The Cities in North Carolina — Amazing Places You Should Visit

In addition to the capital Raleigh, there are many other significant places in North Carolina. So, Chapel Hill and Durham are popular as university towns, especially among young people. The city of New Bern is also characterized not only by the many influences from Switzerland.


In the south-west of North Carolina is the city of Charlotte, which is also the largest city in the state with a total area of 629 km2 and about 860,000 inhabitants. It was founded in 1768 and owed its name Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the German wife of the then English King George III. Also, the city is called Green City due to its numerous green spaces. Economically, Charlotte is today one of the most important financial centers in the USA. Bank of America's corporate headquarters also houses North Carolina's largest skyscraper.

Visitors will find many interesting facilities here, including a wealth of historic buildings and museums. For example, visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Discovery Place Science, or the Billy Graham Library. Also particularly popular is U.S. Pat. National Whitewater Center and Carowinds Amusement Park.


Between Chapel Hill and the capital Raleigh, the city of Durham lies. On an area of almost 246 km2, live around 263,000 inhabitants. Thanks to the prestigious Duke University, Durham enjoys a reputation as a university town, forming the Research Triangle Region with the Universities of Chapel Hill and Raleigh.

The city was founded in 1869 and was once the economic center of the tobacco industry. Visitors can visit a variety of historic tobacco warehouses here. Due to the famous medical faculty of Duke University Durham is now referred to as the City of Medicine. Durham does not lack interesting attractions and sights. Especially popular are:

  • Eno River State Park
  • Sarah P. Duke Gardens
  • Museum of Life and Science
  • Nasher Museum of Art
  • American Tobacco Campus


In the west of the state, the city of Asheville lies in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The city covers a total area of over 110 km2 and has 89,100 inhabitants. Asheville was admitted to the United States of America in January 1798. For a long time, it was a very remote city, as it was only accessible by road via Tennessee. Only after the connection of the railway in 1880, it changed.

The well-known magazine Rolling Stone described Asheville in 2000 as "New Freak Capital of the U.S." Since many of the inhabitants are members of the New Age movement, an esoteric variant of the hippie movement, it is also called a "New Age Mecca." The eclectic town is a very liberal place and an LGBT-friendly destination. With more than two dozen craft beer breweries, Asheville also carries the title "Beer City USA."

The city is also known for its interesting architecture and lively music, and art scene. Downtown Ashville has dozens of art galleries and many interesting antique shops. Visitors of Asheville should not miss visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as well. One of the biggest attractions is the Biltmore Estate, now the museum, which is the largest private estate in the US in Renaissance style.

Chapel Hill

Close to Durham and Raleigh, Chapel Hill is another interesting city in North Carolina. The city has a total area of 51.3 km2 and 60,000 inhabitants. The most important street of the officially founded city in 1793 is the "Franklin Street," which was named after Benjamin Franklin. In 1969, Chapel Hill was the first majority-white community in the southern states to elect an African-American mayor. This helped to establish the urban bus system, which since 2002 can even be used free of charge. In Chapel Hill, there are liberal arts scenes, many trendy bars, and a magnificent UNC campus stand out as North Carolina's oldest university.

New Bern

In the east of the state, with about 30,000 inhabitants and an area of about 70.0 km2, there is a city of New Bern, which is the second oldest colonial city of North Carolina. New Bern was founded in 1710 by emigrants from Switzerland and Germany. The coat of arms of the city is almost identical to the coat of arms of the Swiss city, Bern. From 1765 to 1792, the port city was also the capital of the colony in North Carolina. In 1898, a world-famous beverage brand was invented here. The pharmacist Caleb Bradham developed in his pharmacy a drink that was initially sold as Brad's drink. Today it is internationally known as Pepsi Cola.

Interesting places that New Bern visitors should definitely see are:

  • Birthplace of Pepsi Cola
  • North Carolina History Center at Tryon Palace
  • Governor's Palace at Tryon Palace
  • Island Creek Walk - Croatian National Forest Hiking Trail
  • Union Point Park
  • New Bern Firemen's Museum

It looks like it's time to pack a bag and start your journey, doesn't it?