10 Least Crowded Places To Visit In North Carolina


North Carolina draws around 43 million visitors annually, contributing nearly $36 billion to the economy and supporting over 227,000 jobs. But beyond the bustling tourist spots, a world of serene landscapes, untouched trails, and breathtaking views await. This is your gateway to exploring North Carolina’s 15 least-crowded yet utterly scenic places.

Lake Glenville


Tucked in the Nantahala National Forest, Lake Glenville offers a serene, high-elevation lake experience away from the crowds. This 3,500-acre lake is perfect for boating, fishing, and swimming in quiet coves surrounded by lush forests. Nearby trails like Blacks Creek Trail and Bear Pen Gap Loop offer scenic hikes, while small, secluded swim beaches provide a refreshing end to your day.

Airlie Gardens

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Airlie Gardens, established in 1886 by Mrs. Pembroke Jones, is named after the Jones family home in Scotland. Airlie is a naturalistic Southern garden featuring thousands of azaleas, camellias, magnolias, palms, and wisteria. The highlight of this serene, uncrowded garden is the majestic 500-year-old Airlie Oak. 

Pisgah National Forest

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This forest attracts visitors who appreciate and respect the natural environment. Its vast expanse of over 500,000 acres offers ample opportunities for solitude and exploration. As a result, there’s a culture of responsible outdoor recreation, where visitors strive to minimize their impact on the land and preserve its beauty for future generations.

Linville Falls

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Famous for its breathtaking panoramas and cascading waterfalls, Linville Falls is a must-visit. Despite its reputation as one of North Carolina’s most stunning natural wonders, its secluded setting promises a tranquil retreat from the bustling crowds. Hike along the Linville Gorge Trail to witness the majestic beauty of the falls and soak in the serenity of this hidden gem.

Ocracoke Beach


Accessible solely by ferry, this beach presents endless stretches of untouched coastline, ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing. Relax to the calming sound of waves crashing against the shore and revel in the solitude of this coastal paradise.

Lake Lure Beach

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National Geographic has recognized the 27-mile shoreline of this lake as one of the Ten Most Spectacular man-made lakes globally. Here, you can indulge in leisurely lounging on the sandy shores, paddling through the crystal-clear waters on a kayak, or simply immersing yourself in the breathtaking scenery.

Mingo Falls

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These falls are culturally significant to the Cherokee people, who have inhabited the region for centuries. The waterfall is located on land historically part of the Cherokee Reservation, adding to its appeal as a site of cultural and historical interest. Visitors to Mingo Falls can learn about the rich heritage of the Cherokee people, further enhancing their experience of the area.



Built by George Vanderbilt in the late 19th century, the estate features a stunning mansion with 250 rooms, beautifully landscaped gardens, and a vast estate encompassing thousands of acres. Biltmore Estate employs a ticketing system that allows visitors to reserve specific entry times, helping to manage crowds and ensure a more memorable experience for guests.

Blue Ridge Parkway

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Unlike many tourist destinations, the Blue Ridge Parkway has limited commercial development along its route. This preserves the natural environment and allows visitors to experience the wilderness without the distractions of modern civilization. Travelers are drawn to its winding roads that traverse through the Appalachian Mountains, offering panoramic vistas of rolling hills, lush forests, and distant peaks.

Topsail Beach


Many visitors to Topsail Beach are families seeking a quiet and safe retreat. Topsail Beach is located on a barrier island off the coast of North Carolina, bordered by crystal-clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The beach’s gentle waves make it a great place for children to play and swim, while parents can relax knowing they’re in a family-friendly environment.

Written by grayson