Come See What's New in NC

Come See What's New in NC

Recent News

Andy Griffith Museum Completes Major Renovation

After a renovation of more than half a million dollars, the Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy offers a fresh take on the actor-musician's storied life. Memorabilia is presented as a stroll through Mayberry, the Mount Airy-inspired setting for "The Andy Griffith Show," with storefronts representing real and fictional places: the Snappy Lunch, the Earle Theatre, Floyd's Barber Shop, Emmett's Fix-It Shop and the Mayberry Courthouse & Jail. Exhibits cover the Mount Airy native's Hollywood days, "Matlock" and music as well as his signature series. The museum opened in 2009, three years before Griffith's death. 

Water Park Splashes Down on the Outer Banks

H2OBX Waterpark is now open with state-of-the-art waterslides, pools and amenities on 80 acres across Currituck Sound from Kitty Hawk. The water park, which references the Wright Brothers and other elements of the area’s heritage, is the largest commercial attraction on the Outer Banks. It opened in June. 

Nantahala Outdoor Center Adds First-of-Kind Canopy Adventure

Children as young as 2 can take to the treetops with the nation's first fully netted aerial playground, which opened at Nantahala Outdoor Center in Bryson City in time for the Fourth of July holiday. Treetop Adventure Nets, a ship-themed attraction, allows adults as well as children to explore from 10 to 20 feet above the ground floor without a harness. Features include tunnels, open spaces, chutes and pathways as well as views of the Nantahala River and the 2013 Freestyle World Championship play wave. Nantahala Outdoor Center is the world's largest outdoor recreation company.

Carowinds Debuts Holiday WinterFest

Carowinds, the Charlotte amusement park, will add an active WinterFest celebration to the holiday landscape, transforming the park into a winter wonderland with a holiday light spectacle, live entertainment, holiday treats and fanciful experiences. It joins a lively regional lineup that includes Speedway Christmas in Concord, Christmas Town USA in McAdenville, Holidays at the Garden at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont, and Christmas at the Library at Billy Graham Library. 

Benton Convention Center Completes Renovations

An $18 million renovation of Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem is on track for completion by June. The structural, design and technological upgrades for the 100,000-square-foot building are aimed at creating more open, flexible meeting space with architectural nods to Winston-Salem's historic arts, tobacco and textile roots.

Whirligig Park Turns Wilson Into a Visionary Arts Destination

The Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park, featuring 31 of the late visionary artist's wind-powered sculptures, officially opens Nov. 2, just before the weekend's annual Whirligig Festival. Simpson, who lived in nearby Lucama until his death in 2013, transformed old bicycles, road signs and other cast-off items into whimsical works that have been meticulously conserved. Beyond those at the 2-acre park, whirligigs dance in the breeeze at the Wilson Rose Garden, Hickory Grove Park and other Wilson locations as well as museums in Raleigh, Atlanta and Baltimore. 

Cheerwine Toasts 100th birthday

Once available only in North Carolina, the cult-favorite cherry soda now enjoys wide distribution and acclaim as the National Barbecue Association’s official soft drink. But in 2017, the best place for a taste might be Cheerwine's hometown of Salisbury, where Innes Street Drugstore features loads of Cheerwine merchandise and treats. For the centennial, the Rowan Museum offers a yearlong exhibit on "the nectar of North Carolina" that features memorabilia, advertising and packaging.

R.J. Reynolds Mansion Turns 100

2017 brings the 100th birthday of Reynolda House, the 60-room American bungalow built by tobacco baron RJ Reynolds and his wife, Katharine. It’s also the 50th anniversary for the home’s role as a museum, whose American art collection ranks among the finest in the United States. Special exhibitions will focus on two leading artists in the collection: “Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern” (Aug. 25-Nov. 5) and “Frederic Church: To Jerusalem and Back” (Feb. 4-April 29, 2018).  

Bald Head Island Lighthouse Turns 200

North Carolina’s oldest standing lighthouse, and possibly its best-loved, turns 200 in 2017. Special events go on all year on Bald Head Island, an alluring destination where people get around by golf cart and bicycle instead of cars. “Old Baldy” is no longer an active beacon, but visitors can climb it year-round.

Esmeralda Inn Turns 125

Boasting a guest list that includes Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson, Douglas Fairbanks and Clark Gable, the Esmerelda Inn in Chimney Rock celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2017. Twice rebuilt after devastating fires, the Esmerelda maintains its rustic elegance and timeless charm.

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