Things to see and do in North Carolina
North Carolina TourismAddress: 301 N. Wilmington St, Raleigh, 27601
Telephone: (800) 847 4862 or (919) 733 4171
Attractions in North Carolina
Tour George Vanderbilt's elaborate 250-room Biltmore Estate (www.biltmoreestate.com) located in the western Blue Ridge Mountains town of Ashville. The estate includes a winery with a visitor centre, tasting room and shop where bottles of the local vintage are sold.
Blue Ridge Parkway
Travel along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway (www.nps.gov/blri), which winds 755km (469 miles) along the spine of the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains from Tennessee to Virginia.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore
View the attractions along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore (www.nps.gov/caha) including the Outer Banks ponies, Bodie Island, and the candy-striped Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the nation's tallest and most famous.
Go for the adrenaline rush on thrilling rides at the state's biggest theme park, Carowinds (www.carowinds.com), 10 minutes south of Charlotte. It pays tribute to the film Wayne's World with a white-knuckle, wooden rollercoaster ride called Hurler, which soars riders through eight inversions.
Explore the Crystal Coast area (www.crystalcoast.com), which includes the deep-sea port of Morehead City, the historic waterfront town of Beaufort, and many beautiful beaches.
Visit Durham, known as 'The City of Medicine'. The city is home to the world-famous Research Triangle Park, where over 150 research and development facilities are based (www.rtp.org), and Duke University (www.duke.edu) with its lovely chapel and gardens.
Visit New Bern's Fireman's Museum (www.newbernmuseums.com), formed by the two oldest continuously operated fire companies in the USA. Included in the exhibits is 'Fire Horse Fred', who pulled the fire-hose wagon for 17 years. He died in 1925 while pulling the fire wagon to a false alarm.
Journey through the Morehead Planetarium (www.moreheadplanetarium.org) in Raleigh where more than 100 of the USA's astronauts trained before venturing into space.
Hike, drive, ski or camp in the magnificent North Carolina Mountains, including Mount Mitchell (2,040m/6,684ft), the highest peak in Eastern America. Two hundred peaks in the Appalachian Mountain chain reach more than 1.6km (1 mile) high.
New Bern's Tryon Palace
Tour the restored New Bern's Tryon Palace (www.tryonpalace.org), built in the 1760s as the first permanent capital and home for the Royal Governor of North Carolina.
North Carolina Museum of Art
View the works by Botticelli, Monet, Raphael and Rubens at the North Carolina Museum of Art (www.ncartmuseum.org) in Raleigh.
Step back in time in Old Salem (www.oldsalem.org), a preserved and restored 18th-century Moravian village. Attractions include the Old Salem Visitor Centre offering tours of the districts, the St Philips Moravian Church (the oldest extant African-American church in North Carolina), the Old Salem Toy Museum and the restored Herbst House.
In Raleigh, explore the North Carolina Botanical Gardens (www.ncbg.unc.edu), containing almost every plant found in the state.
Enjoy a ride on the Tweetsie Railroad (www.tweetsie.com), a steam locomotive that carries passengers through mountain passes and a frontier village close to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial
Across the river from Wilmington's Cotton Exchange, tour the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial (www.battleshipnc.com), and walk the decks of this famous WWII battleship. Her story is told on summer nights in 'The Immortal Showboat', a spectacular sound and light show.
Visit Wilmington, North Carolina's largest seaport, and once the site of sailing ships bringing treasures from around the world. The Cotton Exchange (www.shopcottonexchange.com), a 19th-century structure converted into shops and boutiques, once exported more cotton than any other port in the world.
Wright Brothers Memorial
Stand on the windswept beach at Kitty Hawk and see where the Wright brothers made the first powered flight off Kill Devil Hills in 1903. The event is commemorated at the Wright Brothers Memorial (www.nps.gov/wrbr) at Kitty Hawk.