Explore map of North Carolina, the 28th largest and the ninth most populous state of United States of America. North Carolina experiences the best of both the worlds: Atlantic Ocean beaches and the Appalachian mountains.
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North Carolina (NC) is a southeastern state, nestled between the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.
Varied landscapes like beaches, hills, mountains and barrier islands make North Carolina a great place to spend time outdoors. Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Cherokee Indian Reservation are a few of the options for experiencing the beauty of North Carolina, which can be accessed via the famous Blue Ridge Parkway.
As one of the original thirteen colonies, NC has a long history and several flourishing and historic cities. Charlotte is situated in the southwestern part of the state and holds the title of largest city in the state, while the capital, Raleigh has a more central location in the state, not far from Greensboro and Chapel Hill. One of North Carolina's claims to fame is that its coastal city, called Kitty Hawk, was the location of the Wright Brothers' first successful powered flight.
History of North Carolina
Before European contact, North Carolina had been inhabited by several Native American tribes, including both Algonquian- and Iroquoian-speaking groups. North Carolina was first colonized by Spanish explorers in 1567, but their settlement last only a short time, because the settlers were taken out by the native tribes.
British explorers arrived and settled the area in 1584, after which a colony was founded that had been chartered by Sir Walter Raleigh. The settlement at Roanoke Island has come to be known as the Lost Colony because historians are still unsure of what happened to end the settlement after such a short time. In the 1640s, British settlers began migrating from Virginia down to the region that would become the Carolinas. In 1663, King Charles II granted a charter to a group known as the “Lords Proprietor” who could then colonize the area within defined boundaries. Until about 1712, the Carolinas were mostly treated as one governmental unit and the settlers focused on the port region of Charleston, South Carolina.
During the American Revolutionary War, North Carolina sent troops to fight, but did not see many battles on its land. The state joined the Union in 1789, after first rejecting the U.S. Constitution, to become the twelfth state. During the Civil War, North Carolina seceded from the Union with the rest of the south, and continued to struggle with race relations for many years to follow.
North Carolina's major economic sectors include banking, agriculture, information technology and biotechnology. Charlotte, North Carolina is the second largest center for banking in the country, and headquarters to large banks, like Bank of America.
North Carolina is a major producer of poultry and eggs, hogs, cattle, milk, and tobacco.
The Research Triangle Park includes the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Duke University, and North Carolina State University, which is a center for information technology and biotechnology research and development.
The first public university in the United States – the University of North Carolina – was opened in the state in 1795. The more prominent universities in the state are UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, East Carolina State University, West Carolina University, etc. The state also has historical African-American universities such as North Carolina A & T State University, North Carolina Central University, etc.
North Carolina is culturally a southern state, known for its delicious food, music scenes, and college towns.
North Carolinian cuisine is best known for its various styles of barbecue, which differ across regions of the state. The barbecue of North Carolina focuses on pork, from whole hog to pork shoulder. The eastern region of North Carolina is known for whole hog barbecue, served with a vinegar barbecue sauce sauce, often seasoned with pepper. North Carolina's signature Lexington style barbecue is to use pork shoulder only, served with a tomato-vinegar barbecue sauce.
Music from NC includes jazz, blues, and bluegrass, as well as rock and metal from the college region of the state. The college triangle also contributes to the culture of North Carolina, with school rivalries and an emphasis on college football.
North Carolina is bordered by South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia, as well as the Atlantic Ocean along its eastern coast. Off the coast of North Carolina, out in the Atlantic Ocean, are a string of barrier islands, called the Outer Banks, the site of the Wright brothers first flights, the Kitty Hawk flying experiments.
North Carolina's main geographic features are the coastal plains and the Appalachian Mountains. The subranges of the Appalachians located in North Carolina are the Great Smoky Mountains, the Blue Ridge Mountains, Great Balsam Mountains, and the Black Mountains, which have the highest in the eastern United States, Mount Mitchell.
As of the most recent US Census in 2010, the population of North Carolina is 9,943,964 (2014). About 68.5 percent of the population of North Carolina identifies as white, and the next largest group, about 21.5 percent, identifies as black. Around 80 percent of the state's population is affiliated with the Christian church.
North Carolina has a relatively high percentage of Native Americans, and the highest of any state on the East Coast with about 1.3 percent.
Major Cities of North Carolina
Charlotte - The largest city in North Carolina, Charlotte is the second largest financial center in the United States. Uptown is home to many businesses like Bank of America.
Raleigh - The capital of North Carolina, Raleigh is its second largest city. Along with Durham and Chapel Hill, Raleigh is part of the Research Triangle.
Other large cities in North Carolina include Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, Wilmington, and Asheville. Know Cities of North Carolina
Main Attractions of North Carolina
Travelers visit North Carolina to experience its natural beauty, with outdoor recreation at its beaches, camping, hiking, skiing, and viewing the vibrant fall colors in the mountains.
The cities of North Carolina offer historic neighborhoods and architecture, as well as cultural activities and athletic events. North Carolina has several professional sports teams, as well as many college sports team.
Charlotte is known as a NASCAR city, with about three-quarters of NASCAR employees or drivers residing there, as well as the NASCAR Hall of Fame.