With several major interstates passing through the Tarheel State including I-95 and I-40, access to the cities, towns and outlying areas is possible. Yet, North Carolina is more than 500 miles wide and contains precisely 100 counties including those far from major highways, but still worth visiting.

The following are seven North Carolina destinations worth visiting.

Franklin — You can’t go too much further west in North Carolina when you visit Franklin, a mountain community in Macon County. The town is prized for several things, particularly its access to the nearby state and federal parks, the Appalachian Trail, and for mining. Beautiful water falls including Cullasaja Falls, Dry Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls are nearby.

Boone — Home to Appalachian State University, this college town situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains is an absolute delight. Boone, locoed in Watauga County, provides easy access to several important stops including Grandfather Mountain, Tweetsie Railroad, and Blowing Rock. The Blue Ridge Parkway cuts through the area, a scenic roadway that shouldn’t be missed.

Spencer — The town of Spencer is located in Rowan County and is for all practical purposes not off the beaten path. You can reach it from I-77 with Greensboro just 30 minutes to the north and Charlotte 30 minutes to the south. The town’s most important claim to fame is the North Carolina Transportation Museum with its trains, old cars, aircraft and other modes of transportation on its premises.

Snow Camp — Southern Alamance County is home to Snow Camp, an unincorporated community with a large Quaker population. The town is the site of the Snow Camp Outdoor Theater, what presents two dramas each summer — The Sword of Peace and Pathway to Freedom. On the theater grounds is Cane Creek Friends Meeting, a Quaker congregation founded in 1751.

Carthage — The county seat of Moore County is Carthage, a community 15 minutes north of the Pinehurst golf community. The town is an example of southern towns established more than a century ago with the county seat located in the center of the town and roads forking out from there. The community boasts mostly small, independent shops in its downtown plus public parks and a museum.

Scotland Neck — There are communities in North Carolina that would remain obscure had they not been discovered by industry, dominated by a natural feature or otherwise blessed by some outside source. This Halifax County community might be overlooked despite its proximity to historic Halifax. As fortune would have it, the Sylvan Heights Bird Park is found here, representing one of the largest and most diverse bird exhibits of its kind in the world.

Hamlet — Located in Richmond County near the South Carolina border is the community of Hamlet. Its juncture for two major CSX rail lines means that its train depot is of significance. The community is also home to the National Railroad Museum and Hall of Fame, located next to a passenger station built in 1900 and still an Amtrak stop. Its fall Seaboard Festival draws people from all over to take in all things rail.

North Carolina Communities

Scores of other Tarheel communities should also be visited including Mt. Olive, Emerald Isle, Bonsal, Graham, and Topsail Beach. The state has certainly changed over the years, but it remains a beautiful place to visit at any time of the year.

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