North Carolina is well known as an outdoor adventurer’s dream destination and there’s never been a better time to discover this outdoor oasis. Whether you’re planning a quick getaway or a longer trip, there’s no shortage of things to do in North Carolina. While these outdoor adventures are best in the summer, there are many other opportunities to explore the outdoors in North Carolina at any time of year. Here are some of the best outdoor adventures in North Carolina.
ZipQuest Waterfall & Treetop Adventure
This 2.5-hour treetop tour with eight ziplines and three canopy sky bridges designed for families with children and thrill-seekers alike will have everyone’s adrenaline rushing and heart pumping! The course covers remarkably steep and varied topography, including Carver’s Falls, a 20-foot-tall waterfall that stretches 150 feet wide and is the largest waterfall in the central and eastern regions of the Carolinas.
Chase Waterfalls at Gorges State Park
Chase not one, not two, but THREE waterfalls (Rainbow, Turtleback, and Hidden falls) in just one hike in Gorges State Park, one of the newest additions to the state park system. During this 6.3km journey, you’ll come across rivers, wildflowers, rare plants, and lush forest to soak in along the way.
Rise and Climb Whiteside Mountain
Rising 4,930 feet above the massive Nantahala National Forest, Whiteside Mountain is one of North Carolina’s most iconic summits – and one of the East Coast’s gnarliest climbs. Streaked with shimmering slivers of quartz and feldspar, the stunning slab of rock is also laced with formidable climbs, from the long routes on the southeast face to the less frequented approaches of the northwest face.
Cape Hatteras was deemed “one of the best spots for beginners on the planet” by Kiteworld magazine thanks to access to the calmer waters on the sound side and gnarly waves on the Atlantic side. Another claim to fame for this kiteboarding mecca is being home to one of the most consistent wind destinations in the U.S., with the most favourable winds happening from March to November.
At Cape Lookout National Seashore, you can have miles of beach to yourself. Set up your tent out on the National Seashore within shouting distance of Cape Lookout Lighthouse and camp among the dunes and grasses on the island. Not up to sleeping in a tent? Rustic cabins at Great Island and Long Point make the perfect home base for fishing, shelling and exploring – they also include hot water, private bathrooms, bunk beds, a stove and a grill. You can also find a few cabins at Long Point with electricity and air conditioning.
Whether you’re a veteran or a new diver, Discovery Diving’s scuba diving charters are as popular as ever. With regular in-season weekend scuba diving charters, half-day one-dive trips, weekday diving packages, and specialty trips, you can pick a dive experience that suits your level of expertise. You may even get to visit numerous wrecks of the “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” recognized by Rodale’s Suba Diving Magazine as the best North American dive destination.