30 Things North Carolinians Love

1. Sweet Tea, Otherwise Known As Just Tea

Source: Flickr User Brittany Alexis

In North Carolina, if you order iced tea with your meal, you’re getting sweet tea. If you order UN-sweet, you’ll get the stink eye followed by “You ain’t from around here, are you?”

There’s nothing like a big jug of sweet tea on a hot summer’s day. Even better if it’s outside, because they also love…

2. Cooling Off At The Local Swimmin’ Hole

Source: Flickr User Donald Lee Pardue

All over the fine state of North Carolina you’ll find big, fresh swimmin’ holes, and splashing in the summertime is a favorite pastime of every North Carolinian. Even better if the swimming hole has a gorgeous waterfall as a backdrop…

3. Waterfalls, Glorious Waterfalls

Source: RomanticAsheville.com Travel Guide via Facebook

Okay, so there probably isn’t a person in the world who doesn’t love waterfalls, but in North Carolina they’re a part of everyday life. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of waterfalls all over the state of North Carolina — 250 in the county of Transylvania alone. They don’t care how far they have to hike to admire them.

4. Putting You Down In The Sweetest Way Possible

Source: Flickr User Shawn Rossi (shawnzrossi)

If you hear the words “Bless your heart!” in North Carolina, you might want to stop and think for a minute. Did that person just put you down, or are they being sweet? Turns out it’s both. Southerners, especially Southern women, know how to say exactly what is on their mind and make it sound sweet. If you hear “Bless your heart,” you can be sure you just got owned.

5. Biscuits Like Grandma Used To Make

Source: Flickr User Lisa Bunchofpants (bunchofpants)

Grandmas all over North Carolina instill a deep love of fresh, homemade biscuits into North Carolinian children right from the start, who then pass it on down to their grandkids.

And they’re not limited to any one meal: They have biscuits for breakfast (with eggs and sausage), lunch (fried chicken and biscuits) and dinner (biscuits on the side with anything). Pass the butter.

6. Debating Over The Best BBQ

Source: Flickr User: Xtina L

Lexington style or Eastern style? Ketchup or vinegar? The shoulder or the whole hog?

There’s nothing North Carolinians like doing more than arguing over what the best style of BBQ is, and the best place to eat it. Nothing more than perhaps debating over sports…

7. The Duke Vs. UNC Rivalry

Source: Flickr User: weisunc

In North Carolina, you’re obsessed with one and vehemently hate the other. The Rivalry with a capital “R” between Carolina and Duke is legendary, and you’re not a true North Carolinian unless you pick a side. So, which one is it?

Yes, I’m aware there’s also NC State, but they just aren’t on the same level.

8. Pickin’ A Pig

Source: Flickr User: Kurt Wagner

Pig pickins happen all the time in North Carolina, and if you ever have the privilege of being invited to one, rest assured it’s going to be the best barbecue you’ve ever had in your life. Just don’t look at the pig’s face and you’ll be fine.

9. Visiting The Famed Biltmore Estate

Source: Flickr User: Gary Craig (gcraig3si)

The Biltmore Estate is adored by North Carolinians… I mean, seriously, it’s like they have their very own Downton Abbey. It’s hard to say how many North Carolinians tour the 8,000-acre estate, the 250-room house and the 75 acres of gardens each year, but you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who’s never been.

10. Chilling Out To Bluegrass

Source: Flickr User Karl (karlfisher.)

You thought bluegrass was dead? Heck no! There’s still plenty of pickin’ and grinnin’ going on in North Carolina. The best place to see bluegrass is at a good old fashion outdoor festival in the mountains. Speaking of which…

11. Celebrating Everything Outside

Source: NCAF&E Facebook page

All year long (except during winter, of course) you can find North Carolinians enjoying hundreds of outdoor festivals. It’s where they get to enjoy all of their other favorite things: Sweet tea, Southern food, music, dancing, bonfires, and camping. Bless their hearts!

12. Gorging On Krispy Kreme Donuts

Source: Flickr User: Jeffrey L. Cohen (jeffreylcohen)

Sure, people all over the world love Krispy Kreme (you’ll find it in 21 countries) but they don’t love it like North Carolinians do. North Carolina is, after all, the famous donut shop’s birthplace. There are more stores in North Carolina than you’ll be able to visit — and you better bet they all wish there were more.

13. Being First In Flight

Source: Flickr User: Madeleine Holland (Madeleine_H)

Listen up Ohioans, we were the first in flight. It happened here. Sure, the Wright brothers might have been born in Ohio, but they flew the actual plane here. Got it?

14. Visiting Asheville…

Source: Flickr User: mystuart

North Carolinians love Asheville, aka Beer City USA, aka the Paris of the South. They love the Biltmore Estate, the famous Grove Park Inn, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and all of the independent restaurants, microbreweries, music and art in the little mountain city.

