1. Speaking of Rivalries... The N.C. vs S.C. Rivalry Is Legit
So—yeah—we’re writing an article about “the Carolinas.” But don’t think we’ve forgotten how very different the two states are (and pretty much everyone in the Carolinas will remind you of this straight off the bat).
It’s not that they hate each other so much as they deeply appreciate the uniqueness of each of their states. ;)
2. Cheerwine and Sun Drop Really Make Life Pop Here
Source: Cheerwine via Facebook
These are more than sodas. They are heavenly drinks delivered by angels to the Carolinas to be drunk only by those who appreciate their angelic beauty.
Cheerwine is manufactured in North Carolina and Sun Drop, though originally manufactured in Missouri, has won the hearts of Carolinians everywhere and has been mass produced in the region.
3. Unsweetened Tea Is Not Worth Drinking
Source: Flickr user Muffet
In the Carolinas sweet tea is just “tea”—the question, “unsweetened or sweetened?” simply does not exist here. So if you try to order unsweetened tea, be prepared for strange, uncomprehending looks. Once again, don’t say we didn’t warn you!!
4. But A Few Flurries Sends Them Into A Tizzy
While their storms can be powerful, their snow “storms” are not. But you would never know it by how they respond. They practically call in SWAT teams to deal with a half inch of snow. That being said, they do appreciate the occasional “snow” day. Which, lets be honest, is really more like a “light frost” day.
5. Forget Nashville, This Is Where Musical Geniuses Are Born
If there’s one thing they like in the Carolinas, it’s bragging about their music scene. They are the stomping ground of a ton of great musicians and bands.
Just to name a few:
- Ben Folds
- James Taylor
- Mount Moriah
- Darius Rucker
- Iron and Wine
- and Toro y Moi
6. Carolinians Like It Hot—Texas Pete Hot Sauce, Hot
Source: Texas Pete Hot Sauce via Facebook
Fact. Don’t let the name fool ya, this delicious, spicy condiment developed and manufactured by the TW Garner Food Company in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and it’s a must have.
7. Get Ready For the Ride Of Your Life
Source: Wikimedia user Coasterman1234
Going to Carowinds is an experience like no other. Whether you hit up the Carolina Hurricane, the Night Hawk, or the Carolina Cobra, you will not be disappointed. Just exhilarated… or possibly motion sick, but lets go with exhilarated.
8. Carolina Parks Put Your Parks To Shame
Source: Wikimedia user Brian Stansberry
There isn’t anywhere in the world with more beautiful parks than the Carolinas. They have parks with botanical gardens, historical parks, state parks for hiking and camping, parks that look out at the ocean—they've got it all.
In other states you can take a stroll through the park but in the Carolinas: you can have an epically amazing beautiful adventure in one.
If you want to see for yourself, try the Battery in Charleston, S.C. for a more casual experience. Or for you thrillseekers Stone Mountain State Park in Alleghany, N.C. is sure to get the adrenaline pumping.
9. And So Will The Amazing Gardens
Source: Wikimedia user Ken Thomas
The absolute best part about living in the Carolinas is their gardens. The flowers here are intensely beautiful and the climate there is perfect for growing them. Maybe this is why everything, everywhere, smells amazing. All of the time. Seriously. Try the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill or South Carolina Botanical Garden in Clemson.
10. And Oh Dear Lord The Biscuits… The. Biscuits.
Source: Tumblr user tabburs
It doesn’t take more than one mouth-watering bite of a Carolina biscuit to feel immediately at home here. The second you taste a home-cooked biscuit, you’ll want to take vows to the Carolinas just so you can be forever wedded to the place that gave you this incredible biscuit experience. It’s that good. Try Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen in Chapel Hill, N.C. or Hominy Grill in Charleston, S.C.
11. People In The Carolinas Love Swimming Holes
Source: Wikimedia user B Childress
People in the Carolinas know that, no matter the season, you must be swim-ready. There are just way too many opportunities to swim for you not to carry a bathing suit on your person at all times. Swimming in creeks, lakes, and swimming holes defined more than 90 percent of a Carolinian’s childhood, so get ready for some serious swim-time!
12. You Can Ski And Surf In A Single Day
Source: Wikimedia user Brian Stansberry
Most Carolinians will tell you that they know for a fact this region of the United States has the best of both worlds—drive one way for a couple of hours and you have the most beautiful mountain ranges, drive another way for a couple of hours and you can enjoy the ocean to your hearts content. Needless to say, there’s not a lot of room for boredom here.
