The North Carolina




Visitor Center

Welcome to the North Carolina Visitor Center

From the mountains to the coast and all points in between

To receive our free North Carolina Visitor Center Newsletter by email each month, please email us at

 - The NC Visitor Center wishes all of our readers a very happy Easter!

21st Annual EGGstravaganza

Sat., Mar. 24

Starting at 11:30 am - Ending at 1:30 pm

Activities include: face painting, egg spoon races, egg toss, sack races, bean bag toss, ring toss, sidewalk decorating and crafts. Egg Dashes (3 age groups): 0-3 years old - starting at 12:00 pm; 4-6 years old - starting at 12:15 pm; 7-10 years old - starting at 12:30 pm. If inclement weather, all activities will take place inside the Youth Center. Pictures with the Easter bunny from 11:30 am - 1:00 pm.

Admission: Free

15th Annual Evergreen Ball raises $700k for Smoky Mountains

Friends of the Smokies gathered for the 15th annual Evergreen Ball at Cherokee Country Club on Saturday, January 27th to celebrate Great Smoky Mountains National Park in grand style. This year's black-tie gala has raised more than $700,000 for the park's annual needs.

A portion of the proceeds raised at the 2018 Evergreen Ball will go towards our 25th anniversary signature project - a campaign to upgrade the Park's emergency radio system. The fundraising goal of $1.25 million will be matched by federal funding and grants for a total of $2.5 million needed to upgrade the aging communication system.

"We are humbled again by the tremendous support we receive from our friends in East Tennessee and beyond," added FOTS president Jim Hart. "Many of the important projects being done in the Smokies would not be possible without this overwhelming generosity, so we give heartfelt thanks to our guests and sponsors."

The 2018 Evergreen Ball was presented by Scripps Networks Interactive and the Travel Channel and was sponsored by Boyd's Jig & Reel, The Charlie and Moll Anderson Family Foundation, Citizens National Bank, Clayton Homes, Haslam Family Foundation, Jim and Natalie Haslam, Home Federal Bank, Pilot Travel Centers, SmartBank, Toyota of Knoxville, Charles Blalock & Sons, Inc., Pete & Cindi DeBusk, Dollywood, LeConte Lodge, Martin & Company, Nisus Corporation, Paine Bickers LLP, The William B. Stokely, Jr. Foundation, Regal Entertainment Group, with special underwriting from Connor Concepts, Shafer Insurance, Pugh CPAs, All Occasions Party Rentals, Stowers Machinery Corporation, EST8TE, Ullrich Printing, Mortgage Investors Group, The Trust Company, Beverage Control, Inc., Harper Auto Square, and Sugarland Cellars.


Advanced Manufacturing student excels!

If you listen to popular opinion, you might think the leading industry in the U.S. economy is the service sector. Think again. The leading industry sector in our economy is manufacturing. In fact, according to an Atlantic Monthly article from earlier this year, the manufacturing sector in the U.S. makes up about the same percentage of GDP as it did in the early 1960’s.
You might wonder how this can be given that so many manufacturing plants have shut down here and so many manufacturing jobs have gone overseas. You might also have a hard time believing this if you are one of the 5 million or more workers who have lost their jobs over the past 20 years. The explanation: Yes, much manufacturing has gone overseas, but what has remained is advanced manufacturing, which usually involves a lot of automation. In fact, because of automation and advanced manufacturing processes, productivity in American manufacturing is actually at an all-time high.
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Breakfast with the Easter Bunny on March 31, 2018 from 7:30 to 9:30am.
Space is limited, so make your reservations now! (910)643-2778

FREE Easter Egg Scramble from 9:30-11:30 in the Reflection Garden.



Home of Revolutionary War leader; and his son John, Congressman & state legislator. House moved and restored 1966-70 by the Tryon Palace Commission

 The house of John Wright Stanly, entrepreneur and patriot, embodies historical significance and architectural grandeur. Although Stanly purchased land to build upon in 1779, it was not until 1787 that the residence was completed. Many consider the house in New Bern the finest example of late Georgian architecture in the state. Much like the man who built it, the Stanly House was important in both New Bern and North Carolina history.

     John Wright Stanly was born on December 18, 1742, in Charles City, Virginia. A successful merchant, Stanly became wealthy through maritime trade during the Revolutionary War and contributed large sums of money to the Patriot cause. After the war, Stanly turned to civil matters and was named first president of New Bern Academy. In 1789, both John and wife Ann Cogdell died of yellow fever, leaving the house to eldest son, John Stanly, who took legal possession in 1798 when he reached majority. During the time between Stanly’s death and his son’s acquisition of the house, it remained vacant. On George Washington’s southern tour, the president visited New Bern for two days in 1791, and was entertained at the Stanly house and at nearby Tryon Palace.

     John Stanly Jr., born in New Bern in 1774, was a prominent politician, serving terms in Congress and eventually as Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives. In recognition of his political contributions, Stanly County was named in his honor. Stanly is infamous for the murder of former North Carolina governor Richard Dobbs Spaight in a duel behind the Masonic lodge in New Bern on September 5, 1802. Spaight’s murder prompted North Carolina to pass legislation banning duels, although such acts of rivalry and honor were common until well after the Civil War.

     The house has connections to both sides of the Civil War. Confederate General Lewis A. Armistead was born in the house in 1819. While Union forces occupied New Bern, General Ambrose E. Burnside used the house as his military headquarters. From 1935 until 1965, the Stanly House served as New Bern’s public library, and was moved to its current location near Tryon Palace in 1966. It was opened to the public as a historic house museum in 1972. John Wright Stanly was buried in an unmarked grave in Christ Episcopal Church in New Bern, as were his wife and son  

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Easter Bunny Express

Sat., Mar. 24-Mar. 31

Starting at 9:00 am - Ending at 5:00 pm

Enjoy a train ride with the Easter Bunny as he hands out treats for the kids. This event offers inflatables, temporary tattoos, coloring stations, face painting, and special photos with the big bunny. Upgrade your purchase with breakfast, lunch, or snacks with the Easter Bunny.

March 30-31: A huge Easter Egg Hunt is offered for children 0-10. Find details on the event page.
March 31: The Easter Bunny Express will run, along with an extra train, pulled by the Jeddo Coal #85 steam engine caboose train! Combo purchases are available.

Admission: Special event ticket pricing so please check the website


Eno River State Park

Eno River State Park—like its namesake—flows near urban areas of Durham and Orange counties with five scattered access areas, each just minutes from town amenities. The Eno River’s waters roll past mature forests, historic mill and home sites and river bluffs covered with flowering shrubs and across fords used by early settlers. The park offers nearly 30 miles of trails along a swift, shallow stream that’s popular with anglers, photographers and sightseers. Backcountry camping at individual sites and group campsites is available but all equipment must be carried in. Canoeing and kayaking are permitted but sometimes difficult due to shallow water.

Eno River State Park

6101 Cole Mill Road
DurhamNC 27705



Some of North Carolina’s greatest treasures can be found off the beaten path. You never know what you might find... an old-time general store, local artisan, or simply a picturesque view that takes your breath away. You’ll be swept away by the untouched natural landscape found on the backroads of this rural county.

In Anson County, you can discover all that and more. Come. Visit. Surround yourself with the beauty of North Carolina’s best kept secret.


Please support our Wounded Warriors

Hands Together is a nonprofit organization devoted to educating, inspiring and encouraging people to understand the importance of responding to the needs of the poor and disadvantaged. Our Mission, as we strive to build a more compassionate and human world, proceeds from the spiritual belief that we are all members of one, equal, interconnected family under a loving God.