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Dreaming of a summer vacation? This NC travel destination ranks among the best in the US


If you’re dreaming of unwinding in North Carolina this summer, one vacation destination may be your best bet, new rankings show.

The Outer Banks barrier islands rank No. 10 on a list of top travel spots that offer pleasant weather and summertime activities at an affordable price, according to US News & World Report.

To create the nationwide list, the website said it considered input hundreds of website users shared about places to visit during the summer season, defined as June through August. It also turned to editors, who scored US destinations across several categories: “sights, culture, people, food, family, nightlife, adventure, romance, value and accessibility,” according to results published in March and updated May 9.

The Outer Banks, located off the North Carolina coast, were the only place in the state to earn a top spot in the rankings. They received a nod for having a relaxing yet fun atmosphere.

“A quintessential family vacation spot, the Outer Banks fills to the brim in summer with beachgoers looking to relax,” US News wrote in its report. “Activities for kids and teens abound in this North Carolina destination, including fishing, windsurfing, boogie boarding and kiting adventures.”

The report also highlights the lighthouses and other historic sites on the Outer Banks, which is where the Wright brothers first took flight in the early 1900s. Then of course, there were the area’s beaches, praised for being “wide and clean.”

The Outer Banks earned recognition soon after ranking as one of the nation’s best places to go for cost-effective spring break trips. But the barrier islands missed out on another seasonal travel list.

Instead, the mountain tourist town of Asheville was the lone place in North Carolina to receive a USA Today 10Best readers’ choice award for top-notch summer travel destinations, McClatchy News reported.

On the US News & World Report list, the highest-ranked summer vacation spot in the country is Glacier National Park in Montana. Rounding out the top five:

  • Yellowstone National Park

  • Grand Canyon National Park

  • San Diego

  • Grand Teton National Park

Further down in the rankings was another popular North Carolina tourist spot. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located along the Tennessee state line, landed at No. 15 on the list.

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