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The southern state of North Carolina is home to more than 9,800,000 people, making it the 10th most populous state in the United States. It boasts a wealth of natural resources, thanks to its more than 300 miles of Atlantic coastline to the east as well as the highest mountain peaks located east of the Rockies. What is more, it has a growth rate of more than 9.7 percent, which is twice the national average, and has a gross domestic product of $398 billion, the same GDP as Sweden and the 22th largest GDP in the world.
So it is not surprising that North Carolina has been consistently named one of the best places to live and to do business in. Want to find out why and see it for yourself? Get on a bus rental in North Carolina and fall in love with the state!
North Carolina is a great state to go on a vacation. It has picturesque and breath-taking sceneries, a rich history, a diverse culture, a thriving art scene, plus world-class amenities and recreational opportunities. It also boasts top universities, quality health care, and a low cost of living.
So get on a bus rental in North Carolina and experience everything you ever wanted in a vacation!
A bus rental in North Carolina is your best transportation solution if you want to visit the state.
With a bus rental in North Carolina, you and your group can visit museums, historical sites, parks, sports venues, recreational sites, and you can even go on a day-long shopping spree!
Call BusRental.com and book a bus rental in North Carolina to drive you anywhere you want to go in the state.
North Carolina has several amusement or theme parks and venues that are family- and kid-friendly. It also has venues where grown-ups can unwind and party after a long day.
Family fun. Take the kids and the kids-at-heart to a day of fun and excitement in any of North Carolina's amusement or theme parks. If you are in Charlotte, you can go to Carowinds. This 398-acre thrill park has more than 50 rides and attractions, including 13 roller coasters, a 12-acre children's area, and a 20-acre Australian-theme water park called Boomerang Bay.
You can go to Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock, which is known as North Carolina's original family theme park. Tweetsie Railroad gives old-fashioned fun, with amusement rides for all ages as well as live entertainment. It also has a historic steam locomotive that offers a 3-mile Wild West journey through the Blue Ridge Mountains. You can also visit the animals in its Deer Park, and even pan for gold!
Meanwhile, Greensboro has Wet 'N Wild Emerald Pointe Water Park, the largest water park in the Carolinas. It is even included in the list of the country's top 10 water parks. It has tube rides, drop slides, a lazy river, and activity pools.
You can go ziplining at Ghost Town in the Sky in Maggie Valley, or mine your own gemstones, pan for gold, and ride the chairlift to Cowee Mountain at Gold City Amusement Park in Franklin. There is also Santa's Land in Cherokee, which is just perfect if you visit North Carolina during the Holidays as it features Christmas-themed rides, shows and attractions.
There is also Ray's Splash Planet in Charlotte and Pullen Park in Raleigh.
Casinos. If you are looking for some adult fun and gaming, you can go to Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort. It offers traditional live table games like Blackjack, Roulette, 3 Card Poker, and Craps. There are also digital table games, video poker on over 850 poker-based games, and Las Vegas-style video slot games.
Night life. Those who believe that the real fun starts when the sun goes down will surely not be disappointed in North Carolina. There are many clubs, bars, pubs, lounges, and other night life venues throughout the state that offer live music, great entertainment, good food, and superb beers.
Charlotte has night life and night event venues like Label, Excelsior Club, NC Music Factory, Tempo Charlotte, Halo, Club Aztec, Velocity, Vanity Charlotte, The Underground, Jillian's, Studio 74, Menage, and Whiskey River.
Raleigh, on the other hand, has places like Rum Runners, 29Ten Resto & Bar, Ambis 1 Nightclub, Bodi Nightclub, Bittersweet, Cooley's Restaurant & Pub, Deep South The Bar, Fox & Hound Pub & Grille, Flying Saucer Draught Emporium, Mirage Night Club & Sushi Lounge, Kick Back Jack's, Boylan Bridge Brewpub, Vanity Charlotte, Brooklyn Heights Bar, Bien Venue, Buku, Motion Lounge Raleigh, and Common 414.
Greensboro also has hot nightspots like Allure, N Club, Atlantis, Hilton, Chester's, Drink, La Cabana Night Club, and Club Inferno.
