The Appalachian Highlands is next in my series of posts highlighting each region of the United States. The area is defined by the Appalachian Mountains of the Upper South and includes the states of Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Below are my favorite places in the region along with links to my photo albums for each state.
Great Smokey Mountain National Park, Tennessee
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited National Park in the country, due to its proximity to populated areas on the East Coast. Protecting a small portion of the Appalachian Mountains, the park is home to streams, waterfalls and beautiful mountain views. Avoid the tourist traps that have sprung up in nearby Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge and focus on the scenery in the park.
I have included Louisville on this list not so much for the city itself but because of the multitude of places to go in and around. In my opinion the top regional attraction is the Bourbon Trail which is home to a number of well known distilleries. The Louisville Slugger Factory and Churchill Downs (Home of the Kentucky Derby) are also worth a visit.
Nashville has been nicknamed Music City for a reason. There are so many talented singers and songwriters covering all genres, not just country, that catching a live show is a must. Other cool sites include a full scale replica of the Parthenon, the Ryman Auditorium, and the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Outer Banks, North Carolina
The Outer Banks are a chain of islands located off of the North Carolina Coast. They are home to my favorite East Coast beaches (outside of Florida) partly because they have not been spoiled by development and tourist traps. Some points of interest include the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse which is the tallest lighthouse in the country and Kitty Hawk where the Wright Brothers made history by flying the first control powered airplane.