North and South Carolina are located in the southeastern region of the United States. The beautiful blue hue of the Appalachian Mountains and the endless beaches along the Atlantic Coast make the Carolinas a premier destination for visitors. But what are the Carolinas famous for?
The Carolinas have a rich history and diverse attractions that interest people worldwide. Whether you are an outdoor adventurer or prefer urban culture in big cities, you will surely find something to love.
In this article, we will explore some of the famous features that stitch together the fabric of the Carolinas. We will delve into some of the reasons the Carolinas are a fantastic place to live or visit.
What Are The Carolinas Famous For?
The Carolinas are famous for beautiful beaches, mountain adventures, a love for good BBQ, vibrant cities, and a rich history worth exploring. North and South Carolina are great places to visit and even better places to put down roots and call home.
1. Beautiful Beaches
The Carolinas are home to some of the world’s most beautiful and relaxing beaches. One thing that we love about Carolina’s beaches is that each one has something unique to offer.
Myrtle beach is known for its buy boardwalk, with carnival-like games and mini golf up and down the main strip. Kiawah Island offers a slower pace of life, soft sand, and the clearest waters in the Carolinas.
Wilmington and Charleston offer the most unique glimpses of southern charm, and while neither coastal city has its own beach, there are beaches nearby.
Wrightsville Beach, near Wilmington, is known for its fantastic surf, plentiful shops, and fun restaurants and bars. Fans of the 90s and early 2000s might recognize Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach because Dawson’s Creek was filmed in the region.
Folly Beach is near Charleston and might be best known for its 1,000-foot fishing pier. Visitors also love the restaurants, bars, surf shops, and souvenir shacks lining Center Street, which is a short walk from the pier.
And we would be remiss not to mention the Outer Banks (OBX)! While the Outer Banks have also hosted TV series and movies (perhaps most notably, Nights in Rodanthe), it is better known for the wild horses. Check out one of the exhilarating tours near Corolla if you want to see the wild ponies!
The Carolinas offer diverse beach experiences that anyone will love. There are picturesque sunsets along remote stretches of coastline and boardwalk hotspots full of nightlife. You really have to experience the beauty the Carolinas offer for yourself.
What are the Carolinas famous for? The beaches are a good place to start.
2. Mountain Adventures
And while everyone loves the beaches, our family loves the mountains. The Carolinas are the perfect place for mountain adventures and exploration. Whether you are looking for a family activity or a challenging hike, the Carolinas have something for everyone.
The beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains get their name because of the blue hue they cast on a clear day. And while the blue hue is breathtaking, it is nothing compared to the colorful fall foliage you see driving along the famous Blue Ridge Parkway.
We love to hike on the carriage trails at Moses Cone Manor, which is on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The fall foliage is gorgeous, and the history is fascinating.
You will also appreciate the views from Grandfather Mountain. The Mile-High Swinging Bridge sits atop Grandfather Mountain and is a popular tourist attraction. Plus, Moses Cone Manor is only about 30 minutes from Grandfather Mountain, so you might as well go to both!
For those looking for a more adventurous experience, consider visiting Tweetsie Railroad, Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster, or Hawksnest Snowtubing and Zipline.
The Carolinas have it all. What are the Carolinas famous for? They are definitely known for mountain adventures. We didn’t even touch on the whitewater rafting or Appalachian Trail.
And for more luxurious experiences, you can always visit the Biltmore Estate or the exclusive Omni Grove Park Inn, both of which are in Asheville. There is so much to do!
3. BBQ and Great Food
The Carolinas have a long heritage of BBQ that is more entwined with the state’s history than you might realize. You see, smoking meat is a preservation technique that helps prevent the meat from spoiling quickly.
Early settlers would smoke whole hogs before the winter so they would have meat to eat as it become harder to come by food during the cold months.
Nowadays, you will hear lighthearted arguments about whether barbecue from Texas, Kansas City, Memphis, or the Carolinas is the best. Still, the history of barbecue is one of survival and serious techniques.
Understanding this, it is no surprise that Carolinians have mastered the art of BBQ over centuries. Today, local pitmasters hone their own unique style and techniques. Most of the renowned flavoring comes from allowing hardwood smoke to cook the meat slowly.
The Carolinas are especially known for vinegar-based sauces, known as part Eastern and Lexington-style BBQ. Eastern-style BBQ is a whole-hog barbecue with a vinegar sauce and no tomato ingredients in the sauce. Lexington-style is more selectively made from the pork shoulder, and the vinegar sauce includes a tomato base.
The best BBQ joints in Charlotte offer both barbecue sauces plus Texas-style BBQ too. Vinegar-based BBQ isn’t for everyone, which is why we appreciate the most famous BBQ stops in Charlotte taking an egalitarian approach to serving the best BBQ possible.