Other night life venues in other cities include The Grove House, The Roxy, Ziggy's, Oskar Blues Brewery, Club Metropolis, The Cotton Room, and Carmens.
You will get your fill of culture and the arts if you visit North Carolina. There are a number of art museums and galleries that are worth visiting.
Go to the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, where you can see an impressive collection of European paintings, from the Renaissance period to the 19th century. You can also find American art, Egyptian funerary art, ancient Greek sculptures and vase paintings, Roman art, Oceanic art, pre-Columbian art, African art, and international contemporary art. The NCMA also has a museum park, which encompasses over 160 acres of woodlands, fields, and creeks and which is home to more than a dozen monumental works of art scattered throughout its landscape.
Raleigh also has the Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh, which is a multimedia contemporary art gallery. It has no permanent collection but it hosts exhibits of works by renowned regional, national and international artists.
There is also the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte, a museum space that is dedicated to mid-20th century modern art. This museum is part of the Levine Center for the Arts, one of the city's key cultural destinations. Also part of the Levine Center for the Arts is the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, the Mint Museum Uptown, and the John S. and James L. Knight Theater. The McColl Center for Visual Art can also be found in this city.
If you are in Asheville, you may want to check out the Asheville Art Museum, which is the only community-based non-profit visual art organization in Western North Carolina. It boasts a permanent collection of 20th and 21st century American art and it also hosts special exhibits that feature renowned local, regional, and national artists. The city also has the Folk Art Center.
Meanwhile, Seagrove is an art community that is known to many as the country's handmade pottery capital. Seagrove is where artisans create beautiful handcrafted pottery that are inspired by similar traditions that started the community more than two centuries ago. Scattered throughout the area are many various shops and galleries where you can find things like traditional tableware, folk art, collectible pieces, and historical reproductions, including Jugtown Pottery and Museum, Museum of North Carolina Traditional Pottery, North Carolina Pottery Center, and Ben Owen Pottery.
Winston-Salem has the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Wake Forest University Fine Arts Gallery, Delta Arts Center, and Diggs Gallery. Whereas in Greensboro, you have the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Guilford College Art Gallery, Galyon & Cullis Galleries, and the Guilford Native American Art Gallery.
Durham, on the other hand, is home to the North Carolina Central University Art Museum, Rosenzweig Gallery, and the Nasher Museum of Art.
Other art museums and galleries in the state include:
Performing arts. If you want to catch theater performances, plays, ballet, musicals or concerts during your visit to North Carolina, you can check out several venues.
The North Carolina Theater in Raleigh is where you can catch outstanding theater productions featuring regional performers and even national and Broadway stars.
The Durham Performing Arts Center is a state-of-the-art live entertainment theater in the city's American Tobacco District. The DPAC can accommodate 2,800 people and is specifically designed to present big shows, superstar concerts, family performances, and even Broadway series.
You can also check out the Carolina Theatre of Durham, which present 60 concerts every year and screens films every day. Or the Carolina Theater of Greensboro, which gives you performances by today's top performers.
Then there is the Asheville Lyric Opera, a professional non-profit opera company that provides audiences with theatrical experiences at the Diana Wortham Theatre. Asheville also has The Altamont Theatre, which is known as the city's best listening room. It presents a wide variety of music in a seated listening environment.
Catch performances at the Blumenthal Performing Arts in Charlotte. Or at Broadway World Raleigh. Or perhaps at Burning Coal Theatre Company's Murphey School Auditorium.
Meanwhile, the Waterside Theatre on Roanoke Island is a picturesque outdoor theater venue where you can catch a variety of shows.
When it comes to music, North Carolina boasts a large number of noteworthy jazz musicians, including John Coltrane, Billy Taylor, Woody Shaw, Lou Donaldson, Max Roach, Nina Simone, and Billy Strayhorn. The state is also known for its tradition of old-time music - from bluegrass to century-old ballads to sacred music.
If you want to know more about North Carolina's rich musical heritage, there is the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina, which will lead you to venues, festivals and events where you will get to enjoy music that were born in the state's ancient mountains and that has evolved over the centuries to impact other American music styles and genres.