13. Everyone In The Carolinas Feels Passionately About College Sports Here—It’s Unavoidable
There is nothing, and I mean nothing, more intense than college sports in the Carolinas.
Whether it’s the Clemson-Carolina rivalry in South Carolina, or all of the rivalries that exist between UNC, Duke, NC State, and Wake Forest in North Carolina, you should probably prepare yourself for battle.
14. Get Ready To Eat (And Argue Over) The Best Damn BBQ In The World
Source: Flickr user Simon
BBQ in the Carolinas is awesome sauce. Literally.
But—brace yourself. There is a legitimate argument over the “right” way to do BBQ that mostly boils down to vinegar based vs. mustard based BBQ (vinegar mostly in North Carolina, mustard mostly in South Carolina).
Either way, you’re 100 percent guaranteed to enjoy your BBQ experience once you get here.
15. The Sunsets Bring Tears To Your Eye
Source: Wikimedia user Moofpocket
This is just true. Whether you watch the sun set at the ocean or a top the mountains, you simply will never be disappointed. There’s nothing in the world like a Carolina sunset.
16. Love Grits, Or G.T.F.O.
Source: Wikimedia user sashafatcat
Eating grits is a right of passage—you’re not a true Carolinian until you swear by grits for breakfast…and sometimes even lunch and dinner. If shrimp and grits are your thing (as they should be), try Cape Fear Seafood Company in Wilmington, N.C.—they’re the best around.
17. Try Not To Eat All Of The Hush Puppies—I Dare You
Source: Flickr user Jason Lam
Cornmeal batter. Deep-fried. Yes, this is a real thing. And, no, you don’t have to be ashamed if you eat 100 in one sitting. Like some seafood with your hush puppies? Try the hush puppies at Charleston Crab House, it’s a South Carolina institution for a good reason.
18. Carolinians Know The Liberal Flag Flies Extra High In Asheville and Charleston
Source: Flickr user Zen
Everyone knows that these two cities are where the liberal Southerners flock to. And while there are some (albeit, not many) liberals scattered throughout the rest of the states, Ashville in N.C. and Charleston in S.C. definitely take the cake for the most peace-loving, tie-dye wearing Southerners around.
19. Find Inner Peace On Your Front Porch
Source: Flickr user anoldent
When you sit on a Carolina front porch, the only word that could possibly encompass the experience is: Joy. Pure joy. There is simply nothing as peaceful as sitting on a Carolina front porch swing on a summer evening, sipping tea.
20. All Other Seafood Is Fishy Compered To The Local Fare
Source: Wikimedia user LittleNeck Clams
Yeah, they have some pretty bomb seafood in the Carolinas. So, naturally, they like to eat local. Believe me, once you try shrimp or oysters in the Carolinas, you won’t want them from anywhere else. Try Upstream in Charlotte, N.C. or Pearls Oyster Bar in Charleston, S.C.
21. Carolinians Fear No Hurricane...
Source: Wikimedia user Good Kitty
P-shaw, you don’t even know what a storm is until you move to the Carolinas. Folks here can (and have) weather anything Mother Nature throws at them here. A Carolinas hurricane is not to be taken lightly.
22. Carolinian Bluegrass Music Is A Gift Of The Gods
Source: Wikimedia user JS North
In the Carolinas, they do bluegrass like no other. No matter where they go, the sound of bluegrass music instantly transports them into memories of home. It is so much a part of the “sounds” of the Carolinas that they couldn’t imagine what life would be like without it.Try the North Carolina State Bluegrass Festival to experience the soul of the Carolinas for yourself.
23. The Best Diners In America Are Right Here In The Carolinas
Source: Flickr user dedhed1950
The Carolinas are home to some of the greatest (and cheapest) diners in all of America. And it makes sense their diners are so delicious: Buttermilk pancakes, grits, a side of hash, biscuits and gravy…shall I go on? No matter where you go, going to the diner in the Carolinas is like having a fine-dining experience. Try Art’s Place in Kitty Hawk, N.C. or Paw’s Diner in Seneca, S.C.
There are just so many reasons to love this part of the country. Whether its the gorgeous views, the great local music, the college sports rivalries or the unbelievably tasty food, there’s no better place to call home than the Carolinas.
Feature Image Source: Flickr user SineadFriel