We lived in North Carolina for a little over four years when I was 9-12. It was probably my favorite place I ever lived (out of New Orleans, Sitka, Kodiak, San Diego and Oregon). The entire state is beautiful from the mountains to its glorious coastline. The NC coastline (especially the Outer Banks) is one of the more beautiful beaches in the US. Way more gorgeous than the over-rated Oregon coast. The mountains are breath-taking...I see mountains all the time here in Oregon...but we have nothing compared to North Carolina's....the Blue Ridge Mountains are incredible. Plus, you get some of the Appalachians and Great Smoky Mountains, too. The college system there is incredible. It's competitive, enormous, the sports are great, and there are some really good schools. It was always my dream to go to UNC-Chapel Hill. Never happened. But I've been there and to Duke, and even to the foul NC State (boo Wolfpack). My two best childhood friends live in Asheville (we met in Sitka, AK) and Winston-Salem (we met in Oregon) and I haven't been to NC in eight years to see them, although they've been to Oregon to see me. The downside to NC for me is the humidity, although it's nowhere near as bad as Georgia or Florida or some other states inland, it's still too much for me. I would gladly move back to NC. I really loved it there. My heart has always belonged to that state...even though I've been in Oregon for twenty freaking years now! Oy!