Renowned for its natural resources with more than 300 miles of Atlantic coastline and the highest mountain peaks east of the Rocky Mountains, North Carolina is known for its scenic beauty, moderate climate and a culture that is rich in history.
Spanish explorers were the first Europeans to make a permanent settlement in the area when Juan Pardo and his men built Fort San Juan in 1567 near the present-day city of Morganton. But, the fort was short lived.
English colonists, sent by Sir Walter Raleigh, unsuccessfully attempted to settle Roanoke Island in 1585 and 1587. Finally, in 1653, the first permanent settlements were established by English colonists from Virginia near the Roanoke and Chowan Rivers.
In 1718, after losing his ship and appealing to the governor of North Carolina who promised safe-haven and a pardon, the notorious pirate, Blackbeard was killed in an ambush by British soldiers.
North Carolina became one of the English Thirteen Colonies and with the territory of South Carolina was originally known as the Province of Carolina. The northern and southern parts of the original province separated in 1729.
During the American Revolution, there was relatively little fighting within the state, but many North Carolinians saw action elsewhere. Later, when the Civil War erupted, the state joined the Confederacy despite considerable pro-Union, antislavery sentiment.
Among the popular destinations in the Tar Heel State, visitors flock to the
Great Smoky Mountains, Blue Ridge National Parkway, Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout National Seashores, the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kitty Hawk, and more.