Set Your Compass for Fun and Daring: New Events and Attractions in North Carolina

From the Mountains to the Piedmont, North Carolina is staging its most exciting summer yet. Come see new attractions and celebrations coming this June and through 2010!

Raleigh, N.C. (April 27, 2006) Tall ships sail the Atlantic once again. A quaint mountain town damaged by flood turns the tide and re-opens its doors to visitors. Parents board pirate ships holding their children’s hands, as shrieks and laughter fill the air. Olympians from all over the world come to train on the Catawba River. It’s all here. The stories, the determined people, the state pride. See what’s playing in North Carolina. To explore lodging, search for restaurants, and plan your vacation getaway, go to or call 1-800-VISIT NC.

Pepsi Americas’ Sail 2006
June 30 – July 5, 2006
Beaufort/Morehead City
Schooners, barques and barkentines will gather for Pepsi Americas’ Sail 2006 in Beaufort and Morehead City, N.C. in summer 2006. This maritime celebration showcases tall ships from around the world. During the festival visitors will be able to tour these tall ships and interact with their crews. Among the array of special events are a Parade of Sail and a 15-mile regatta along the shores of Atlantic Beach. Information: (800) 637-8158;

U.S. National Whitewater Center
Open June 2006
The U.S. National Whitewater Center, a world-class recreation and training facility, will play host to Olympic-caliber athletes and weekend-warriors alike. Set among 300 wooded acres along the scenic Catawba River, the multi-use facility will have a climbing center, mountain-biking and running trails, as well as primitive campsites, all within ten miles of downtown Charlotte. Information: (704) 372-9695;

Monet in Normandy
North Carolina Museum of Art
October 15, 2006 – January 14, 2007
Monet in Normandy will feature more than 40 paintings by Impressionist master Claude Monet created while the artist lived in the coastal province of Normandy. The show will include some of Monet’s most celebrated works–paintings of haystacks, his garden at Giverny, and the Rouen cathedral–drawn from collections around the world. Raleigh is one of three U.S. venues for this exhibition and the only one on the east coast. Tickets go on sale summer 2006. Information: (919) 664-6772;

Children’s Museum Of Wilmington
Open April 2006
Where can kids board a pirate ship, perform in a circus, visit a grocery store, work in an international diner, and learn about math, science, health, and other cultures? The Children’s Museum of Wilmington, a 16,000-square-foot learning environment, will feature a variety of exhibits, special interactive programs, two outdoor gardens, an art room and a science room. Each area of the museum is designed to stimulate creative thinking and to encourage children to explore the Cape Fear region. Information: (910) 254-3534;

The Museum of the Albemarle
New facility open April 2006
Elizabeth City
The Museum of the Albemarle has opened the doors of its new building along the waterfront in downtown Elizabeth City. The northeastern regional branch of the North Carolina Museum of History serves thirteen counties in northeastern North Carolina. The museum allows visitors to explore the history of the oldest section of North Carolina. Inside the new 50,000-square-foot facility, designed with the look and feel of traditional coastal structures, visitors can meet Native Americans and learn of the arrival of the first English settlers to America, explore the colonial periods of the state’s history, including the Golden Age of Piracy, revisit the wars that have shaped the state, and learn of the many industries of the region, including agriculture, logging, hunting and fishing. Information: (252) 335-1453;

North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores
Open May 2006
Pine Knoll Shores
After a $25 million expansion, the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores is set to reopen. The project tripled the size of the former aquarium to 96,000 square feet. An array of new displays, animals, exhibits, and activities will include a six-foot green moray eel and a 306,000-gallon living shipwreck exhibit with tiger sharks, schools of fish and loggerhead turtles. Those inhabitants will swim in and around a replica of the German U-352 submarine, sunk off the N.C. coast in 1942. Other exhibits will include the 50,000-gallon Queen Anne’s Revenge display, a mountain trout pool, jellyfish gallery and a stingray touch pool. Information: (252) 247-4003;

Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park and Eco Center
Open June 2006
Scotland Neck
Sylvan Heights – the premier waterfowl conservation and breeding preserve in North America – now includes a new public facility for educating students and families about wildlife and the environment. The Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park and Eco Center is a world class eco-tourism facility and home of the largest collection of waterfowl in North America. Visitors can view a wide-variety of waterfowl and other exotic birds in exhibits that closely resemble their wild habitat while experiencing the calls of species seldom heard outside the most remote regions of the world. Information: (252) 826 5038;

Canton Celebrates 100th Labor Day
July 31 – September 4, 2006
Canton, N.C. celebrates its 100th Labor Day with a month-long calendar of events that includes parades, historic tours, street dances, guided hikes and bike rides, military encampments, a concert by the Charlie Daniels Band. In September 2004, two back-to-back floods hit the small town, located 25 miles west of Asheville, leaving the community with $90,000,000 in damages. After two years of intensive rebuilding, the 100th anniversary of its Labor Day celebrations will mark an important commemoration and the unveiling of the new and improved Town of Canton. Information and calendar of events: (828) 646.3412;

