North Carolina has gently melded biotech, banking and university industries with down-home values, resulting in a state both cosmopolitan and homespun. However, South Carolina is ever so grateful to have stuck with a more genteel pace of life.
The so called Triangle consists of three cities – Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. The rare blend of Southern hospitality, university culture, rural charm and big city life makes it a spectacular place to visit. Raleigh is filled with all the usual capital city offerings – excellent museums, professional sports venues, historic homes, impressive governmental buildings and so on…
Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway is nicknames ‘America’s Favourite Drive’. It is a 469-mile scenic route connecting the Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Parks. North Carolina is home to 252 miles of Parkway, which meander through two national forests and offer campgrounds, picnic areas, lodges, restaurants and countless scenic overlooks and hikes.
The Asheville area boasts a thriving arts community, diverse outdoor adventures, a vibrant and inviting downtown, numerous historic and architectural attractions, and unique shopping options.
North Carolina’s Atlantic coastline is made up of a long chain of narrow barrier islands known as the Outer Banks. Most of the northern coast is protected as part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, where long stretches of pristine beach, dune, and marsh shelter wild ponies, sea turtles, and many varieties of water birds.
North Carolina has 664 golf courses to choose from! The cities with the most golf courses like Charlotte, Raleigh, and Durham are listed first under the Top 10.
A marsh island lying between the Outer Banks and the mainland, Roanoke Island was the site of the first English settlement in North America. The first expedition to those shores, sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh, was in 1584. In 1587, another ship carrying more than 100 colonists disembarked at the island to create a permanent settlement. But when the next group arrived three years later, all the earlier colonists, including the first English women and children to land in the present-day US, had vanished without a trace. Today, the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, the adjacent Elizabeth Gardens, an outdoor drama, and the nearby theme park with a replica of a 16th century sailing ship as its centerpiece, all relate to the mysterious story of this legendary ‘Lost Colony’.
Beaufort’s considerable charms lie in its historic B&B inns, seafood markets, and restaurants. The highlight of this coastal resort’s small attractive waterfront is the North Carolina Maritamie Museum, which interprets the boating, fishing, and pirate history of this coastline.