Spring Hail Storms & Vehicle Protection

One thing that no one may warn you about when visiting North Carolina during the spring is that it’s hail season! You might be thinking that you didn’t even know that hail had a season, but it definitely does and the Spring months are where it’s at. Why are hail storms so common in the spring? It is because intense weather reaches its peak in the spring when cold air from the North clashes with the warm & humid air coming in from the Gulf of Mexico. With the clash in warm/cold air coupled with other weather elements, fierce thunderstorms often blanket North Carolina & many of the other Southern & Central states within the U.S. With these thunderstorms, the updraft of air rising lifts droplets of water high into the below-freezing atmosphere. These accumulated balls of the now frozen waterfall to the Earth as giant hailstones.

What Do Severe Hail Storms Mean For North Carolina?

Hail storms can often cause damage to automobiles and even buildings & homes. Large balls of falling ice will leave dings & dents marring any surface they fall hard enough on, including your vehicle. In fact, hail damage is so common in the southern states that there are many expert hail damage repair services that you will find throughout the state. Paintless Dent Repair & certified ceramic coating experts at Form & Finish, provide hail damage repair & ceramic coatings for Greensboro & Pineville residents. They also work with many car dealerships & rental car agencies to help fix any vehicle damages on the sales lot or when being driven by visitors. 

Am I Responsible for Hail Damage to My Rental Car?

Many visitors renting cars often ask if they are liable for any hail damage inflicted on their rental car. The easy answer is that you should always make sure that either your insurance covers hail damage on your rental vehicle or if not you have purchased additional rental insurance for the vehicle. Most insurance companies cover hail damage but if you aren’t protected when it comes to a rental car you may be left paying out of pocket. This is one reason it is good to know that hail season exists especially when traveling to North Carolina in the springtime. It is best to be prepared not only in terms of hail damage purposes but also to ensure you are prepared should you get caught in a fierce thunder or springtime hail storm.

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North Carolina Summer Travle Destinations

When it comes to great destination spots with affordable activities for the summer, North Carolina boasts many. Raleigh was recently recognized as #20 on the list of best vacation destinations because of its somewhat mild weather, low crime rate, safety, low COVID-19 numbers, and affordable hotels & restaurants. Kitty Hawk, NC has also been recognized as a tourist and must-see vacation destination for years, because of its rich history and unique & relaxing vacation environment.

What Is There To Do In Kitty Hawk, North Carolina? 

Located on the Outerbanks of North Carolina in Dare County, this popular Carolina town not only has beaches and an incredible Forest Reserve, but you will also find a traditional village that is warm & welcoming to all those that visit or make Kitty Hawk their home.  One of the most popular attractions found in Kitty Hawk is The Wright Brothers Memorial. During the 1900’s they chose Kitty Hawk as their site for their aviation experiments, quickly made it their home & left their historical mark on the town. 

Avalon Fishing Pier is another great attraction, along with the many different beaches that can be enjoyed. And perhaps one of the best attractions of all is the Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Reserve. This forest reserve has over 1,822 acres of land, including beaches, waterfront spots for kayaking & paddling, a bird-watching sanctuary, and numerous trails for hiking & biking. 

Adventure To Ocracoke Island

Ocracoke Island is accessed by boat, small plane, or ferry and can be enjoyed for the day or an extended island stay. Once on the island, you can enjoy beachfront access all day or take a bike ride around the entire island. In June the Ocrafolk Music & Storytelling Festival takes place and offers fun for the whole family. You will find local vendors, kid-friendly activities, and lots of delicious food. The Ocracoke Lighthouse is also a main fixture & attraction on the island offering beautiful scenic views to be seen for miles & miles. 

