North Carolina, though the most industrialized of the Southern states, remains relatively rural and poor, with just six million people spread over an area larger than England. It suffered heavily during the Civil War, and Reconstruction brought mixed fortunes: although poverty and hostility were still endemic the Democrats, once they regained control in 1870, were effective in stamping out the Ku Klux Klan.
Geographically, North Carolina breaks down into three distinct areas – running from east to west, the coast, the Piedmont and the mountains – that help make it one of the more interesting states to tour around. For visitors, the coast is the most promising area, with good beaches, beautiful landscapes and a fascinating history. The inner coast consists largely of the less developed Albemarle Peninsula, with colonial Edenton nearby.
© Samantha Cook, Tim Perry, and Greg Ward/Rough Guides. All Rights Reserved.