The Best Bed and Breakfasts to Book in North Carolina

Marvel at the awe-inspiring scenery of the Great Smoky Mountains, then rest your head at a cozy North Carolina B&B
Marvel at the awe-inspiring scenery of the Great Smoky Mountains, then rest your head at a cozy North Carolina B&B | ©diversbelow / Alamy Stock Photo
Sarah Warwick

Whether you’re trekking the Great Smoky Mountains or simply sunbathing on the beaches of the Outer Banks, North Carolina makes for a great vacation spot – the Tar Heel State certainly has plenty to offer travelers in terms of history, rugged landscapes and fantastic beaches. You can find out all about the world’s first flights at the Wright Brothers National Memorial – and visit the beach town of Kitty Hawk, which gave their plane its name. Tour the cities of Charlotte, Asheville and Old Salem, and the Biltmore Estate, former home of the Vanderbilts. These great B&Bs have everything you need to refuel and rest along the way – book now on Culture Trip.

1. Arrowhead Inn Bed and Breakfast, Durham

Bed and Breakfast, Inn

Arrowhead Facade
© Jumping Rocks Photography
It’s no surprise to learn that this gorgeous old inn, which dates back to 1775, is a favorite for weddings. Its impressive colonnaded frontage is surrounded by 6 acres (2.4ha) of gardens, including gazebos, fire pits and private nooks, making a picture-perfect setting for romance. All of its nine rooms and suites have fireplaces, terry robes and luxury bedding, and breakfast comes with bread and pastries made on site. The Durham location is great for anyone looking to explore the North Carolina Triangle cities of Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill, too.

2. Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn, Asheville


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Courtesy of Abbington Green Bed and Breakfast Inn / Expedia

Don’t you just love it when you get that perfect balance between historical architecture and modern convenience? At this lovely inn in the Montford Historic District in Asheville, you can enjoy the romance of the 120-year-old mansion, combined with up-to-the-minute perks like flatscreen LCD TVs, whirlpool baths and electric vehicle charging. The house was originally built by Richard Sharp Smith, the supervising architect of the Biltmore Estate, and you’re just 10 minutes away from his creation – the former Vanderbilt Residence – for sightseeing purposes, as well as around the same distance into Asheville proper. Start any sightseeing day with the delicious two-course breakfast and a wander through the prize-winning gardens; end it with a massage in the guesthouse spa – be sure to book in advance.

3. The Black Walnut B&B Inn, Asheville

Bed and Breakfast

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Courtesy of The Black Walnut B and B Inn / Expedia

Another Richard Sharp Smith special in the Montford Historic District and constructed in 1899, the Black Walnut is a Colonial Revival-style gem, complete with wraparound porch and turret. Its eight rooms, including two dog-friendly ones in the separate carriage house, are lavish affairs – with, variously, four-poster beds, spa baths, painted ceilings and fireplaces. The term “bed and breakfast” is a bit misleading here, as you’ll return after a day’s hiking or strolling to find your host has laid on bonus treats for social hour: a spread of drinks, hot and cold hors-d’oeuvres and home-made baked goods. As if you needed another reason to stay.

4. The Melange Inn, Hendersonville


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Courtesy of The Melange Inn / Expedia

This inn is a gorgeous slice of the vintage South, from its clapperboard facade and colonnaded entrance to the antique mirrors, rugs and chandeliers of its interiors. There’s an intimate feel to any stay ‒ just six rooms and suites, seamless service and multi-course breakfasts mean you could easily feel you were staying with a wealthy friend or relation rather than as a paying guest. You’re just down the road from downtown Hendersonville too – so it’s super convenient whether you’re looking for somewhere for dinner, seeking out Civil War memorabilia at the County Heritage Museum or heading out hiking in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains.

5. Graystone Inn, Wilmington


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Courtesy of Graystone Inn / Expedia

The Graystone was built by Wilmington industrialists in the early 1900s, and it still prides itself on its “turn of the century grandeur.” Its nine rooms and suites are still decorated in the fin de siècle period style, complete with four-poster beds, glossy wardrobes and chintz furnishings. You’re right in the center of Wilmington here, and the inn’s veranda and gardens overlook the Cape Fear River. If you’re here for a special occasion, splurge on a package, including discounted room rates, evening wine and champagne, dinner at a downtown restaurant and a gourmet breakfast.

6. The Applewood Manor, Asheville

Hotel, Bed and Breakfast

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Courtesy of The Applewood Manor / Expedia

While some B&Bs top our list for the quality of the accommodation and others for the guest experience, this place does both. Not only do all the rooms come with kingsize Duxiana 6006 beds – said to be the best in the world – but the breakfast is farm-to-table gourmet, the rental bikes are fold-up Bromptons and the bathroom products are L’Occitane. Talking of bikes, it’s a real find for keen cyclists – with Zwift set-ups in its training room and optional tuition from a former road-race pro. Even if you’re not one though, you’ll love the location – just 15 minutes from downtown Asheville – the huge wine and beer cellar and the indulgence of sharing a 6,000sqft (557sqm) mansion with guests from just five other rooms.

7. Oak Hill on Love Lane Bed & Breakfast, Waynesville

Bed and Breakfast

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Courtesy of Oak Hill on Love Lane Bed and Breakfast / Expedia

Oak Hill is a charming gabled inn, built in 1898 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, despite being fully modernized within. It’s located around 30mi (48km) outside Asheville in Waynesville, between the Great Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains, making it a beautiful base for hiking, biking, fishing and rafting in no less than five national and state parks. There are 250 waterfalls within an hour’s drive. The current innkeeper, Anna, serves up a vast multi-course breakfast that will keep you going on the hardest hiking days, while several of the rooms have wood-burning fires, whirlpool baths and/or mountain views – to up the relaxation factor on your return.

8. Carrier Houses B&B, Rutherfordton

Bed and Breakfast

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Courtesy of Carrier Houses B and B / Expedia

Enjoy a simpler life while on holiday with a trip to Rutherfordton, in the Blue Ridge Foothills. This B&B is split over two houses by the Main Street Historic District, and fits right in with its two charming front porches and Victorian decor. Hosts Jim and Russell, who live on site, bought this place in 2017, bringing their experience in the service industry with them – and it shows. The adventurous may well wish to use the B&B as a jumping-off point into mountain life: to paddle across Lake Lure or climb Chimney Rock, both just down the road. But many will be content with the culture, craft and antiquing opportunities found in these charming North Carolina towns.

9. The Reynolds Mansion, Asheville


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Courtesy of The Reynolds Mansion / Expedia

Dating back to 1847, and one of only 10 brick mansions to survive from the pre-Civil War times, the Reynolds Mansion was a family house passed down the generations until it became a B&B in the 1960s. Now firmly established as one of the best inns in the Asheville area, its three floors and 13 rooms are a comfortable base to explore, with mountain views and a pool to relax by – or in – on lazy days. Hosts Michael and Billy, and their dogs Rhett and Butler, are very welcoming, and the three-course breakfast, starring home-made buttermilk biscuits, fruit plate and hot course, is to die for.

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