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 the 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.
The 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.
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!
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:
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 and 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 Coast
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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Many 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 a 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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We 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 farming 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.
We 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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North Carolina is the perfect state to visit for all walks of visitors. Meaning there are great historical sights to see for the history buff, or beautiful beaches to explore with your family, to many different cities such as Ashville & Raleigh that offer a multitude of different activities, to monuments like the deserted Land of Oz where the timeless classic The Wizard of Oz was filmed, to hiking and outdoor adventures for the nature lover in you. In fact one of our favorite and highly recommended destinations when visiting N.C. are the natural hot springs that can be found just 36 miles north of Asheville! You don’t even have to be a natural lover or hiking enthusiast to enjoy the warm mineral filled waters that the natural hot springs produce! The Cherokee Indians once claimed these magical waters because of their healing powers, and visitors dating back to the 1700’s have also traveled in search of these warm therapeutic hot springs. So how are the hot springs actually heated? They lay on a volcanic fault line which helps to heat the waters to between 98 & 102 degrees! There is even a spa/resort located next to the French Broad River on the Appalachian Trail in the little town known as Hot Springs (yes the town is named Hot Springs) where you can rent your own “hot tub” by the hour that are filled with the warm mineral filled water flowing from the springs. What’s even more amazing is that these “hot tubs” are not treated with any man made chemicals and are cleaned after each use. Some of you who aren’t too familiar with the mineral infused water of hot springs might just be wondering what the big deal is about. Dan, a friend of mine that owns a Hot Tub Company, shared with us the many benefits the minerals found in natural hot springs tend to offer. In fact he also related how more and more of his customers are turning to converting their home hot tubs to mimic the water found in natural hot springs because of the many health benefits. Of course a natural hot spring is better but if you can replicate it in your own backyard then why not! However, if you do get a chance visit the incredible town of Hot Springs, North Carolina it is highly suggested you rent one of these private tubs!
Mineral Benefits Of Hot Springs
Magnesium Sulfate- great for muscle activity
Potassium Chloride- benefits nerves
Potassium Sulphate- aids heart and digestion
Sodium Chloride- helps bones & teeth
Lime Sulphate- helps bones & teeth
Iron Bicarbonate- helps with anemia
Not only do the above listed minerals help with specific things they also work collectively to aid in oxygen flow, different circulatory illnesses and circulation in general. They help to relieve sore muscles especially if you chose to hike one of the many gorgeous trails that can be found along the Appalachian Trail. And while we know that a dip in the hot springs are not necessarily for everyone, these beautiful natural made hot springs are definitely another perk and attraction when deciding to vacation in our wonderful state of North Carolina. Who knows, for those that do visit the Hot Springs you may just go home ready to purchase or convert your existing hot tub into a man made version of these warm, therapeutic, health enhancing, mineral filled springs!
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Not only does North Carolina have many different cities and towns to explore, offering a different piece of southern charm, great food and so many incredible & historic sights to see, it is also home to some of the best beaches one can find. With so many beautiful becahes to choose from it may be hard to narrow down which ones to visit the next time you are exploring the beautiful Tar Heel state. We thought we’d help you out a bit with 20 of the best top rated beaches in beautiful North Carolina. There is bound to be a beach that appeals to what each visitor is looking for and maybe even a few different ones that you would love to bask in the warm sunshine on. Take a look at this video and prepare to wish you were sitting on one of these golden beaches!
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Not only does North Carolina have incredible cities full of history and culture to be explored, it is also home to the Land Of Oz! For those of you who are fans of the great classic “The Wizard Of Oz” exploring this abandoned theme park may just be the push to get you to visit Beech Mountain, North Carolina! Check out this short video on The Land Of Oz!
When visiting North Carolina, there are so many beautiful cities with history, charm, and amazing sites to be seen. Raleigh, the State Capital of North Carolina, perhaps being one of my favorite! Not only is Raleigh a National Historical Landmark it is also the first and only city built with the plans to make it the states Capital! The city was founded in 1972 and was named after Sir Walter Raleigh who attempted to establish one of the first English colonies dating all the way back to 1580! The founding fathers nicknamed this incredible city “City Of Oaks” because of the all the oaks that can be found throughout. They elected to protect and maintain the wooded areas and many parks that can be found all over the city! With over 9,000 acres of park land and 1,300 acres of water there are recreational activities that can be found all year round. In fact the city even has an 152 mile greenway system that boast walking, hiking and running paths and connects over 200 parks throughout the city! So what are some of the fun things to see and do while visiting Raleigh??