In a nutshell, there are many spectacular cities & towns to visit and explore when taking a summer vacation to the great Tar Heel state! Do your research & decide on the best spot for you & your family or group of travelers. We are sure you won’t be disappointed especially if you choose from Kitty Hawk, Raleigh, or Ocracoke Island

 

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Battling The North Carolina Humidity

NC-humidityThe weather in North Carolina can fluctuate throughout the year depending on the season. Normal temperatures can be expected to range anywhere from 30F to 96F. January is typically the coldest month with July being the hottest. The one constant throughout the year is the moisture level and the humidity that can be felt due to the state’s location. While there is a lot of lush green landscape and nature to be enjoyed throughout North Carolina, for some the humidity does become a little much. Not only do you feel the effects of humidity as a person you also have to watch out for what humidity means for your property and home.

North Carolina Humidity Tips

Concrete- While concrete definitely reacts to the weather that surrounds it, it is still one of the best options when building a home or deck here in the Tar Heel State. The one problem with concrete is that because concrete is porous it is not able to shed moisture or water and instead absorbs it. New Look Kool Deck, concrete coating experts suggest adding a concrete coating to exposed outdoor concrete. This will help to minimize the effects of humidity and help to combat the absorption of moisture and water.

Exhaust Fans- While it may sound extreme, installing exhaust fans in rooms such as the bathroom and kitchen where heat and moisture tend to reach peak levels can help immensely. Using a dehumidifier is your next best option next to the fans.

Air Conditioning- Air conditioning units will not only cool the air they also help to pullNorthCarolina-Humid-air the excess moisture out of the air. By running your AC unit you help to combat the air moisture levels, which in turn will help to keep added moisture levels at bay that can affect your home’s foundation, furniture, and wood. Ac filters should also be cleaned and changed regularly. Dirty air filters can help to trap humidity, adding to the problem.

Plants- Believe it or not, certain plants can help to keep humidity at bay because they pull the water and moisture out of the air, while also purifying it. Think Cacti, Aloe, Orchids

Tile/Wood Floors- Carpet actually helps to trap moisture from the air, resulting in more humidity within your home. Opt for wood or tile floors in place of carpet. 

While North Carolina may be a humid state with some months being worse than others, it’s still a beautiful place to both visit and reside. Knowing what measures you can take within and around your home to help prevent humidity and its negative effects on your home and your health can make all the difference. Especially if you are considering a move to North Carolina.

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Moving to North Carolina

north-carolina-livingThis state is one of the two pairs of states that has a north and south state, the other being North and South Dakota. The bigger and more populous of the Carolinas, North Carolina is one of the 13 original colonies that offers a ton of history, great food, and tons of sports. For those planning a move to North Carolina check-out some of the many things, this state has to offer.

Planning A Move To North Carolina…

Food – Being a southern state, North Carolina is known for its southern food. Fried everything, BBQ, and sweet tea are all very present here. There are actually two styles of BBQ present, the more bitter Eastern style, and the sweeter Lexington style. Also being a coastal state, there is plenty of seafood for more variety.

winter-north-carolinaWeather – While North Carolina is subject to hurricanes, this affects more of the coastal region than the interior region. And the last major hurricane was Hurricane Fran in 1996. Otherwise like most southern states, the weather is humid but warm for most of the year, but near the Appalachians, the area gets colder and even gets snow. You can even go skiing in the state.

Sports – This state is complete with NFL, NBA, and NHL professional teams with the Panthers, Hornets, and Hurricanes. It doesn’t have an MLB team but it has 2 AAA teams. Where North Carolina sports really shine is in college. With giant sports colleges including Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest, NC State, Davidson, Appalachian State, and more. Duke and North Carolina are known for being the two best college basketball programs in the history of college basketball thanks to coaches Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski. You must decide whether you are a Duke or North Carolina fan if you watch any sports otherwise you will be ostracized from someone who likes a different shade of blue. Another popular sport is NASCAR, with the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the museum being in Charlotte as well as the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Beaches and Mountains – North Carolina is one of the few coastal states that also are appalachian-mountains-NCnearby mountains. This state offers many mountain ranges and natural parks including the Smoky Mountains, Blue Ridge Parkway, Emerald Isle, Appalachian Mountains, and other natural areas. Also along the coast, there are sandy beaches and blue water. This is the state for the all in one vacation for those who like the beach and for those who like hiking the mountains as well. You could go skiing one day and then go surfing the next day. You can’t say that about many other states.

