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Welcome to North Carolina

In North Carolina, barrier islands stretch into the endless blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean, while the interior is an ocean of green hills composed of the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky mountains. These magnificent backdrops attract travelers to the Tar Heel State, while effervescent small towns and large cities make visitors extend their stay.

Small white flowers on a branch

State Flower: Dogwood. Getty Images

Contrasting Cities

Packed with a rich history, Charlotte has its pulse on the future. Diverse generations can enjoy this generous city, the largest in the state, thanks to its museums, craft breweries, up-and-coming food establishments and proximity to the great outdoors. The heart of the NASCAR racing world beats here, with the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Charlotte Motor Speedway attracting throngs of racing fans. For a relaxed change of pace, head to Asheville, known for mountain views, a vibrant art scene and small-town friendliness. Stop at the Biltmore Estate, which wows visitors with opulent architecture and dazzling furniture.

Mother Nature Dazzles

The Pisgah National Forest is the epicenter of outdoor recreation in the Tar Heel State, covering over 500,000 acres. A drive along one of the nation’s most scenic roadways, the Blue Ridge Parkway, offers amazing beauty and recreation at every turnoff. Hike or bike along the hundreds of miles of trails, be dazzled by dozens of waterfalls and enjoy Mother Nature’s waterpark at Sliding Rock. If you desire coastal views, head east to the Outer Banks, where scenic beaches stretch for miles and wild ponies roam the shores.

A beautiful wild horse on the Outer banks of North Carolina, USA.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Smokin’ National Park

Western North Carolina is the gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the nation’s most-visited national park. Enjoy the rich history and scenic beauty of this 500,000-acre wonderland while watching for wildlife. Black bears, elk, coyote and deer roam the woodlands and meadows.