Stretching from the Atlantic Ocean’s beaches to the AppalachianMountains, this state also has exciting cities and charming small towns.
North Carolina has severaldistinct regions from the ocean to the mountains. The easternmost territoryincludes the Outer Banks, barrierislands that protect the mainland. Travel up and down these narrow strips of peninsulasand islands to enjoy sandy beaches, iconic lighthouses, giant sand dunes andbeautiful sunrises. Visit Kitty Hawk,where the Wright Brothers made some of man’s earliest airplane flights.
Just inland, the town of Wilmington on the Cape Fear Rivercenters on Riverwalk, with numerous shops and restaurants. Nearby, tour the Battleship North Carolina, a highlydecorated World War II U.S. battleship.
The Piedmont area is the flatcentral section of the state. The area around Raleigh is known as the Research Triangle, with the greatuniversities of Wake Forest, UNC at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State. Stroll thebeautiful campuses and watch exciting college sports.
Charlotte, one of the nation’slargest banking cities, has an exciting uptown. Visit the area to enjoy professionalfootball, basketball, baseball and NASCAR racing. See performances of thephilharmonic orchestra, opera, touring Broadway shows and numerous other artistgroups throughout the year at the seven sites of the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.
Take a family raft adventure at Charlotte’smanmade U.S. National Whitewater Center.If you’re an expert, run the rapids in your own whitewater kayak, or rent onefor the day.
West of Charlotte, visit the AppalachianMountains for outdoor activities. Hike trails to waterfalls. In spring, thehills light up with pink rhododendrons. Although the state is part of the typicallywarm southern U.S., you’ll find enough cold weather in the mountains fordownhill skiing. Try Sugar MountainResort or Appalachian Ski Mountainnear the college town of Boone.
Asheville is home to the Biltmore Estate, originally owned by GeorgeVanderbilt, now a resort with public access. Explore gardens designed byFrederick Law Olmsted, who created New York’s Central Park. Go horsebackriding, hike on wooded trails or take the Christmas tour through the Biltmorehome, decorated with more than 50 Christmas trees.