The Great State #12: Uncover the Rich Hidden Gems of North Carolina
The great state of North Carolina carries a rich history, from being the first place where gold nuggets are discovered to being the origin of where the Wright brothers flew the first airplane. That North Carolina influences even the North Carolina of today. It is interesting that many of the hidden gems of North Carolina play an integral part in understanding the history of North Carolina. That being said, her is some of the vast histories of the 12th state:
- In ancient times, the eastern half of the state was underwater, and giant megalodon sharks roamed the waters. On land, there were wooly mammoths and mastodons. It is believed that the first Native Americans inhabited the New World 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. Eventually, nearly 30 Native American groups settled across the state.
- In the 1580s, the British established two colonies in North Carolina, both of which failed. In the 1600s permanent settlers from Virginia began to move to North Carolina, and it eventually became part of a British colony known as "Carolina."
- Many people believe that in 1775 North Carolina became the first colony to declare independence from Great Britain. After the American Revolution, North Carolina became the twelfth state of the Union.
- 1776 February 27: The Battle of Moores Creek Bridge is the first battle of the American Revolution to be fought in North Carolina.
- April 12: North Carolina becomes the first state to vote in favor of independence.
- 1828 North Carolina Native Andrew Jackson becomes the 7th president of the United States.
- In 1861, North Carolina seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy in the Civil War. In 1865, North Carolina troops surrendered, leaving the state to be brought back into the Union in 1868.
- The 20th century saw North Carolina transformed into a modern state, a transformation that began when the Wright Brothers flew the first airplane in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903.
One of the 13 original colonies, North Carolina, has a fascinating history -- from its original Native American settlers to its role in the Revolutionary and Civil wars. Through it all, North Carolina has amassed a bounty of amazing historic sites. This past December, the 113th anniversary of the first flight, the N.C. Museum of History added an expanded section on the Wright brothers in the "The Story of North Carolina" with original artifacts on loan from the National Park Service. Visitors are able to see several airfoils the Wright brothers used in their wind tunnel experiments. Also, the shovel that Orville Wright and William (Bill) Tate used in the ca. 1933 groundbreaking ceremony of the Wright Brothers National Memorial will be on view. Tate was a Kitty Hawk resident who helped Orville and Wilbur and became their lifelong friend. Historical photographs, a façade of the brothers’ shed at Kill Devil Hills, and the museum’s own reproduction 1903 Wright Flyer will further enhance the exhibit.
With al of its history and beauty, there a plethora of hidden gems to discuss but we try our best to highlight some of the better known "gems" below:
Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden
One of few microclimates permitting year-round outdoor growth of such plants, its beds are home to pitcher plants, sundews, Venus flytraps, and other insectivorous species. Visitors are invited to survey the lands anytime during daylight hours, and plant hikes are offered for free each Saturday morning. Interested parties are advised to wear closed toed shoes. After all, these plants have teeth.
See more details here: The Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden
Rose Creek Mine
Operating since 1952, Rose Creek Mine is one of 3 state licensed gem mines in Macon County, North Carolina.
It also has waterfalls, white-water rafting, AT Trail hiking, museums, antique shops, historic train rides and the Cherokee Indian Reservation. Here you can find enriched, and native gems including ruby, sapphire, garnet, amethyst, citrine, moonstone, topaz, smoky & rose quartz, and all equipment are provided. They give you a great warning that you might find mining addictive.
To Learn more details, logo on here: Rose Creek Mine
If you want to Hook into world-class fishing, personalized angling instruction, youth adventure camps, an exceptional banquet facility as well as clean, wide, public beaches, bathhouse and free parking, you can do it all at Jennette's Pier in Nags Head. Inside the pier house, you will come face to face with fish while peering into one of our large aquariums.
You can Explore interactive science exhibits and learn about renewable energy. Their full-service Pier shop offers tackle, beach supplies, unique gifts, cold drinks, hot coffee, and snacks. While in NC see why Jennette's Pier has been a family favorite for more than 75 years.
To explore more details, click here: Jennette's Pier
The Bull City is also a beer city, it's also home to the annual World Beer Festival. Durham's local breweries ensure that connoisseurs have plenty to explore while they're in town:
- Bull City Burger & Brewery (BCBB) pairs an emphasis on local agriculture with a serious taste for beer. You can taste the local pride in beers like the Honorable Bell's Brown Ale, named after longtime Durham Mayor Bill Bell. You can find the beers at both BCBB and their sister restaurant, Pompieri Pizza. Tours are also available most Saturdays.
- Bull Durham Beer Co. is the home brewery of the Durham Bulls. It's also the only brewery in the country located inside a minor league baseball stadium. The beers are available at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park and nearby restaurants in American Tobacco.
To find out more details, click here: Beer City
US National Whitewater Center
Home of the world's largest man-made recirculating river, the U.S. National Whitewater Center is a non-profit outdoor recreation facility situated on the outskirts of Charlotte. The U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC) is dedicated to the promotion of the active, outdoor lifestyle. Since 2006, the USNWC has been promoting access to the outdoors for all levels of participants through its all-day pass programs, instruction, leadership school as well as festivals, races, and other outdoor events. Whether you visit the Center’s 1,300 acres on the Catawba River or participate in the offsite programs featured throughout the United States, the USNWC wants you to play, relax and learn outside.
See more details here: U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC)
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