North Carolina’s Best Hotels and Resorts

Unwind, Reinvigorate and Enjoy Playtime

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Fearrington House
Courtesy of the Fearrington House
Tarheels, NASCAR and the Outer Banks often come to mind when thinking of North Carolina, but the state's geography lends itself to some of the best resorts in the country. With the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, the Sandhills and 326 miles of coastline, there's a true escape waiting to happen for just about any traveler. Whether you're looking to unwind with your sweetie, get reinvigorated with friends or seeking playtime, these North Carolina resorts and hotels are worth a stay.

Weekend Escape
If it’s romance you’re seeking, look no further than the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. Now known for hosting a special weekend for the Obamas, Grove Park Inn is on the National Register of Historic Places and consistently ranked as one of the best resorts in the country. The accolades are well-warranted with amazing views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, luxurious spa treatments, gourmet food and plush linens to help anyone feel presidential. The Southern hospitality and charming decor greet guests immediately upon arrival. Enjoy live entertainment, poolside martinis or walk the gardens to truly escape. If you’re looking for a getaway without children, ask for the exclusive club floor, which is reserved for adults only.

Golfer’s Getaway
Nestled in North Carolina’s Sandhills, Pinehurst is the premiere resort for any golfing aficionado. This old-world hotel is the largest golf resort in the United States, with 8 different golf courses designed by some of the sport’s greatest. For the ultimate golfer, Pinehurst offers unlimited golfing packages or a golf buddy trip for a guys’ or girls’ getaway. Along with being a golfer’s paradise, Pinehurst offers a long list of activities for every age and interest. From kayaking on Lake Pinehurst, to bicycling, lawn sports and swimming, Pinehurst is the perfect spot for those seeking playtime.

Spa Retreat
Five minutes outside of Raleigh, in Cary, NC, is The Umstead Hotel and Spa. Guests feel at peace surrounded by 12 acres of forests and gardens at this hotel designed to bring the elements of nature into art. Although the glass sculptures and architecture is inspiring, the resort’s spa is truly divine. At the Umstead Spa, visitors can select from more than 10 different types of massages, as well as enjoy numerous facial treatments and exfoliations using botanical ingredients. Relax in a meditation lounge, sauna or steam room, before dining at the on-site restaurant Herons, which uses locally grown produce and organic meats.

Back to Nature
If you’re looking for a retreat from your busy life without giving up all modern conveniences, Fearrington House Inn in Chapel Hill, NC, is calling you. This award-winning resort is part of Fearrington Village, which includes quaint shops, stunning gardens and “farm to fork” restaurants. You will feel refreshed staying in a suite inspired by the English countryside, and enjoy restorative spa treatments and dining on good food and local wine. Start each day with a hot breakfast, sample craft beer at the beer garden or afternoon tea in the library. The area’s rolling pastures and wooded acres of farmland will restore and renew the busiest of travelers.

Family Fun
The Greystone Inn, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Lake Toxaway, is like summer camp without the mosquitoes. The main hotel is actually a mansion that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and designed to replicate the original period of the early 20th century. Surrounded by Lake Toxaway, families can enjoy canoeing, kayaking, fishing or water skiing. Those who prefer dry land can take advantage of numerous amenities including golf, tennis, hiking and European spa treatments. Enjoy hot breakfast, afternoon tea or a 6-course dinner before setting sail around the lake for a sunset cruise in the resort’s own passenger ferry.

Eco-Friendly Hotel
If you’re ever near Greensboro, NC, the Proximity Hotel is worth going green for. Known as the greenest hotel in the country (it’s the first Platinum LEED-certified green hotel in the US), Proximity uses 40% less energy and 30% less water than a typical hotel -- but you’d never know it. While its carbon footprint is smaller than most hotels, Proximity doesn’t skimp on luxury: in-room massages, an outdoor pool, and jogging and biking trail are all part of the experience. Don’t miss the hotel’s restaurant Print Works Bistro to nosh on organic and local food.

About the Author

Joy Montgomery is a freelance writer who has written about everything from wild animals to the best spa treatments for networks such as Animal Planet, TLC and TVOne. Joy currently resides in Chattanooga, TN, and loves exploring the southern US region more than any other place on earth.