Discover the enchanting beauty of North Carolina as we invite you to explore and rank the most breathtaking natural wonders this charming state has to offer. From the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains to the serene Outer Banks, North Carolina is a treasure trove of picturesque landscapes waiting to be unraveled. Join thousands of nature enthusiasts in our quest to unveil the most beautiful nature spots in North Carolina by participating in our StrawPollranking. Come, cast your vote for your favorite locale or suggest a hidden gem that deserves recognition. Together, let's embark on a captivating journey through North Carolina's awe-inspiring scenery and uncover the best-kept secrets of this nature lover's paradise!
What Is the Most Beautiful Nature in North Carolina? (September 2023)
The stunning range offers breathtaking views, hiking opportunities, and scenic drives.
The Blue Ridge Mountains is a picturesque mountain range located in the eastern United States, specifically in the state of North Carolina. These mountains are a part of the larger Appalachian Mountain range and are renowned for their beauty and natural splendor.
Highest peak: Mount Mitchell (6,684 feet)
Length: 469 miles
States: North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia
National Parks: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Shenandoah National Park
The barrier islands on the Atlantic coast have pristine beaches, dunes, and historic lighthouses.
The Outer Banks is a popular beach destination in North Carolina known for its stunning natural beauty and rich history. It is a series of barrier islands stretching along the eastern coast of the state, separated from the mainland by the sounds and inlets. The pristine beaches, sand dunes, and clear blue waters make it a paradise for beach lovers.
Location: Along the eastern coast of North Carolina
Size: Approximately 200 miles long and 30 miles wide
Barrier Islands: Consists of a chain of barrier islands
Wildlife: Home to diverse wildlife including wild horses, sea birds, and marine life
Cape Hatteras National Seashore: Includes over 70 miles of protected coastline
The park straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, and is home to diverse wildlife, waterfalls, and hiking trails.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a breathtaking national park located in the United States, straddling the border between Tennessee and North Carolina. It is renowned for its majestic mountain range, diverse ecosystems, and rich cultural history. The park gets its name from the enchanting smoky haze that often blankets the mountains, creating a mystical and awe-inspiring atmosphere. With its stunning natural beauty and abundant wildlife, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is considered one of the most beautiful national parks in America.
Location: Tennessee and North Carolina, United States
Size: 522,427 acres (2,114.15 km²)
Elevation: Clingmans Dome, the highest point, reaches 6,643 feet (2,025 m)
Mountain Range: The Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountains
Biodiversity: Home to over 1,500 species of plants and countless animals, including black bears and elk
Great Smoky Mountains National Park in other rankings
The forest covers over 500,000 acres and contains numerous waterfalls, hiking trails, and scenic drives.
Pisgah National Forest is a stunning natural area located in western North Carolina. It is renowned for its outstanding natural beauty, diverse ecosystems, and recreational opportunities. The forest spans over 500,000 acres, offering visitors access to numerous hiking trails, waterfalls, rivers, and mountaintop vistas.
Location: Western North Carolina
Size: Over 500,000 acres
Ecosystems: Diverse ecosystems including hardwood forests, high elevation spruce-fir forests, and grassy balds
Hiking Trails: Extensive network of trails for various skill levels
The park features a 315-foot granite monolith and offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
Chimney Rock State Park is a breathtaking natural attraction located in North Carolina. It is situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers visitors stunning views and unparalleled natural beauty. The park is named after its most prominent feature, Chimney Rock, a 315-foot granite monolith that towers above the surrounding landscape. It was established in 2005 and has since become a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
Location: Chimney Rock, North Carolina
Size: 5,700 acres
Elevation: 1,200-2,800 feet
Trails: Over 6 miles of hiking trails
Waterfalls: Hickory Nut Falls, featuring a 404-foot cascade
The seashore offers miles of undeveloped beaches, sand dunes, and opportunities for surfing, fishing, and birdwatching.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a stunning natural gem located along the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It stretches over 70 miles and encompasses a diverse range of ecosystems, including pristine beaches, salt marshes, dunes, and maritime forests. The seashore is known for its breathtaking landscapes, abundant wildlife, and rich history.
Location: Outer Banks, North Carolina
Size: 75 miles (121 km) long
Beaches: Vast stretches of untouched, unspoiled shoreline
Lighthouses: Home to the Cape Hatteras, Bodie Island, and Ocracoke Lighthouses
Wildlife: Habitat for a wide variety of birds, sea turtles, dolphins, and other marine life
The pristine lake surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains was the filming location for the movie "Dirty Dancing."
Lake Lure is a picturesque lake located in the scenic mountainous region of North Carolina. Nestled in the Hickory Nut Gorge, this man-made lake offers stunning natural beauty and attracts visitors from all over. The clear blue waters, surrounded by lush greenery, make it a popular spot for outdoor activities and relaxation.
The mountain offers stunning views, hiking trails, and is home to the Mile-High Swinging Bridge.
Grandfather Mountain is a majestic peak located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. It is renowned for its stunning vistas, rugged terrain, and diverse ecosystems. The mountain is part of the larger Grandfather Mountain State Park, which offers visitors a variety of outdoor experiences including hiking, wildlife viewing, and camping. Grandfather Mountain stands out for its iconic profile, featuring rugged cliffs, deep valleys, and a distinct profile that resembles the face of a bearded man. The mountain also boasts a famous swinging bridge, which is a popular attraction for visitors. Overall, Grandfather Mountain is a natural treasure that captivates all who visit.
The overall visual appeal and beauty of the landscape, including picturesque views, vibrant colors, and the variety of natural features such as mountains, hills, forests, waterfalls, coastlines, and rivers.
The abundance and variety of flora and fauna found in the region, including native plants, wildlife, and ecosystems. This can also include the presence of unique geological features.
The attractiveness of the region during different seasons, such as the beauty of fall foliage, spring blooms, or winter snowscapes.
The ease of access to the area and the availability of hiking trails, viewpoints, or other recreational opportunities for locals and tourists to enjoy the natural beauty.
The overall wellbeing of the environment and the degree to which it has been preserved and protected. This can include efforts taken to maintain the natural beauty and minimize human impact on the environment, such as conservation programs, sustainable tourism practices, and responsible land management.
Cultural and historical significance
The presence of historical landmarks, archaeological sites, or cultural traditions related to the natural beauty of the area. This can enhance the visitor's appreciation and understanding of the region's natural heritage.
The level of interest and visitation to the area by local residents, domestic tourists, and international travelers. High rankings in travel guides, awards, and destination lists can be indicative of the region's natural appeal.
Unique or rare natural phenomena or features that can only be found in that specific location, which adds to the area's attractiveness.
The range of outdoor activities that visitors can engage in while visiting the area, such as hiking, biking, bird-watching, fishing, or water sports, to name a few.
Opportunities for visitors to learn about the area's natural history, ecology, and conservation efforts, which can enhance their appreciation and connection to the natural environment.
About this ranking
This is a community-based ranking of the most beautiful nature in North Carolina. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or your favorite natural is missing from the list, feel free to help us improve the ranking.
More information on most beautiful nature in north carolina
North Carolina boasts some of the most stunning natural landscapes in the United States, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. From the rolling hills of the Piedmont to the rugged Appalachian Mountains and the breathtaking coastline, North Carolina's diverse terrain provides endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. With over 40 state parks and numerous national forests, visitors can experience the state's natural beauty through hiking, camping, fishing, and more. In this article, we'll be exploring some of the most beautiful nature spots in North Carolina, as voted on by our users on StrawPoll.
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