You’ve heard of Raleigh, Charlotte, and Asheville. However, there are a handful of hidden gems in the Tar Heel State that deserve to be discovered, and we’ve made a list of them for you. 

Pack your bags and head to these other charming places to visit in North Carolina


Located just south of Asheville, Hendersonville is home to a number of cultural and historic sites. The Hands On! Children’s Museum keeps kids entertained with interactive exhibits, while the Mineral and Lapidary Museum draws geology and science enthusiasts. History buffs will love The Historic Railroad Depot; it features the largest model railroad in the region, and Johnson Farm, a 19th-century tobacco plantation which offers tours of the property. Hikers can head to Jump Off Rock, where they’ll enjoy beautiful mountain views.


Fresh organic fruits at the local farmers' market. Close up of a man choosing ripe orange apricots at the Farmer's market.

Make an upscale afternoon of it in this cozy town with a wine tasting at Lu Mil Vineyard. Or, get some fresh air at Jones Lake State Park. Browse local foods and products at the Cape Fear Farmers Market. It is open Monday through Saturday, 7 am to 6 pm.

Bryson City

great smoky mountains rail road train ride in Bryson, North Carolina

Considered one of the gateways to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Bryson City touts itself as a “laid-back, non-touristy town of 1,300.” It has plenty of activities to keep everyone occupied from whitewater rafting to gem mines. It’s the quintessential quaint southern spot. The small downtown has not only restaurants and shops, but also a fly fishing museum, art galleries, and two museums.


white squirrel standing up next to a tree

Brevard’s homey, bustling downtown area has bakeries, breweries, antique markets, a farm-to-table restaurant, and an old-fashioned soda fountain. During your visit, keep your eyes peeled for the Brevard’s famous white squirrels. They have become somewhat of a local legend. There’s even a boutique named after them!

The town is also extremely close to Pisgah National Forest, as well as 250 waterfalls, making it the perfect home base for a day trip.

Water running over rocks on Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina

Mount Airy

Andy Griffith and Don Knotts on the set of the Andy Griffith Show

Fans of the Andy Griffith Show will enjoy seeing the actor’s hometown and the inspiration for the town of Mayberry that was featured on his classic television show. In fact, there’s an Andy Griffith Museum with rare memorabilia that draws hundreds of visitors a day. You can even rent his childhood home for an extra dose of nostalgia. Today, the tight-knit town hosts many events and activities, including the Autumn Leaves Festival, which takes place during the second week of October every year.

If you’re in the North Carolina area now and need some help with last-minute hotel reservations- our sister site,, can help you.