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From the breath-taking panorama of the mystic Blue-Ridge Mountains to the vast, thundering shoreline of the Outer Banks, North Carolina has something for just about everyone. The state offers a unique cultural experience, embodying both the enchanting ease of the Old South and the fast-paced sophistication of the New South. This interesting dichotomy is perhaps best seen in the larger cities in North Carolina where diners can savor the increasingly popular Nouveau Southern cuisine — think fried-green tomatoes served with the decidedly uptown goat cheese grits and fresh basil — or enjoy a first-class European hydro bath at one of the South's most famous resorts. Throughout the state, visitors will enjoy the best of the past and present. Just about every small town boasts the birthplace of a general, president, writer or local celebrity. In fact, one of North Carolina's most notorious residents is Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard the Pirate himself. History buffs will also be delighted to find that North Carolina is home to a variety of firsts including the University of North Carolina, the nation's first state college, as well as the site of Babe Ruth's first professional home run. And one cannot overlook that tiny little first by those industrious Wright Brothers — the first successful human-powered flight at Kill Devil Hill near Kittyhawk. Beyond the historical draw of the state is the overwhelming beauty and diversity of the landscape. While the Blue Ridge Mountains in the west awe visitors with breathtaking aerial views of lush patchwork, over 130 miles of sandy barrier islands in the east, known as the Outer Banks, lure those seeking solitude and respite.

 

Famous Residents

Famous people that live in or are from North Carolina
  • Blackbeard
  • Maya Angelou
  • John Edwards
  • Elizabeth Dole
  • The Petty Family
  • John Coltrane
  • Billy Graham
  • Andy Griffith
  • Thelonious Monk
  • Earl Scruggs
  • James Taylor
  • Dale Earnhardt, Sr.
  • Michael Jordan
  • O. Henry
  • Jesse Helms
  • Andrew Johnson
  • Edward R. Murrow
  • Ava Gardner
  • George Clinton
  • Virginia Dare
  • Thomas Wolfe
  • Roberta Flack
  • James K. Polk
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Sugar Ray Leonard
 

 

Local Color

What makes North Carolina unique
  • Barbeque
  • Calabash
  • Nascar Racing
  • Research Triangle Park
  • Krispy Kreme Birthplace
  • Moravians
 

 

Nicknames

North Carolina's alter egos
  • Tar Heel State
  • Old North State
  • Turpentine State
 

 

Major Industries

Most profitable industries in North Carolina
  • Furniture Manufacturing
  • Travel and Tourism
  • Academics
  • Tobacco
  • Textiles
  • Agriculture
  • Real Estate
 

 

Geographic Regions

Regions that extend into North Carolina
  • Mountains
  • Piedmont
  • Coast