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Trail blazing in North Carolina

North Carolina dam

In North Carolina, visitors will be seduced by the thriving food scene, incredible craft breweries, vineyards, renowned hiking trails as well as amazing landscapes that have been featured in many films – from The Hunger Games to Dirty Dancing. Autumn, as the trees blaze into colour, is one of the best times to explore either by car or on foot.

Hiking Trails

North Carolina's beautiful Appalachian Trail. Image credit:
North Carolina’s beautiful Appalachian Trail. Image credit:

Appalachian Trail – whether you’re spending a few hours on the trail, or making a “through hike,” which usually takes half a year, North Carolina’s portion of the Appalachian Trail is particularly scenic and memorable. The Appalachian Trail in North Carolina is about 88 miles long.

The NC Mountains-to-Sea Trail – North Carolina’s premier hiking trail is a great way to discover the State. The trail stretches 1150 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks, stopping at many of North Carolina’s most beautiful places along the way.

Beer trails

Experience North Carolina's most famous beer trails. Image credit:
Experience North Carolina’s most famous beer trails. Image credit:

North Carolina invites beer connoisseurs to consider the facts: North Carolina is home to more than 150 local breweries, who celebrate Beer Month throughout April and has a town which has been voted “Beer City USA” for four consecutive years. North Carolina is quickly becoming known as a “brewtopia,” which makes it ideal for a three-day tasting tour. Click here for a three-day craft brew tour itinerary.

Raleigh is a perfect destination to delve into the popular world of craft breweries. Try the Raleigh Beer Trail which rewards visitors with prizes when they check in at breweries. In Asheville, visitors can also do a Self-guided walking tour the South Slope, AKA the Brewery District.

Food Trails

Try out some of North Carolina's mouth-watering barbecue trails.
Try out some of North Carolina’s mouth-watering barbecue trails.

North Carolina BBQ Society (NCBS) Historic Barbecue Trail – NCBS has designed a barbecue trail from Eastern North Carolina to Tennessee. The trail meanders across the state with stops at 24 NCBS Historic Barbecue Pits. These pits were carefully and selectively chosen by the NCBS board as representatives of the distinctive methods and barbecue cooking styles that have made North Carolina the Barbecue Capital of the World.

Cheese Trail – North Carolina also caters for cheese lovers with the NC Cheese Trail. On the trail, visitors can learn more about the art of cheese making, discover cheesemakers scattered across the entire state, try some of North Carolina’s award-winning tastes and explore picturesque farmlands.

Culinary Guided Tours – Asheville offers plenty of guided food tours where visitors can sample coffee, chocolate, cheese and dishes cooked from locally sourced ingredients. Visit here for culinary tours.

Wine Trails

Try one of many wine trails in North Carolina. Image credit:
Try one of many wine trails in North Carolina. Image credit:

Uwharrie Mountains Wine Trail, A Charlotte-Area Day Trip – less than 45 miles separate four wineries along the Uwharrie Mountains Wine Trail, making it an ideal day trip. The trail winds from Salisbury, which is just 45 minutes to the northeast of Charlotte, and heads southeast to Albemarle near the Uwharrie National Forest. It ends on top of Stony Mountain, where visitors can toast to the panoramic views of the Uwharrie Mountains and the lower Yadkin Valley.

Swan Creek Wine Trail – located about 35 miles west of Winston-Salem, five wineries make up the Swan Creek Vineyard Association. All a relatively short drive from each other and the entire day trip can be less than 20 miles in total distance. All of the wineries on the Swan Creek Wine Trail specialise in varietal wines and blends. Highlights include the tasting room at Laurel Gray Vineyards, which is a converted 1930s milking parlour and visitors lounge on the porch at Dobbins Creek, where they can see Grandfather Mountain to the west and the Winston-Salem skyline to the east.

The Southern Gateway Wine Trail – with just 15 miles or so of wine-trail driving, the Southern Gateway Wine Trail features world-class wines and renowned barbecue restaurants. This day trip includes four Davidson County wineries near Lexington.

Beyond these culinary trails there are movie trails and history trails, so visitors are bound to find a route off the beaten track that interests them. To find more information on North Carolina visit,

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