North Carolina’s natural attractions include the sandy beaches of the low-lying Outer Banks in the east and the high mountain ranges in the west of the US state. North Carolina also has 300 miles of sandy beaches, small islands and coves, and is popular with anglers and sailors. In addition, you can use many other leisure activities. The interior, commonly referred to as “the Piedmont,” is made up of rolling plains dotted with scenic golf courses, lakes, farmland and the state’s largest metropolitan areas. Charlotte, the largest city, is a thriving convention and entertainment center. North Carolina is one of the cradles of typically American music genres such as blues, gospel, funk, rock and jazz. The island chain of the Outer Banks off the mainland is home to resorts, fishing villages and seafront. Cape Hatteras National Seashore also offers some pristine sandy beaches. Western North Carolina is geographically defined by two mountain ranges of the southern Appalachians, the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains, whose mountains are more than 1,800 m high. Other attractions include the city of Raleigh, with its beautiful architecture and excellent cultural centers, and the Qualla Boundary Cherokee Indian Reservation, a 230 km² Cherokee Indian territory.
- Travelationary: Covers basic information about North Carolina geography and economy.
Arriving by plane
American Airlines (AA) flies from Munich and Frankfurt to Charlotte.
Arrival by car
The Greyhound lines run from Atlanta to Richmond via Charlotte and Greensboro, from Knoxville to Charlotte, or to Raleigh via Winston Salem, Greensboro and Durham. For more information, contact Greyhound (website: www.greyhound.com). Interstate Highway 40 is a major artery that runs east-west through the state from Wilmington on the Atlantic Seaboard through Raleigh, Durham and Winston-Salem to the Great Smoky Mountains traversed. A network of dedicated bike lanes is available throughout the state, covering 3,000 miles.
Note on arrival by car
Average bus travel times: Charlotte – Atlanta: 5 hrs 30; Charlotte – Jacksonville: 9 hrs; Charlotte – Richmond: 7 hrs 30; Fayetteville – Jacksonville: 9 hrs; Fayetteville – Richmond: 4 hrs
Arrival by train
The Amtrak Carolinian line runs from Charlotte to New York via Kannapolis, Salisbury, High Point, Greensboro, Burlington, Durham, Raleigh, Selma, Wilson and Rocky Mount. There are daily Silver Service trains from New York to Miami and Crescent trains from New York to New Orleans that stop in North Carolina. Additional information from Amtrak (website: www.amtrak.com).
Passport and visa regulations
Entry with children
Since June 27, 2012, children need their own travel document (passport / children’s passport) for trips abroad (also within the EU). Entries of children in the parental passport are no longer possible.
Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau
101 East Morgan Street
US-27701 Durham, North Carolina
(919) 687 02 88, (800) 446 86 04 (toll free within the US).
http://www.durham-nc.com Visit Charlotte (Visitor Info Center)
501 South College Street
US-28202 Charlotte, North Carolina
(704) 331 27 00, (800) 231 46 36 (toll free within the US).
http://www.charlottesgotalot.com Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau
421 Fayetteville Street, Suite 1505
US-27601 Raleigh, North Carolina
(919) 834 59 00, (800) 849 84 99.
http://www. visitraleigh.com North Carolina Travel & Tourism Division
c/o Lieb Management GmbH
(Responsible for Germany, Austria and Switzerland.)
(089) 689 06 38 60.
- Usaers: Provides a full list of major rivers and mountains in North Carolina.
Winston-Salem and Greensboro
Winston-Salem grew out of two cities; Salem was founded in the mid-18th century by members of a German religious community, and Old Salem has many old houses preserved. The local Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art is one of the top art galleries in the Southwest (modern art and sculpture). Greensboro also has a pretty old town and interesting museums.
The largest city in North Carolina, Charlotte, is a convention and financial metropolis with a wide range of leisure activities and is considered one of the boom cities in the southern United States. Charlotte’s Whitewater Center amusement park (website: www.usnwc.org ) offers many outdoor sports activities.
Raleigh is known for its interesting architecture and eclectic cultural offerings. There are numerous neoclassical buildings, notably the State Capitol, which was built in the mid-19th century. The oldest house in Raleigh is the John Lane House, completed in 1760. The city’s art and regional museums are also worth a visit.
Asheville is the birthplace of writer Thomas Wolfe. The Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historic Site is open daily except Mondays. The University of North Carolina Botanical Gardens can be visited by prior appointment. One of the biggest attractions is the huge Biltmore Estate just outside of town, with the Biltmore House built by George Vanderbilt around the turn of the century, a grandiose 250-room chateau designed in the French Renaissance style. Among the many interesting works of art and antiques the Vanderbilts collected over the years are many curiosities such as Napoleon’s ivory chess set, which he used during his exile on St Helena. Asheville is not far from Great Smoky Mountain National Park, America’s most popular national park. A ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railway unlocks the beauty of this wildlife-rich Appalachian region. The Museum of The Cherokee Indians in Cherokee recalls the highly developed culture of the Cherokees, who were driven from their country, the »Great Blue Hills of God«, as they called it, and had to march to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears under inhumane conditions. A visit to Qualla Boundary, a Cherokee Reservation, is also very impressive.
In Bevard there are particularly many handicraft shops. The largest furniture market in the world is in High Point near Winston-Salem.
There are many student pubs in the college towns of Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill. The state theater Flat Ranch Playhouse is the oldest professional summer theater in the United States. Charlotte hosts the annual jazz festival in September.
There are a variety of food festivals in North Carolina that celebrate popular fruits like watermelon and apples, or seafood, turkey and pickles. Local specialties include fried chicken with pecans, country ham and chocolate pecan pie with whipped cream. There is particularly good fish and seafood in the coastal town of Calabash. Barbecues are also very popular and the preparation of barbecue sauces varies greatly from region to region. Barbecues are often served with hush puppies (fried cornbread), coleslaw (slaw with mayonnaise), and baked beans (beans in tomato sauce).
Area (sq km)
Population density (per square km)
Population statistics year