101 Fun Facts About North Carolina

How much do you know about North Carolina?

The state has some of the coolest fun facts and history!

You may know that North Carolina is famous for its mountains, amazing barbecue, and beautiful beaches… but here’s 101 fun facts you may not know about this gorgeous southeastern state.

101 Fun Facts About North Carolina

  1. The first state owned art museum in the United States is located in Raleigh, NC
  2. The Wright Brothers tested many prototype flying machines in Kitty Hawk, NC in the early 1900’s
  3. North Carolina falls into many different mountains divisions, including The Appalachian Mountains, The Blue Ridge Mountains, The Great Smoky Mountains, and The Black Mountains.
  4. Fontama Dam in NC is the tallest dam in the Eastern United States, at 480 feet high.
  5. The Outer Banks are home to some of the most highly ranked beaches in the United States
  6. Babe Ruth had his first professional home run during spring training with the Orioles in Fayetteville, NC
  7. Stock car racing is the official sport of NC
  8. North Carolina is one of the top 3 most hurricane hit states in America.
  9. As of 1987, state official state drink is milk
  10. North Carolina has the most environmentally friendly buildings than any other state

11. The state is the number one producer of sweet potatoes in the country

12. The state is also the number one producer of tobacco in the country

13. Asheville, NC is home to America’s largest mansion, The Biltmore Estate

14. A Fayetteville, North Carolina resident, Don Clayton, created putt-putt golf in 1954

15. Three of America’s presidents were from North Carolina: James Polk, Andrew Jackson, and Andrew Johnson.

16. Due to the series of sand bars and strong currents off of the Outer Banks, the region has been nicknamed “The graveyard of the Atlantic”

17. North Carolina’s coast was a famous haunt of the infamous pirate Blackbeard until he was killed by British naval forces in a battle off Ocracoke Island in 1718

18. Krispy Kreme was started by Vernon Rudolph in Winston-Salem in 1937

19. The Venus Flytrap is native to North Carolina

20. Pepsi was invented in New Bern, NC in 1893 by a medical student who believed it would help patients with digestion.

21. Actress, Julianna Moore, was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina

22. Actor, Zach Galifanakis, is also from North Carolina. He was born in the town of Wilkesboro

23. The state is often called the Tar Heel State or the Old North State

24. The state is home to the country’s tallest lighthouse, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

25. Grandfather Mountain is the only private park in the world designated by the U.N. as an International Biosphere Reserve

26. The first child born to English parents on American soil was born in North Carolina, her name was Virginia Dare

27. People from the Outer Banks and Pamlico Sound speak the High Tider dialect or “Hoi Toider.” It’s English, but if you are an outsider it would be hard for you to decipher. Video Below.

28. The state is home to Mount Mitchell, the tallest mountain in the Eastern United States

29. The famous romance author, Nicholas Sparks, is from North Carolina

30. There are more American Idol finalists from North Carolina, than any other state

31. North Carolina produces 15-20 percent of the nations real Christmas tree

32. The state is the home to the “Carolina Shag” dance. Video below.

33. North Carolina is the only state with an official Christmas tree

34. There are around 100,000 Native Americans living in the state, making it the state with the largest Native American population East of the Mississippi River.

35. South Carolina and North Carolina use to be one territory before splitting into two states

36. The North Carolina Zoo is known as the world’s largest natural habitat zoo

37. North Carolina has the highest breweries per capita of the southern states

38. The Wrangler Company began in North Carolina

39. Bojangles, the fast food restaurant, also originated in North Carolina

40. The rapper, J. Cole, was raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina

41. Maya Angelou spent a large portion of her life living in North Carolina

42. North Carolina is the only state in the country that has exactly 100 counties

43. WXYC, the University of North Carolina’s radio station had the world’s first internet radio broadcast in November of 1994

44. More than 800 featured movies have been filmed in North Carolina, including: Dirty Dancing and Forest Gump

45. Wilmington, North Carolina has had 400 film and TV shows filmed there, including: Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill, and Weekend at Bernie’s.

46. Both Raleigh and Charlotte, NC are among the fastest growing cities in the United States

47. The first gold nugget was found in the United States in Cabarrus County, NC, not in California.

48. The NC mountains are home to more than 300 waterfalls

49. North Carolina license plates either say “first in flight” or “first in freedom” This represents the wright brothers first flight and the fact that NC was the first territory to declare independence from the British.

50. Lexington, North Carolina is the Barbecue Capital of the world

51. NC was a huge producer of moonshine during the prohibition

52. The Great Smoky Mountains are partially in the state and is the one of the top 3 most visited national parks in the country

53. Known as the “nectar of the tarheels”, Cheerwine was created in North Carolina

54. Another popular food item across America was created in NC, Mt. Olive Pickles

55. The first English colony in America was on Roanoke Island, NC. The colony is famous for having had mysteriously disappeared leaving nothing but the word “Croatan” carved into a tree.