Opera Carolina is the premier professional opera company in the Carolinas and it is based in Charlotte. And speaking of classical music, the state also has the Greensboro Opera and the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra.
Other venues where you can catch concerts, music shows, and other performances include the Blackmon Amphitheatre in Mount Airy, B.N. Duke Auditorium in Durham, Carolina Performing Arts at Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill, Catawba Valley Music Revival Music Park in Cherryville, Colonial Theatre in Canton, Deepwater Theater in Ocracoke, Don Gibson Theatre in Shelby, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh, Grace Event Center in Charlotte, Greenfield Lake Amphitheater in Wilmington, Greensboro Coliseum Complex, The Davis Theatre in Concord, Armour Street Theatre in Davidson, Ansonia Theatre in Wadesboro, Aycock Auditorium in Greensboro, Grey Eagle Tavern and Music Hall in Asheville, The Pioneer Theatre in Manteo, Paramount Theater in Goldsboro, Paramount Theater in Burlington, Sunset Theatre in Asheboro, Carolina Civic Center Historic Theater in Lumberton, Forest Edge Amphitheatre in Wilkesboro, Kannapolis Performing Arts Center, Colonial Theatre in Canton, and Motorco Music Hall in Durham, among many others.
The state also has a bunch of community theaters and other smaller performance venues. These include:
Festivals. Why not plan your visit to North Carolina around any of the state's events or festivals? These events will surely make for a meaningful cultural experience.
The John Coltrane International Jazz & Blues Festival in High Point is a celebration of the legendary musician's birthplace and of his influence. This annual festival takes place in August and brings together renowned jazz musicians from around the world, the best local and regional music artists, and community business and civic leaders as Coltrane's timeless recordings and compositions are showcased.
Cucalorus Film Festival takes place every November. It features over 200 films from around the world. The festival's programs focus on music, dance, emerging artists, international cinema and social justice.
You can also dance the night away in stunning costumes at the Eve of Revolution Candlelight Christmas at Tryon Palace in New Bern. This event celebrates the spirit of togetherness during the holidays at times of war, illuminated only by the romantic glow of candlelight. You also get to tour through historic houses that are adorned with decorations from the 18th to 19th century, be entertained with magic, fire eating, and fireworks, among many others.
The Annual North Carolina Holiday Flotilla in Wrightsville Beach takes place in time for Thanksgiving and will feature plenty of food, drinks, and live music. The two-day event will also have family-friendly activities and arts and craft vendors. At night, the island will sparkle as boats decked out with holiday lights parade and cruise through the Intercoastal Waterway. The event will end with a spectacular fireworks display.
The Enchanted Airlie in November and December lets you stroll through Airlie Gardens in Wilmington and enjoy beautiful holiday blooms and musical entertainment.
Other festivals you might want to experience include:
North Carolina offers plenty of dining options, wherever you are in the state. From fine dining to cheap but satisfyingly delicious meals, there is always something for you.
Try out American and International cuisine at Carpe Diem Restaurant in Charlotte. The city also has Fig Tree Restaurant, which serves a mix of American, French, Italian and Continental food, and Del Frisco's, where you can get mouth-watering steaks.
You can get really good American, barbecue, seafood and steak at The Angus Barn in Raleigh. The city also has Tavern at Second Empire, Bloomsbury Bistro, The Pit, Winston's Grille, and Irregardless Cafe, all serving familiar American food.
If you are in Greensboro, you can get your fill of seafood dishes at 1618 West Seafood Grill. You will also love the Continental cuisine at Green Valley Grill. Other must-try dining destinations in the city include Crafted - The Art of the Taco, Cheesecakes By Alex, Print Works Bistro, Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen and Emma Key's.