If you want an all in one state with good weather, great food, and an amazing sports culture then this is the perfect state for you. You can hike high mountains, surf the waves, watch the most intense sports rivalries, and enjoy a variety of great food all in one state.

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Charlotte, North Carolina

charlotte-north-carolinaWith a population of over 2.5 million, the biggest city in North Carolina is also one of the fastest-growing cities in the US. Although it has seen an influx of new people coming in over the past few decades, it doesn’t mean that the city forgets its southern roots. Here are all the cool things Charolette has to offer if you decide to visit or move!

Charlotte Panthers

Playing their 8 home games at Bank of America Stadium, this 75,000 person capacity stadium, in the downtown of Charlotte, is home to an exciting team featuring athletic stars Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey. This team is always in playoff contention and will always provide you entertainment. Games are hosted from September through January.

Charlotte Hornets

If football isn’t your thing, you can go to the Spectrum Center in Charlotte October through June to see, the team owned by Michael Jordan, show off its young stars. From Kemba Walker to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist this team isn’t yet in championship condition but will certainly be there soon.

NASCAR Museum & Hall of Fame

Showing its southern roots here, the NASCAR Museum & Hall of Fame houses all of the historic cars, artifacts and cherishes all of its great drivers. From Richard PettyRusty Wallace to Dale Earnhardt Sr and even more NASCAR legends. There are even simulations to allow you to see and feel what it’s like inside a race car.

Wells Fargo History Museum

With Wells Fargo having one of its headquarters here, this museum is one of the 12 across the country. The museum offers a chance for a perspective on how different banking was back when the country operated before instant online transfers became a thing. Their famous “Red Carriage” is also available to sit in and maybe snap a quick picture!

Restaurants

Being a southern state North Carolina is home to some great eats. Form BBQ to Seafoodcharlotte-NC-food and more, you won’t have a hard time finding something good to eat. If you can’t decide on which restaurants to go to, join the Feast Food Tour to experience the best food Charolette has to offer. Here are just some of the top recommendations.

  • Pinky’s Westside Grill
  • The Fig Tree
  • Lang Van
  • The Capital Grille
  • Midwood Smokehouse
  • Alexander Michael’s
  • Rooster’s Wood Fired Kitchen
  • Midwood Smokehouse

Charlotte is tucked in near the Appalachians making it a hidden gem that people have just been starting to find out about. With plenty to see, do and eat, Charlotte is a great destination on your next getaway from near or far.

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The Great Dismal Swamp

Great-Dismal-Swamp

The Great Dismal Swamp stretches from Northeastern North Carolina into Southern Virginia.  It is one of the only remaining great American wildernesses and boast more than 100,000 acres. It is home to an array of species and plants, some being very dangerous. The swamp is full of mystery and can be very dangerous to those that do not know the lay of the land or which parts to navigate through and which parts should be left alone.  Over the years there have been many mysterious lights seen amongst the swamp lands and some have lost their lives trying to get out of the incredibly deep and deceptive waters. However, don’t let these facts deter you from exploring this incredible natural wilderness. In fact, there are many things for visitors to see and do should you decide to visit this great swamp land!

What are some of the adventures the Great Dismal Swamp has to offer???

Swamp Safari: The swamp safari is a spectacular and adventurous way to explore the Great Dismal swamp lands. Visitors are taken in an safari vehicle with camouflage vinyl wrap for an educational and one of kind 4-hour safari tour. The tour is led by a biologist who specializes in the mysterious habitat that makes up the Dismal Swamp lands. You will learn about the swamp’s history, the wildlife that inhibits it as well as enjoy a quick walk to Lake Drummond. Should you want to participate in this adventure you must make reservations early as the open spots tend to fill up fast.

Biking: Looking to get in a little exercise and explore the swamplands? Enjoy a bike ride through the wilderness as long as you stay on the marked trails. Remember this is a very lush and thick area of wilderness and safety is number one priority. Should you be looking to explore the terrain a little more in depth it is suggested that you join in on the safari tour where a skilled guide is leading the way.

