North Carolina


Photo of North Carolina

About North Carolina

The south-eastern state of North Carolina stretches from the heights of the Appalachian Mountains in the west to the narrow, sand-spit beaches along the Atlantic coast. In between there are, literally, thousands of farms - especially pig farms! - as well as cities with cutting-edge, hi-tech industries. So it's a state of contrasts, and the best places to stay in North Carolina let you choose which type of locale you prefer.

Some of our North Carolina collections:

If you want a city-based holiday, Raleigh offers a range of state museums including the North Carolina Museum of Art - from ancient Greek to contemporary, plus a sculpture trail - and North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. At Asheville, you'll find Biltmore Estate, the magnificent mansion and gardens built in 1895 for shipping and railroad heir George Washington Vanderbilt ll. He - modestly - decided to base the design on a combination of several grand, European chateaux.

And if you yearn for a bit of action, head to Charlotte, the state's largest city, to the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing where you can test your skills - and your nerves - in a race car simulator. Or see how quick you can react as a member of a pit crew.

Durham is where to stay for visitors to Duke University - one of the country's top academic and research campuses - and it also boasts a great basketball team and lively scene.

Greensboro is a good base for all the family in the centre of North Carolina. It's easily accessible and offers a wide range of attractions for all ages from amusement parks to art galleries.

After that, you might crave some peace and solitude. You can find these on some of the beaches that run down the 300-mile-long coastline. Many are delightfully underdeveloped and un-resorty offering beach towns with a relaxed, family-geared vibe; nothing flashy. If you want real solitude, head to the Outer Banks, a series of windswept, barrier islands - more like sandbars - separated from the mainland by lagoons and waterways, and linked by bridges and ferries. On Ocracoke Island, you might spot wild ponies as well as fishermen hauling in their catches of shrimps and oysters.

Several lighthouses are open to the public and offer spectacular views, or head to Jockey's Ridge State Park to climb the coast's highest sand dune. Don't miss the Wright Brothers National Memorial where a boulder marks the spot where the remarkable Wilbur and Orville Wright launched the world's first air flight (all of 12 seconds) in December 1903. A drive down Highway 12, which links many of the Outer Banks islands, is a must.

In the far west of the state there are equally stunning scenic routes through the Appalachian Mountains. Cloaked in hemlock, pine and oak trees, the mountains are cool and refreshing with an air that positively fizzes with energy. Here you can hike, climb, go rafting, fly-fishing or try and spot deer, black bears, owls and cougars. In Mount Mitchell State Park, you can hike - or drive - to the top of the highest mountain east of the Mississippi.

And if you like sport, what better night out than watching the Duke Blue Devils hammer it out with the Carolina Tar Heels on the basketball court. Barbecued ribs at the ready! Our choice of the best places to stay in North Carolina will get you started.

The Best Places to Stay in North Carolina

The Best Places to Stay in North Carolina For the beach

  • Overlooking the beach, Sanderling Resort offers the best mix of luxury and ocean-side tranquillity. As well as a spa, there are three pools and four restaurants to choose from, and the night skies are wonderfully clear.

The Best Places to Stay in North Carolina For the mountains

  • With stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the 10-room Gideon Ridge Inn offers the perfect hideaway. Rooms mix contemporary furnishings with original features plus there’s a dining terrace for romantic dinners from the gourmet restaurant.
  • Equally romantic, The Swag, on Smoky Mountain, offers above-the-clouds, hidden views. Rooms are cosy and rustic, some with hot tubs on private balconies.

The Best Places to Stay in North Carolina For a city stay

  • Both contemporary-art museum and hotel, the 21C Museum Hotel in Durham mixes contemporary styling with the building’s art-deco design. There’s also a spa, steam room and swanky bar.
  • The stylish, environmentally friendly Proximity Hotel in Greensboro works for families and couples as well as business guests offering large, loft-like rooms, fantastic city views, gym and outdoor pool. There are complimentary bicycles to borrow to explore the city plus there’s a charming courtyard for relaxing with drinks before dinner in the Print Works Bistro.

