Historic Stagville Plantation Once North Carolina’s largest slave plantation, Stagville doesn’t flinch from the grim realities of slavery.

Fort Raleigh Explore the legend of the 'Lost Colony,' which disappeared at the end of the 16th century.

Wright Brothers National Memorial Where dreams of flight finally took to the air, for 12 astonishing seconds, in 1903.

International Civil Rights Center The sit-ins that galvanized the Civil Rights struggle started right here, at Greensboro’s downtown Woolworth’s.

Old Salem Part Winston-Salem neighborhood, part living history museum, this 18th-century Moravian community remains remarkably intact.

Museum of the Cherokee Indian Exemplary museum where the Cherokee tell their own story, in fascinating detail.

North Carolina Museum of History Topics in the state’s scrupulously curated history museum range from dug-out canoes to student protests.

Levine Museum of the New South Charlotte's museum gives a contemporary perspective of how North Carolina’s past impacts its present.

Fort Macon Forbidding fortress, in a spectacular coastal setting, that saw repeated conflict during the Civil War.

The Outdoors

Blue Ridge Parkway Sweeping in gracious curves through forested mountains, this national treasure offers an experience to savor.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore A 70-mile network of interlinked, undeveloped islets, laced through with woods, dunes, marshes and beaches.

Ocracoke Beach Dolphins are frequently spotted on this long, glorious beach.

Tsali Recreation Area Nationally celebrated for its mountain biking, this lakeside wonderland is also famed for horse riding.

US National Whitewater Center The world’s largest artificial white-water river is every bit as good as the real thing.

Chimney Rock Park Besides the stunning granite 'chimney' itself, the park has hiking trails to a majestic 400ft waterfall.

Linville Falls An hour’s hike off the Parkway leads to two tumbling waterfalls and the Linville Gorge.

Nantahala Outdoor Center Rafting on the Nantahala, plus adventures from zip-lining to mountain biking, on a massive site.

Grandfather Mountain The Blue Ridge Parkway’s best-loved stop-off, home to the eminently Instagrammable Mile High Swinging Bridge.


Lost Colony Outdoor Drama A summer fixture since its 1937 debut, this alfresco extravaganza celebrates North Carolina’s greatest mystery.

Nasher Museum of Art An amazing array of international art treasures, on the campus of Duke University.

North Carolina Museum of Art Ranging from Renaissance masterpieces to Egyptian mummies, this state jewel also honors local artists.

Folk Art Center There’s no better place to see, learn about – and potentially buy – Appalachian handcrafts at their very best.

Biltmore Estate The nation’s largest private mansion is an architectural hymn to European tradition.

Local Food

Beaufort Grocery Modeling itself on a French country bistro, this unassuming white-clapboard cottage serves exquisite contemporary cuisine.

12 Bones The presidentially approved essence of North Carolina barbecue, in Asheville’s cooler-than-cool River Arts District.

PinPoint This dazzling farm-to-fork addition to Wilmington’s dining scene brings up-to-the-minute flavors to Southern classics.

La Farm Bakery Your bread knowledge is simply incomplete, until you’ve trekked to this strip-mall bakery, outside Raleigh.

The Tavern in Old Salem An irresistible taste of life and lunch as an 18th-century Moravian – beer cheese soup, anyone?

Craft Beer

Burial The out-there spearhead of the Asheville scene fuses Belgian tradition with Southern attitude and ingredients.

NoDa Brewing Company Charlotte’s NoDa neighborhood is bursting with breweries; the best proudly bears its name.

Mill Whistle Brewing Beaufort can boast the definitive microbrewery – one man, one woman, one barrel.

Funkatorium Asheville's South Slope district favorite champions sour ales in every imaginable form.

Beer Study Bar-cum-bottle-shops in Chapel Hill and Durham sell regional brews on tap plus bottles from beyond.