15. … And Hating On Asheville

Source: Flickr User: Conor McClure (conormcclure)

North Carolinians love hating on North Carolina’s stepchild almost as much as they love loving it. It’s overrated, full of hippies and liberals, the food is overpriced and homeless people are constantly asking them for money. I mean, how many times can you really see the Biltmore Estate in one lifetime?

16. Sippin’ Moonshine

Source: Midnight Moon Moonshine via Facebook

A big mason jar full of moonshine is sitting in our cupboards. It may be hidden, but trust me, it’s there. It is the cure to what ails us.

17. The Heavenly Bojangles

Source: Flickr User: William F. Yurasko (williamfyurasko)

North Carolina is the home state of this beloved Southeastern fast food joint, and it’s everything they love: Sweet tea, biscuits, and fried chicken that would make the Colonel weep. I think they sprinkle it with fairy dust or something.

18. Fall In The Blue Ridge Mountains

Source: Flickr user Appalachian Encounters

Really, who doesn’t love the Blue Ridge Mountains during autumn? People travel all over the world to come see the spectacular foliage, but North Carolinians love it more, because they actually get to call this ridiculous beauty home.

19. The North Carolina State Fair In Raleigh

Source: Flickr User: Plaubel Makina

It doesn’t matter where you live in North Carolina, you’re going to Raleigh for the State Fair every year, no question. Carnival rides, funnel cakes, the folk festival and the horse show are just a few reasons they love it so much. Who doesn’t love funnel cakes?

20. Living Like Mountain Men

Source: Flickr User: Greg Walters

Even if you don’t live in or near the mountains in North Carolina, you make sure to take day trips, weekends and vacations in the mountains. There’s not many things better than a week in a cabin surrounded by trees, and the chance of spotting a bear.

21. The Incomparable Coast

Source: Flickr User: Karen Blaha (Vironevaeh)

North Carolinians have a whole coast of beautiful beaches to enjoy, and we do whether we live near them or not. Everyone especially loves the Outer Banks. I mean, how could you not?

22. Taking The Fam To McAdenville’s Christmas Lights

Source: Flickr User: Dianna Augustine (Shutter16.com Dianna Augustine Photography)

North Carolinians know that McAdenville (aka Christmas Town, USA) is the only place to see the most spectacular Christmas lights anywhere. The holiday display has been around for nearly 60 years, and while they’re not crazy about the drive and the traffic to get there, it’s totally worth it.

23. The Surprising Carolina Hurricanes

Source: Carolina Hurricanes via Facebook

Oh sure, maybe they didn’t like hockey until the Carolina Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup in 2006 — but they did! And now North Carolinians do.

24. Ordering At Cook Out After A Night Of Drinking

Source: Cook Out via Facebook

Who knew North Carolina was such a Mecca for fast food chains? North Carolinians do. Cook Out might appear to be just another burger joint, but they know better. It’s the best place on the planet to go to get delicious, cheap, greasy food after you’ve had one too many.

25. Singing Along To James Taylor

Source: Flickr User: peppergrasss

“Carolina in My Mind” by James Taylor is the unofficial state anthem. “In my mind I’m going to Carolina. Can’t you see the sunshine, can’t you just feel the moonshine?” And they love singing the lyrics, preferably with friends around a bonfire drinking that delicious moonshine.

While we’re on that subject, North Carolinians also love…

26. Getting Rowdy At Bonfires

Source: Flickr User Alex Ford (alex_ford)

Nearly every home in North Carolina has a bonfire pit somewhere on the property. There’s nothing better out there than a big ol’ fire, some beers and a bunch of rowdy friends.

27. Chowchow Relish On Everything

Source: Flickr User jeffreyw

If you Google “chowchow” you’re probably going to come up with a bunch of links about the dog breed, but North Carolinians know chowchow as a relish that goes on everything. Eating pinto beans? Hamburgers? Hot dogs? Greens? Deviled eggs? Everything is better with chowchow.

28. Anything And Everything NASCAR

Source: Flickr user Chris_Short

This is NASCAR country. They’ve got the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the NASCAR Technical Institute, the NASCAR Racing Experience, the Charlotte Motor Speedway… and NASCAR has three offices in North Carolina, so they know the sport loves them, too.

29. Hanging Out On The Porch

Source: Flickr User Alfred Cunningham (MCAS Cherry Point)

It doesn’t matter if they’re adorned with hammocks, swings, hot tubs, or even just a couple of rocking chairs — there isn’t anything better than relaxing the day away on the porch with your family and friends.

30. Saying “Y’all”

Source: Flickr User: abbyladybug

It’s true, they really like saying “y’all.” It takes them back to their true, Southern roots. All y’all (which means everybody) should try saying it at least once for practice if you’re going to be a real North Carolinian.

Originally published at www.movoto.com on April 3, 2014.