Blue Ridge Mountains
Pristine Beaches, Historic Landmarks
First In Flight, Experience Life In North Carolina
Get To Know North Carolina
From its placid coastal towns to its rich history, North Carolina is an impressive mix of both modern-day activity and heritage. You’ll never want for something to do when you book a bus ticket to North Carolina. Take a look at what’s in store.
There's no shortage of things to do in North Carolina.
A Brief History of North Carolina
North Carolina was among the country’s first colonies, and the very first to recommend independence from Great Britain during the Second Continental Congress in 1776. It earned statehood in 1789. The state, along with 11 others, seceded from the U.S. in 1861, signaling the start of the Civil War. Although major battles weren’t fought here, the state played a significant role, nonetheless. It sent thousands of soldiers to fight for the Confederacy — more than any other Southern state. Among North Carolina’s most notable events was the historic first flight of the Wright brothers in Kitty Hawk in 1903.
Must See List
- View art and photography at the Mint Museum Randolph
- Catch a performance at the Blumenthal Performing Arts
- Dance all night at the N.C. Music Factory
- Walk through the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
- Eat authentic Southern meal at King’s Kitchen
- Stay weird at the River Arts District in Asheville
- Enjoy 350 feet of beautiful gardens, art at the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge
Top Cities To Visit in North Carolina
They say that “Charlotte’s Got a Lot,” and that’s evident right away. Charlotte is the home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the U.S. National Whitewater Center for a start. Indulge your love of history and global artwork at the Mint Museum Randolph, learn about the history of flight at the Carolinas Aviation Museum, and see a wide range of post-Civil War exhibits at the Levine Museum of the New South. North Davidson, or NoDa, is the city’s eclectic arts district — a vibrant spot where artists, chefs, and musicians convene to show off their best wares at hip galleries, restaurants, and venues alike.
Situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Boone has an old-world quality that’s difficult to ignore. In fact, you’ll find yourself immersed in it as soon as you arrive. It’s a classic mountain town where outdoor living is a priority. Hike the Appalachian Trail and explore the wondrous scenery during fall. Take to the High Country’s incredible slopes come winter. Go whitewater rafting in the New River during summer. Or take a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway and marvel at your surroundings during spring.
The state capital, Raleigh, is home to North Carolina State University and is part of the Research Triangle (along with Durham and Chapel Hill). You’ll never want for things to do here, especially if you booked your bus ticket to North Carolina in the hopes of visiting countless museums. Raleigh is home to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science, the North Carolina Museum of History, the North Carolina Museum of Art, and the Marbles Kids Museum. If you love history, head to the Historic Yates Mill County Park to check out the 18th-century gristmill.
The port city of Wilmington is an absolute must for aquatic enthusiasts. You can easily access Kure Beach, Wrightsville Beach, and Carolina Beach from here. Strolling along the beautiful Wilmington Riverwalk is highly recommended, too. This coastal town offers something for everyone, from old-world properties in the National Register Historic District to amazing seafood restaurants in the river district. While you’re here, honor the World War II sailors who boarded the USS North Carolina by visiting this historic battleship, which is moored across the river from downtown Wilmington.
Relaxed, breezy and charming, Jacksonville is the ideal place to visit if you crave some solitude during your getaway. This seaside spot offers it all: views of the New River, proximity to Camp Lejeune, and incredible opportunities for outdoor adventure at Hammocks Beach State Park and Topsail Island. It’s also worth a visit to the Lynwood Park Zoo and the Lejeune Memorial Gardens.
For baseball lovers, Fayetteville is known as the town where Babe Ruth hit his very first home run. Situated in Cumberland County, the city is recognized far and wide as one of the friendliest areas in the state. Here, you’re less than half an hour away from Fort Bragg, which is home to dozens of military monuments. Greater Fayetteville itself is steeped in history, too. You can spend hours wandering the galleries at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum, the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry Armory and Museum, and the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex. Don’t miss the Cape Fear Botanical Garden, either — there are more than 2,000 different plant varieties here!
Greensboro is the gateway to many major attractions and sites in North Carolina. Along with High Point and Winston-Salem, the city makes up a portion of the Piedmont Triad. “Friendly” is a buzzword here — people are kind to a fault, and there’s so much to do that you won’t be able to resist mixing and mingling with the locals. Head to Center City Park and enjoy an outdoor yoga class or catch a free outdoor film. It’s also — surprise! — pretty green in Greensboro, thanks to the beautiful parks, the Tanger Family Bicentennial Garden, and the grounds that surround the shimmering lakes.
If you love soda, you know New Bern whether you realize it or not. Pepsi was born here! The city was once the state’s capital, and it’s home to several historic districts and old-world buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Many travel to Asheville to spend a luxurious weekend at the grand 19th-century Biltmore Estate, where visitors can tour the grand mansion and spend a night or two at the incredible on-site inn. Make some time for the North Carolina Arboretum, which will stun you with its brilliant blossoms set on 434 acres, and take a hike in Pisgah National Forest if you need to release a little energy.
A Look at Culture in North Carolina
Though many areas are steeped in history, there’s no denying that North Carolina is also a highly modernized state with many exciting business prospects. Many of the larger cities in the state, including Raleigh and Wilmington, are hubs for leading companies. But there’s a small-town vibe and welcoming feel that resonates in other cities, such as Hickory, Goldsboro, and Lumberton, where lakes, parks, and wineries provide plenty for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy. Old-world traditions still reign in Hickory, where many of the country’s leading furniture companies reside. People here are welcoming and laid-back, and that’s beautifully balanced by the natural wonders that surround you at every turn.