Come See What's New in NC
Traveling to Raleigh by train will become more amenable with the opening of the new Raleigh Union Station transportation hub in early 2018. Larger platforms, a canopy cover and dedicated tracks for passenger trains will improve the travel experience, and dining, retail and a civil hall will connect travelers to lively downtown shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. The station is designed to meet future demand for intercity passenger rail, commuter rail, buses, taxis, bicycles and other forms of transportation. www.raleighnc.gov
For half a century, Interstate highway travelers have been able to find a welcome, information, assistance and bathrooms at North Carolina Welcome Centers. The first two centers, dedicated by Gov. Daniel K. Moore on Aug. 1, 1968, are just across the border from Virginia on Interstates 85 and 95. Today, nine Welcome Centers serve travelers entering North Carolina from the north, south and west on I-85, I-95, I-77, I-26 and I-40. The centers are staffed by certified travel counselors who will book reservations (at no charge) as well as provide detailed information, maps and marketing publications. Learn more at www.nccommerce.com/tourism/programs-services/welcome-centers.
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. www.andygriffithmuseum.com
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. h2obxwaterpark.com
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. noc.com
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. twincityquarter.com
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