An Extraordinary State
From the lush landscapes of the North Carolina mountains to the rolling hills and rock outcroppings of the Piedmont to the natural wetlands, pristine beaches and enormous sand dunes of the coast, the state of North Carolina offers everything you could want - four distinct seasons with a temperate climate that allows you to golf year-round, hit the beaches through November and ski in the mountains all winter.
The Appalachian mountain chain runs through the western part of the state, forming the high country of the region. Tourists come from around the nation to visit The Great Smoky Mountains in southwestern North Carolina, and visitors enjoy 250 miles of the world-famous Blue Ridge Parkway, with picture-worthy views at every turn. The hardwood forests put on a brilliant display of color in the fall. And when the temperatures drop, you'll find a wealth of skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports.
The Piedmont is an area of gently rolling foothills dotted with boulders or rock outcroppings. Filled with historic sites, national universities, outlet stores, golf courses and one of the most dynamic economies in the United States, the region is home to the state's largest cities and businesses. With four distinct seasons, you'll enjoy mild temperatures year-round, including an average wintertime temperature of about 42 degrees. The area also enjoys sunshine for about 210 days a year.
The North Carolina Coast is composed of unspoiled beaches, towering sand dunes, wetlands and wildlife. A chain of islands called the Outer Banks makes up 130 miles of virgin coastline and protects the mainland. Home to the first English settlement, this area also boasts pre-Revolutionary and Civil War historic sites. And, in 1903, the Wright Brothers ushered in the era of flight at Kitty Hawk. The average annual temperature here is 63 degrees.
North Carolina has more than doubled the amount of land used to grow grapes to 1,300 acres since 2000, enabling the state to become the tenth largest producer of both grapes and wine in the United States. North Carolina is now home to 350 vineyards and more than 70 wineries in 30+ counties.