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North Carolina

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Personality Types that Like it Best

Did You Know…?

  • The Wright brothers made the first manned flight at Kitty Hawk on Dec. 17, 1903.
  • Blackbeard the pirate was killed in North Carolina in 1718.
  • The state had its own Declaration of Independence, the 1775 Mecklenburg Declaration.
  • America’s largest home, Biltmore House in Asheville, has 250 rooms and 65 fireplaces.
  • The Carolinas originated as one colony called Carolina, but they became two in 1710.

Uncluttered natural beauty

Much of North Carolina’s appeal hinges on the beauty of its mountains, lakes and oceanside settings, a beauty that has not been undermined with clutter and overdevelopment. The state offers extremes of geography, from the Blue Ridge and Great Smokey mountains in the west to the sloping coastal plains, where lakes, rivers and the Atlantic Ocean’s islands and beaches meet.

Therefore, the state draws those who love fishing, golf, beaches and water sports, plus the leaf peepers in autumn.  In addition, visitors seek out the cities and towns that preserve the look and feel of decades and even centuries past.  The state also has attractive weather and the charm of the South.

North Carolina appeals to a wide variety of people across the personality scale, all of whom enjoy the beaches, fresh air, friendly people, good food and the variety of things to do and see in this unspoiled part of the U.S.

The area called the Outer Banks is one of the most sought-out destinations in the eastern part of the country and is frequently cited by travelers as a favorite vacation spot.

Those at the center of the personality scale are equally attracted to the mountains and the beaches. For activities, they mention fishing and golf most often. In addition, sightseers seem intrigued with quaint villages like Ocracoke that emit a sense of timelessness, and they like the shopping and reasonable prices.

No surprise, adventurous visitors are more active and seek out options for biking, camping, sea kayaking, surfing and swimming, as well as playing golf and fishing. They also interest themselves in North Carolina’s history, which includes the first British colony at Roanoke, relationships with the Cherokee Indian tribe and the Wright brothers’ first successful flight. These travelers also cover more ground as sightseers, exploring undeveloped, isolated islands, finding quaint little towns as well as exploring Charlotte, one of the South’s major cities.

The less venturous, on the other hand, like having some development — on behalf of tourists! They join all the other travelers in admiring North Carolina’s varied and beautiful scenery.

Things to do for Venturers

  • Fashion a fall foliage tour in North Carolina, undertaken by hiking, or canoeing, or whitewater rafting.
  • Participate in one of the autumn Build a Boat in a Day workshops at the North Carolina Maritime Museum on Roanoke Island, Manteo.
  • Learn to paddle a canoe or kayak at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in Bryson City. The center also offers mountain biking, ropes courses, kayak touring, fly-fishing and hiking.
  • Pursue insights into the African-American heritage through food. Lunch at the Aramark Cafeteria in Durham, home to the country’s largest African-American-owned financial institution, North Carolina Mutual Insurance. Or, order sweet potato cheesecake and other unique Southern-style dishes at the Sweet Potatoes Restaurant in Winston-Salem.
  • Participate in Cycle North Carolina, the state’s annual cross-state ride, in early autumn.
  • Go whitewater rafting or kayaking on the Cheoah River; you will want to do this soon after one of the regular releases of water from the upriver Santeetlah Dam.

Things to do for Centrics

  • Follow the North Carolina Birding Trail, which encompasses 120 birding sites. The state boasts 460 of the 900 to 1,000 species in the U.S.
  • Take the African-American Heritage Walking Tour in New Bern. This is a town where free blacks comprised 13% of the population before the Civil War, and they helped design and build the place.
  • Attend the annual Benson Mule Days, in Benson, a fall tradition spanning more than 50 years. The event ../includes rodeos, a mule-pulling contest, arts and crafts, street dances, bluegrass shows and a huge parade that draws about 20,000 people.
  • North Carolina boasts several scenic drives. Choose one based on your interests (mountains, coastal scenes, farmland, etc.). A drive called Tail of the Dragon is a favorite with motorcyclists. The drive begins at Cheoah Dam where Harrison Ford jumped off the bridge in “The Fugitive.” Or, choose a fall foliage drive.
  • Tour the Somerset Place State Historic Site, in the Pettigrew State Park, for a realistic view of 19th century slave life on a large North Carolina plantation. See the reconstructed plantation hospital, the only example of its type.
  • Eat your way across the state by following the Barbecue Trail created by the North Carolina Barbeque Society. The state calls itself the barbecue capital of the world.

Things to do for Authentics

  • At summer’s end, attend the annual Smoky Mountain Folk Festival in Waynesville to hear fiddlers, banjo players and string bands and to see square-dance teams in full swing.
  • See “The Lost Colony,” the story of the 1587 lost colony of Roanoke, presented during the summer on Roanoke Island on the Outer Banks. Dating from 1937, it is the country’s longest-running outdoor historical drama.
  • For wine lovers, check out North Carolina’s output at the wineries on the Swan Creek Wine Trail. Or, in October, come to the Swan Creek group’s Harvest Festival Weekend in Yadkin Valley.
  • The Cherokee Indian Reservation memorializes the fascinating and turbulent history of this Indian nation. See its museums and the Oconaluftee Indian Village, and take in the play, “Unto These Hills,” a historical drama about the Cherokees.
  • Sample the offerings at the Randy Parton Theater in Roanoke Rapids. It is part of a large entertainment complex with special appeal for country music lovers.
  • Stay at the Pinehurst Resort and Country Club and, of course, play golf.

Additional Resources

For more information, consult Visit North Carolina at