three key "parts" are the Coast Region to the east, the Mountains Region
in the west, and the Piedmont
plateau, or Heartland Region, in the middle.
The coast of North Carolina was the site of one of the most momentous events in the history of technology: the flight of the Wright Brothers' aircraft, at Kitty Hawk in 1903. But Kitty Hawk aviation history is only a tiny fraction of what the North Carolina coast has to offer. The three capes on the coast -- Cape Fear Coast, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, and Cape Lookout National Seashore -- lure vacationers from around the world; Hatteras and Lookout are designated National Seashores.
North Carolina's share of the Great Smoky Mountains rise through the light haze which gives them their name. Drive on the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway from the Smoky Mountains to the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the nation's busiest national park, drawing 10 million visitors (almost all by car) yearly.
Between the coast to the east and and the mountains of the west is North Carolina's Piedmont Plateau, where most of North Carolina's population is settled and where many will choose to spend their North Carolina retirement. The state's largest urban area is Charlotte. The "research triangle" is composed of the cities of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. Retirees desiring a rich intellectual environment will want to consider this area home, there are several universities and a vibrant academic life.
With several hundred courses to choose from, North Carolina lives up to its billing as the "Golf Capital of the World". The courses are spread throughout the state. The courses in this golf paradise range from immaculately sculpted coastal gems to rugged mountain terrain. You'll find the courses here with challenging elevation changes, stunning views, and much more. Some three-hundred golf courses in the neighboring state of South Carolina and the moderate climate, and an extensive golf retirement community infrastructure make the Carolinas one of the premier golf retirement destinations in the world.