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North CarolinaUnited States of America

Billy Graham Library showing heritage architecture and autumn leaves

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.

Popular cities in North Carolina

Known for Sport, Theatre and Live Music
North Carolina’s largest city reigns supreme for its combination of car racing, big business, extreme sports, theme parks and museums.

Reasons to visit

  • Freedom Park
  • Charlotte Convention Center
  • EpiCentre
Basilica of Saint Lawrence featuring religious aspects, a church or cathedral and heritage architecture
Known for Mountain, Live Music and Theatre
Artists, gourmets and outdoor enthusiasts will all feel right at home in North Carolina’s “Paris of the South.”

Reasons to visit

  • Biltmore Estate
  • Asheville Outlets
  • Pisgah National Forest
Wilmington which includes an administrative building
Known for Beach View, Sea and River View
Climb aboard a World War II battleship in this port city and catch a show at a theater that pre-dates the American Civil War.

Reasons to visit

  • Wilmington Convention Center
  • Cape Fear Community College
  • Wrightsville Beach
Known for Casino, Mountain and River View
This town has preserved its Native American heritage in museums and a replica village. It is home to exotic gardens and a prosperous casino.

Reasons to visit

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Harrahs Cherokee Casino
  • Fontana Lake
Grandfather Mountain showing a bridge
Known for Mountain, Cross-country Skiing and Hiking
Go rafting, horseback riding and hiking or spend your days shopping and dining in this picturesque college town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Reasons to visit

  • Grandfather Mountain
  • Appalachian State University
  • Pisgah National Forest