Destination Guides


North Carolina

General   Weather   Airports   Attractions   Activities  

Introduction

Blue Ridge Mountains ©Jan van der Crabben

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 of North Carolina 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, home to acres of virgin forests and some of the oldest mountains on earth. Snaking its way along the backbone of the Blue Ridge Mountain Range is the dramatic Blue Ridge Parkway road, providing magnificent scenery and elevated views on its way towards Virginia.


The east of North Carolina boasts the Atlantic coastline, complete 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 bird watching 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.


Climate Info

The climate of North Carolina is subtropical and humid, with hot, humid summers and 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 vary according to elevation and proximity to the sea. State-wide, January is the coldest month, and July is the hottest. In mid-summer, North Carolina generally experiences an average temperature range of between 68°F (20°C) and 80°F (27°C). In general, temperatures in the mountainous areas tend to be much lower. Rainfall tends to be fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, but is heaviest in the humid summer months. 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.


Coastal Carolina Regional Airport (EWN)

LocationThe airport is situated three miles (5km) southeast of downtown New Bern.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4 from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November).
Getting to city

Car rental companies, taxis and airport shuttles are available, but there is no public transport servicing the airport.

Car Rental

Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz and National are represented at the airport.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis are provided by A to Z Personal Car Service.

Airport Facilities

Airport facilities include a relaxing lounge area, a mother's nursing room, an airport deli, an outdoor sculpture exhibition and a visitor information kiosk.

Car Parking

Short-term parking costs $0.50 per 30 minutes, up to a daily maximum of $10. Long-term parking costs $0.50 per hour, up to a daily maximum of $7.

Websitewww.newbernairport.com


Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)

LocationThe airport is situated 10 miles (16km) from Durham and 10 miles (16km) from Raleigh.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Contacts

Tel: +1 919 840 2123.

Transfer terminals

Free buses run between the two terminals.

Getting to city

Triangle Transit Route 100 provides a public bus service between the airport and its Regional Transit Center, where passengers can connect to bus routes throughout the region, including major areas such as Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary and Research Triangle Park. The buses depart at least once an hour from outside both terminal, and an adult fare costs $2.25.

Car Rental

Car rental companies located at the airport include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz and National. A shuttle service runs every 15 minutes from outside the baggage claim area of both terminals to the car rental offices.

Airpor Taxis

The official taxi company servicing Raleigh-Durham Airport is RDU Airport Taxis. Fares into Raleigh or Durham cost approximately $30, while a trip to Chapel Hill costs about $38. Extra charges are added for excess baggage.

Airport Facilities

Facilities include ATMs, a post box, restaurants, bars, shops, vending machines, a spa, shoeshine services, smoking areas and tourist information and hotel reservations. Business centres in both terminals offer currency exchange and travel insurance. Facilities for the disabled are good.

Car Parking

There are a number of parking lots available. The Premier lot is $3 and hour, and up to $18 per day. The Economy Lots are also available for $1 an hour, or $6-7 per day, with a shuttle which connects the lots and the terminal building.

Websitewww.rdu.com


Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)

LocationThe airport is situated six miles (10km) west of Charlotte, near the border between North and South Carolina.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Contacts

Tel: +1 704 359 4000.

Getting to city

The CATS airport 'Sprinter' bus ferries passengers to the city centre. Buses leave every 20 minutes during weekdays, and every 30 minutes at night and on weekends. Courtesy shuttles are available for many local hotels and motels. Taxis and rental cars are also available.

Car Rental

Car rental companies include National, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Advantage, Enterprise, Thrifty and Hertz.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis are available from outside the terminal and cost approximately $25 to the city centre.

Airport Facilities

Airport facilities are extensive and include ATMs, bureaux de change, restaurants, bars, shops, duty-free shopping, a post office and a tourist information desk. Facilities for the disabled are good.

Car Parking

Daily, hourly and long-term remote parking is available. Valet parking is also an option. Complimentary shuttle buses transport passengers between parking lots and the terminal building. Parking is free for the first 30 minutes in the hourly car park and costs $1 per half hour, up to a daily maximum of $20. Long-term parking costs $7 per day.

Websitewww.charlotteairport.com


Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO)

LocationThe airport is nine miles (14km) west of Greensboro.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November)
Contacts

Tel: +1 336 665 5666.

Getting to city

Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation (PART) offers a shuttle between the airport and several destinations nearby. Taxis and rental cars are also available.

Car Rental

Rental desks are in the baggage claims area. Car rental companies represented at the airport include Avis, Alamo, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty.

Airpor Taxis

A Triad Transportation desk is located on the lower level of the terminal, where taxis can be ordered.

Airport Facilities

ATMs, a post office, conference facilities, a chapel, a shoe shine stand, information desks, airline lounges, vending machines, and a games room are all available at Piedmont Triad Airport. There are also a number of shops, restaurants and snack bars.

Car Parking

Parking garage rates are $10 per day, while long-term lot rates are $8 per day. A free shuttle runs between the long-term lots and the terminal. Short-term metered parking bays are available in front of the terminal for two hours or less of parking. There is also an overflow lot which costs just $5 per day.

Websitewww.flyfrompti.com


Albert J. Ellis Airport (OAJ)

LocationThe airport is situated 11 miles (19km) northwest of Jacksonville.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Getting to city

There is no public transport servicing the airport, but taxis, rental cars and airport shuttles are available.

