Duke MMS Student Blog
Our Great State
There’s So Much to See in NC
As a native North Carolinian and someone who has lived in Raleigh for most of my life, I feel that it’s my duty to tell people about what there is to do in our state. Durham, in the Triangle area (also known as Research Triangle Park or RTP), is located about two hours from the coast, and about three hours from the Appalachian mountains. And there is enough to keep people occupied in between. If you take the time to explore, you will find that there are quite a lot of things to do in our state, and you will see some beautiful things. Outdoor lovers, this is your state!
There are literally hundreds of wooded trails, lakes, rivers, and mountains to explore. About three hours west lay the Appalachian Trail, and some of the best views in the South. The Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the main roads winding through the mountains, is legendary for its colorful autumn vistas, and has several stops along the road for people to take pictures and breathe the mountain air. There are dozens of state parks scattered around the western part of NC, and they all have something unique and different. Like fishing? There are plenty of lakes and rivers around, most of which allow fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and water-skiing.
Prefer seafood? We have that, too. Wilmington is about two hours away, and is home to Wrightsville Beach, Kure Beach, and Carolina Beach, all of which have great seaside restaurants and incredible seafood. Downtown Wilmington is on the banks of the Cape Fear River, and is a quaint destination for a weekend trip. Also in the Cape Fear River is the USS North Carolina Battleship, which is open for tours most days of the year. Also, Wilmington is an unofficial East Coast Hollywood hub – several movies and TV shows have been filmed here over the years, and Iron Man 3 is slated to be filmed there. About an hour north of Wilmington is the famed Kitty Hawk, where the Wright Brothers launched the first ever airplane from the sands of Jockey’s Ridge. The Outer Banks have several historic lighthouses and other places to see. The coast is rich in history because of North Carolina’s relationship with Blackbeard the Pirate. The notorious pillager’s ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, was found off the coast a few years ago, and is a haven for scuba divers, history buffs, and pirate aficionados.
All in all, North Carolina is a lovely state with lots of attractions. If you become a part of the MMS program, or come to visit us here, make sure you take the time to explore some of what NC has to offer.