There is also Nana's Restaurant, Metro 8 Steakhouse, Piedmont Restaurant, Pizzeria Toro, and Parker and Otis, all in Durham. You may also try Quizno's Sub in Goldsboro, Sooey's BBQ & Rib Shack in Nags Head, 1703 Restaurant in Winston-Salem, Walt's Grill in Chapel Hill, Spotted Dog Restaurant & Bar in Carrboro, Shoney's in Selma, Pa Paws BBQ in North Wilkesboro, County Seat Sports Grille in Lillington, Olympic Family Restaurant in Kernersville, Moravian Falls Grill, Mayflower Seafood Restaurant in Henderson, and Island Way Restaurant in Oak Island.
Other restaurants in North Carolina serve you a world of flavors, including:
Shopping. North Carolina is a great place to be if you are in for some retail therapy.
You can go to SouthPark Mall if you are in Charlotte. This mall is considered to be Carolinas' premier shopping destination. It is home to one of only two Nordstroms in the region as well as of the first Neiman Marcus in the Carolinas. It also has other high-end and exclusive stores like Burberry, Kate Spade, Hermes, Ralph Lauren, Juicy Couture, Lacoste, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., and Kenneth Cole.
The Streets at Southpoint and Main Street in Durham is another high-end shopping destination, anchored by Nordstrom, Macy's, Sears, JCPenney, Hudson Belk. It is anchored by stores, brands and retailers like ALDO, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters, Anthropologie, Gap, Banana Republic, Barnes & Noble, Bath & Body Works, Crocs, J. Crew, Michael Kors, Microsoft, Pottery Barn, Sephora, Victoria's Secret, and many others.
Other major malls include Northlake Mall in Charlotte, Carolina Place Mall in nearby suburb Pineville; Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem; Crabtree Valley Mall, North Hills Mall, and Triangle Town Center in Raleigh; Friendly Center and Four Seasons Town Centre in Greensboro; Oak Hollow Mall in High Point; Valley Hills Mall in Hickory; and Northgate Mall in Durham.
If you are in for some serious deal hunting, you can head to Concord Mills in Concord. It has more than 200 stores, including off-price retailers and unique specialty stores. You can also check out other outlet malls in Mebane, Blowing Rock, and Nags Head.
For antique shopping, head to Oak Street Mill in Cornelius, Sanford Antique Mall, NC Art & Antiques Mall in Winston-Salem, The Deport at Gibson Mill in Concord, White Owl Antique Mall & Design Center in Concord, and Antique Tobacco Barn in Asheville.
You can also find quaint shops and retailers at the downtown areas in various cities in North Carolina.
Make sure you have a bus rental in North Carolina if you are with your group and if you plan to go on a shopping escapade in various shopping locations.
If you love playing golf, you will surely have a grand time in North Carolina because of its hundreds of golf courses. North Carolina's spectacular mountains, rolling hills, and lovely beaches provide a beautiful backdrop and layout for these courses. Not to mention that NC climate allows for play all year round. In fact, Golf Digest has rated 96 of the courses across the state as four stars or higher.
Pinehurst Resort has the legendary Pinehurst No. 2, which is the site of many major golf championships. This 5-star 18-hole par 70 golf course was designed by Donald Ross and is where he made his home. Pinehurst Resort also has No. 1, No. 3, No. 4, No. 5, No. 6, No. 7, No. 8 and No. 9.
You can try 401 Par Golf if you are in Raleigh, Skybrook Golf Club if you are in Huntersville, Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club or Willowhaven Country Club if you are in Durham, and if you are Mount Airy, you can try the 18-hole championship course Pilot Knob Park.
Other golf courses across North Carolina include:
Other sports. The state is home to three major league sports franchises: the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association, the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League, and the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League. The Hornets play their home games at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte. Meanwhile, the Panthers' home field is the Bank of American Stadium in Charlotte. The Hurricanes, on the other hand, are based in Raleigh and they play their home games at the 18,680-capacity PNC Arena.
North Carolina has minor league teams in baseball, soccer, and ice hockey. It also has a strong affiliation with NASCAR and stock-car racing, with the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord hosting the Spring Cup Series every year. The city also has the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Charlotte is also home to the Bojangles Coliseum, the American Legion Memorial Stadium, and the Halton Arena. Raleigh, on the other hand, has the Carter-Finley Stadium, the Reynolds Coliseum, the Dorton Arena, and the Carter-Finley Stadium.