For more choices, browse our full list of the best places to stay in North Carolina, or contact a friendly guru for advice.


Monthly Weather in North Carolina

Best Hotels in North Carolina

  • The Mast Farm Inn Banner Elk, North Carolina 7 rooms from £108

    Local markets  -  Ashe County Cheese is North Carolina’s oldest cheese plant.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.

    Welcoming guests since early 1800s this mountain boutique is something of an institution. The historic elements and southern hospitality create a unique atmosphere, with cozy rooms, modern facilities, flickering fireplaces and stunning views. Creative, award-winning dishes for all guests. See More

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  • Sanderling Resort Duck, North Carolina 120 rooms from £116

    Surfing  -  Surf lessons for the whole family, or check out the new craze - Stand Up Paddleboards.
    Kayaking  -  During the day or at sunset, kayak tours on the coastal marshes are a great trip
    Birdwatching  -  The Pine Island Sanctuary is home to more than 170 bird species.
    Sailing  -  Nor'Banks Sailing offers rentals or lessons.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    Natural beauty and ocean meet at this luxury resort. Contemporary rooms are comfortable with all the expected luxuries. Rejuvenate in the Spa, plenty of unique treatments on offer. With four restaurants and three pools to tempt you, be sure to make time for some epic star gazing at night. See More

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  • The Durham Hotel Durham, North Carolina 53 rooms from £133

    Local exploring  -  An impressive hotel in the heart of the city, ideal for exploring
    Views  -  Rooftop terrace bar gives stunning views of the city
    Lakeside  -  Falls Lake located about 15 km away
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    A trendy boutique hotel set in downtown Durham, whose design nods to the thriving cultural scene with original touches and emphasis on local arts and crafts. The restaurant headed by an award-winning chef draws on local produce, while the rooftop bar offers stunning city views. See More

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  • Gideon Ridge Inn North Carolina 10 rooms from £140

    Great walks  -  Short scenic walk includes views of Grandfather Mountain, Table Rock, and Hawksbill.
    Back to Nature  -  Secluded setting with spectacular walks and views.
    Restrictions on children  -  Children over 12 years welcome.
    Full of character

    A secluded mountain hideaway. Rooms feature open fireplaces, 100% cotton Frette sheeting, feather down pillows and plush bathrobes which leave you feeling pampered. French doors lead out to stone terraces with sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The gourmet restaurant is second to none. See More

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  • Old Edwards Inn & Spa Highlands, North Carolina 84 rooms from £155

    Great walks  -  The Wild Food Foraging Adventure is all about learning what you can and can't eat in the wilderness.
    Sights nearby  -  Explore the waterfalls all around.
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Full of character

    A European-style hotel in the mountains that offers gourmet meals and adventures for all. Luxurious, comfortable rooms in natural tones with soak tubs and fine linens. Chef Chris Huerta is a whizz in the kitchen, whipping up gourmet and innovative dishes. Relax at the spa, play golf or explore. See More

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  • 21c Museum Hotel, Durham Durham, North Carolina (North Carolina) 125 rooms from £155

    Artworks  -  The hotel boasts its own contemporary art museum
    Local markets  -  Durham Farmers Market
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    A boutique hotel with an integrated contemporary art museum located in a gorgeous 19th century building with an art-deco feel. Bedrooms have a smart, contemporary look with chic designer furniture. Relax in the swanky hotel bar or explore this lively little neighbourhood. See More

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  • The Cardinal Winston-Salem 174 rooms from £158

    City Style  -  An elegant Art Deco skyscrapper turned glamorous hotel in Salem's newly hip downtown district
    Sights nearby  -  The Downtown Arts District is well worth wandering around- check out the cafes, galleries and breweries
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    A cool and collected Art Deco masterpiece in Winston Salem's newly revived downtown. Simple and comfortable rooms and suites with subtle design features and in room yoga mats. The restaurant is a refined French affair with a lively atmosphere, and the games room features a 2-story spiral slide. See More

