Interesting Facts about North Carolina: 10 Facts about The Tarheel State

North Carolina is one of the states that located in the southeastern region of the United States. North Carolina is bordered by 4 other states: Virginia to the north, Georgia and South Carolina to the south, Tennessee to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Tarheel State and Old North State are two popular nicknames for North Carolina. What are some interesting facts about North Carolina? This article will talk about 10 interesting North Carolina facts that will give us more knowledge about this “Tarhell State”.

1. North Carolina was One of the Thirteen British Colonies

There were thirteen British Colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America. North Carolina was part of the Southern British Colonies. North Carolina was the 12th state to ratify the United States Constitution on November 21, 1789. On May 20, 1861, North Carolina declared its secession from the Union in the run-up to the American Civil War. North Carolina was restored to the Union on July 4, 1868 after the civil war ended.

Flag of North Carolina
Flag of North Carolina

2. Raleigh is the Capital City of North Carolina and Charlotte is Its Largest City

The capital city of North Carolina is Raleigh while the largest city is Charlotte. Raleigh is also the second largest city in North Carolina. Besides the most populous city in North Carolina, Charlotte is also the 16th-most populous city in the United States and the second most populous city in the southeast behind Jacksonville, Florida. Charlotte metropolitan area is the largest metropolitan area in both North and Sound Carolina.

North Carolina State Capitol in Raleigh
North Carolina State Capitol in Raleigh

3. Charlotte is the Largest Banking Center in the United States after New York City

Charlotte is the second largest banking center in the United States after New York City. Charlotte is the headquarter of the Bank of America, one of the largest banks in the United States and the world by total assets. Wells Fargo is also another largest bank of the United States with large operation in Charlotte as It acquired Charlotte based Wachovia (was the 4th largest bank of the United States) in 2008. Truist Financial is another large bank holding company that is headquartered in Charlotte.

Charlotte North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina

4. Research Triangle Park in North Carolina is the Largest Research Park in the United States

With 7,000 acres (2,833 ha) in area, more than 300 companies and 65,000 workers, Research Triangle Park (RTP) in North Carolina is the largest research park in the United States. Research Triangle Area is named for its three surrounding cities (Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill) as well as three major research universities in those cities (North Carolina State University in Raleigh, Duke University in Durham and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).

NIEHS facility at RTP
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) facility at RTP circa 1982

5. North Carolina is the Largest Producing State of Sweet Potatoes

More than 60% of sweet potatoes in the United States are produced by North Carolina that makes it the largest producing state of sweet potatoes. North Carolina is also the largest producing state of flue-cured tobacco, a type of cigarette tobacco. North Carolina also ranks second in the farming of pigs and hogs, trout, and turkeys.

Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes

6. Cape Hatteras Light in North Carolina is the Tallest Lighthouse in the United States

Cape Hatteras Light is a lighthouse on Hatteras Island, North Carolina. With 210 feet (64 m) height, Cape Hatteras Light is the tallest lighthouse in the United States. The original Cape Hatteras was built in 1802.  It was constructed with dark sandstone and 112 feet (34 m) height. The current 198.49 ft (60.50 m) height tower was built in 1870 and automated in 1850.

Cape Hatteras Light
Cape Hatteras Light

7. Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina is the Largest House in the United States

With 178,926 sq ft (16,622.8 m2) area, Biltmore estate in Asheville, North Carolina is the largest house in the United States. It was built for George Washington Vanderbilt II with Châteauesque architectural style and completed in 1895. The architects of Biltmore Estate were Richard Morris Hunt (house) and Frederick Law Olmsted (landscape). The estate is now operated by The Biltmore Company that is still owned by the descendant of George Washington Vanderbilt II.

Biltmore Estate, Asheville North Carolina
Biltmore Estate, Asheville North Carolina

8. Mount Mitchell is the Highest Natural Point of North Carolina

At 6,684 ft (2,037 m) elevation, Mount Mitchell is the highest natural point in North Carolina. Mount Mitchell is also the highest peak in mainland eastern North America as well as the highest mountain in the United States east of the Mississippi River. Mount Mitchell is located near Burnsville in Yancey County, protected by Mount Mitchell State Park and the Pisgah National Forest.

Mount Mitchell
Mount Mitchell, North Carolina

9. The Cardinal is the Official State Bird of North Carolina

The Cardinal, also called the northern cardinal, is the official state bird of North Carolina that was designated in 1943. The cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) is a mid-sized songbird that can be found from southeastern Canada in the north, through the eastern United States to Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala in the south. The cardinal is a popular state bird with 7 states adopted it as their state bird. Besides North Carolina, the cardinal (northern cardinal) is also the official state bird of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis
The Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

10. The Flowering Dogwood is the Official State Flower of North Carolina

The official state bird of North Carolina is the flowering dogwood (Cornus florida). The flowering dogwood is a species of flowering tree native to eastern North America. It can grow to 10 m (33 ft) high and live up to 80 years. Besides the state flower of North Carolina, Cornus florida is the state flower and tree of Virginia and state tree of Missouri.

The flowering dogwood (Cornus florida)
The flowering dogwood (Cornus florida)

There are surely many more interesting facts that we haven’t talked about in this article. If you know other interesting facts about North Carolina, it’s surely welcome to share them with us here.

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