11 Reasons Why North Carolina Is The Best State Of All Time

11 Reasons Why North Carolina Is The Best State Of All Time

I never understood when my peers said they wanted to get out of their hometown or escape their home state.
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I never understood all my peers who said they wanted to get out of their hometown or their home state and escape. North Carolina has always been the best of all worlds to me.

Here are only a few of the reasons why I'm not one of the people anxious to get out and get away. North Carolina will always be my favorite to come home to.

1. Plenty of country.

This is a necessary qualification for me for the best state ever.

2. Cities.

Raleigh, Charlotte, Greensboro, Asheville (for the hippies, you know). There's also Wilmington, which has a beach, so.

3. Beaches.

Another necessity. I love that we have beaches that are full of people, in the water, playing volleyball, tanning and having a good time.

But I also love that we have quiet beaches where you can be by yourself and have a relaxing day on the shore.

Also, we have an island with wild horses that you can go see, so I don't think there's any question that this is the best thing ever.

If you needed any more convincing, the sun rises perfectly above the glistening, green-blue waters of the ocean, and it doesn't get any better than that.

4. Mountains.

Best of both worlds, right? We have the gorgeous Blue Ridge Parkway, Biltmore Estate, a 60' natural waterfall rock slide in Pisgah National Forest. Stop in Boone or Asheville for a perfect downtown experience to round up your mountain vacation. Or just move there, I mean.

5. History.

North Carolina's historic sites date as far back as some of the first European settlers arriving in the 1600s. Several Revolutionary and Civil War battle sites can be found as well, including the pivotal Battle of Guilford Courthouse, and the surrender of Confederate soldiers at Bennett Place.

The International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro is also located at the actual Woolworth's diner that sparked a huge wave of powerful, non-violent protests during the 1960s.

6. All the seasons.

FINALLY, a state with all four seasons in good balance. Spring is gorgeous and new and green. Summer is hot and perfect like it's supposed to be, especially with a few beach trips thrown in there. Fall is cool and breezy. The leaves are gorgeous and bonfires unending and the sky is clear blue to the horizon. Winter is... cold. Snow comes a few times a year, as long as the weather isn't feeling too moody, and Christmas is freezing as it should be.

7. Diversity.

Assuming you like that kind of thing. Especially politically, we have from either extreme end of the spectrum down to everything in between. It's not one of those strictly blue or red states. We've got a pretty equal balance.

8. Middle of the East coast.

This way it doesn't take 24 hours driving to get from one end to the other. You're just in the middle of everything! Also, if you're like me and live in the middle of North Carolina itself, you're just one day trip away from the beach and the mountains too. 10/10 would recommend.

9. Great universities.

Whether public or private, North Carolina has an impressive selection of excellent universities to choose from, including Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill, Wilmington, and Charlotte, Davidson, Elon, NC State, and more.

10. Best college basketball rivalry.

OK, obviously I couldn't get through this whole thing without bringing up the infamous Duke-UNC college basketball rivalry. It's pretty much legendary at this point. Check out this statistic from Sporting News' Alex Novick.

Going back 41 years, these two teams have played each other 100 times. Incredibly, both teams have won exactly 50 games while Duke has scored 7,767 points to UNC's 7,765.

Excuse me, WHAT? Like I said, legendary.

11. My hometown.

Hillsborough, NC is where it's at. I know, bad grammar, I'm sorry. But I mean, really. It's the ideal, charming, Southern small town. The downtown area is winning in every area, plus there's a river walk right near downtown and lots of history in between. Just go the link attached, and you'll fall in love, I'm sure.

Cover Image Credit: Olivia Knight

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30 Places Every Millennial Girl Needs To Travel To BEFORE She Turns 30

Live your best life, all around the world.
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I am a travel enthusiast. There is nowhere I do not want to go.

Traveling the world is one of my biggest goals in life and I am determined to make it happen. The world is so big and I would love to see every inch of it at some point or another.

However, if I can travel to these 30 places before I turn 30, I will feel as though I have accomplished more than enough.

