North Carolina is a constituent state (1 of the 13 original states), situated on the Atlantic Ocean coastline (east coast), midway between New York and Florida, and, obviously, north of South Carolina!
The Tar Heel State is home to some of the most beautiful beaches, coastal plains, amazing natural forests spanning across acres upon acres of stunning greenery, and many great state parks, to explore.
It is also home to magnificent mountain ranges, historical lighthouses, and many interesting museums. North Carolina is one of many states residing in the eastern United States region, due to its geographical location – being on the Atlantic Ocean side of the country, the state experiences cold winters and warm summers.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the most interesting, weird, and wonderful facts about North Carolina! We have curated a pretty comprehensive list consisting of 30+ fun facts that you probably didn’t know!
1. Ranked the No. 1 Best State for Business in the U.S. in 2017, 2018, & 2019 (Forbes).
2. Men’s Health has ranked Raleigh, NC as the 3rd happiest city in the United States!
3. Downtown Charlotte is called “uptown” much to the disbelief and confusion of just about everyone visiting the city. The locals have been calling Downtown Charlotte the uptown name for almost 90 years, bizarre right?
4. Many believe Charlotte is the Pimento Cheese Capital of the World, with thousands of pounds of cheese, in many different varieties being sold each week.
5. The Charlotte Metropolitan area is the largest area in the United States, not to have a Zoo! The nearest one being 75 miles away!
6. Charlotte is home to the famous NBA team, The Hornets.
7. Charlotte is considered by many to be an economic hot-spot. The only city in the whole of the United States to have a larger banking center is the iconic New York City.
8. The city of Charlotte is home to the largest man-made whitewater river in the world, “U.S. National Whitewater Center”. Many Olympic kayakers and canoeists travel from all over the world to train there.
9. Charlotte is not just a major banking city in the United States, there is so much more than meets the eye when we look at this famously historical city!
10. The capital city of Raleigh’s median household income is $61,505.
11. On average, the cost of living in North Carolina is 5% lower than the average cost of living in the United States.
12. The average temperature for winter is 43 degrees, with the average summer temperature being 78 degrees.
13. Over half of the sweet potatoes sold in the U.S. are from North Carolina!
Here are some more North Carolina facts
14. North Carolina is the 28th largest state by landmass.
15. Raleigh has been ranked 3rd out of all U.S. capital cities for “best state capitals”.
16. It has the 2nd largest highway system in the U.S. with 80,000 miles of roadways!
17. There are 3,300 miles of train tracks and 70 public airports in North Carolina.
18. The state capital of Raleigh earned “leading the way” for being ranked within the top 10% of local governments in the United States.
19. Most states in North America will usually have some heritage regarding Native Americans and their tribes. North Carolina currently has 8 active tribes residing in North Carolina; Coharie, Eastern Band of Cherokee, Haliwa-Saponi, Lumbee, Meherrin, Occaneechi Band of Saponi Nation, Sappony, Waccamaw-Siouan.
20. The first-ever man-powered flight took place in North Carolina in 1903.
21. The oldest state university in the US is in North Carolina, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill which was founded in 1789.
22. North Carolina is the biggest producer of tobacco, furniture, brick, textile, and sweet potatoes in the whole of the US.
23. The famous fizzy drink Pepsi was invented in New Bern, North Carolina in 1898.
24. North Carolina is home to the cities of Raleigh and Charlotte, both of these cities are among the fastest-growing cities in the United States.
25. The mountains of North Carolina are home to over 300 waterfalls and 120 different species of trees.
26. Asheville, NC is home to the United State’s largest mansion, the Biltmore Estate, which was built by wealthy railroad scion, George Washington Vanderbilt II in the late 19th century.
27. The maximum North Carolina speed limit is 70 mph.
28. To the people of North Carolina (North Carolinians), the state bird is the majestic Cardinal, the state flower is the Dogwood, and the state tree is the Pine Tree.
North Carolina has always had a thriving business climate, many believing this to be due to the superior education system and abundant business opportunities. However, recent years have witnessed the state’s economy grow from strength to strength.
A growing economy along with a fantastic business climate, a great education system, amazing landscapes, and beautiful scenery make North Carolina a very attractive place to live. If you are interested in the business and economic aspects of the Old North State, make sure to check out our economic facts about North Carolina content.
Facts About North Carolina History
When considering the interesting facts about North Carolina, and in particular the history, the most suitable place to begin is how this fantastic state was originally founded.
29. On November 21, 1789 (6 years after the revolutionary war), North Carolina was admitted to the union, becoming the 12th state to help contribute to the inception of all 50 United States. Before this, the Province of North Carolina was an English colony, named the “North Carolina Colony”, that existed from 1653 until 1776.
30. North Carolina was originally inhabited by Native Americans, as is the case with most other states with many different Native American tribes calling the various regions of North Carolina their home. The most notable Native American tribe to reside in North Carolina was the famous Cherokee tribe.
31. During the year 1524, an Italian explorer named Giovanni da Verrazzano. Giovanni had been hired by the French to participate in the exploration. This landing was followed by more and more explorers arriving in and around the region of North Carolina.
32. The first Europeans to take full control of North Carolina were the Spanish, under Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón, followed by the leadership of Juan Pardo. It has been documented that Ayllon’s men ran into problems when trying to land on the shores of North Carolina when one of their ships sank leading to loss of life. The surviving colonists tried to stick it out and fend for themselves but after a few months had passed, Ayllon died and his remaining 150 men rejoined their ships to leave and head back to Hispaniola.
33. The next set of facts about North Carolina’s history revolve around the state’s nickname and its origins. North Carolina’s nickname was adopted due to the state’s bizarre relationship with Tar! During the early years of the state’s inception, North Carolina was one of the world’s leading producers of tar, that sticky black liquid!
For sure, this is a strange nickname and weird reason for North Carolina’s adoption of this famous nickname. If you would like to learn more about the origins and controversy surrounding the North Carolina nickname, with the addition of the state’s other nickname, the “Old North State” you can check out our page all about this.