Do it For Yourself: North Carolina Natural Wonders are Just a Road Trip Away


After the past year we’ve all endured, I think we can agree that we can’t wait to turn the page. How you decide to turn that page is entirely up to you. Choosing to move into your new home in Fuquay Varina at South Lakes has certainly placed you in an active and supportive community. Your children are in a safe environment, with schools close by, and are surrounded by people you trust. But, in making the move, you also are now in a great location to get out on occasion and appreciate some of the amazing surroundings here across the state of NC. Thus, below we compiled a list of North Carolina Natural Wonders for you to add to your “bucket list” and when you have the chance, just appreciate their beauty.

Now, we realize that not all of these North Carolina Natural Wonders are just sitting next door. There is some travel involved in getting to these destinations, but when you go and how you get there is part of the beauty of visiting these amazing places. It’s all up to you and completely on your schedule. When you have the time, or when you can make the time, keep these seven stops on that list and cross each off over time as you are able to. But most importantly, go with a clear mind and just take the time to truly enjoy the natural wonderment.

Heading to the Mountains for North Carolina Natural Wonders  

Well, anyone familiar with the recent boom over the past decade or so with people relocating to NC knows the diversity of its land is a major selling point. A state featuring beaches, waterfalls, mountains, and more gives plenty of breathtaking and mind-boggling natural settings. In the first several of our North Carolina Natural Wonders that we suggest, we will be heading up. More specifically, we will be heading way up and into the mountains of NC. Consequently, while there are countless incredible views throughout the NC mountains, these below bring the scenery to a whole new level. 

(To be clear, these are not ranked in a particular “best to worst” order, they are simply numbered randomly as one through seven. All of these should be atop some list!)

1) Pilot Mountain

This is hands down one of the most iconic and recognizable landmarks in the entire state. Almost anyone who has considered a trip to the mountains or even just checked them out online has seen pictures of Pilot Mountain. However, a picture truly cannot do this entry in our North Carolina Natural Wonders justice. Whether a visit to see the majestic site from afar or to actually pull into Pilot Mountain State Park and hike to the top is your call. But do yourself a favor and be sure to at some point experience this area in person.

2) Chimney Rock

Depending on where you have lived or traveled across the U.S. prior to moving to your new home in Fuquay Varina, you may have crossed paths before with a “Chimney Rock.” Confused? Did you think we were trying to bring you to places to “free your mind?’ Well, we still are, to explain briefly, many states have lookout points that have a similar positioning to NC’s. However, the true amazement and awe-inspiring view from the very top of any of these is off-limits in many states. Not here at the site of our next of North Carolina Natural Wonders, though. See, NC does allow you to climb the 315-foot monolith or even take an elevator that brings you within 40 steps of the top. Once you’ve reached the peak of NC’s Chimney Rock (of course located at Chimney Rock State Park) you’ll see why it’s on this list.

3) Stone Mountain

Next up for our North Carolina Natural Wonders is the legendary granite monadnock at the center of Stone Mountain State Park. Confused? Don’t be, all that means is the huge, erosion-resistant rock, known as Stone Mountain, the trails at this location take you on a beautiful hike and all lead up the back of the mountain to the top for the iconic view. Don’t want to take our word for this one, well the entire country stands behind us, as this location was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1974.

4) Looking Glass Rock

Ok, ok, so we understand that we may have thrown you off a little using terminology like “granite monadnock” in our previous entry. However, the following pluton monolith, no question belongs among our North Carolina Natural Wonders! (Ok, we know, just kidding!) So basically, Looking Glass Rock (or a pluton) is a deep-seated intrusion of igneous rock, a body that made its way into pre-existing rocks in a melted form (magma) several kilometers underground in the Earth’s crust and then solidified. Thus, to see this incredible formation up close, as you can imagine is amazing. There is a steep and steady hike to bring you close to the rock, but either way, know it is one you must see.

Look to the Falls for more North Carolina Natural Wonders

Well, if it’s not the mountains, where would that leave us to look for North Carolina Natural Wonders? As we state before, natural beauty in NC is easily found, heck, it’s all over the place. But when we talk “can’t miss,” and use terms like “bucket list,” safe bet our next stop would be either at the coast or around some type of waterfall. Not only is that a safe bet, but that is exactly where our final three entries emanate, two falls and one of the beach.

5) Dry Falls

Much like we said when introducing Pilot Mountain, Dry falls is a known commodity in North Carolina. It is certainly one of the most visited outdoor destinations and waterfalls in the entire state and has been for some time. Even in a crowd, this member of North Carolina Natural Wonders is worth going to check out. A 65-foot waterfall that pours into a gorge in Nantahala National Forest just isn’t something you see every day, am I right?

6) Upper Whitewater Falls

Again, there are numerous amazing waterfalls in NC. So what makes this one of our North Carolina Natural Wonders? Well, for one it’s the tallest waterfall in NC. Second, how about the tallest waterfall anywhere east of the Rocky Mountains? Yeah, so, there’s those things and the breathtaking 411 feet flowing waterfall along the whitewater river.

7) Jockey Ridge State Park’s Sand Dunes

There are a lot of “tallest” on this list, that is for sure. Well, welcome to the final entry and final “tallest” of our North Carolina Natural Wonders. These dunes are the tallest of any on the entire east coast of the United States. Reaching “see to believe” heights of over 100 feet above sea level, the dunes at Jockey’s Ridge are a true sight to see.

Let the North Carolina Natural Wonders Naturally Help You Appreciate Again

As stated in our introduction, sometimes it takes a long and difficult patch or period of time to allow us to appreciate things that may have been being taken for granted. Move at your own pace through these amazing wonders. Enjoy and soak in the atmosphere and surroundings of these truly inspirational scenes. Most importantly, do it for yourself.

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