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North Carolina

Regions:

For the purposes of this website, I have divided North Carolina into the regions as shown in the following map from Wikimedia Commons.

Outer Banks:  The Outer Banks are a chain of narrow barrier islands lying between the Atlantic Ocean and the intercoastal waterway.

Sandhills:  The Sandhills is a region of ancient sand dunes separating the Piedmont from the Coastal Plains regions.

Triangle:  The Triangle or Research Triangle is located roughly in the center of the state and includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding towns and communities.

Cities:

Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina, located in the southwest Piedmont region near the South Carolina State Line.  Charlotte is located in Mecklenburg County.

Fayettevillle is located in the Sandhills region in the western part of the Coastal Plains in Cumberland County.  The city is on the Cape Fear River and is most notable for Fort Bragg army base, which is adjacent to the city.

Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina, located in the central part of the state in the Piedmont region in Wake County.  Raleigh is one of three cities making up the points of the Research Triangle.

Wilmington is a coastal city in the southeastern part of the state in the coastal plains region in New Hanover County.

Places to Visit:

Parks:

State Parks:  North Carolina has an excellent state park system.  See my NC State Parks page for more information on the parks.

National Parks:  Land protected under federal jurisdiction in North Carolina includes Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, four national forests, and several national wildlife refuges.

Museums:

North Carolina Museum of Art:  The museum, located in Raleigh, houses an impressive permanent collection and hosts periodic special exhibitions.

Botanical Gardens:

Cape Fear Botanical Gardens:  A private botanical gardens in Fayetteville on 77 acres, including cultivated and non-cultivated gardens.

JC Raulston Arboretum:  A North Carolina State University teaching gardens in Raleigh that is open to the public.

Zoos and Aquariums:

Cape Fear Serpentarium: The serpentarium in downtown Wilmington has many snakes and other reptiles on exhibit.

Carolina Tiger Rescue: The wildlife preserve in the southwestern Triangle area is a sanctuary for large cats and other rescued exotic pets.

NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher:  The aquarium, about 20 miles south of Wilmington, has freshwater and saltwater exhibits of fish and other marine life native to North Carolina.

Activities: