15 days in North Carolina Mountains Itinerary

15 days in North Carolina Mountains Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Carolina Mountains planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Highlands
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Cherokee
— 4 nights
Drive
3
Boone
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Asheville
— 5 nights
Fly

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Highlands

— 2 nights
Highlands is an incorporated town in Macon County in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Dry Falls and Glen Falls. Get outdoors at Whitewater Falls and Whiteside Mountain. Take a break from Highlands with a short trip to Gorges State Park in Sapphire, about 48 minutes away. There's still lots to do: identify plant and animal life at Highlands Biological Station, Nature Center and Botanical Gardens, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Sunset Rock and Ravenel Park, take in the dramatic natural features at Cullasaja River Gorge, and take in the exciting artwork at The Bascom.

To see ratings, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Highlands holiday website.

New York City to Highlands is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from New York City in August, Highlands is little chillier at night with lows of 61°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Tue) early enough to drive to Cherokee.

Things to do in Highlands

Parks · Nature · Museums · Wildlife

Side Trips

Cherokee

— 4 nights

Trails of Legends and Adventures

The center of Cherokee culture in the eastern part of the country, the town named after this Native American tribe serves as a base camp for hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Max Patch and Murphy River Walk. Take a break from the city and head to Waterrock Knob and River Rafting & Tubing. Explore Cherokee's surroundings by going to Tsali Recreation Area (in Bryson City), Carolina Outfitters (in Topton) and Murphy (Fields of the Wood & Cherokee Cellars Winery). There's lots more to do: trot along with a tour on horseback, explore the activities along Santeetlah Lake, get engrossed in the history at Swain County Heritage Museum, and walk around Oconaluftee Islands Park.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Cherokee journey planning site.

Traveling by car from Highlands to Cherokee takes 1.5 hours. In August, plan for daily highs up to 82°F, and evening lows to 61°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) early enough to drive to Boone.

Things to do in Cherokee

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Tours

Side Trips

Boone

— 3 nights
Boone is a town located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, United States. Discover out-of-the-way places like Grandfather Mountain State Park and Stone Mountain State Park. Get outdoors at Julian Price Memorial Park and The Greenway Trail. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Boone: Linville Gorge (in Linville Falls), Mount Jefferson State Park (in Jefferson) and Cascades Falls (in Wilkesboro). There's still lots to do: steep yourself in history at Flat Top Manor, trek along The Cascades Trail, sample the tasty concoctions at Blowing Rock Brewery, and look for gifts at Mast General Store.

To find where to stay, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Boone tour builder.

You can drive from Cherokee to Boone in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car and bus; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Cherokee in August: highs in Boone hover around 76°F, while lows dip to 59°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Tue) so you can go by car to Asheville.

Things to do in Boone

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Trails

Side Trips

Asheville

— 5 nights

Land of the Sky

Asheville nestles between two major mountain ranges in the scenic western section of North Carolina.
Grovewood Village and Cradle of Forestry will appeal to history buffs. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Zipline and Asheville Drum Circle. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Asheville: Pearson's Falls and Glen (in Saluda), Hendersonville (Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards & Burntshirt Vineyards) and River Rafting & Tubing (in Hot Springs). The adventure continues: get interesting insight from Tumblestone Tours and Transportation, sample some tasty brews at BREW-ed, appreciate the history behind Thomas Wolfe Memorial, and view the masterpieces at Center for Craft.

To see photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Asheville visit planner.

You can drive from Boone to Asheville in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Boone in August: highs in Asheville hover around 82°F, while lows dip to 64°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Asheville

Tours · Wildlife · Outdoors · Historic Sites

Side Trips

North Carolina Mountains travel guide

4.5
Historic Sites · Zipline · River Rafting & Tubing
Called the "Land of the Blue Mist" by the Cherokee Indians, the North Carolina Smoky Mountains are one of the world's most biologically diverse wilderness areas. The vast national park sheltering the native wildlife of these ancient mountains offers a close look at the area's nature and its people. A perfect spot for a tranquil vacation, the blue-misted mountains are one of the country's few World Heritage Sites, protecting the largest old-growth forest east of the Mississippi River. Things to do for adventurous visitors include whitewater rafting and river tubing, while those interested in more urbane entertainment can explore the area's many small towns on the 750 km (470 mi) scenic road meandering over the mountains.