When people think of North Carolina, the word that comes to mind first is 'beautiful.' North Carolina is a diverse land, home to both mountains and sea, with more than 120 species of trees. The state's mountains are the perfect vantage point for viewing the brilliant kaleidoscope of colors they produce each fall. We have 300 miles of white sandy beaches, more than any other Atlantic Coast state except Florida.
North Carolina is rich in resources, with a stunning array of wild creatures, from painted buntings to white-tailed deer, bog turtles and our native brook trout. This is a great state for hunting, fishing, boating, and wildlife viewing, from one of our 10 national parks or in one of the 41 locations that are currently part of our state parks system.
Arts and Culture
Cultural and educational experiences are plentiful. The nation’s first state-supported symphony and art museum continue to flourish in the state. Along with celebrated Native American and Civil War roots, we also commemorate the Wright Brothers’ first moments of flight.
Summer theaters, wineries, craft breweries and festivals abound throughout the state, as does outdoor drama. A nationally recognized zoological park and extensive system of aquariums support wildlife education.
North Carolina's roots are in farming and agriculture. Visit NC Farms to discover more than 400 destinations of local farms and fisheries, farmers markets, pick your own operations, local food and drink, farm stays and lodging, tours and trails, and community events.
History and Heritage
We're rich in history and culture. Deep in the Great Smoky Mountains, visitors can experience one of the state's greatest cultural treasures: the tradition, fine arts, music and dance of the 10,000-year-old Cherokee culture. Across the state, battlefields and other sites tell tales of NC history in the Civil War. The Wright Brothers' National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills commemorates the first moments of flight that changed the world and forever linked the state to one of aviation's greatest triumphs.
Recreation and Sports
Recreational opportunities range from celebrated golf courses to outdoor sports, to college and professional athletics. The state’s beaches, national and state parks, and mountains offer boating, kayaking, fishing, hiking and skiing. Outdoor recreation areas include the Blue Ridge Parkway, Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout national seashores, and 41 state parks and recreation areas.
North Carolina is recognized worldwide for its more than 550 golf courses. Pinehurst, established in 1895, is considered the home of American golf. Pinehurst most recently hosted the U.S. Open in 2014. Pinehurst No. 2 will be home to the U.S. Open for the fourth time in 25 years when the national championship returns to Pinehurst Resort and Country Club in 2024.
When you’d rather watch sports than participate, North Carolina boasts an array of professional football, hockey, basketball and baseball teams. The Carolina Hurricanes hoisted hockey’s biggest honor, the 2006 Stanley Cup. North Carolina is the heart of the stock car racing world.
Four universities in the Atlantic Coast Conference, including North Carolina State University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Wake Forest University and Duke University, provide plenty of sports rivalry. National Collegiate Athletic Association Conference contenders North Carolina Central University and Appalachian State University also compete nationally with the latter winning back-to-back championships.