As someone who has traveled far and wide, I can tell you there’s no place like North Carolina. But as of recently, some of us might feel another way about our beautiful state. North Carolina isn’t having the ‘best’ time, but it will always be MY home – and more than a home, a place that will forever be in my heart. Here are 16 reasons why.
1. The beach is only a short drive away.
There's nothing like a spontaneous beach trip, and in NC, it's totally doable. Even better, a summer week at the beach is the perfect rejuvenation.
2. And the mountains aren't far either.
The beach or the mountains, you take your pick; I choose both. Luckily if you REALLY love driving, you can have both in the same weekend.
3. North Carolina is rich with history.
From infamous pirates calling our shores home, to being the first state to declare independence from the Crown...North Carolina has paved the way, historically speaking. The best part is that much of this history is still alive through architecture, battlefields, and landmarks. Sometimes it even just pops up...like the discovery of Blackbeard's ship, Queen Anne's Revenge, off the coast of Beaufort.
4. The people.
While outsiders like to lump us into one general category, North Carolina is filled with so many diverse people from all walks of life. From southern debutants and rural farmers, to Asheville hippies...one core trait is that everyone I've met here is generally so nice, and so laid back.
5. The food.
North Carolinians LOVE to eat, and you can see that in our food. May it be BBQ or a five-star meal at the Biltmore Estate...the food here is AMAZING and, like our people, diverse!
6. The greenery.
This might seem random, but I never realized JUST how green North Carolina was until I lived out of state. Our state is abundant with nature, plant life, trees...it's breathtaking. I once had someone from LA tell me...."It's like everyone in NC has their own mini-jungle in their backyard." Luckily, most of us do!
7. Fall in North Carolina.
Of course, North Carolina gets abundantly green in the summer, but on the other end of the spectrum...it turns magnificent in fall! It really is the most cinematic fall, and it's no surprise that hundreds travel here every year to get a glimpse at the foliage.
8. The Blue Ridge Mountains.
And one of the best parts about fall in North Carolina is the Blue Ridge Mountains. But all year long, they've always been a place of magic, beauty, and mystery to me. From hearing mountain tales as a child to that first drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway...they seem to always be calling.
9. Endless adventure.
North Carolina is the perfect place for the adventurous. Between skiing, surfing, hiking, rock climbing, waterfalls....I could go on and on. You'll never have a boring weekend here!
10. The drink.
Between hundreds of vineyards, wineries, and craft breweries...you really don't HAVE to drink out-of-state beer and wine unless you absolutely want to. It's great to have the option to visit a new brewery or vineyard on the weekend...and I love seeing more and more pop up!
11. We have the perfect mix of cities, towns, and wide open spaces.
If you want to be metropolitan and among skyscrapers and flashing lights, you can spend a weekend in Charlotte (or live there). If you're looking for a more intimate vibe, try out one of our many small towns. If you're looking for the perfect mix, there's also a great assortment of smaller cities to choose from. Oh, and if you REALLY want to get away from it all, we have that too! How can you beat that?
12. The Outer Banks.
And just like the Blue Ridge Mountains, this 200-mile stretch of barrier islands is so unique, magical, and beautiful...it becomes a part of you the more you visit. There's really nothing like the OBX. From the rugged Northern coast to the crystal clear water of the south, not to mention...lighthouses, wild horses, and the OBX scenic byway.
14. The arts.
From painting and sculpture to music, pottery, film, performance, dance...NC is a haven for all things arts. As a very artistic person, it's been amazing to grow up in a place with so much artistic history and such an artistic future. There's no way you can't appreciate it!
15. The sports.
Sure, North Carolina is home to college basketball's biggest rivalry...but there are still SO many other sports that take the spotlight. Panthers football, Hurricanes hockey, baseball in the spring. Our sports teams are consistently amazing and come ready to win for each game. But the in-state rivalries are (sometimes) the best...there's nothing like UNC v. Duke.
16. Because there's no place like home.
Being born and raised in North Carolina, it took me moving out of state to fully appreciate JUST how amazing the Tar Heel state is. I've traveled far and wide, across the ocean and sometimes just to other states, but while appreciate the experiences, I've come to realize nothing will replace the deep-rooted love and pride I have for my home state. North Carolina is more than a home; it's part of my heart, and will always be.
There really is nothing finer than to be in Carolina, but we each have our own personal reasons for why we love it here so much. What are some of yours you’d add to the list?