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North Carolina

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North Carolina is a state in the United States of America. North Carolina is the 11th most populous state, according to the 2000 Census, with a resident population of 8,046,579. The population grew by 21.4% from the 1990 total of 6,628,637. According to Census records, only 8 other states grew faster during the last decade (Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Nevada, Texas, and Utah).

North Carolina consists of 48,843 square miles of land and 3,826 square miles of inland water. The total area of 52,669 square miles ranks North Carolina twenty-ninth in area among the states. The Old North State lies on the Eastern Seaboard with half of the population of the United States living within a 500-mile radius of the state. The state's temperate climate has four distinct seasons and is highly acclaimed for its year-round living comforts. Rainfall is adequate and dispersed over the entire year.

- source: North Carolina's State Web Site http://www.ncgov.com/

North Carolina has the Outer Banks, a chain of islands, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and everything in between. "From Murphy to Manteo" we say.

Together with South Carolina it forms Carolina, sometimes called The Carolinas.

north carolina Travel Guide :

North Carolina

Regions

North Carolina

Geographic

  • Mountains: The western region of the state, the main cities include Asheville and Boone
  • Foothills: The area between the mountains and piedmont, main city is Hickory.
  • Piedmont: The central, flat area of the state. This is where most of the population is. Charlotte, Raleigh, GreensboroGreensboro, and Winston-SalemWinston-Salem are all in this region.
  • Sandhills: This is the area just west of the coastal plain, and east of the piedmont, unlike the other areas it does not cover the state north to south. The cities in this area are Fayetteville and RockinghamRockingham. This area is very sandy (hence the name) and hot.
  • Coastal Plain: The coastal region, home to Wilmington and Kitty Hawk.
  • Outer Banks: An area exclusive to North Carolina, the Outer Banks are steep in history and beauty.
North Carolina

Special Designations

  • Research TriangleResearch Triangle -- a region of cities and universities known for scientific research
North Carolina

Counties

  • New Hanover County (North Carolina)New Hanover County -- home of Historic Wilmington & the Cape Fear Coast
  • Watauga County (North Carolina)Watauga County -- a really random place to name as the first county on this list
  • Orange County (North Carolina)Orange County -- home of Chapel Hill
  • Chatham County (North Carolina)Chatham County -- the one south of Chapel Hill
  • Wake County (North Carolina)Wake County -- home to Raleigh, the state capital
  • Durham County (North Carolina)Durham County -- home of Durham and Duke University
  • Currituck County (North Carolina)Currituck County -- the northeast coast of the state, close to Virginia and the destination for way too many tourists
  • Mecklenberg County -- Charlottean suburbia
  • Cherokee County -- farthest west county
  • Swain County (North Carolina)Swain County -- home of the Cherokee and their casinos
  • Buncombe County (North Carolina)Buncombe County -- where Asheville is located
  • Haywood County (North Carolina)Haywood County -- home to Waynesville, Linville Gorge, and some other mountainy things
  • Macon County (North Carolina)Macon County -- home of Highlands, an old resort town in the mountains that attracts lots of rich folks from Atlanta and homesick Yankees from Florida
  • Jackson County (North Carolina)Jackson County -- also contains a few tourist resorts, a lake and the like, but still one of the poorest counties in the state
  • Onslow County (North Carolina)Onslow County -- it has an island with a beach, somewhere down east
  • Wilkes County (North Carolina)Wilkes County -- Annual Americana Music Festival; http://www.merlefest.org/

see: Counties of North Carolina

North Carolina

Cities

  • Asheville - hippie mountain town, the Boulder of the East
  • Asheboro - the zoo
  • Boone - home of Appalachian State University
  • CaryCary - a sprawling Raleigh suburb lacking a large downtown, but one of the state's largest cities
  • Charlotte - the biggest city, known for banking
  • Hendersonville - Blue Ridge Mountains country and the home of poet Carl Sandburg
  • Hickory - land of furniture and fiber-optic cable
  • High Point - "furniture capital of the world"
  • Chapel Hill - home of the Tar Heels
  • Durham - the city that tobacco built
  • Raleigh - the capital city
  • Kitty Hawk - made famous by the Wright Brothers
  • Manteo - the east end
  • Murphy - the west end
  • Union Grove -- home of the Ole Time Fiddlers and Bluegrass Festival
  • WilkesboroWilkesboro -- home of Merlefest
  • Wilmington - Colonial Port City, previous home of Michael Jordan and current home of EUE Screen Gem studios
  • Winston-SalemWinston-Salem - home of a famous Moravian settlement
North Carolina

Other destinations

The beautiful mountain town of Banner Elk http://www.townofbannerelk.org/default.htm or head to the beach at Nags Head http://www.nags-head.com/

North Carolina

When to come

Year-round.

Summers can be warm, especially during July and August, but in general the climate of North Carolina is mild compared to its neighbors in the southeast. For example, the average July high in Charlotte, and most central NC cities, is 90 degrees. In the mountains of Asheville, the average July high is only 84, and highs below 90 are also found on the coast. For travelers coming from warmer climates, summers in North Carolina are quite nice, especially in the mountains.

