14 Things that Come to Mind When You Think of North Carolina

Whether you’re lucky enough to call North Carolina home or you live in some other state, there are certain ideas that are conjured up in your mind when you think North Carolina.  With the help of onlyinyourstate.com, we pulled together some interesting ideas — most of them absolutely true.

NASCAR — It’s true that NASCAR was born in Daytona, but the roots still run deep in North Carolina, particularly the Charlotte area.  Charlotte is home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame where you can learn the history of racing.  And just a few miles down the road is Charlotte Motor Speedway.  Built in 1959, the Speedway has become a major holder in the world of NASCAR events.  And, in nearby Kannapolis lies the birthplace of Dale Earnhardt who is regarded as one of the racing legends of all time.

KRISPY KREME — You know you will pull off the road in split second if the “Hot Now” sign is lit up!  While Krispy Kreme has grown to a nationally known brand of donuts, only Winston-Salem can call the glazed confection its own!  Krispy Kreme got its humble start in 1937 right here in North Carolina.

CHEERWINE — All that cherry coke goodness was born right in Salisbury!  Although it’s predominantly sold in the Southeastern United States, anyone whose tasted its unique flavor is sure to remember it wherever they go.

BASKETBALL — It’s not just your average rivalry, it’s Carolina vs. Duke!  Dating back to the 1920’s, the rivalry between the schools has been augmented and strengthened by their close proximity (only 8 miles apart down Tobacco Road) and the difference in their funding structures — public vs. private.  While the rivalry has been around for ages, it reached epic proportions during the 1980’s when two historic coaches collided — Dean Smith & Mike Krzyewski.  Consistently ranked as one of the top men’s basketball rivalries in the nation, when Carolina and Duke are playing, the entire country is watching!

PEPSI-COLA — Unlike Cheerwine, Pepsi is a nationally recognized and sold cola.  It is the number one competitor of Coca-Cola and was born in New Bern at the end of the 1800’s.

BARBEQUE — Up North it’s a verb, in North Carolina it’s a noun!  Whether you prefer Lexington or Eastern Style BBQ, NC is known for it’s delicious pulled pork plates and sandwiches.  Don’t forget the cole slaw!

CAROLINA PANTHERS — The NFL expansion team is owned by former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver and North Carolina native, Jerry Richardson.  The Panthers played their first game in 1995, and have had some strong seasons along the way, but still haven’t reached Super Bowl glory.

Y’ALL — It’s a proper contraction.  Just check the dictionary.  With the perfect Southern accent, the words “you” and “all” just slide together into “y’all”.  It’s for both friends and family; for co-workers and passersby.  Nothing makes you feel quite like North Carolina than a friendly “How’re y’all doin’?” coming from the front porch.

ASHEVILLE  — While the majority of the South is considered conservative, it’s well known that the NC home to all things weird is Asheville.  Artistic license and freedom in lifestyle choices define Asheville.  But, that’s not all Asheville has to offer!  Western North Carolina is known for it’s amazing views and mountain vistas.

BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS — The beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains are home to the Appalachian Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway.  By foot or by vehicle, your experience will be amazing, particularly in the Fall months as the leaves are changing into deep crimsons, bright oranges and vibrant yellows.

BEAUTIFUL BEACHES — On the eastern side of the state, North Carolina boasts beautiful beaches along the Barrier Islands or Outer Banks.  Here, 200 miles of beach separate the ocean from our inland waters — the Albemarle, Currituck and Pamlico Sounds.  The beaches that grace our coast are often listed among top lists of the most beautiful beaches in the United States.  (And, we natives all know why!)

MOVIES — While the movie industry in North Carolina has probably seen its heyday come and go, the fact still stands that over 800 movies have been filmed in our state, including Dirty Dancing, Last of the Mohicans, Cape Fear, The Hunger Games and a slew of Nicholas Sparks movies.

HIGHER EDUCATION — North Carolina is home to many colleges and universities that attract thousands of out-of-state students every year.  And, with accredited school across our map, it’s no wonder this is true.  From Public to Private, Liberal Arts to Science, and even schools specifically for the arts, North Carolina is home to a melting pot of educational opportunities.

MUSIC — It seems without even trying, we churn out musical artists and American Idol alumni.  The genres of music we have contributed to cannot be contained to a small list.  From Gospel to Rock n’ Roll and everything in between, North Carolina is home to hundreds of musicians and musical legends.  One of the most notable being James Taylor.  His anthem Carolina on my Mind stirs up emotions in everyone who calls North Carolina home.