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Deeper Journey

Deeper Journey
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Here naturally beautiful landscapes stretch from the coast to the Great Smoky Mountains. Explore the breathtaking views the range offers while hiking, camping, rafting or zip lining. Along the coast, make time to relax or find adventure. Dive into water sports, including kiteboarding, surfing, stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking. Climb historic lighthouses or board a historic battleship. Savor Calabash seafood, fresh from the sea and fried to golden perfection in a style all its own. And get your camera ready: wild horses roam over the sands of two separate banks here.

With all there is to do on land and by sea, save time for all that’s happening within North Carolina’s vibrant cities and eclectic college towns. Here the dynamic natural landscape gives way to vineyards and valleys, as well as premiere golf and stock car courses, historic sites, plentiful shopping and restaurants that carry on the state’s distinct culinary tradition. Foodies can indulge in delights from James Beard nominees and barbecue pit masters alike. And those looking for nightlife will find the cities filled with a booming music scene, bustling breweries and enough entertainment to last for several lifetimes. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, mountains or beaches, the rhythm of city life or the tranquility of nature, your stay in North Carolina will definitely stay with you.

Deeper Journey

Deeper Journey
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Fun Fact

The Wright Brothers Memorial reaches into the sky
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This state gets bragging rights to First in Flight. The Wright brothers' historic flight took off at Kill Devil Hills in 1903 and successfully ended, 12 seconds later.

Ready for the fire at Skylight Inn BBQ
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Eat your way down the North Carolina Barbecue Society Historic Barbecue Trail, which highlights 24 stops that roast pig the old-fashioned way, slowly over pits of wood or charcoal.

Gator Golf’s menagerie in Fayetteville
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The first Putt-Putt miniature golf course in the U.S. was built in Fayetteville.

Must see places

Fall colors at Newfound Gap in the Great Smoky Mountains

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

These mountains, so named for the thin blue mist that floats around them, cover 111,693 hectares of the state, encompassing charming small towns that preserve the area’s unique cultural history and offering a variety of outdoor adventures, from climbing to rafting to camping.

The massive European-style gardens at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville

Biltmore Estate

The USA’s largest private residence sprawls across impressive grounds (a 3,237-hectare backyard where you can horseback ride, for instance), has 250 rooms and an ornate façade that barely fits in your camera frame. Nearby Antler Hill Village features the award-winning Biltmore Winery as well as dining, shopping historical exhibits and two hotel properties perfect for longer visits.

The Mile High Swinging Bridge at Grandfather Mountain in Linville

Grandfather Mountain

One of the cliffs on this imposing 1,828-meter high mountain looks just like an old man, hence the name. Within its scope, you’ll find rock formations more than a billion years old and the region’s most ecologically diverse nature preserve, where you might encounter bears, cougars, otters and bald eagles in their natural habitat. Take in stunning, 360-degree views from the Mile High Swinging Bridge, stroll nature paths or hike the alpine trails.

There are hundreds of beers on tap at Raleigh Beer Garden

Raleigh Beer Garden

As the Guinness World Record holder for most varieties of beer on tap (more than 350, and most of those are local to North Carolina), Raleigh Beer Garden is an experience of the state’s brew culture like none other. Head to the rooftop garden with its views of downtown.

Inside the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte

NASCAR Hall of Fame

All things NASCAR are celebrated in this grand Uptown Charlotte megaplex, which is just as educational as it is entertaining. Interactive exhibits and ever-changing experiences, a 278-seat theater, a Hall of Honor, restaurants and shopping keep the rich history of racing alive.

The ropes and whitewater courses at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte

US National Whitewater Center

This outdoor recreation and environmental education center features mountain-biking and running trails, a climbing area, ropes-courses, zip lines and a canopy tour, but the crown jewel is a customized whitewater river for rafting, canoeing and kayaking.

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The Replacements Ltd. store in McLeansville, which has over 12 million pieces of china, crystal and silver


Over 1,115 square meters of old and new china, crystal, silver and collectibles round out the 12 million pieces of inventory from more than 420,000 patterns at this expansive store. Shop, take a tour or spend some time in the museum.

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Cape Lookout Lighthouse in the Outer Banks

Cape Lookout National Seashore

Three unspoiled barrier islands on North Carolina’s Outer Banks make up the Lookout, offering visitors unfettered access to fishing, swimming, birding, boating, windsurfing, kayaking and shelling. Climb the Cape Lookout Lighthouse to survey the Crystal Coast or to spot the wild horses that roam here.

Hang gliding over the dunes at Jockeys Ridge State Park in Nags Head

Jockey’s Ridge State Park

Home to the tallest sand dune on the East Coast, Jockey's Ridge is a hot spot for hiking, hang gliding, kite flying and sunset watching over Roanoke Sound. The wind constantly reshapes the 200 hectares of dunes here, so every day offers a new view of this state park.

Dinosaur’s-eye-view at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Raleigh’s Smithsonian-affiliated natural science museum is rich with collections, exhibits and living exhibits, including its Living Conservatory. The museum’s state-of-the-art Nature Research Center brings science to life through even more interactive features.

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The Pounding Mill Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Brevard, North Carolina
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Experience North Carolina