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North Carolina
Natural attractions in North Carolina range from sandy beaches in the east to high mountain ranges in the west. Fringed by 480km (300 miles) of beaches, islands and inlets, the North Carolina coast is renowned for its fishing, boating and other recreational opportunities. The Heartland, often referred to as ‘the Piedmont’, is composed of gently rolling plains that host picturesque golf courses, lakes and farmland, as well as the state’s largest urban areas.
Charlotte, the largest city, is a thriving convention and entertainment centre. The Outer Banks Barrier Islands along the coast include resorts, fishing villages and stretches of national seashore. Cape Hatteras National Seashore also boasts areas of undeveloped beach. Western North Carolina is bounded by two ranges of the southern Appalachians, the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains, with peaks exceeding 1,800m (6,000ft). Other attractions include Raleigh, with its fine architecture and cultural centres, and the Qualla Boundary Cherokee Indian Reservation.