During the summer, high humidity combined with summer temperatures above 90 degrees may be hazardous for senior citizens and those of ill health. Between the months of June and August, heat advisories are not uncommon. The good news about the heat is the air and ocean water temperatures, particularly for the Southeast NC beaches, remain comfortable for swimming and beach-going well into September, if not October.

In general, for travelers coming from cooler climates, the heat and humidity of southern summers can be a shock, making spring and fall much more attractive. During the Fall season, the Blue Ridge Mountains are a popular destination due to the beauty of the foliage. It should be noted that construction on Highway 321 may involve delays. Please check your local traffic reports.

In the winter, the mountains of northwestern North Carolina offer skiing and other winter sports.

North Carolina

Understand

North Carolina is a very old and traditional state. In some ways, North Carolina can claim to be the first state. In 1775, the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was drafted and signed, even though NC wasn't the first to ratify the constitution.

North Carolina

Talk

Standard English is the major language, and spoken in all of the large cities. The local dialect in the Western regions can seem impenetrable, but not impossible. Spanish is a popular second language used by a sizable minority population in some areas.

Also in Western North Carolina, the Cherokee language is spoken by 15,000-20,000 people.

In the City of Charlotte you will also find a wide amount of languages spoken due to the city's high immigrant population.

North Carolina

Get in

North Carolina borders Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina. Any of the surrounding states by road.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport; hub for commercial, cargo, corporate, private, military and trucking operations; on the web at http://www.charlotteairport.com

By boat on the Outer Banks/Coast.

North Carolina

Get around

North Carolina has decent roads, Charlotte's can be a bit questionable at times, but they're usable for the most part. Some mountain areas still have unpaved roads, and some of the Outer Banks are unpopulated.

North Carolina

See

The Biltmore Estate; http://www.biltmore.com - George Vanderbilt's 250-room Biltmore House, extensive gardens, and winery located in Asheville.

Andy Griffith; http://visitmayberry.com - Located in Mt.Airy - entertainment, lodging, dining, shopping, and more in the town that inspired Andy Griffith's Mayberry in the classic television series.

The Lost Colony; http://www.thelostcolony.org/ - A 400 year-old mystery haunts Roanoke Island on North Carolina's Outer Banks. There, in 1587, about 120 men, women and children established the first English colony in the New World -- then vanished without a trace, leaving historians and archaeologists with one of America's most perplexing mysteries.

The Blue Ridge Parkway; http://www.blueridgeparkway.org/ - 2005 marks the 70th anniversary of this beautiful 469 mile route.

  • Charlotte: Charlotte is home to several sports teams, and historic sites. Charlotte is a good base for the Carolina traveler as it is in the heart of the Carolinas, 2 main interstates (I-77 and I-85) run though Charlotte.

Charlotte is the center of the state's 1st metro area, Metrolina (together with Gastonia, Concord, Monroe, and Rock Hill, SC).

Charlotte is a very green city (in terms of grass and trees), it claims to be America's greenest city, and it may very well be.

  • Asheville and the NC Appalachian Mountains: The most picturesque area of the state, Asheville is the main city in this area of the state, a nice little city. Mount MitchellMount Mitchell, the highest peak in the range, is also located in the extreme west of the state.

In this area you will also find several water ways, and forests. Great for cooling off during the long, hot North Carolina summers.

  • Wilmington: Wilmington is North Carolina's main coastal city, a great destination for the beach lover.
  • Winston-SalemWinston-Salem, Greensboro, North CarolinaGreensboro, and High Point, North CarolinaHigh Point: This is the 3rd metro area in North Carolina (known as the triad).
North Carolina

Do

The The Appalachian Mountains provide extensive trails for hiking and many places allow for overnight camping. Also, The Grandfather Mountain provides a fantastic view and is the highest peak in the Blue Ridge Mountain range; http://www.grandfather.com/

Feel free to also visit Harrah's Cherokee Casino located on the Cherokee Indian Reservation. http://www.harrahs.com/our_casinos/che/index.html

North Carolina

Eat

Down home Southern cooking style.

North Carolina

Drink

North Carolina

Stay safe

North Carolina isn't known for its violence. As with any state, it is best to use common sense whenever visiting an unfamiliar place.

North Carolina

Stay Healthy

Outside of the major metro areas, North Carolina is very rural and undeveloped. You should be aware that this makes for dangerous wildlife and plants. If hiking, avoid straying from the marked trail. There are numerous poisonous animals located in North Carolina. Please use common sense. Also, during the summer months, thunder storms increase and the potential for dangerous lightening should be acknowledged.

Near the ocean, shark attacks have been on the rise in recent times. Always take precautions while enjoying the beautiful Atlantic ocean.

North Carolina

Respect

Due in large part to the rural nature of North Carolina, residents have come to expect the 'Hick' label and are either A) accepting and indulge traditional Southern behavior or B) are grossly offended.

The Southern drawl in language is generally charming to most outsiders. In most cases, mutual respect is expected and southern hospitality is a staple of the area.

North Carolina

Get out

North Carolina

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