56. High Point, NC is known as the Furniture Capital of the World

57. Hiram Rhoades Revels from Fayetteville, NC was the first black member of congress

58. There’s a unique lake near Elizabethtown, NC that has a white sandy bottom and crystal clear waters. It’s aptly named, White Lake

59. Michael Jordan grew up in Wilmington, NC and would wear his University of North Carolina shorts under his Bulls uniform for good luck

60. A study by the United Van Lines showed that more Americans are moving to North Carolina than any other state in the counrty

61. North Carolina has a great geographic and topographical diversity– from mountains, to forests, to the coast and barrier island.. NC has it all.

62. NC is also known for its craft beer culture. The Asheville area has more than 60 craft breweries and a total of more than 150 in the state.

63. Many famous Jazz and Blues musicians are from North Carolina

64. NASCAR held its first race in Charlotte, North Carolina

65. The state is home to the oldest public university, North Carolina Chapel Hill

66. The famous boxer, Sugar Ray Leonard, is from North Carolina

67. Fossils of three different dinosaur species have been found in North Carolina

68. The state is home to the East coast’s tallest waterfall. The Upper Whitewater Falls is in Translyvania County

69. There’s an island that doesn’t allow cars. Bald Head Island transportation options include: golf cart, on foot, or by bike

70. White squirrels are a rare animal species that can be spotted in the city of Brevard

71. NC has over 400 vineyards and 200 commercial wineries

72. In North Carolina, minerals and gemstones occurs in great numbers. The state is especially famous for its emeralds

73. The state insect is the honey bee

74. The Great Dismal Swamp in the northern part of the state is so creepy it inspired a Harriet Beecher Stowe novel.

75. The most haunted room in the Biltmore Estate is the swimming pool room, where people can be heard laughing and talking at what is, apparently, really fun pool parties.

76. Pimento Cheese is popular in North Carolina

77. Nags Head, Carolina Beach, and Corolla are some of the most popular beach towns in North Carolina

78. Charlotte, Asheville, and Wilmington are three of the most highly visited cities in the state

79. Raleigh contains more than 40 free historic attractions and museums

80. Nags Head, NC is home to one of the Outer Banks’ oldest restaurants. Sam + Omie’s opened in 1937 and it’s a favorite not just for tourists, but for locals as well.

81. North Carolina is home to the East coasts tallest naturally occurring sand dune. It’s located in Jockey’s Ridge State Park

82. Professional wrestler, Sylvester Ritter, also know as “junkyard dog”, played football at Fayetteville State University where he was a two time All American

83. The Charlotte Metropolitan area is the largest in the United States that doesn’t have a zoo

84. North Carolina is home to 8 Native American tribes, including: Cherokee, Coharie, Lumbee, Haliwa-Saponi, Sappony, Meherrin, Waccamaw-Siouan

85. The state is home to the world’s largest frying pan

86. The state is also home to the world’s largest chest of drawers

87. Fayetteville’s Cape Fear River Trail is part of the East Coast Greenway, which is a project that aimed at linking green urban paths from Maine, all the way to the Florida Keys

88. Andy Griffith is from Mount Airy, NC

89. Charlotte, NC is the home to the first Family Dollar location ever

90. There’s an abandoned village called Henry River Mill Village where the Hunger Games was filmed. The village was used as District 12

91. A Fayetteville, NC native, Ann Bilansky, was the first and only woman to receive the death penalty in Minnesota. She received the penalty for poisoning her husband

92. The state is home to Castle Mont Rouge. It is a castle build using a combination of European and Middle-East architectural styles. It has been abandoned and now is a popular place for graffiti artists

93. In Bear Creek, there is an area on the ground where nothing ever grows, it’s known as the Devil’s Tramping Ground

94. For a short time each year, the forests in western NC are filled with faint blue lights. There are rumors that these blue lights are the ghosts of confederate soldiers, but in reality they are from an insect called the Blue Ghost Firefly

95. The world’s most famous Siamese twins, Chang and Eng Bunker, who were born in Thailand in 1811, are buried in Mount Airy, North Carolina

96. The state reptile in the box turtle

97. Wilmington, NC has been given the nickname of “The Port City”

98. Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the largest lighthouse to ever have been moved due to shore erosion

99. Morehead City is home to the North Carolina Seafood Festival held the first weekend in October every year

100. Charlotte, NC is home to the world’s largest man-made whitewater river

101. There’s a mailbox on Bird Island that is known as the “kindred spirit” mailbox, that stands right on the shore line. Inside is a mailbox where visitors can write their name, leave a poem, write a story, etc. Nothing is known about who owned the mailbox or who first put it up.

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