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JUL-AUG 2017

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Courtesy Visit Dorchester, by Jill Jasuta selecttraveler.com 21 Hills," explores the story of the Cherokees with music, lights, costumes and elaborate staging. CENTRAL: THE CITY SCENE e largest cities in North Carolina can be found in its cen- tral region, sandwiched between the mountains and the coast. With numerous high-profile uni- versities and high-tech indus- tries, these destinations enjoy a sophisticated attitude that up- scale travelers will appreciate. In addition to being one of the financial centers of the South, Charlotte is home to some of the state's most notable museums. NASCAR got its start in North Carolina, and today, the NAS- CAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte gives visitors a detailed look at one of the most beloved sports in the country. Visitors see nu- merous historic race cars and hear stories of the teams that raced them to victory. Another popular attraction for groups, the Billy Graham Li- brary, tells the life story of Amer- ica's most famous preacher. Visi- tors learn about Billy Graham's childhood and family life, his early years in ministry and the series of evangelistic crusades for which he became famous. Along the way, exhibits display artifacts from his career and many of the gifts he has received from dignitaries worldwide. e theme continues in Winston-Salem, a city about 80 miles northeast of Charlotte, where historic structures have been repurposed as museums. e Reynolda House Museum of American Art, once the home of local tobacco barons, now houses one of the South's preeminent collections of American art, with pieces dating to 1755. Also in Winston-Salem is the Southeastern Center for Con- temporary Art, which is housed in a 1929 English Tudor home. It features contemporary works by regional and national artists. COAST: BEACHES AND HISTORY Coastal North Carolina at- tracts plenty of beachgoers, but Cape Hatteras in the Outer Banks there is more to this destination than sun and sand. Groups that visit the area can enjoy the ocean views while also learning about the region's distinctive history. On the northeastern edge of the state, North Carolina's Out- er Banks is a 200-mile stretch of barrier islands in the Atlantic Ocean, and the area has a story to tell about some of America's first settlers. In 1585, Sir Walter Raleigh and a group of settlers arrived on Roanoke Island and established the first English settlement in the New World. e 166 settlers later disappeared, earning Roanoke Is- land the name "the Lost Colony." At Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, groups can see where these early settlers lived. e site also has information and program- ming that details the roles Native Americans, European settlers and African slaves played in the area until the Civil War. For more of the story, many groups attend a performance of "e Lost Colony." e production is the longest-running outdoor drama in the United States and recounts the events leading up to the disap- pearance of the Roanoke colony. Wilmington, a town near the Atlantic Coast, is famous for its historical charm. At the heart of this is the 230-block National Register Historic District, which features hundreds of beautiful historic homes. Many of the homes in the district are still private resi- dences, but some of the most impressive mansions in town serve as house museums. One of the oldest, the Burgwin- Wright Museum House, was built around 1770 and features classic Colonial architecture and period lifestyle demonstrations. Wilmington also has a pair of mansions from the middle of the 19th century: e Latimer House Museum was built in 1852 and features Victorian period furnish- ings and artwork. Another ante- bellum home, built in 1859, serves as the Bellamy Mansion Museum of History and Design Arts. Courtesy Biltmore Estate Courtesy Outer Banks VB Courtesy NASCAR HoF Courtesy Wilmington & The Beaches CVB NASCAR Hall of Fame A Wilmington boardwalk

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