North Carolina RevealedPosted on: 26 March 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves
Whether you’re looking for adventure, shopping or just a leisurely getaway, North Carolina offers an exciting alternative version of the United States.
North Carolina offers exceptional scenery and landscapes, such as the Blue Ridge Mountains, and offers a real taste of Southern hospitality with friendly people and reasonable prices across the board. Situated to the south of Virginia, along the Atlantic Coast, North Carolina can be reached from Washington DC by road, or by internal flight from all major U.S cities to the capital, Raleigh.
If you are looking for a holiday destination with a difference, North Carolina could be the place for you. Below are just some of the fun packed activities on offer across the state.
Whether it’s in the air, on land or at the bottom of the sea, North Carolina has adventure travel covered. Challenge yourself on a cycle tour of the infamous Blue Ridge Mountains, pack your llama for a hike in the Great Smoky Mountains, dive into the Atlantic Ocean to discover long lost treasure off miles of gulf-stream warmed waters or get to grips with NASCAR racing for the ride of your life!
For the newest chapter in the legend of North Carolina’s famed pirate, recreational divers will soon be allowed to explore near a wreck that some archaeologists believe is Blackbeard’s pirate ship: the Queen Anne’s Revenge, known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic.
The North Carolina state programme, the “Dive Down”, is a three-day certification class running from September to November and will teach divers about maritime history, underwater archaeology, marine ecology and coastal geology. It includes a training dive as well as a dive down to Queen Anne’s Revenge. Guided by an MP3 player, the device narrates the excursion to the divers directly whilst underwater.
Located just a mile off North Carolina’s coastline, the wreckage lies 22 feet deep at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean and legend has it that pirate Blackbeard had removed most of the treasure on board the Queen Anne's Revenge before the ship sank in 1718. However, archaeologists working on the shipwreck continue to find golden treasure from the site.
The Details: In order to dive this famous underwater heritage site, divers will need to hold an Advanced Open Water Certificate and the programme costs $500pp including weights, tanks, two breakfasts and two lunches. “Dive Down” will be exclusively allowing 320 divers per year to visit the wreckage over a 5 year period. With only 1,600 spaces available, this historical expedition truly is certainly an opportunity avid wreck divers won't want to miss!
For further information on the “Dive Down” Queen Anne’s Revenge Project or to find out how to book this fantastic opportunity, please log onto www.ah.dcr.state.nc.us/qar
For something a little different why not try a guided llama trek as you explore the Great Smoky Mountains. Let the well trained Llama Trekking Team do all the work as you enjoy a safe, authentic and highly rewarding hiking experience.
One of the ’50 Great American Adventures’ as voted by the US’s Travel and Leisure Magazine, the llama treks are great for both the experienced hiker and fun family outings.
Accompanied by a llama, hikers can enjoy the views without having to carry any of their provisions as llamas are great pack animals. Llamas are more manoeuvrable and smaller than other pack animals and they can go through, over, under, and into almost any area that people can. The llama’s gentle manner makes them an excellent pack animal and travel companion for hikers, backpackers and forest work crews.
The Details: A one day trek starts from just $65pp, which includes lunch. For another $30 visitors can try their hands at white water rafting on River Pigeon with five-miles of water rapids for a true taste of adventure. Alternatively, enjoy a two or three day trek from $230pp, including hearty meals, snacks and beverages, as well as all camping gear necessary for your back country adventure.
For further information visit www.hikinginthesmokies.com.
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a Tom Cruise, then head to North Carolina for a high speed race and the chance to improve your motor racing skills! NASCAR racing was made famous by the hit film ‘Days of Thunder’, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, and it comes as no surprise that motorsport enthusiasts travel far and wide to follow this adrenalin pumping sport all the way to its birthplace of North Carolina.
One of the most famous racecourses in the state of North Carolina is Lowes Motor Speedway which was designed and built in 1959. The track first started off with a 1.5mile super speedway race track but years of development has seen the course expand its number of tracks, including a 2.25 mile track, permanent lighting system and a total capacity of 167,000 to accommodate all the die-hard fans and supporters.
Now, with the help of a professional driver, you too can cruise in style! Fast Track High Performance Driving School offers great days
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