Wildlife Observation: For those of you nature lovers looking to get a look at all of thedismal-swamp-black-bear wildlife and vegetation that encompasses the swamp you will definitely enjoy observing all of the wildlife the swamp has to offer.  There are over 200 species that can be found nestled in the swamplands ranging from birds, to toads and salamanders, to yellow bellied turtles! There is also black bears, river otter and bobcats as well.

Hiking: Get in a bit of physical activity as well as a little wilderness observation and enjoy one of the many safe hiking trails laced throughout the swamp. Because this is a land of mystery and is filled with many species of wildlife it is always best to hike with a friend or partner and make sure to respect the environment around you.

North-Carolina-attractionThe great Dismal Swamp is definitely incredible to visit and is yet another of North Carolina’s many tourist attractions. Feel free to enjoy The Great dismal Swamp State Park and the lush vegetation that it has to offer.  It is always best to bring water, sunscreen and insect repellent should you be planning a trip to this natural swamp land. Always pick up after yourself dumping trash in designated spaces. The swamp lands are home to so many different forms of wildlife we want to make sure that the natural habitat of these inhabitants stays clean and in pristine condition for their survival.

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The North Carolina Zoo

Asheboro, North Carolina is home to one of the largest walking natural habitat zoo’s in the world. With fun to be had for all age groups and incredible wildlife to be seen a trip to the zoo is indeed called for on your next trip to the Tar Heel state! Check out this short video for a glimpse to see what the zoo is like!

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The Outer Banks-North Carolina

Ouetr0Banks-N.C.The Outer Banks located along a sandy stretch of about 200 miles of North Carolina’s ocean front shores is perhaps one of the most sought after tourists destinations in N.C.  With a little over 5 million visitors each year the Outer Banks are full of shipwreck secrets and beautiful beaches. You will find that the Outer Banks coastline separates Currituck Sound, Albemarle Sound and Pamlico Sound from the Atlantic Ocean.  Because of the treacherous waters found in this area there are many shipwrecks that dot the coastline and make up the Outer Banks. In fact this area has also been nicknamed the Graveyard of the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors can also find the Graveyard Museum in Hatteras Village next to the local Coast Guard facility. Also located near by is Cape Hatteras National Seashore which boasts 4 different cramp grounds open to visitors.  

Along the Outer Banks you will find different barrier islands as well.  These islands consist of:

  • Bodie Island
  • Hatteras Island
  • Ocracoke Island
  • Portsmouth Island
  • Core Banks Island

There are an abundance of unusual weather patterns which makes these islands and the area greatly affected by hurricanes. Some other interesting facts about the Outer Banks include:

Outer Bank Fact

  • Cape Hatteras lighthouse stands 208 feet and 12 stories high
  • Cape Point located on Hatteras Island is one of the best fishing spots andbodie-island-lighthouse also home to Hatteras Lighthouse
  • The Outer Banks & the Virgin islands are the best known places to catch Atlantic Blue Marlin
  • Roanke Island holds the mystery of the Lost Colony. The single word Croatoan was found carved into a tree lending even to the mystery
  • Pirates once roamed the Atlantic Ocean and the shores of the Outer Banks
  • 16 towns and villages are located along the vast shores of the Outer Banks
  • The Outer Banks is known as the windsurfing capital of the East CoastGraveyard-of-atlantic-museum

There is a ton of history and wonderful tourists destinations disbursed all throughout the great state of North Carolina.  A state that is filled with southern hospitality and so much beauty you are sure to find a destination for everyone in your travel group.  Should you be venturing to N.C. in the summer months especially we highly recommend a visit to the Outer Banks!

 

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North Carolina’s Incredible Universities

north-carolina-universitiesMany of you may know the extent of the damage done to the state of North Carolina by Hurricane Florence.  While all of the damage and devastation has affected people and businesses from all walks of life, what most of us may not have realized is what it does for those attending one of the many amazing colleges & Universities in North Carolina. In fact North Carolina is home to many of the top rated schools in the United States.  What are these schools exactly??

