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Recommended Tent Camping Sites for 2011 - NC
North Carolina Tent Camping Trip
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North Carolina offers travelers the heritage of the Cherokee people, vintage estates, world-class pottery, heart-thumping drama, and dreamy gardens. Lots of vehicles to see, too, from World War II battleships, trolleys, and old-fashioned railways to puttering golf carts and sleek racing cars. It’s a great time to experience North Carolina tent camping at its best!
Western North Carolina’s mountains provide the setting for the Cherokee people’s Oconaluftee Indian Village and Living History Museum. The village is located in the town of Cherokee, off US-441. Visitors see recreated period homes and a council house, as costumed guides offer insights into the Cherokee lifestyle during the mid-1700’s. At the nearby Qualla Arts and Crafts Co-op, you can purchase authentic pottery, baskets, and wood carvings, hand-crafted by the members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee.
The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad may be boarded in Dillsboro or Bryson City for a memorable round-trip ride through the tunnels, river gorges, and valleys of the Smokies.
In Asheville’s Blue Ridge Mountains, off I-26, tour the largest home in America, George Vanderbilt’s Biltmore Estate. The 250-room mansion, furnished with exquisite antiques, is surrounded by gift shops, four restaurants, winery, and 100-year-old gardens. At the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Folk Art Center in Asheville, the Southern Highland Craft Guild hosts exhibits, demonstrations, and a store that’s been selling homespun Appalachian crafts for more than a century. Don't forget to check out two of the great North Carolina tent campgrounds in the area, Blue Ridge National Parkway and Campfire Lodgings.
From Asheville take Hwy. 64/74 and move into central North Carolina. Paramount’s Carowinds, near Charlotte, has provided full-scale family entertainment since the early 70’s. From a whole host of thrill rides to water park adventures to musical concerts, Carowinds continues to delight visitors of all ages.
Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte is accessible from State Highway 29 or 49. Opened in 1959, the action-packed speedway hosts several major NASCAR racing events each year. Guided tours are presented through the onsite Nextel Cup Gift Shop and comfortable, full hook-up campsites are rented at the adjacent Fleetwood RV Racing Camping Resort. There are also a few North Carolina tent campgrounds available in the area.
Central North Carolina has much to offer to serious craftsmen. Old Salem in Winston-Salem, off Hwy 52, was established in the mid-1700’s as a community for craftsmen. Today the site features historic gardens and more than 100 restored and furnished buildings from that era, including homes, North Carolina’s first African-American church, and a fascinating toy museum.
The town of Seagrove, off U.S. Highway 220, started as a haven for potters in the late 18th century and remains so to this day. Nearly 100 area potters use high-quality local clay to produce a wonderful variety of pieces, from everyday cups and plates to museum-quality works of art. And they’re happy to demonstrate their time-honored skills to onlookers who come to learn about the area’s unique artistic heritage.
For active travelers who’d like to play a few rounds of great golf, Pinehurst Resort is both green and grand. Pinehurst’s first golf course was constructed at the turn of the last century, and the resort (located in the town of the same name) is now regarded as one of the top golfing destinations worldwide.
Eastern North Carolina encompasses the coastal section of the “Tar Heel State.” If you’re traveling down Hwy. 17, pull over when you get to the town of Wilmington. We recommend a visit to the World War II battleship North Carolina, where you can take a self-guided tour of the ship’s nine decks. You’ll also learn the record of this great vessel, and her crew of over 2,300 men, which fought in all the major naval battles of the Pacific theater.
In New Bern, take the city’s Historic Trolley Tour to catch up on almost 300 years of history in North Carolina’s second oldest town. And enjoy an icy soft drink at the Birthplace of Pepsi Cola Store, the exact location where the Pepsi formula was first invented in 1898. The original soda fountain has been re-created for your nostalgic enjoyment.
Beaufort Historic Site on U.S. Highway 70 effectively takes you back in time to 1722 when the town was initially established. Tour guides in period attire liven up tours on the old-fashioned British double-decker buses with engaging tales about pirates, spies, jailbirds, and skilled artisans that colored Beaufort’s past and shaped its present.
In Manteo, the last stop on this North Carolina tent camping trip, on the Outer Banks’ U.S. Highway 64, the Elizabethan Gardens serve as a memorial to 16th century English colonists who dared to brave the perils of the New World. If you like the looks and scents of blossoms such as jasmine, magnolias, daffodils, tulips, and pansies, the Elizabethan Gardens is an all-season botanic treasure that you shouldn’t miss. Next to the gardens at the circa 1937 Waterside Theater, “The Lost Colony” has been running longer than any other outdoor drama in the country. The expertly performed musical production recounts a riveting story of 117 courageous souls who founded the first British colony in America on Roanoke Island in 1587, then disappeared without explanation, never to be found again.
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