It’s trailer parks next to McMansions in North Carolina, where the Old South stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the New South. From the ancient mountains in the west to the sandy barrier islands of the Atlantic you’ll find a variety of cultures and communities not easy to stereotype.
The state is a patchwork of the progressive and the Stone Age: Asheville was named the ‘New Freak Capital of the US’ by Rolling Stone, while cohabitation was technically illegal until 2006. The Raleigh area has the highest concentration of PhDs in the country, yet North Carolina routinely ranks 48th in education. Important industries range from tobacco and hogs to banking and nanotechnology.
Most travelers tend to skirt through the business-oriented urban centers of the central Piedmont, instead choosing to stick to the scenic routes along the coast (via the islands of the Outer Banks) and those through the Appalachian Mountains, especially along the unforgettable Blue Ridge Parkway.
So come on down, ya’ll, grab a plate of ’cue and watch the Duke Blue Devils and the Carolina Tar Heels battle it out on the basketball court where college hoops rival Jesus for Carolinians’ souls.