Top Colleges In North Carolina

 

  • Duke University- Probably the most coveted N.C. University, Duke University is aduke-university phenomenal University.  Located in Durham, North Carolina, Durham has been ranked as one of the best places to live and offers an abundance of sports, history, food and art.  You will find that as Duke’s home, the city of Durham is said to be filled with a great amount of intellectual people.
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill- This amazing public University is often referred to as Carolina.  It is ranked as #1 out of 100 colleges for it’s high quality of academics at a reasonable and affordable price. It is also said to have a 13:1 student teacher ratio which leaves class sizes at less than 50 students.  Great for learning!
  • North Carolina State University at Raleigh- Also referred to as NC State, this research based school works hand in hand with both Duke University and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  It is also located in the second best area for technology based jobs.
  • Campbell University- North Carolina’s only private University with degrees available in la, Medicine and Pharmacy.  Located in Buies Creek it prides itself with over 100 organizations for students which helps make this one of the colleges with the most student involvement.
  • University of North Carolina, Charlotte- This college is great for marketing majors and those interested in business.  The campus also is home to the N.C. Motorsports & Automotive Center which works hand in hand with professional raising teams to teach automotive engineering.

With 16 different Universities to choose from throughout the state of North Carolina, these are only 5 of them.  They are all great and offer something different for all types and levels of students. Hopefully with the Hurricane Florence bringing so much destruction in its wake we will not see significant damage to these Universities. Should you visit our lovely state, checking out these Universities is highly suggested not only for what they have to offer but also for their beautiful Southern architecture.

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Hurricane Florence Devastation

hurricane-florenceWe love our state of North Carolina and all of the beauty and Southern hospitality it encompasses.  While we usually like to share the best travel destinations, sites to see and things to do while visiting our state, we wanted to take a moment to focus on the devastation and destruction that hurricane Florence has brought to the Carolina’s.  With many families displaced because of damage to their homes and business owners trying to rebuild the destruction of their businesses we wanted to share what has happened in our still beautiful state.

Most of the state under flood water, high winds that have caused major power outages in many areas, and many people in shelters due to the damage to their homes and no running water or electricity, the state of North Carolina is in a crisis.  President Donald Trump came to hand out warm meals and help lift our residents morales as we wade through the flood waters and start the rebuilding process. Here are some statistics of what is happening in North Carolina as of now.

Hurricane Florence Destruction

  • 7,800-10,000 people are currently staying in shelters
  • 37 deaths have been reported
  • 161,000 people are without electricity
  • 3.4 million chickens have died in flood waters
  • 5,500 pigs have died
  • 125 million pounds of tobacco has been damaged
  • Cotton, sweet potatoes, corn, and peanuts are among other crops also affected
  • At least 5 million gallons of partially treated sewage has spilled into the Cape Fear River
  • The Lumber River is covering parts of towns from it’s overflow

These are just a few of the statistics reported in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. While North Carolina brings in revenue from crops and other means, most crops and hurricane-florenece-devastationfarming has been affected or destroyed.  Top that with the fact that tourism revenue is at a stand still while the residents are still trying to gain footing and return to their homes and properties. A lot of visitors will not be visiting now even if trips and hotels have been booked and planned.

With organizations like the Red Cross and volunteers helping to restore life and order to all of North Carolina and it’s affected cities, time will only tell how long it will really take the whole rebuilding process.  Another horrific downfall of the hurricanes devastation is most homeowners did not obtain flood insurance as part of their homeowners insurance plans. Why? North Carolina is not a state that is in danger of floods normally, however, with the hurricane there is proof that it can happen.  Homeowners lacking the flood coverage are now left to rebuild spending thousands of dollars on their own. Couple that with the fact that many are out of jobs because businesses have shut down with damages as well.

North-Carolina-hurricaneWe can only continue to be thankful for all of the volunteers and help that has poured in from concerned citizens and organizations.  Hopefully we will see a light at the end of the tunnel sooner rather than later.

 

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