The Northeastern Region Of The Piedmont
With the Research Triangle as its focal point, the northeastern Piedmont is an internationally known urban area of business, government, education and the arts. Raleigh (the state capital), Durham (yes, it is a separate city), Chapel Hill (with the first state-supported university in America) and Cary (home of the luxurious Umstead Hotel and Spa) offer a rich variety of history, cultural arts and entertainment. Trendy restaurants and local breweries serve up delicious fare from barbeque to haute cuisine and entertainment is never ending.
For starters, check out the extensive collection paintings and sculpture at the North Carolina Museum of Art, which often hosts world class traveling exhibits, or learn North Carolina history from the Lost Colony to Civil Rights at the North Carolina Museum of History. The State Farmer’s Market offers home grown produce and North Carolina made goods seven days a week year round and area state parks offer visitors hiking, picnicking, swimming, boating and fishing.
In Durham, explore the Magic Wings Butterfly House at the Museum of Life and Science, shop for antiques or find great shopping and dining downtown at the American Tobacco Historic District and Brightleaf Square. From Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street to artsy Carrboro to historic Hillsborough, there’s so much to see and do, one visit just won’t cover it all.
From the Triangle travel east to historic Halifax with its many homes dating to before the Revolutionary War or enjoy 21st-Century entertainment in Roanoke Rapids with a day of music and fun at Atlantic One Amphitheater (formerly Carolina Crossroads) and the Roanoke Rapids Theater. To the south, Rocky Mount, Wilson and Goldsboro all offer a large portion of southern hospitality as well as a variety of activities from shopping to outdoor adventures. Travel back in time at Bentonville Battleground, site of the largest Civil War battle ever fought in North Carolina, and see the world’s only full scale Civil War ironclad replica in Kinston at the CSS Neuse II State Historic Site. Visit the Country Doctor Museum near Bailey for a look at health care in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In Smithfield, you can shop at Carolina Premium Outlets, visit the Ava Gardner Museum or enjoy the Ham and Yam Festival each May.
Traveling west from the Research Triangle you’ll come to Burlington and Alamance County. This is textile country and home to the first commercially dyed cotton plaids known as “Alamance plaids.” Visit Alamance Battleground State Historic Site where, in 1771, a rebellion of area farmers was crushed by royal governor William Tryon, or catch some modern-day NASCAR action at Ace Speedway. A visit to one or more of the area’s several wineries is a great way to taste North Carolina award winning wines where they’re made.
The northeastern Piedmont area is a great place to start your North Carolina Piedmont explorations. For more information contact the Raleigh Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Durham Convention & Visitor’s Bureau and the Chapel Hill Orange County Visitors Bureau.
By Pam Watson
By Pam Watson
added: December 31, 2008
updated: May 12, 2009