North Carolina has so many wonderful historic sites open to the public. While it is difficult for me to narrow down my favorites, I have chosen my top picks that I think are well worth a visit if you happen to be in the Old North State!
1. Biltmore Estate (Asheville, NC)
You must visit this late 19th century grandiose one-of-a-kind mansion belong to the Vanderbilt family and designed by Richard Morris Hunt. Just go. It's amazing! Between the house, gardens, grounds, vineyards, and breathtaking views all across the estate you will not be disappointed.
2. Old Salem (Winston-Salem, NC)
Discover the everyday life this early Moravian community in Colonial North Carolina. This early Moravian community settled the Wachovia tract in the mid eighteenth century near today's Winston-Salem, NC and brought with them their customs, religion, architecture, and simple, beautiful decor. To learn more about Old Salem's history, programming, and other offerings, visit www.oldsalem.org
3. Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum (Gibsonville, NC)
Explore the state's rich African American history at the former Palmer Memorial Institute. Founded in 1902 By Charlotte Hawkins Brown, the institution educated thousands of African American students during the twentieth century.
4. Island Farm (Manteo, NC)
This is one of my personal favorite living history site offering a look into what 19th century farm life was link in Manteo. It offers lots of hands-on activities and demonstrations, there are farm animals living on the property, and the authenticity of the place truly helps to bring the past to life. While you are in Manteo, be sure to visit Roanoke Island Festival Park too!
5. Somerset Plantation (Creswell, NC)
This mid-19th century rural plantation gives visitors an authentic look at 19th century farming on a large-scale plantation in eastern North Carolina. Learn about the Collins family and visit a full array of dwellings, outbuildings, and other structures that were necessary to operate such a property and produce cash crops for market. Visit http://nchistoricsites.org/somerset/ for more information.
6. Historic Lighthouses on the Outer Banks
These iconic structures of our state's coast are so unique and if you are anywhere near the Outer Banks you must go and visit at least one of the lighthouses. Located all along the outer banks, each one is beautiful and most of them are open for tours.
A couple others of note are Tryon Palace and North Carolina's Civil War Battlefields and related sites. I'm sure there are many more noteworthy sites I have forgotten to include on this list. What are your favorites??