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I have to be honest. For me, it would be Carowinds. But that is just me. Travelers Worldwide says that the number one attraction in North Carolina is The Great Smokey Mountains National Park.

The most visited attraction in North Carolina is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The 12 million annual visitors make it the most visited national park in the United States. Its proximity to larger cities in North Carolina make it easy to access.

Ok, I can agree with that. So where else is cool to visit in North Carolina?

Bald Head Island in North Carolina makes the list. They say it gives off major Mackinac Island vibes as the only way to travel around the island is via foot, bicycle, or golf cart. Visitors can only reach the island by ferry or private boat, making it a unique experience for all involved. 

The island offers 14 miles of shoreline, perfect for you and your family to play in the sand or splash in the waves. A laid-back atmosphere makes the island a great place to relax or enjoy a round of golf at the Bald Head Island Golf Course. 

Another Carolina gem making the list is Chimney Rock State Park

Established in 2005, Chimney Rock State Park is another natural attraction in North Carolina that boasts stunning views. As you may have guessed, the most popular view of the park comes from atop a 300-foot rock structure known as Chimney Rock.

Take the 26-story elevator to the top, or lace up your tennis shoes and climb the estimated 500-steps to take in the views. In addition to Chimney Rock, the state park offers breathtaking views of the 400-foot Hickory Nut Falls.

There are many more. The city of Charlotte also made the list of places you need to visit! Just in case you haven’t recently. Check out all the places here. Enjoy.

The Experts Say These Are The Best Cities To Live In North Carolina

We all know that living in North Carolina is wonderful. The State has something for everything and we often talk about how the “rivalry” between Charlotte and Raleigh. But it’s not just those cities that make NC great. Scholaroo created a detailed guide on the best US cities to live in. The report compared 150 cities across 47 metrics distributed in 9 key relevant categories: Crime & Safety, Affordability, Economy, Quality of life, Leisure and entertainment, Healthcare, Education, Employment, and Infrastructure. And in the best 150 cities to live there were four North Carolina cities. And only one of the big two, Charlotte and Raleigh were included on this list.

Additionally moving a little south, the Palmetto State also had four cities make this list. If I had to pick four cities to be included from SC, these would be those four. And the highest ranking city was the one that we always seem to talk highly of (for good reason)- Charleston. The other four cities are wonderful places to call home as well.

Read Scholaroo’s full rankings and analysis here and keep reading to see the North Carolina cities named the best places to live, as well as the NC cities, and the top 10 nationwide.

  • North Carolina Cities

  • 62. Asheville, NC


    Rank Crime & Safety: 82

    Rank Affordability: 70

    Rank Economy: 74

    Rank Quality of Life: 69

  • 69. Charlotte, NC


    Rank Crime & Safety: 78

    Rank Affordability: 81

    Rank Economy: 48

    Rank Quality of Life: 94

  • 82. Winston Salem, NC


    Rank Crime & Safety: 138

    Rank Affordability: 21

    Rank Economy: 94

    Rank Quality of Life: 55

  • 126. Hickory, NC


    Rank Crime & Safety: 69

    Rank Affordability: 57

    Rank Economy: 96

    Rank Quality of Life: 52

  • South Carolina Cities

  • 11. Charleston, SC


    Rank Crime & Safety: 32

    Rank Affordability: 109

    Rank Economy: 40

    Rank Quality of Life: 47

  • 17. Greenville, SC


    Rank Crime & Safety: 67

    Rank Affordability: 76

    Rank Economy: 120

    Rank Quality of Life: 38

  • 56. Columbia, SC

    Columbia, SC

    Columbia, South Carolina, USA downtown city skyline from Finlay Park at dusk.

    Rank Crime & Safety: 106

    Rank Affordability: 52

    Rank Economy: 137

    Rank Quality of Life: 53

  • 74. Myrtle Beach, SC

    South Carolina

    Rank Crime & Safety: 143

    Rank Affordability: 116

    Rank Economy: 110

    Rank Quality of Life: 35

  • Top 10 Best Cities To Live

  • 10. Lincoln, NE

    Lincoln NE

    Rank Crime & Safety: 49

    Rank Affordability: 39

    Rank Economy: 59

    Rank Quality of Life: 91

  • 9. Cambridge, MA

    Harvard North Carolina college hardest to get into

    Harvard University Eliot House across Charles River, in Cambridge, Massachusetts

    Rank Crime & Safety: 24

    Rank Affordability: 144

    Rank Economy: 24

    Rank Quality of Life: 15

  • 8. Papillion, NE

    Papillion Nebraska

    An aerial shot of the Omaha Suburb of Papillion in Nebraska

    Rank Crime & Safety: 26

    Rank Affordability: 79

    Rank Economy: 20

    Rank Quality of Life: 144

  • 7. Madison, MS


    Mississippi State welcome sign along the US Highway 61 in the USA; Concept for travel in America and Road Trip in America

    Rank Crime & Safety: 6

    Rank Affordability: 111

    Rank Economy: 5

    Rank Quality of Life: 24

  • 6. Alpharetta, GA


    ALPHARETTA, GEORGIA – September 13, 2019: The Alpharetta Historic District contains several historic buildings dating from the late 19th century and older, and includes dining and shopping.

    Rank Crime & Safety: 14

    Rank Affordability: 124

    Rank Economy: 14

    Rank Quality of Life: 107

  • 5. Naperville, IL


    Carillon bell tower in Naperville, Illinois at sunset

    Rank Crime & Safety: 15

    Rank Affordability: 120

    Rank Economy: 9

    Rank Quality of Life: 119

  • 4. Amherst, NH

    New Hampshire

    Rank Crime & Safety: 1

    Rank Affordability: 99

    Rank Economy: 13

    Rank Quality of Life: 60

  • 3. Portland, ME


    Portland, Maine, USA coastal townscape on Portland Harbor.

    Rank Crime & Safety: 42

    Rank Affordability: 96

    Rank Economy: 63

    Rank Quality of Life: 37

  • 2. Carmel, IN


    Rank Crime & Safety: 8

    Rank Affordability: 91

    Rank Economy: 17

    Rank Quality of Life: 120

  • 1. Naples, FL


    Naples coastal neighborhoods aerial drone photo

    Rank Crime & Safety: 4

    Rank Affordability: 150

    Rank Economy: 8

    Rank Quality of Life: 11