NC Celebrates Daniel Boone’s 250th wedding anniversary
Throughout August 2006
Mountain region
Nine communities across northwestern North Carolina will celebrate the 250th wedding anniversary of pioneer hero Daniel Boone and his bride Rebecca Bryan. The couple married on August 17, 1756 in what is today Davie County, and they remained together for over 57 years through a host of hardships that were common on the American frontier of the 1700s. Boone’s footprints are commemorated across the region with markers, plaques, replica cabins, outdoor dramas and museum displays. Throughout August, a region-wide series of events will encourage visitors to explore this part of the state and learn more about North Carolina’s unique frontier heritage. Information: (3360 724-5455;

Looking Ahead…

The Randy Parton Theater and the Carolina Crossroads Music and Entertainment District
Open May 2007
Roanoke Rapids
Entertainer Randy Parton, brother of Dolly, is the creative force behind a new 123-acre entertainment venue under construction in Roanoke Rapids, N.C. The Randy Parton Theater – a 35,000-square foot, 1,450-seat theater – is the cornerstone of the Carolina Crossroads Music & Entertainment District. The Parton Theater will host the legends of The Grand Ole Opry, as well as up and coming acts in country, pop, beach, and gospel music. Strategically located along Interstate 95, the Entertainment District will eventually encompass over 700 acres and include five theaters, including a $14 million ocean-themed theater, hotels, restaurants and family recreational activities.
Information: (800) 522-4282;

Billy Graham Library
Open June 2007
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association will construct the 40,000-square-foot Billy Graham Library on the property of the organization’s new headquarters in Charlotte. The world-renowned evangelist was born, grew up, and began his ministry in Charlotte. Estimated to attract some 200,000 visitors each year, the family-friendly complex will incorporate the original Graham family homestead and include interactive exhibits, multimedia displays, and films that chronicle the life, ministry and message of Billy Graham. Information: (704) 401-2432;

Sparta Teapot Museum
Open 2007
North western North Carolina will soon open the Sparta Teapot Museum, which will house a multi-million-dollar international collection of tea-themed treasures. The collection of more than 10,000 objects represents many cultures and includes priceless antique teapots from the 1700s, as well as contemporary ones created by artisans, architects and designers such as Roy Lichtenstein, Cindy Sherman, Michael Graves, and Keith Haring. Information: (336) 372-8118;

2007 US Women’s Open Championship
Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club
June 28-July 1, 2007
Southern Pines
Peggy Kirk Bell, “North Carolina’s First Lady of Golf,” and her family will again host the best women golfers in the world. The Donald Ross-designed course at Pine Needles has been ranked among Golf Digest’s “Best Public Courses in North Carolina,” among Golfweek’s 100 “Best Classical Courses in America,” and Golf Magazine’s “Top 100 You Can Play in the U.S.”
Information:; (800) 747-7272 or (910) 692-7111.

The Umstead Hotel and Spa
Open January 2007
A 150-room hotel with a 12,000-square-foot spa will be built on a three-acre lake on the campus of SAS Institute. The independent facility is locally owned and will be developed by Ann Goodnight, wife of SAS Institute co-founder Jim Goodnight. Inside the soaring glass and limestone complex, guests will find 17 suites and 8,000 square feet of meeting space, a sculpture garden, 350 parking spaces beneath the hotel, a first class restaurant, 24-hour room service and original artwork decorating the property. Information:

NASCAR Hall of Fame
Open spring 2010
Charlotte, N.C. will soon be the home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The state-of-the-art facility will capture the spirit of the automobile racing sport, honor NASCAR icons, and create an enduring tribute to the industry’s drivers, crew members and team owners. Current plans for the Hall of Fame include extensive exhibit space, interactive entertainment, restaurants, retail outlets, and a world class media center. In a region rich with racing history, Charlotte is the hub of the NASCAR industry. Currently 82 percent of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup teams, 72 percent of NASCAR Busch Series teams, and 55 percent of NASCAR Craftsman Truck teams are based in the Charlotte region. The NASCAR Hall of Fame will be an economic boon for the region and the state, as well as a compelling experience for all NASCAR fans.
Information: (704) 339-6120;

Natural scenic beauty, adventure and relaxation, a dining experience for every taste, rich history and warm Southern hospitality come together in North Carolina. Call 1-800-VISIT NC or go to to plan your next getaway.

Photo credit: Photo Courtesy of NC Division of Tourism Film and Sports Development. Bill Russ, Photographer.

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