Destination, North Carolina: Top 5 Cities to Visit On Your Days Off

It doesn’t have to be all work and no play when you’re away for an assignment. Travel nursing is the career that lets you combine the two!

North Carolina is a tourist’s dream and truly has something for every traveler. Where else can you find smoky mountains, beaches, and urban attractions in one place? If you find yourself in the Old North State, you should visit these five cities.

Asheville
Nicknamed the “Paris of the South” due to its attractive architecture, Asheville is an unexpected gem that won’t disappoint. This thriving community is known for its 30+ art galleries in downtown alone, a vibrant culinary scene, and their liberal, eclectic energy.

Located in the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky mountain ranges, Asheville is a prime location for nature enthusiasts and those who crave adventure. Take your time hiking, biking, ziplining, or even whitewater rafting. Stop and watch the strolling musicians and street performers and wander through the River Arts District to take in what makes this city so spectacular. Be sure to visit the world-famous Biltmore Estate, the enormous French Renaissance-style estate of George Vanderbilt.

Asheville is a mixing pot of cultural diversity and creates an identity that’s uniquely its own but remains true to its southern roots. Everyone is welcome!

Wilmington
This laidback port city is also known as “Hollywood East” for its large production studio and features in films and TV shows, including “Dawson’s Creek,” “One Tree Hill,” and Iron Man 3. But besides its Hollywood-esque appeal, Wilmington is beloved by many for its peaceful beachy vibe and fascinating historical attractions.

This family-friendly city has something for all age groups to enjoy. Visit some of the magnificent museums and gorgeous gardens, and don’t forget to relax at one of the numerous beautiful beaches nearby. Take a walk downtown for a day full of dining, art, and antique shopping. Or try a ghost or carriage tour to cap off your evening with a thrill. Whatever you choose to do will be an experience like no other.

The Outer Banks
The Outer Banks—also known as OBX by the locals—is a string of barrier islands that hug the North Carolina coastline and offer a welcome relief from crowded cities and overrun tourist spots. OBX is famous for the wild horses that roam on the northern side, plenty of miniature golf courses, gift shops, and restaurants. You won’t find a big nightlife scene, but you will find an abundance of natural beauty.

These islands have a rich history of their own. Aviators Orville and Wilbur Wright took their famous first flight at Kill Devil Hills. The pirate Blackbeard fought his last battle at Ocracoke. The mysterious Lost Colony disappeared and was last seen on Roanoke Island near Manteo.

Not just a destination for history buffs, OBX also offers fishing, windsurfing, and wildlife watching. You can also snorkel and scuba dive to explore the roughly 3,000 shipwrecks, dubbing OBX as “the graveyard of the Atlantic.”

OBX is ideal for those looking to skip overly developed touristy towns and head straight for the unspoiled beaches.

Charlotte
Only a stone’s throw away from South Carolina, Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina. Although it’s not the capital, Charlotte functions as a significant economic, cultural, and financial center. Nicknamed the Queen City, this cosmopolitan city explodes with growing businesses, burgeoning sports franchises, and an evolving culinary scene with new spots opening almost every day. This city has a lot to offer tourists, including excellent museums, historical sites, and the motorsport’s roaring races.

Depending on when you visit, catch a live sports event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a Panthers game at Bank of America Stadium, or a Charlotte Hornets game.

Raleigh
Raleigh is the state capital and the capital of delicious eats; its barbecue is among the best in the nation. Take a look around, and you’ll see the numerous craft breweries that dot this city in central North Carolina. You’ll also find the explosion of new restaurants and shops downtown or in the trendy Warehouse District.

There are plenty of things to do in Raleigh to keep you entertained. Raleigh is home to some of the state’s best museums, galleries, and cultural experiences. Submerge yourself in the energy of the city’s many bands, musical performances, and visual art exhibitions. You also have to check out the sporting events and local markets within the downtown core.

North Carolina’s cities will wow you with a variety of unique personalities. If you want to find an opportunity to visit, view our job board. You won’t leave unsatisfied.

Safe travels!

learn more