The Big Wake Up With Don Chase and Sarah

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Crabtree Falls near Mt. Mitchell on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. It's one of the most beautiful places in the state to visit.

Does it really matter how high gas prices go? It’s almost vacation season. My wife Debbie and I seem to have this talk year after year because when you have been in the same state for your entire life, you may not realize all it has to offer.

For example, take this great state of North Carolina.

We have a little of everything with the Great Smoky Mountains, the Foothills, the Piedmont, the Sandhills, Southern Coastal Plain and a huge stretch of Atlantic coastline.

Think of this. You could wake up in the morning, have breakfast, take in a few ski runs in the mountains, jump in your car and before the sun sets, you’re swimming in the Atlantic Ocean.

VisitNC.com compiled a list of the 10 Most Beautiful Places To Visit Across North Carolina. The list is below along with links to each location to help in planning the best vacation ever.

  • The 10 Most Beautiful Places To Visit Across North Carolina

  • 1. MOUNT MITCHELL STATE PARK

    Mount Mitchell State Park

    One of those places that stand apart from the ordinary, Mount Mitchell's dramatic summit is the highest point east of the Mississippi at 6,684 feet and was the inspiration for one of the nation's first state parks. From its easily accessible observation deck, the spruce-fir forest of Mount Mitchell State Park leads the eye to unmatched views.

  • 2. CAPE HATTERAS NATIONAL SEASHORE

    Cape Hatteras National Seashore (U.S. National Park Service)

    The sound of ocean waves, the starry night sky, or the calm of the salt marshes, you can experience it all. Shaped by the forces of water, wind, and storms these islands are ever changing. The plants, wildlife, and people who live here adapt continually.

  • 3. CAPE LOOKOUT NATIONAL SEASHORE

    Cape Lookout National Seashore (U.S. National Park Service)

    A boat ride three miles off-shore brings you to the barrier islands of Cape Lookout National Seashore. Horse watching, shelling, fishing, birding, camping, lighthouse climbing, and touring historic villages--there's something for everyone at Cape Lookout. Be sure to bring all the food, water, and supplies you need (and carry your trash out of the park) when visiting these remote beaches.

  • 4. CHIMNEY ROCK STATE PARK

    Home - Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park

    The Park is open! The elevator is operational. Ticket Plaza hours are 8:30am to 5:30pm. Guests can hike until 7. Combining your two favorite things. Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is a nature lover's paradise with a collaboration of spectacular views and incredible hiking trails.

  • 5. FORT FISHER STATE RECREATION AREA

    Fort Fisher State Recreation Area

    Alternate between nearly six miles of pristine beach and trails through salt marsh brimming with wildlife at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, a park touching both the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape Fear River. Development on this protected shoreline is limited to a visitor center and related facilities and boardwalks that attract birders and photographers.

  • 6. GOOSE CREEK STATE PARK

    Goose Creek State Park

    The eight miles of trails at Goose Creek State Park lead visitors through a broad range of coastal experiences-live oaks draped in Spanish moss, wetlands along the Pamlico Sound and a cypress swamp viewed from an extensive boardwalk. A visitor and environmental education center explains it all with detailed exhibits.

  • 7. GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN STATE PARK

    Grandfather Mountain State Park

    Grandfather Mountain has been an icon in North Carolina's landscape for generations, offering stunning scenery and unmatched ecological diversity. This state park opens the mountain's 2,456-acre backcountry to spectacular hiking and backpacking. The park is known for some of the South's most severe weather and challenging terrain, with trails that have hikers scrambling along cliffs and up ladders.

  • 8. GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

    Ridge upon ridge of forest straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, this is America's most visited national park.

  • 9. HAMMOCKS BEACH STATE PARK

    Hammocks Beach State Park

    A crown jewel of the North Carolina coast and Hammocks Beach State Park is Bear Island-a 4-mile-long, undeveloped barrier island accessible by the park's passenger ferry or private ferry, or by paddling a canoe or kayak. A wide beach between massive dunes and the ocean is interrupted only by primitive campsites and a modest concession/picnic complex.

  • 10. RAVEN ROCK STATE PARK

    Raven Rock State Park

    The Cape Fear River is the frequent hiking destination for visitors entering Raven Rock State Park, whether it's Lanier Falls, the Fish Traps rapids, or the massive Raven Rock, an ageless landmark for river travelers. Along the way, hikers will experience steep terrain, mountain laurel and rhododendron thickets, and tumbling creeks.