Your Guide to the Appalachians Highlands

Appalacians States

Written by Alexia Dellner

The rugged Appalachian Mountains extend for 2,400 km from Canada’s Newfoundland and all the way down to central Alabama in the US. The ancient mountains have played an important role in America’s development and are a popular attraction with travellers today.

Wooded and wild, arguably the best place to trek the scenic mountain range is while visiting Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. But there’s more to these states than hiking or skiing – whether you’re travelling back through time with historic buildings and monuments, rocking and rolling in USA’s music mecca, or exploring vast caves, roaring rivers and sandy beaches – don’t miss out on the Appalachian Highland States.

Read locals’ tips for the Appalachians Highlands on our United Sharing Adventure map


Kentucky is famous for mint juleps, fried chicken, bluegrass music and thoroughbreds. At the annual Kentucky Derby in Louisville, enjoy a mint julep (bourbon, mint, and sugar) while watching horses compete in “the greatest two minutes in sports.” Whiskey enthusiasts will enjoy the “Bourbon Trail” around Lexington and adventurers can explore Mammoth Cave National Park, the most extensive cave system in the world.

Kentucky bourbon

Kentucky horses

Thanks to Jim for the beautiful Kentucky images.

North Carolina

From the Appalachian Mountains in the west to the Atlantic sea in the east, diverse North Carolina is a state of vast beauty. The state’s geography means that beach bunnies and outdoor enthusiasts alike will love it, not to mention history buffs who will enjoy exploring early English settlements and Civil War battle sites.

Looking for cheap accommodation? Check out our budget hostels and hotels in North Carolina

Chimney Rock State Park, North Carolina

bear cub in North Carolina

Thanks to Christina for the beautiful North Carolina images (seen above and in the hero shot).


Tennessee is a must visit for lovers of rock and roll, blues, soul and country music. Pay homage to Elvis Presley in Graceland, Memphis or visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. Tennessee is an outdoor-lovers’ paradise too, with the popular Great Smokey Mountains National Park great for hiking.

Looking for cheap accommodation? Check out our budget hostels and hotels in Tennessee


Tennessee music scene

Thanks to Scott for the beautiful Tennessee images.


Virginia’s rich history makes it the ideal destination for history buffs. Attractions like the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the grave of JFK in Arlington National Cemetery, Mount Vernon (George Washington’s home), and the Colonial town of Williamsburg are popular with visitors. But don’t miss the wine tasting, sandy Chesapeake Bay and beautiful Shenandoah National Park either!

Looking for cheap accommodation? Check out our budget hostels and hotels in Virginia

Colonial Virginia

Virginia Chesapeake Bay

Thanks to Vero for the beautiful Virginia images.

West Virginia

Often overlooked due to its coal-mining country reputation, West Virginia has plenty to offer the curious traveller. From thermal waters at Berkeley Springs and white-water rafting in the New River Gorge National River to historic towns like Harpers Ferry, West Virginia is the place to relax without spending a fortune. Nicknamed ‘The Mountain State,’ the skiing and hiking is excellent here too.

Beautiful West Virginia

Beautiful West Virginia

Thanks to Jeanne for the beautiful West Virginia images.

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