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Scenic Road Trips in North Carolina

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Blue Ridge Mountains

Blue Ridge Mountains
Photo: steviep187

It’s such a joy to drive around North Carolina. The air seems cleaner and the scenery is breathtaking. If you just bought a new car and want to drive it around the state, you’ll be happy to know that North Carolina car insurance quotes are very reasonable. Make sure you’re covered so that you don’t have to worry about the costs should your car get hit or malfunction.

Here are some of the best routes in North Carolina if you’re planning a road trip.

Cherohala Skyway North Carolina

Cherohala Skyway
Photo: Doug Bradley

Cherohala Skyway

This is the 15-mile ride that starts from Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest and ends in Robbinsville. Whether you drive in the spring, summer, or fall, the landscape views are simply breathtaking. In the summer, the deep green of the foliage is truly an awesome sight. But in the spring and fall seasons, the change in the foliage can be truly spectacular. As the driver, you’ll need to keep your eye on the road, but your passengers will be truly entranced as you go through the undeveloped part of the Nantahala National Forest. Even as the driver, you’ll love the sight of old growth and there’s always the chance of sighting wildlife.

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Cherokee, North Carolina

Cherokee, North Carolina
Photo: L Church

Heintooga-Round Bottom Road

This goes for 23 miles, from Cherokee to Balsam Mountain. It’s a path that’s best for SUVs as RVs and even sedans may find the going a bit too tough. However, the astonishing sights will more than make up for the difficulty of the route, with plenty of surprising natural attractions to gawk at. You should keep your speed to about 15 mph so you can truly soak in this part of the Smoky Mountains that few others have beheld.

Bring some photographic gear for Balsam Mountain, as the natural backdrops are truly impressive. This is also a fantastic route for fly fishers, who should check out Straight Creek.

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Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway
Photo: Matthew Paulson

Blue Ridge Parkway

If you’re looking for a longer road trip, start at Airy and end up at Cherokee. This road is 232 miles long, so it won’t feel like it’s over before you even started to really enjoy the sights. Unlike the other routes we’ve already mentioned, this ride provides splendid views even in winter.

The trip is long enough for a weekend trip, as the parkway is the longest linear park in the U.S. Make sure you include Mount Mitchell in your road adventure, as this is one of the highest points in the whole North American continent.

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Morrow Mountain State Park, North Carolina

Morrow Mountain State Park
Photo: Jonathan

Morrow Mountain State Park to Reed Gold Mine

This is a relaxing ride through rolling hills, and with 54 miles to traverse you can really take it easy and make a full weekend out of your journey. This starts at Locust and ends in Midland, and it’s also a fun route for any season of the year.

During the road trip, take a break at the midway point at Lake Tillery. It’s great for a lunch break, and if you travel during the warmer season you can even enjoy a dip in the waters. Your end point at Midland leads you to Reed Gold Mine, which has the distinction of being the first gold mine in U.S. history.

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Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Photo: Benjamin Nelson

Cape Hatteras National Seashore

This is another joy ride you can enjoy at any time of the year. Spanning 62 miles, you begin at Kitty Hawk and end up at Hatteras. All throughout your ride, you get to enjoy the sight of the Atlantic Ocean sending its waves to all those pretty white sand beaches. The miles from Pea Island to Hatteras are especially gorgeous with its largely undeveloped beauty. Of course, once the ride is over you may as well visit the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and discover why it’s the most famous lighthouse in the whole country.

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