Girls walking to the beach on summer vacation. Coligny Beach Park, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA

Are you in the process of creating the perfect summer bucket list? It’s a great way to get a lot done this summer and not spend time sitting around trying to figure out what you want to do that day. This can be relevant with kids on summer break or adults wanting to get the most out of the summer season. There are so many incredible things to do in the Carolinas and the surrounding area. Whether that is cities, beaches, mountains, outdoor activities, or tourist attractions. It can be hard to narrow down even just for the state of North Carolina the best things to do. But one travel publication called Travel Lemming has created a list of the 150 Best Things To Do In The USA this summer.

And of course, I had to find out if North Carolina was represented on this list. And it is! Though of the three North Carolina activities mentioned on this best things to do list not one is at the beach. In fact, they are all mountain activities. There is also a South Carolina beach town that made the list, and somewhere nestled on the North Carolina and Tennesee border. Some of these places I understand why they are being recognized. One specific spot I had never heard of. But it must be good! What’s on your summer bucket list? Will you be adding any of these things?

Keep reading to see the three North Carolina things to do that made the list as well as our neighbors! You can read the full nationwide list here.


  • 8. Go Brewery Hopping in Beer City, USA

    And Beer City USA is Asheville, in case you’re wondering. This gorgeous mountain city is home to more than 50 breweries, some you’re more than likely familiar with and others you may discover for the first time. There is also fantastic eats, a vibrant cultural scene, and some incredible luxury hotels. Plus hiking, and outdoor activities a plenty. Back to the beer some of most popular breweries in Asheville include New Belgium, Hi Wire, Highland, and Burial Beer.

    row of craft beer


  • 57. Slip, Slide, and Splash Down Sliding Rock

    Sliding rock is the fun of a waterpark but in nature! This natural mountain waterfall is located in the Pisgah National Forest which is between Brevard and Asheville, North Carolina. Thousands of people come to slide down the 6o foot rock waterfall into an 8-foot-deep pool. Be warned though this mountain water is chilly, usually 50-60 degrees! A must-do trip for an adventure junkie in North Carolina, just perhaps on a hot day. 

  • 116. Sip Outstanding Coffee at Panacea CoffeeHouse

    I’d not a coffee aficionado by any means, but if a singular coffee house is good enough to make it on a nationwide bucket list of 150 items well I’m going to assume it’s safe to say it’s fantastic. Panacea is located in Waynesville’s Historic Frog Level and is home to a  café, espresso bar, and coffee roaster.

  • Other Nearby Bucket list Mentions

  • 90. Slow Down in Hilton Head

    One of the most popular South Carolina vacation towns gives visitors the chance to relax and slow down. Hilton Head Island features a top-rated beach, as well as world-renowned golf courses.

    Hilton Head Boardwalk


  • 135. Enjoy a Slow Drive Through Cades Cove

    Cades Cove is one of the most popular destinations in Great Smokey Mountain National Park. It’s a valley surrounded by the Smokey Mountains and offers visitors many opportunities to view the wildlife. The Cades Cove Loop is an 11 mile one way drive that circles to valley and offers stunning views.


  • Popular North Carolina City Named One Of The Best For Summer Vacation

    Looking to plan that perfect summer trip? Perhaps one that doesn’t involved dragging your family through the airport? Well good news a North Carolina city just made USA Today’s 10Best list of the Best Places For Summer Vacation. So you can go on a fantastic trip, that’s an easy driving distance, and everyone in the family will love!

    To create this list USA Today 10Best’s travel editors combined with a panel of experts create a shortlist of their must-see places for a summer vacation. And from there, well then readers get the final say. They were able to vote on the best places for summer vacation, and the top 10 became the official 10Best.

    USA Today conducts these contests in a variety of categories throughout the year, you can view all the winners and even vote here. But for what you came here to see, the North Carolina city that made the 10Best list of Best Places For A Summer Vacation. When you think summer vacation, your mind typically goes to the beach right? Wrong. At least in this case it’s the complete opposite. Yep we are taking a road trip down I-40 to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Where to you ask?

  • Asheville, NC


    The East Broad River

    It’s Asheville! Asheville has been getting a ton of love lately and I love to see it. At just around a 2.5 hour drive from Charlotte this city is a mountain paradise with a personality all it’s own. From the exquisite food scene, vibrant cultural influence, hiking, outdoor activities, and popular tourist destinations such as Biltmore Estate. There is no shortage of fun to be had in Asheville, which is why people, myself included return year after year.

  • The Rest of The List

    1. Mackinac Island, Michigan
    2. Mobile, Alabama
    3. Door County, Wisconsin
    4. Mystic, Connecticut
    5. Chicago, Illinois
    6. Hocking Hills, Ohio
    7. Crystal River, Florida
    8. Asheville, North Carolina
    9. Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk, New York
    10. Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

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