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North Carolina

The rural, conservative Old South and the urban, liberal-leaning New South jostle for precedence in the fast-growing Tar Heel State, home to hipsters, hog farmers and high-tech wunderkinds. From the mighty mountains in the west to the ethereal islands lining the Atlantic coast, all kinds of cultures and communities manage to coexist.

The locals are joined, especially in summer, by visitors from around the world. Many are drawn by the limitless opportunities for adventures, including hiking the woods, rafting the rivers and cruising the Blue Ridge Parkway in a convertible. Others come to savor the dynamic cities of Raleigh, Charlotte and Wilmington, with their top-class museums and restaurants – and astonishing number of craft breweries.

So grab yourself a barbecue platter and a local brew, and watch the Duke Blue Devils battle the North Carolina Tar Heels on the basketball court. College hoops rival Jesus for Carolinians' souls.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout North Carolina.

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