Raleigh Must See & Do’s
North Carolina State Fair- Held in October every year, it is the largest event to happen throughout all of the state. Lasting 11 days in total more than 800,000 people attend every year!
Historical Sites- Whether you are visiting the North Carolina Historical Capital Building, Executive Mansion, or Historic Oakwood, they are all incredible historical sites to be visited. Oakwood is art in itself with 19th century Victorian homes laced throughout the neighborhood.
Music Scene- Perhaps one of the most encompassing of all performance areas, Raleigh offers Broadway shows, theaters, operas, and symphonies
ONE Corner of The Research Triangle- The Research Triangle is comprised of Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill and their respective Universities (University of N.C. Chapel Hill, University Durham, and N.C. State University of Raleigh) With some of the nations best universities “The Triangle” is home to some of the largest research and tech companies out there. Think IBM, Cisco Systems, Red Hat, Pfizer etc.
Wildlife- If you are a lover of wildlife you won’t be disappointed, Raleigh is home to wood ducks, white tailed deer, Canada geese, and wild turkeys
These are just a few of the spectacular attractions in the city of Raleigh. In general there are over 40 historical sites and museums to visit and explore. The great thing about this city is that it has something to over all types of visitors. Spo if you are planning a trip to our beautiful state of North Carolina, we definitely advise a visit to the city of Raleigh. A little historical culture, southern hospitality, and beautiful woodlands surrounding you you will not be disappointed.
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With so many things to do ,see and explore in the state of North Carolina it can be hard to pick what activities to do and sites to see. Many times when visitors are left to go at it alone they feel as if they didn’t really get to capture the true essence of the NC city they visited. Especially when it is your first time visiting the Tar Heel State, there is so much left to the unknown. A friend of mine, Akima, who operates private tours on Oahu, Hawaii, shared with me that many of her tour guests book a private tour to really see the “inside” of her tropical state. While scouring the internet for ideas and attractions to see, many feel as if they are only seeing the shell of the state. With a private tour of the area guests feel as if they see the true history & culture that may be unknown or unchartered by many visitors. Well my fellow readers, I took her much heeded advice and compiled a list of some of the best guided tours in the state of North Carolina. These mini adventures give you a little more insight into each city visited and leave you feeling like you got to know the history, area and the many desirable spots that our state has to offer.
Best Guided Tours In North Carolina
Hiking Tour Of Blue Ridge Parkway Falls- this guided 5 hour tour will take you on an adventure to explore 3 different waterfalls that can be found in the city of Asheville. Family Friendly and a great way to site see and get some exercise this is one beautiful tour you might not want to miss out on!
Triangle Glides Tour-this guided tour offers a set of 6 different segway tours to choose from. For all levels of segway riders one of these 6 tours is surely right for you. Choose from tours such as Raleigh’s Darkest Secrets, Historic Oakwood, Explorer, Downtown Discovery and Essential Oakwood segway tours. Fun that can be had with the whole family!
Hungry Town Tours- A selection of tours to compliment those that prefer, walking, biking or a tour of your taste buds. With tours that take you through the historical town of Beaufort, choose from the historical walking tour, a Ride to Remember, or Legends & Love of The Sea
Lake Lure, NC Guided Tour- Explore the historical town of Lake Lure and learn about all of the great lakes legends. Fan of the movie Dirty Dancing? See many of the films scenery in person!
Tobacco Road, Raleigh- Bring the beverage of your choice and imbibe of this historical tour filled with fun and great information on the city of Raleigh
Haunted Asheville Tour- This is a family friendly, 2 hour tour for all of those that like a little mystery and perhaps some ghosts! Great way to see a bit of the ‘inside” of the beautiful city of Asheville.
While there are definitely MANY guided and self guided tours to enjoy and take part of while visiting our great state, these are just a few of our very favorite. Every state has its own culture, history and sights to me seen and enjoyed. Visitors must decide on what appeals to them most and then get out there and explore! The beauty of traveling is experiencing all of the many facets of life and environments out there. We are sure that no matter what you choose to do and see while your in any city in North Carolina it will be fun and a memorable experience!
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