Other sports venues, stadiums or arenas in the state where you can catch spectator sports include:
Learn more about North Carolina's rich and glorious past through the many historical sites and landmarks in the state.
You can start by visiting historical museums in various cities across the state. There is the Charlotte Museum of History, which includes a local history museum and the 1774 Hezekiah Alexander Homesite. Other museums that allow you a glimpse of local history include:
North Carolina also has sites where you can learn more about aviation history. For instance, you can go to the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk and see where the first flight began. There is also the Dare County Regional Airport Museum in Manteo and the Hickory Aviation Museum.
And, of course, there are museums and other sites that center on the country's or the region's military history. For instance, there is the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Museum in Fort Bragg, the Museum of the Marine in Jacksonville, the Alamance Battleground State Historic Site in Burlington, and Airborne & Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville.
There is also the Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro, which is where the sit-in movement first started, and also other museums that focus on different areas, such as African American culture and history, medicine, biography, automotive history, archaeology, and natural history.
Moreover, North Carolina has many historic districts, houses and other sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places or listed as National Historic Landmarks, such as the Bentonville Battlefield in Bentonville and Newtown Grove, the Bethania Historic District, the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, the Cape Hatteras Light Station in Buxton, the North Carolina Capitol in Raleigh, The Duke Homestead and Tobacco Factory in Durham, the Cupola House in Edenton, and the Town Creek Indian Mound in Milton.
Get on a bus rental in North Carolina and take in the beauty and splendor of the great outdoors! There are protected parks, waterways, forests, scenic byways, beaches, and seashores in the state that allows you to just relax, have a picnic, take in the scenery, or engage in outdoor activities like fishing, boating, kayaking, camping, and many more.
You can go to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Cherokee, which is divided between North Carolina and Tennessee. It is the largest protected area located east of the Rocky Mountains and it is home to a rich plant and animal life. There are various recreational opportunities here, too, including hiking and camping.
There is also Blue Ridge Parkway, which winds along mountain towns, national forests, roadside vistas, hiking and biking trails, and historic sites as you get treated to splendid views. It is particularly breath-taking in the fall. It is the second most-visited attraction in the National Park Service.
You can also visit Carolina Beach Park, where you can try your luck fishing or boating. You can also camp overnight, go hiking, or just enjoy the many indigenous species of flora and fauna.
You might want to check out other parks and see what their amenities are, or other outdoor venues for the entire family. There is Carvers Creek State Park in Spring Lake, Chimney Rock State Park, Fort Macon State Park in Atlantic Beach, Mount Mitchell State Park in Burnsville, West Point on the Eno City Park in Durham, Raven Rock State Park in Lillington, Boone's Cave Park in Lexington, Lake Reidsville Recreation Park in Reidsville, Jetton Park at Lake Norman in Cornelius, Rollingview at Falls Lake State Recreation Area in Durham, DuPont State Recreational Forest in Cedar Mountain, Shelley Lake in Raleigh, Blue Jay Point County Park in Raleigh, Elk River Falls at Elk Park, and many more.
If you want to take the kids to learn more about animals, you can go to the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, which is a pretty neat natural habitat park that houses 1,600 North American and African animals. You can also check out the Cape Fear Serpentarium in Wilmington, where you can see the world's rarest, and most dangerous as well, snakes, crocodiles, giant lizards, and other reptiles.
If serpents are not your thing, then go see more gentle creatures at the Bedford Falls Alpacas in Warne. There is also the Wing Haven Gardens & Bird Sanctuary in Charlotte, Lynnwood Park Zoo in Jacksonville, the Duke Lemur Center in Durham, the Banker Ponies and Pony Island in Ocracoke, the Carolina Tiger Rescue in Pittsboro, Buffalo Beal's Animal Park in Maiden, Wildwood Learning Farm in Hollister, Zootastic Park in Troutman, Sylvan Heights Bird Park in Scotland Neck, and the Aloha Safari Zoo in Cameron.
Call BusRental.com, ask for a free quote for a bus rental in North Carolina, and book one for your trip to and around the state. It is the best way to tour North Carolina and its interesting cities.