5 NC outdoor destinations make USA Today’s 10Best lists

USA TODAY readers voted five North Carolina spots among the best in North America in the categories for “Best Boat Tour,” “Best Helicopter Tour,” “Best Adventure Travel Company” and “Best Aerial Adventure Park.”

The annual 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards are determined by readers’ votes. Initial selections came from travel experts choosing the top 20 nominees in a number of categories, including best art museum, best farmers market, best outdoor water park and more.

As of July 14, many 10Best categories are still pending, and results will be announced over the next few weeks.

All categories, winners and pending winners can be found at 10best.com/awards/travel.

NC spots win best for aerial adventure parks

Greensboro: SKYWILD in Greensboro won a top-10 readers’ choice award for the best aerial adventure park in the United States.

“This treetop adventure park in Greensboro, North Carolina takes inspiration from the neighboring Greensboro Science Center’s zoo,” USA TODAY 10Best said. “Visitors can tackle 60 challenges and three intensity levels.”

SKYWILD is about an hour and a half drive from Raleigh. For more, visit skywild.org.

Saluda: The Gorge in Saluda also appeared on this list.

“The Gorge calls itself the nation’s steepest and fastest zipline canopy tour,” USA TODAY 10Best wrote. “This tree-based adventure in North Carolina comprises 11 ziplines spanning well over a mile with a total descent of more than 1,100 vertical feet. The course also includes a sky bridge and three rappels.”

The Gorge is about a four-hour drive from Raleigh. For more, visit thegorgezipline.com.

SKYWILD and The Gorge came in at #5 and #6 on the list, respectively. The top spot went to Shepherd of the Hills Adventure Park in Branson, Missouri.

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