duration: 4h 45min
Tours from $99 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

9. Grandfather Mountain, Linville

At 5,946 ft (1,812 m), Grandfather Mountain is one of the highest peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is home to a number of attractions. The mountain is most famous for its mile-high swinging bridge that links two of its rocky peaks. This engineering marvel provides views of up to 160 km (100 mi) on clear days. To see more of the mountain up close, set out on one of the paved walks or hiking trails. You can see some of the mountain's most elusive wildlife, including bald eagles, river otters, and black bears, at their enclosed environmental habitats. Those with a sweet tooth might want to pop into the mountain's fudge store. Bring a jacket; the high elevation makes it considerably cooler than the surrounding area.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $275 › Learn more about Grandfather Mountain

10. Food Tours, Asheville

Suggested duration: 3 hours
Learn more about Food Tours

11. Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park, Chimney Rock

Featured in films such as "The Last of the Mohicans," Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is full of beautiful attractions, including the 535-year-old Chimney Rock, for which the park is named. Before the granite monolith was acquired by the state of North Carolina in 2007, the Morse family privately owned Chimney Rock for more than 100 years. The park also is home to Devil's Head balancing rock and Hickory Nut Falls. Hike the various park trails designed for varying skill levels, play at one of the 12 Great Woodland Discovery zones, or, if you're feeling more adventurous, go rock climbing for the day.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park

12. Downtown Asheville Guided Brewery Walking Tour

FROM $65
BREW-ed offers the only brewery tours in Asheville led by certified beer experts. Our team of Cicerone certified guides will lead you through the brewing process as you sample some of the best beer Asheville has to offer. In between stops, our guides will share some of the local history. Asheville is a fascinating city with an exciting past. Our tours were ranked among the best in the world by National Geographic Traveler because they are a truly unique experience. Other dates and times available on our site.
Suggested duration: 2h - 3h
Tours from $65 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

13. Casino at Harrah’s Cherokee, Cherokee

Try your luck at a game of black jack, video poker, roulette, or bingo at Casino at Harrah’s Cherokee while enjoying your complimentary non-alcoholic drink. Occupying the site of a former theme park, the casino is an enterprise of the Eastern Cherokee Indians and one of the two casinos in North Carolina. Since the state restricts the types of gambling, all the games at the casino require some sort of skill. A poker room with 20 tables is reserved for non-smokers.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Casino at Harrah’s Cherokee

14. High Mountain Expeditions, Boone

Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about High Mountain Expeditions

15. Electric Bike Brewery Crawl of Asheville

FROM $79
Love beer? Love bikes? Then join us on this exciting trip highlighting the best craft beer Asheville has to offer. We will hit three of Asheville’s best breweries while zipping around on our brand new fleet of e-bikes. Your guide will offer special tasting options and tours at several of the locations in addition to a mid-crawl stop for some of our favorite barbeque to soak up some of Asheville’s delicious suds.
Suggested duration: 4h
Tours from $79 › More about this tour at viator.com ›