North Carolina, the 12th state admitted to the U.S. in 1789, is in the Southeast portion of the nation with Virginia and Tennessee to the north and South Carolina and Georgia to the south.
Large cities include Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Durham and Raleigh, the capital.
North Carolina's topography ranges from the coastal plain in the eastern half of the state to the hills of the Piedmont in the central region to the Appalachian Mountains in the west.
The climate ranges from mild summers and winters on the coast to cooler temps in the Piedmont and the mountains, particularly at higher elevations.
Leading sectors in the North Carolina economy are financial services, information and biotechnology, agriculture, particularly tobacco, and manufacturing, particularly automobiles. North Carolina ranks as a moderate tax state.
North Carolina is a favorite of retirees and four places are included in our survey of best places to retire. Get video tours of these great cities at North Carolina videos.