From the Appalachian Mountains and rolling hills of the Piedmont to 300 miles of beautiful coastline, North Carolina has it all! If you live in North Carolina, you know how scenically appealing, and culturally rich in history and the arts our great state is. Add world-class sports and an abundance of recreational opportunities and you have a truly exceptional place to call home. From historical facts to fun tidbits there is so much to learn about North Carolina. We don’t claim to have the exhausted list below, we are just scratching the surface on some fun things you might not have known or have forgotten about our unique state.

  • The Venus Flytrap plant is native to North Carolina.
  • The University of NC at Chapel Hill claims to be the oldest public university in the U.S. – the university first opened its doors in 1795.
  • North Carolina grows more sweet potatoes than any other state.
  • John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Billy Taylor and Nina Simone are just some of the legendary jazz artists who were born in North Carolina.
  • Emeralds are naturally occurring in North Carolina. “Hiddenite”, the town in NC where the gemstone was found is named in its honor. You can even go mining yourself.
  • S. Presidents James K. Polk, Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson were all from North Carolina.
  • Krispy Kreme doughnuts started in Winston-Salem, NC.
  • The Northern Cardinal is the state bird.
  • Putt-Putt Golf was created in Fayetteville, North Carolina by Don Clayton in 1954.
  • North Carolina’s state song and state toast is called “The Old North State”. North Carolina is the only state with an official drinking toast.
  • Milk was designated the official state beverage of North Carolina in 1987.
  • The Biltmore Estate is the largest privately owned house in the U.S., and is located in Asheville, North Carolina.
  • Texas Pete Hot Sauce is actually from North Carolina.
  • The state motto is Esse Quam Videri: To be rather than to seem.
  • Every North Carolina resident lives within a 30-minute drive of a community college campus.
  • Asheville, NC has the most breweries per capita in the U.S., boasting roughly 100 local craft beers. Did you forget we have a state toast?!

When it comes to fascinating things about North Carolina, there is so much more we didn’t cover. So be sure to come visit Historic Downtown Wilmington to see for yourself why we think North Carolina is the best state to live.