- North Carolina can be geographically split into three regions: the coastal plains, piedmont and mountains. The coastal plains harbor many resort areas and are well known for their white sand beaches. Included in this area is Cape Hatteras and Lookout National Seashores, which lie on the barrier islands of the state known as the Outer Banks.
Copyright: National Park Service
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The piedmont region of the state encompasses the area at the base of the Appalachian Mountains. This region stretches from north to south and harbors North Carolina's largest cities, one of which is Raleigh, the state capital. The economy is fueled by tobacco growers and processors and is often referred to as Tobacco Road. Within the piedmont of North Carolina are the Uhwarrie National Forest and several large lakes and rivers.
The Appalachian Mountains comprise the western region of the state. The Blue Ridge Mountains lie to the east with the Great Smoky Mountains creating the western ridge. Most of this region is protected by the federal government in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests. The highest point on the east coast is Mount Mitchell, which can be found on Highway 128 in the mountains of North Carolina.
Recreation - North Carolina supports a recreation opportunity for everybody. Scenic driving can be enjoyed in every region of the state. Visitors to the mountains will enjoy skiing, sledding and snowshoeing in the winter and hiking, camping and fishing in the summer. The coastal terrain supports many water-oriented activities that can be enjoyed throughout the year. Bike touring, golfing and boating are popular in the piedmont region of the state.
Climate - North Carolina has a temperate climate with mild winters and long fall and spring months. Summers can be hot and humid, especially in the piedmont and coastal plain region, which don't get relief from coastal breezes or higher elevations. The mountains tend to be substantially cooler and receive some winter snow.
The state receives various amounts of precipitation ranging from 30 to 100 inches of rain annually. Transylvania lies in southwestern North Carolina and is deemed the land of waterfalls. This mountainous region receives nearly 8 feet of rain each year.