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Six great North Carolina sights

North Carolina has long harbored a startling wealth of attractions the "natives" have quietly keep to themselves. But no longer. From the undiscovered locales of Carolina's magnificent coast to the lesser-known spots further inland, it's time to share these venues with the rest of the world. Come along as we investigate some of North Carolina's most picturesque and unique attractions.

The North Carolina Coast
Start on the coast in Wilmington at EUE Screen Gems Studio's "Hollywood East," the largest movie studio this side of the Mississippi. Home to more than 350 films, television shows and commercials, tours run on Saturdays and Sundays at noon and at 2 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Other times of the year, tours run on Saturday only. The one-hour walking tour takes visitors through sets for the series,"One Tree Hill." It's like being an insider to the film industry, looking at back lots and stages during an easy walk.

Within a 30 minute drive of the studio is Carolina Beach State Park where carnivorous Venus Flytrap plants live. Ask the ranger for information, as the plants are protected. Native in a 60 to 75 mile radius of Wilmington, the modified leaves of these plants trap insects, then secrete a digestive fluid so they can absorb nutrients from the insect. The park also offers camping, nice walking trails and a small beach suitable for launching kayaks into the Cape Fear River. Fort Fisher and the NC Aquarium are only minutes away.

Souvenir tip: knowledge is the best souvenir

Hopefully when we visit other places, we can take a bit of the culture home with us. Knowledge is the best souvenir. So take a class with the locals. Learn:
  • To do a local dance
  • To sing a song in their language
  • To play an unusual instrument
  • To cook a special recipe
No time to take a class? If food is your favorite, buy a local cookbook or ask the chef for a recipe. Purchase a songbook or a video of local dances. You can learn it when you return home or continue practicing the lessons you did take.

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