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  • Black Walnut B&B Inn Asheville 4 rooms from £168

    Active Holiday  -  With easy access to great nature spots from Asheville, there are good opportunities for trekking and cycling for active guests
    Romantic Break  -  The opulent feel of this heritage hotel is perfect for a romantic weekend away; book the Walnut Suite for added indulgence
    Local exploring  -  Asheville has a vibrant arts scene and there are lots of museums, galleries and boutiques to explore close to the B&B
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the Biltmore Estate, a mansion that comprises a museum and gardens built for George Washington Vanderbilt
    Recommended by  -  Chambres d’hôtes de Charme CHC

    This B&B is located in a turn-of-the-century property in historic Asheville. Interiors reflect the inn's heritage, with antiques peppered throughout and plush linens in the suites. There is a focus on luxury materials, from silk drapes to pink marble and vintage velvet, making this an opulent stay. See More

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  • Proximity Hotel Greensboro (North Carolina) 147 rooms from £202

    Great walks  -  Great paths for jogging and walks in the Greenway.
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    Whether it be business or leisure that brings you to Greensboro, be sure to check out this chic and stylish contemporary hotel. Large rooms are cleverly designed with sustainability in mind. Guests have access to a gym & outdoor pool. Print Works Bistro is all about local, freshly made fare. See More

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  • The Umstead Hotel & Spa Cary, North Carolina 150 rooms from £266

    Spa breaks  -  With a deluxe inhouse spa, it's perfect for a weekend spa break.
    Great walks  -  Go walking along the nearby pine tree trails.

    Luxury abounds at this excellent, modern five-star hotel in North Carolina. Consistently stylish and comfortable from the premium room to the presidential suite, it ensures optimal relaxation for guests. Something to suit all tastes from hiking trails to reclining in the extensive spa. See More

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  • Omni Grove Park Asheville 513 rooms from £273

    Conference facilities
    Sit-out Terrace

    Historic and extraordinary landmark hotel in the hills of North Carolina, with fabulous views. See More

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  • Fearrington House Inn Pittsboro, North Carolina 32 rooms from £279

    Sights nearby  -  Check what is on at the Carolina Performing Arts during your stays - music, theatre and dance.
    Great walks  -  Walk around Coker Arboretum at the university for 5 acres of manicured gardens.
    Fishing  -  Head to Jordan Lake.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Recommended by  -  Relais & Chateaux

    Belted Galloway cows in the picturesque garden welcome you to the luxury boutique hotel with spa treatments for days. Large, light rooms with all the mod-cons and comfort expected of a spa-hideaway. Inventive menu and local produce at the restaurant with a fully stocked bar. Relax, explore, unwind. See More

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  • The Swag Waynesville, North Carolina 14 rooms from £371

    Views  -  The property offers breathtaking views over the surrounding countryside
    Hideaway  -  Above the clouds, stunning views and a notable absense of TVs.
    Birdwatching  -  Hummingbirds can be seen from the comfort of the porch.
    Great walks  -  Nature Trail is a two mile stroll around the grounds.

    This Smoky Mountain retreat 5,000 feet above the clouds, is the true meaning of a romantic hideaway. A private hot tub on your balcony adds to the experience here. Hunger doesn't feature with seasonally-inspired picnics, gourmet dining and al fresco setting. Location and views are spectacular! See More

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  • Westglow North Carolina 11 rooms from £390

    Total relaxation  -  Idyllic and tranquil location, top class spa, gourmet dining and luxury rooms for a complete relaxation experience
    Romantic Break  -  Scenic and secluded, this is an ideal choice for a romantic getaway
    Hills & mountains  -  Spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains
    Cooking classes  -  Cooking classes are available with the chef team at Rowland's gourmet restaurant
    Recommended by  -  Relais & Chateaux

    This luxury resort and spa is located just minutes from Blowing Rock in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Housed in a restored Greek Revival mansion, guestrooms are impeccably appointed, with heritage features like original fireplaces. A full-service spa guarantees total relaxation. See More

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