22 Fun Facts About North Carolina You Won’t Believe

North Carolina

22 Fun Facts About North Carolina You Won’t Believe

  1. Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run in North Carolina.
  2. The Wright Brothers weren’t actually from North Carolina.
  3. Michael Jordan and Andy Griffith are both from North Carolina.
  4. Blackbeard’s ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, sank off the coast of North Carolina.
  5. North Carolina is the birthplace of the popular livermush delicacy.
  6. The tallest lighthouse in the US, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, is in North Carolina.
  7. Krispy Kreme built its first factory outside of North Carolina in 2002.
  8. North Carolina is home to the only emerald mine in the US.
  1. There’s a town in North Carolina named “Boogertown”.
  2. North Carolina grows more Christmas trees than any state besides Oregon.
  3. The state insect is the honeybee.
  4. NASCAR has its roots in North Carolina moonshine runners.
  5. You can find wild Spanish mustangs on the Outer Banks.
  6. The first putt-putt course ever built was in North Carolina.
  7. The state fruit is the scuppernong grape.

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1. North Carolina is home to the oldest state university in the United States.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was founded in 1789. This prestigious institution enjoys a rich history and tradition within the state and across the entire nation.

UNC-Chapel Hill holds the distinction of being the first public university in the US to open its doors to students. This legacy makes it a historical landmark as well as an enduring symbol of educational excellence.

2. North Carolina is a sweet potato powerhouse.

North Carolina leads the nation in the production of sweet potatoes. This starchy and delicious root vegetable is beloved across the state.

Sweet potatoes thrive in North Carolina’s climate and fertile soil. The state even hosts an annual North Carolina Sweet Potato Festival, celebrating all things sweet potato!

3. Krispy Kreme doughnuts originated in North Carolina.

Krispy Kreme, renowned for their melt-in-your-mouth glazed doughnuts, was founded in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in 1937. This iconic treat remains a cherished culinary export of the state.

If you see the Krispy Kreme “Hot Doughnuts Now” neon sign lit up, it’s definitely time to stop for a delicious dozen!

4. North Carolina was the site of the first successful powered airplane flight.

Brilliant Engineering: North Carolina’s claim! ✈️

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The Wright Brothers made history in 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Their pioneering flight forever transformed transportation and ushered in the age of aviation.

This momentous achievement solidifies North Carolina’s claim to fame as the “First in Flight” state. It’s a fact that is proudly displayed on their license plates!

5. North Carolina boasts the highest peak east of the Mississippi River.

Mount Mitchell, rising to 6,684 feet, is a majestic natural wonder found within North Carolina’s borders. It’s a popular destination for hikers and offers breathtaking panoramic views.

Adventurous visitors can explore hiking trails leading to the summit. Those less inclined to hike can still enjoy the spectacular vistas via a scenic drive.

6. North Carolina is teeming with diverse wildlife.

The state is home to a variety of fascinating creatures, including black bears, white-tailed deer, and even wild horses roaming the Outer Banks. The rich biodiversity of North Carolina adds to its natural beauty.

Wildlife enthusiasts can find designated nature preserves, parks, and forests. These spaces offer chances to marvel at the abundance of species that call North Carolina home.

7. The Biltmore Estate, America’s largest home, is nestled in the mountains of North Carolina.

This architectural masterpiece with 250 rooms is found in Asheville, North Carolina. The sprawling estate also includes magnificent gardens, a winery, and offers diverse recreational activities.

The Biltmore Estate was built by George Vanderbilt in the late 19th century. It stands as a testament to Gilded Age opulence and grandeur.

8. Cheerwine, a beloved cherry-flavored soda, was invented in North Carolina.

Cheerwine | fun facts about north carolina
Cheerwine: North Carolina’s cherry delight! 🍒

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This unique soft drink was first concocted in Salisbury, North Carolina, in 1917. Cheerwine is embraced as a regional favorite and holds a special place in the hearts of many North Carolinians.

Its distinctive cherry flavor and bubbly sweetness make it a refreshing addition to barbecues, picnics, or just a casual sip on a warm day.

9. North Carolina has a rich history connected to pirates.

Blackbeard, the infamous pirate, met his end off the coast of North Carolina in 1718. Tales of buried treasure and pirate shipwrecks are part of the state’s captivating and colorful past.

Visitors can explore historical sites or embark on themed pirate tours. These unique experiences offer a glimpse into North Carolina’s swashbuckling lore.

10. North Carolina is a major hub for furniture production.

The state is renowned for its skilled craftsmanship in the furniture industry. In fact, the city of High Point, North Carolina, is nicknamed the “Furniture Capital of the World.

Twice a year, High Point hosts an international furniture market. This event draws buyers from across the globe seeking the latest trends and highest quality furniture pieces.

