It helps to know a bit about the state you’re about to call home, and also the culture that will surround you. We’re sharing this feature from Movoto on the key points you need to know before moving to North Carolina.
1. When The ACC Tournament Season Starts, Everything Else Stops
College basketball is a Big Deal here and Tar Heelers take it really, really seriously. Like, so seriously that growing up, it was totally normal for your math teacher to turn the TV on to watch the game and skip the day’s lesson plan altogether.
2. The UNC Vs. Duke University Rivalry Is Legit
If you’re ever asked if you prefer light blue or dark blue, think about your answer. Carefully. The UNC Tar Heels and the Duke Blue Devils demand strict loyalty. You simply can’t root for both. It’s not allowed.
3. But The Hurricanes Have A Tropical Storm Of Fandom From All Of North Carolina
The Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup and hockey became a big deal North Carolina. And everyone’s on board with it. There’s no rivalry here just a lot of pro-Hurricane passion. Go Hurricanes!
4. Speaking of Rivalries, Eastern Vs. Lexington Barbecue Is A Serious Debate—And You Better Pick A Side
North Carolinians appreciate some good barbecue. But there’s a catch: you’d better like the right kind of BBQ, lest you stand to be ostracized from your entire family. There’s Eastern style—a vinegar and pepper-based sauce—and there’s Lexington style—a sauce with vinegar, ketchup, pepper, and other spices. And it’s rare that someone likes both.
5. When In N.C. Be Sure To Order Hot Dog or Burger “All The Way”
Though this is a predominantly Raleigh term, it’s known across the state to refer to a dog or burger with chili, coleslaw, mustard, and onions. No matter what you call it, it’s delicious.
6. North Carolina Is More Patriotic Than A Bald Eagle In A Statue Of Liberty Costume Waving An American Flag
In fact, North Carolina qualified as one of the 10 most patriotic states based on a variety of factors including level of veteran funding, the number of people who like the United States on Facebook, and the number of people from the state who use Google to buy flags.
7. Ask For Directions, AKA: How To Get Lost In North Carolina
If you ask a North Carolina native for directions, he’s likely going to tell you where to go based on landmarks. Only, those landmarks used to be there and aren’t there now. It puts out-of-towners in a sticky spot but residents navigate just fine.
8. Its Cool, You’re With The Band
The local music scene is taken way seriously here. That probably has something to do with the fact that a lot of big time stars were born here like James Taylor and Ben Folds. So, the local bands have a loyal following and you probably went to high school with a member or two.
9. Attendance At The State Fair Is Practically Required
Yes, the State Fair is pretty much the same year in and year out but North Carolinian can’t help but love it. Why? Because no one can resist the House-Autry hush puppies and ice cream made out of a steam engine, of course.
Sipping on soda is a such a southern thing. It’s no surprise then that Pepsi got its start right here in New Bern, N.C. The carbonated drink was first created and served up in 1898, spawning and tidal wave of sugary sodas to follow.
11. Keeping It Real Is The Rule In North Carolina
It’s “Esse quam videri,” and North Carolians live and breathe by these words. In English, that’s, “To be, rather than to seem (to be).” Being authentic is valued above all else. So you better live up to that motto if you move here!
12. North Carolina’s Rebellious Phase Goes Way Back
North Carolina is believed by many to be the first state to declare independence from England in 1775. It’s all in the Mecklenburg Declaration. So really, instead of “To be, rather than to seem” the state motto should have been: “You’re not the boss of me”—or whatever that translates to in Latin
13. Asheville Dusts All Other Craft Beer Competition
North Carolinians love beer. Specifically, craft beer. Craft brewers are dotted all across the state, but nowhere so densely as in Asheville. I’m talking NoDa Brewing, Weeping Radish Farm, and Highland. All brew specialty craft beers. Yeast and hops lovers, rejoice!
14. Whitewater Falls Is Nature at Its Best
If you’ve ever wanted to willingly induce a case of vertigo, staring down Whitewater Falls is just the ticket. Located in Transylvania County, it’s the highest waterfall on the entire east coast. And it’s pretty gorgeous.
Source: Flickr user bobistraveling
15. Pig Pickin’ Is The Only Way To Pig Out On Pork
Slow roasted meat is delicious. No bones about it. That’s why pig pickin’ is a North Carolina tradition. That pig is slow roasted all day long and people sit around watching it rotate on the spit as it gets fall off the bone tender. No other way to eat it, really.
Source: Flickr user Cristina Bejarano
16. You HAVE TO TRAVEL the Blue Ridge Parkway
Drive along the road and take in the open fields. Hike down to a stream to go fishing. Or, stick to the peaks to watch the leaves turn in the fall. Locals never want to leave because it’s just so picture perfect.
Source: Flickr user Clexow
17. There Are Mansions, There Are Estates, And Then There’s The Biltmore Estate
It’s the Biltmore Estate and it’s of epic castle proportions, featuring 250 rooms outfitted in French Renaissance style. It is literally the biggest privately owned house in the world. It’s now a location for special events but still has the look and feel of a home—albeit a super massive one.
Source: Flickr user Kamoteus
18. Stick Your Face In Some Flowers At The Botanical Garden
The North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill is great for a day out walking and admiring the variety of flowers. You can press on to the Steamside Trail or the Oak Hill Trail to make a day hike out of it. The Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont, NC (just outside of Charlotte) is interesting and beautiful for all ages.
Source: Flickr user bobistraveling
19. Trips To Lake Norman Is How North Carolinians Say I Love You And I Actually Want To Be Around You
Families big and small make the trek to Lake Norman State Park each year to enjoy some sun on the largest manmade lake in North Carolina. People take their boats out and go fishing. Others hike along the numerous trails. And it’s a great reminder that nature is very much so in your backyard.
Source: Flickr user Jim Biggs
20. It Ain’t A Family Meal Without Collard Greens
It’s a southern thing, yes, but collard greens are especially beloved in the Tar Heel state. They’re cooked till their practically mush. And don’t forget the pork drippings. That’s what gives them their salty flavor.
Source: Flickr user Ben Husmann