Warmed by the Gulf Stream,
the North Carolina Coast is a sunny place filled with pristine beaches,
giant sand dunes (including Jockey's Ridge, the highest along the East
Coast) and wetlands filled with wildlife and a variety of plants. The
defining characteristic of the area is the Outer Banks, a chain of fragile
barrier islands - 130 miles of unspoiled coastline surrounded by 900 square
miles of water.
The area is also full of
history, dating back to the 16th century, when the first English settlement
was built - and then vanished. There are also sites from pre-Revolutionary
Days through the Civil War. Not to mention the historic lighthouses
(including the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, which at 208 feet is the tallest
brick lighthouse in the nation). The city of Wilmington is a major US
seaport. And, in 1903 the Wright Brothers ushered in the era of flight at
Kitty Hawk. The average annual temperature here is 63 degrees. The growing
season lasts 295 days.