Car Rental

Avis, Budget, National, Hertz and Enterprise are represented at the airport.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis are generally available outside the terminal, but to be safe they can be booked in advance.

Airport Facilities

Facilities at the airport include a cafe, a restaurant, a gift shop, an ATM, and a lost and found.

Car Parking

The first 15 minutes of airport parking is free; thereafter it costs $2 each hour, up to a daily maximum of $9.

Websitewww.flyoaj.com


Asheville Regional Airport (AVL)

LocationThe airport is located nine miles (14km) south of Asheville.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Getting to city

Bus services are available to downtown Asheville at $1 per person. Many local hotels offer free shuttle transfers to guests.

Car Rental

Car rental companies represented at the airport include Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, Alamo/National and Thrifty/Dollar.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis are available to and from the airport at a cost of $2.50 per mile, plus a $2.50 initial fee.

Airport Facilities

Airport facilities include a business centre, phone charging stations, ATMs, vending machines, a guest service centre (faxing, scanning, printing, and postage available), post boxes, courtesy phones, a restaurant, and art gallery.

Car Parking

Short-term, long-term and prepaid parking is available at the airport. Short-term parking costs $1 for the first 30 minutes, $1 for every additional 30 minutes after that, and a daily rate of $25. Long-term parking costs up to $1.50 for an hour, $1.50 for every additional hour, a daily rate of $8, and $48 for a week. The pre-paid lot is located directly across from the main entrance, and charges $6 a day or $36 a week.

Websitewww.flyavl.com


Wilmington International Airport (ILM)

LocationThe airport is situated four miles (6km) north of Wilmington.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Getting to city

There is no direct public transport to the airport, but the Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority's North bus route does service the clinic next to the airport. Rental cars and taxis are available at the airport.

Car Rental

Avis, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty are among the car rental companies represented at the airport.

Airpor Taxis

Numerous taxi companies service the airport and taxis are usually available, but advance booking is recommended for peace of mind.

Airport Facilities

Airport facilities include a pet relief area, ATMs, restaurants, gift shops, baby changing facilities, and a lost and found.

Car Parking

Parking is within walking distance of the terminal and the first 15 minutes is free in all parking lots. Short-term parking costs $1 for each half hour, up to a daily maximum of $18. Long-term parking costs $1 per hour, up to a daily maximum of $10.

Websitewww.flyilm.com


Blue Ridge Parkway


Designed as a scenic drive, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a 469-mile (755km) road connecting the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the North Carolina-Tennessee border. Running through the Southern Appalachians, most of the roadway follows the
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Blue Ridge Parkway ©Ken Thomas



Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Straddling the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park boasts many natural assets that have made this one of the most visited national parks in the country. The Smoky Mountains, named for the blue smoke-like mist that frequently hovers in the
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Great Smoky Mountains National Park ©USchick



Wilmington


Wilmington, restored through a massive revitalization effort about 30 years ago, is today as charming and quaint as Southern towns come. Rambling antebellum mansions, rescued from ruin by ardent preservationists and now restored to their former glory, sit back from shady, tree-lined lane
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Wilmington seen across Cape Fear River ©Jason W. Smith



Bald Head Island


Beautiful Bald Head Island lies off the tip of the Cape Fear peninsula, a serene retreat to a simpler way of life. Scattered along the tiny island's beaches and tidal creeks, and nestled amid its maritime forest, are stunning homes carefully constructed in the coastal architectural style
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Bald Head Island marina ©KudzuVine



North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences


The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences has recreated a series of natural environments, complete with living animals and a 20-foot-high (6m) waterfall, through which visitors can walk and discover North Carolina's diverse geography, geology, flora and fauna. The museum is also home
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North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences ©Alexisrael



Artspace


Artspace is a pioneering visual arts centre that allows the public to become part of the creative process. As the heart of Raleigh's arts community, Artspace stages countless challenging and award-winning exhibitions, workshops, outreach programs and public events each year. Its unique o
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Artspace ©Maggie



North Carolina Museum of Art


The collection at the North Carolina Museum of Art spans about 5,000 years, from ancient Egypt up to the present day. Ancient pieces include Greek and Roman sculptures and vases, but it is the European collection that is internationally celebrated. This includes significant works from th
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North Carolina Museum of Art ©Alexisrael



Linville Caverns


The Linville Caverns are an underground labyrinth of rooms and passageways moulded out of the rock-bed beneath Humpback Mountain by years of flowing water. The caverns were first discovered in the 19th century when locals thought they saw fish swimming out of the mountain. Today, guided
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Linville Caverns ©Kolin Toney



Kitty Hawk


Famous as the site of the Wright Brothers' first flight in 1903, Kitty Hawk is a sleepy village on the North Carolina coast that offers visitors the chance to enjoy outdoor activities such as kayaking, boating, golf, fishing, surfing, and more. The town itself has a few shops and restaur
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Kitty Hawk Airfield ©Wusel007



Atlantic Beach


A tiny town in the Crystal Coast region of North Carolina, Atlantic Beach is a popular beach resort offering water activities like surfing, fishing, sailing and kayaking. There are also land-based activities for those who get seasick, like hiking along Hoop Pole Creek Nature Trail and in
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Atlantic Beach ©Carson Maynard



Travel Guide powered by www.wordtravels.com, copyright © Globe Media Ltd. All rights reserved. By its very nature much of the information in this guide is subject to change at short notice and travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevant authorities. Globe Media and UNIGLOBE Travel does not accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to any person as a result of information contained above.

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