11. The Venus flytrap is native to North Carolina.

These fascinating carnivorous plants thrive in the wetlands of southeastern North Carolina. Their unique ability to trap and consume insects continues to amaze nature lovers.

If you ever have the chance to see a Venus flytrap in action, it’s a sight to behold! Just remember, fun facts about North Carolina extend into the natural world, showcasing its unique and captivating wonders.

12. Pepsi-Cola was invented in New Bern, North Carolina.

person holding Pepsi Cola soda bottles
Pepsi’s birthplace: New Bern, NC! 🥤

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Pharmacist Caleb Bradham created the popular soft drink in 1893. It was originally called “Brad’s Drink” before being renamed Pepsi-Cola in 1898.

It’s surprising how many iconic brands have humble beginnings! Facts about North Carolina include some tasty claims to fame.

13. The North Carolina state toast is a tribute to its rich agricultural heritage.

The official toast goes: “Here’s to the land of the long leaf pine, The summer land where the sun doth shine, Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great, Here’s to ‘Down Home,’ the Old North State!” It celebrates the state’s natural beauty and spirit.

States often have unique toasts! These toasts highlight state pride and their most cherished traditions or resources.

14. North Carolina’s official state beverage is milk.

Got milk? North Carolina does! Milk was designated the official state beverage in 1987, recognizing the importance of the dairy industry within the state.

It’s always interesting to see what states choose as their official symbols. These sometimes quirky choices offer a peek into what makes a state special.

15. The highest waterfall east of the Rockies is located in North Carolina.

Whitewater Falls drops a dramatic 411 feet, making it a breathtaking sight. Visitors can enjoy viewing platforms and hiking trails to experience the waterfall’s power and beauty firsthand.

Waterfalls always add a touch of magic to a landscape! North Carolina fun facts showcase the state’s impressive natural wonders.

16. North Carolina’s state dog is the Plott Hound.

Plott Hound
Plott Hound: North Carolina’s state dog! 🐕

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This loyal and energetic breed was originally used for hunting bears. The Plott Hound was officially designated the state dog in 1989, honoring its bravery and North Carolina roots.

Choosing a state dog celebrates canine companions. It also highlights dog breeds with special connections to the state’s history and heritage.

17. North Carolina is known as the “Tar Heel State.”

The nickname’s origins are a bit unclear, with several stories circulating. One popular theory links it to the state’s history of producing tar and pitch, important materials in the shipbuilding industry.

State nicknames often hold interesting stories. Sometimes these stories offer clues to a state’s past industries or unique cultural traditions.

18. North Carolina is home to the first English colony in the New World.

The Roanoke Colony, also known as the “Lost Colony,” was founded on Roanoke Island in 1585. The mysterious disappearance of its settlers remains a captivating historical puzzle even today.

North Carolina’s history is rich with tales of exploration and settlement. These stories offer a glimpse into the challenges and triumphs of early colonists.

19. The world’s first miniature golf course was built in North Carolina.

Garnet Carter built the innovative course in 1954 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. His creation transformed a simple pastime into a beloved recreational activity.

Who knew that North Carolina played such a pivotal role in the fun history of miniature golf?

20. North Carolina is a major sweet potato producer.

sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes flourish in North Carolina! 🍠

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The state consistently leads the US in sweet potato production. North Carolina’s climate and soil make it perfect for growing this delicious and nutritious vegetable.

Sweet potatoes hold a special place in the hearts (and stomachs) of North Carolinians! If you visit, be sure to taste all the ways this veggie is enjoyed.

21. The “Texas Pete” hot sauce brand was born in North Carolina.

This spicy condiment was created in Winston-Salem in 1929. Despite its name, Texas Pete is a North Carolina original!

Sometimes even the names of products have interesting backstories. This adds to the variety of surprising North Carolina fun facts.

22. North Carolina is home to the largest natural history museum in the Southeast.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh boasts exhibits exploring everything from dinosaurs to deep-sea creatures. It’s a fantastic place for science enthusiasts of all ages.

This kind of cultural attraction shows another side to what North Carolina has to offer. These attractions often draw visitors from far and wide!


North Carolina was initially settled by English colonists in the 17th century, although the first attempt at settlement was made by Sir Walter Raleigh in the late 16th century.

South Carolina is known for being the birthplace of barbecue sauce, housing the first tea farm in the United States, and boasting the oldest city in the country, Charleston.

South Carolina is known for being the birthplace of barbecue sauce, housing the first tea farm in the United States, and boasting the oldest city in the country, Charleston.

North Carolina’s colonial legacy is rich, marked by its role in early American history, including being one of the original Thirteen Colonies and its involvement in significant events like the American Revolution.

South Carolina played pivotal roles in American history, including being the first state to secede from the Union before the Civil War and being a major player in the Civil Rights Movement.

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