Welcome to North Carolina
Perfect for travellers who seek unspoiled beaches or peaceful
mountain scenery, North Carolina is not a state known for its
high-paced cities and cultural attractions. Its two best features,
the mountains and the coast, are situated on opposite sides of the
state, with miles of sparsely populated ground separating them.
The west is home to beautiful rugged mountains, valleys and
flower-filled meadows, waterfalls, streams and rivers brimming with
trout, scenic drives and miles of hiking trails. Sharing the border
with Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of
the most visited parks in the country with acres of virgin forests
and the oldest mountains on earth. Snaking its way along the
backbone of the Blue Ridge Mountain Range is the dramatic Blue
Ridge Parkway providing magnificent scenery and elevated views on
its way towards Virginia.
To the east is the Atlantic coast with good beaches, fascinating
historical sites and natural refuges that stretch from the thin
band of barrier islands known as the Outer Banks to the Cape Fear
Coast and the seaport of Wilmington in the south. Apart from
seaside holiday resorts, most of the beaches, dunes and marsh areas
are protected within the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and there
are plenty of recreational activities such as surfing, fishing,
swimming and birdwatching on offer.
The central Piedmont, or Heartland, lies between the coastal
plains and the mountains and is a largely industrial and
agricultural region of textile and tobacco towns, dominated by the
academic institutions of the celebrated Research Triangle, a trio
of university towns including Durham, the state capital of Raleigh,
and Chapel Hill. A typically southern pace of life exists among the
rolling farmland and picturesque golf courses despite the growth
and swift economic progress, with landscapes reminiscent of the
writings of Southern authors such as Thomas Wolfe.
Information & Facts
The climate of North Carolina is subtropical and humid, with
long summers and short, mild winters, particularly in the east and
central regions. In most of the state, temperatures seldom rise
above 100°F (38°C) or drop below 10°F (-12°C), but conditions can
vary due to elevation and proximity to the sea. State-wide, January
is the coldest month where temperatures range between 36°F and 48°F
(9-21°C). July, the hottest month, experiences an average
temperature range of between 68°F and 80°F (20-27°C). In general,
temperatures in the mountainous areas tend to be much lower.
Rainfall occurs mainly during spring and summer. Hurricanes and
tornadoes do affect North Carolina and the eastern region, in
particular, is susceptible to high winds and flooding from
hurricanes in late summer and autumn.
English is the most common language but Spanish is often
spoken in south-western states.
The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into
100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are
widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely
accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid
hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.
GMT -5 (GMT -4 from March to November).