1. New York City, New York

2. New Orleans, Louisiana

3. Grand Canyon, Arizona

4. Las Vegas, Nevada

5. San Francisco, California

6. Los Angeles, California

7. Nashville, Tennessee

8. Honolulu, Hawaii

9. Walt Disney World, Florida

10. Chicago, Illinois

11. Nassau, Bahamas

12. Cozumel, Mexico

13. Cancún, Mexico

14. Bridgetown, Barbados

15. Basseterre, St. Kitts

16. Philipsburg, St. Maarten

17. Montego Bay, Jamacia

18. Christiansted, St. Croix

19. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

20. Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

21. Tortola Baths, Tortola

22. San Juan, Puerto Rico

23. Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos

24. Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

25. Oranjestad, Aruba

26. Mykonos, Greece

27. London, England

28. Paris, France

29. Barcelona, Spain

30. Rome, Italy

Okay, so these are 30 places I want to go out of like, a million. I have traveled to some of these places and would not hesitate one second to go back.

Every new place is like a new adventure, and traveling will forever be so exciting and intruiging to me.

Cover Image Credit: Maisa Teat

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Glacier National Park Needs To Be At The Top Of Your Bucket List

Glacier National Park in Montana is absolutely breathtaking.
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Most of you may not have found yourselves out West yet, but I am here to say that the western part of our great country is BEAUTIFUL. I absolutely love the West. My family and I have gone on many cross-country trips, and I have been very fortunate to have seen a lot of National Parks. My favorite, however, is Glacier National Park. If you ever travel west and find yourself out in Montana, or maybe somewhere near Montana, you HAVE to make a detour to Glacier. It is stunning, and here are some reasons why.

1. The river water is basically turquoise

Have you ever seen water this color that hasn't been dyed?! This picture is not edited; the water is REALLY this color. Watch out if you try to dip your toes in, the water is super cold because it trickles down from the melted glaciers!

2. There is wildlife everywhere

There are animals everywhere! You can be driving on the road and almost reach out and touch a mountain goat. If you really like animals, bring some binoculars to take your search to the next level. If you go searching for bears, or even if you're trying to avoid them at all cost, bring some bear spray with you. It is pepper spray, but for bears (I promise I am not making this stuff up)!

3. There is snow without the cold

This only applies in the summer, obviously, but it was so cool to touch snow while it was 70 degrees outside. It doesn't really ever melt because there is so much of it (as you can see)! Make an awesome memory of a snowball fight in the middle of summer when you aren't freezing to death!

4. There are so many waterfalls

This is the place to try out your waterfall hunting skills. How many do you think there are? Well, there are over 200 waterfalls in Glacier National Park. That is insane; you would have to try harder to not find one than to actually find one. There are even little waterfalls along the drive up into the mountains. My uncle thought he was funny and rolled down the windows when I was on the side near the waterfall. I got drenched, but so did the inside of his car.

5. It is a great place for fishing

Every fisherman's dream. Grab your pole and go and fish for some cutthroat trout, mountain whitefish and northern pike, as well as many others. It is a peaceful as well as a beautiful experience. Even those who don't enjoy fishing that much can have the opportunity to enjoy the surroundings.

6. It is ABSOLUTELY breathtaking

It is one of those places you always see as a desktop background but never think actually exists. I am here to tell you, it DOES. You can travel to Glacier National Park and get this view without a crazy hike or anything dangerous. And the best part is, you can take your OWN picture and use it as your background.

7. There are places to hike

Attention all hikers and non-hikers: this is the place for you. Whether you love long hikes where you can explore new terrain or a few steps out of the car is enough to satisfy you, you can get your hiker (or non-hiker) fix. There are lots of trails to hike on, but watch out for the bears (I'm not kidding)! But there are also beautiful views everywhere you turn, so two steps out of the car gives you a sight that will leave you breathless.

8. You can camp there

Name a better way to enjoy nature than camping. It is so exciting to sleep outside and experience all of God's beauty. My favorite camping experience is sitting around the campfire while roasting s'mores and talking to family. However, if tent camping isn't your style, there are other options.

9. Lake McDonald is there

Have you ever seen a picture of a lake with multicolored rocks at the bottom? Chances are it was a picture of McDonald Lake. This huge lake is absolutely beautiful and surrounded by trees. Rent a canoe and paddle your way around the lake for an amazing day.

10. You won't ever want to leave

Am I exaggerating when I say that? Nope, not in the slightest. After my trip, I tried to devise a way to live there when I was older. If it weren't for the winters, I would totally do it. The whole time I was awestruck and could not get over the beauty of it. I hope that one day very soon, I can go back.

* * *

Well what are you waiting for? Are you sitting on your couch wondering what you should do next? Let me tell you, life is too precious for us to waste moments not doing things we want to do. If you want to travel, TRAVEL. Here is a map to show you where Glacier is. Go get in your car, buy a plane ticket, hop on a train and GO. You won't regret it.

Cover Image Credit: Katelyn McKinney

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