From the Outer Banks to the Blue Ridge Mountains, from coastal sand dunes to icy mountain streams, North Carolina thrills the imagination of visitors and residents alike.
Equally as diverting as its natural beauty is the history of its people. Native Americans hunting in unspoiled forests, colonists trading tar and pitch, soldiers and sailors fighting for independence and freedom, and farmers toiling to make a living off the land all represent stories as powerful as the rushing waters of the Nantahala River, Lake Phelps, and the Atlantic Ocean.
If you haven't heard our tales of Native American cultures and 19th-century plantation life or know about the accomplishments and vivid personalities of our famous writers and educators, then you really can't know North Carolina, even if you've lived here all your life. Today you can still feel the cool dampness underground in an early gold mine, marvel at early 20th-century steam locomotives, and relive a colonial or Civil War battle.
North Carolina Historic Sites, a program of 27 state historic sites, invites you to see our state as it was, to open doors to the past. Visitor centers with exhibits filled with artifacts and multimedia presentations can be found most sites, as are picnic facilities. Most tours and many special programs are free.
So when you're planning your next trip, don't just think of tomorrow or today — think of yesterday.
The Division of State Historic Sites and Properties connects people to North Carolina's history, sharing the power of place to inspire a common future through preservation, education, and transformative engagement.
The Division of State Historic Sites and Properties envisions a North Carolina where shared history anchors community understanding, wellness, respect, and connection.