North Carolina's Best Hidden Secrets

Hitting up the West Coast for some classic SoCal beach time may seem like the obvious summer vacation choice, but if you’re looking for a hidden gem, check out all the East Coast has to offer. More specifically, plan a trip to North Carolina.

This coastal state has some beautiful beaches, exciting cities, and culinary meccas that can easily give your California daydreams a run for their money. When you head east this year, be sure to check out these NC secret treasures to make the most of your trip.


You may not have heard a whole lot about Asheville, North Carolina, but it’s been gaining some buzz lately; and for good reason, too. Located in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is quickly becoming a young, thriving city known for its vibrant arts scene and historic architecture.

You can fill up your time in Pisgah National Forest or immerse yourself in the arts scene by visiting the Downtown Art District and its neighboring River Arts District. In Asheville, you can get a taste of the South while still indulging in your cultural side.

The Cowfish

Like any good foodie, chances are you love burgers and you love sushi. But have you ever thought about how great and – okay, maybe a little wonderfully strange – it would be if you could get both in one place? Or even one dish? North Carolina-born restaurant chain, The Cowfish, grants that wild culinary wish by serving up the best burger AND the best sushi in town in one place.

If you’re feeling extra adventurous (which, if you’re walking into a place called “The Cowfish,” we’re guessing you are), give their specialty category, Burgushi, a shot. It’s a tastebud tantalizing combination of burger and sushi that requires only an open mind and an empty stomach.

The Outer Banks Islands and Lighthouses

If you like your beach with a side of really awesome history, North Carolina has you covered. Take a trip to the Outer Banks and experience beautiful, sunny beaches; the chance to go shipwreck diving; and earn the bragging rights that come with spending some time on Roanoke Island.

What are those bragging rights, you ask? Roanoke was the site of England’s first settlement in the U.S., which is pretty darn cool if you ask us. If history isn’t really your thing, there’s still plenty of beauty to feast your eyes on in the Outer Banks. For example, there are a number of breathtaking lighthouses along the islands of the Outer Banks that are absolutely stunning and offer unparalleled ocean views.


Regardless of what you’re looking for in a vacation destination, North Carolina’s got plenty to share. The best part? It wraps it all up with old school-East Coast charm and offers it to you with a side of some seriously good BBQ on every corner.

Want even more North Carolina goodness? Check out this month’s Hammock Pack for some treats from around the state. Fair warning: you’ll be booking a plane ticket in no time.

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