Of course, BBQ is just the start. The Carolinas are also known for fresh Atlantic seafood, delicious mountain-town apple orchards, locally sourced restaurants, and as the birthplace of Pepsi-Cola.
Today, you will find delicious food halls, like Optimist Hall in Charlotte, food truck rallies, celebrity cooks, and rooftop fine dining.
4. Vibrant Cities and Economy
The Carolinas are also famous for their destination cities, including Charleston along the beach, Asheville in the mountains, and Charlotte in the Piedmont region.
In many ways, Charlotte is known as the center of the Carolinas. Charlotte sits on the state line of North and South Carolina, and it is the largest city and economy in the Carolinas. You will also find three major sports, including the Charlotte Hornets (NBA), Carolina Panthers (NFL), and Charlotte FC (MLS).
There are nearly endless things to do in Charlotte, but we recommend you take the time to visit the Whitewater Center. You might also go for a stroll along the Rail Trail.
In comparing Charlotte vs. Raleigh, you will find that Charlotte is home to bigger companies, including Fortune 500 headquarters. Raleigh is the state capital and is near several prominent research universities that form what is known as the Research Triangle.
Up in the mountains, towns like Asheville and Blowing Rock are ever-popular tourist destinations. They are known for strollable downtown streets, great hiking, and unbelievable views.
Charleston is known in South Carolina for its charming architecture and stature as a historic port city. You will find cobblestone streets, old plantations, great seafood, and southern hospitality.
Plus, the Charleston region is an economic powerhouse in its own right. Boeing owns a 265-acre sub-assembly site for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which is located at the Charleston International Airport.
5. Rich History and Culture
We already mentioned that the Carolinas are known as the birthplace of Pepsi-Cola, but it is also known as the birthplace of flight. The Wright brothers are often credited for the world’s first successful flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
Of course, the first flight was only 12 seconds, and the plane only traveled 180 seconds in the air. Still, those 12 seconds gave birth to powered flight. The Wright Brothers made four flights that day in 1903, and the final flight lasted 59 seconds and covered 852 feet.
More than a century earlier, the Carolinas played an important role in the Revolutionary War. The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence is said to have been signed on May 20, 1775.
This would make it the earliest declaration of independence against British rule. It happened more than a year before the founding fathers signed the nation’s official Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
Then when General Cornwallis marched into Charlotte in 1780, local lore says they quickly left because Charlotte was a “Hornet’s Nest of Rebellion.” And now you know why the city’s basketball team is known as the Charlotte Hornets.
Of course, modern culture in the Carolinas is just as fascinating as the rich history. From festivals to Broadway musicals and from fine art museums to history museums, the Carolinas are eclectic and well-rounded.
More About The Carolinas
The Carolinas were originally thought of as one settlement region, but a deputy governor was established for North Carolina in 1712. Charleston was the original Governor’s home, but North Carolinas was geographically too far away.
Today, the two proud states contribute distinct cultural identities to one proud region. Deciding which Carolina is better might be a fool’s chore.
Still, all you have to do is read above to see how much we love North Carolina. And we compiled a list of 25 quotes for South Carolina to help further tell its story.
What Are The Carolinas Best Known For?
The Carolinas are best known for its beautiful beaches and picturesque mountainscapes, but the region has much more to offer. The Carolinas are also known for its major cities, such as Charlotte and Raleigh, and its many modern attractions.
Charlotte might be known for Pepsi-Cola and BBQ, but today it is home to fine dining, modern art, renowned theaters, and more. Of course, serving as home to major headquarters for companies like Bank of America, Honeywell, and Lowe’s helps the community.
And for those that don’t know much about the Carolinas, they are likely familiar with the professional sports teams.
What Is The Top Attraction In The Carolinas
The top attraction in the Carolinas is actually its beauty. While that sounds like a corny cliche, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States. People flock to the Blue Ridge parkway from hours away.
In fact, we live in Charlotte and frequently make the two-hour drive up to Boone to explore the mountains.
If you are looking for a more specific location, the Biltmore Estate is one of the top attractions in the entire southeast!
What Is The Most Unique Fact About The Carolinas?
So, what are the Carolinas famous for? The Carolinas are famous for its scenery, big-city attractions, and more, but here are a few more interesting facts.
The first attempted English settlement in America occurred on Roanoke Island in North Carolina. Interestingly, the colony is now known as “The Lost Colony” of Roanoke because its people mysteriously vanished. Crazy! But true.
Still, today the Carolinas are better known as a tourist destination for its idyllic beaches and charming mountain town. But big city skylines and professional sports fill the foothills transition from the mountains down to the coastal regions.
The Carolinas are also known for BBQ, seafood, and southern hospitality. Why wait?! Plan a trip to visit the Carolinas soon!