North Carolina is a quintessentially Southern state in the United States of America offering visitors endless variety with three distinct regions. Visitors can enjoy outdoor activities from hiking, mountain climbing, and skiing, along with a taste of Appalachian music and culture in the Blue Ridge and Smokey mountains. Increasingly diverse and fast-growing cities dot the Piedmont- from Charlotte's skyscrapers, Raleigh's museums and historic neighborhoods, and Chapel Hill's college nightlife. Kite-surfing, fishing, sun, and sand await visitors to the state's coastal region- with secluded barrier islands in the Outer Banks and the bustling beach-side city of Wilmington.
The state's temperate climate has four distinct seasons and is highly acclaimed for its year-round living comforts. Rainfall is adequate and dispersed over the entire year. More than 56 million visitors traveled to North Carolina in 2008, ranking the state sixth behind California, Florida, Texas, New York, and Pennsylvania. Eighty-nine percent of all travelers traveled to North Carolina by auto, truck or camper/RV.
As North Carolina lies in the center of the eastern seaboard of United States, nearly half of the country lives within a 500-mile radius of the state. Murphy is the westernmost town of significance and Manteo is the easternmost town of significance; "From Murphy to Manteo" is a popular saying.
"The Carolinas" are comprised of both North Carolina and South Carolina immediately to the south.