Mystical Mountains, Serene Seashore
|In a place as surrealistically beautiful as western North Carolina, where the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains often rise above a dreamy mist, legends are bound to be born. The Cherokee, who have lived in these mountains for hundreds of years, developed wonderful stories, some about animals with special powers, that are passed down from generation to generation. Visitors to these magnificent mountains will no doubt feel inspired by the region's mystique to create fantastic legends of their own.|
|North Carolina is home to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of the largest protected areas east of the Mississippi River. Come to these mountains to view nature, camp in the forest, and enjoy a slower pace. The famous Appalachian Trail runs through here, making up part of the park's extensive system of hiking trails that take you to scenic summits and refreshing streams. |
In the state's central region, often referred to as Piedmont or "the heartland," you'll find cosmopolitan centers and plenty of historic sites worth exploring. The state capital, Raleigh, is a colorful hub of cozy cafes and stylish districts. With plenty of free and inexpensive attractions, including the Raleigh City Museum, Artspace, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Gardens, it's a great family vacation destination. Other cities, including Durham and Charlotte, offer countless entertainment, dining, and cultural venues as well.
Coastal North Carolina is as enchanting as the western mountains, even though the scenery is completely different. Watching a sunrise from the Carolina shores is a transforming experience. Here you can enjoy quiet beaches and view marine birds and other aquatic animals, including sea turtles, at one of many wildlife sanctuaries. Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a unique stretch of land that separates the Atlantic Ocean from North Carolina's sounds. The region attracts surfers, hang-gliders, and wildlife watchers. Visit North Carolina to enjoy the enchantment of the mountains, the hospitality of the heartland, and the lure of the ocean.
|Images courtesy of NC Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development|