Summer serves a hot menu of things to do in N.C.

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The state of North Carolina is a diverse destination and appears to be getting even more so.

There are many new events give agents more reasons to plan a trip.

Among them are:

  • Last month saw the debut of the state's first African-American Heritage brochure in recognition that people of African descent have been an integral part of the state's history and culture.
  • The 40-page booklet is sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, as well as the Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development Division.

    North Carolina Division of Tourism
    Phone: (800) VISIT NC
    Web: www.visitnc.com

  • The renovated Roanoke Island North Carolina Aquarium is to make its debut this spring.
  • The project includes a skylighted atrium housing 50 live trees and the new Freshwater Habitat that depicts North Carolina's rivers, marshes and sounds and 50 live trees. The centerpiece is a 180,000-gallon ocean tank with a replica of the USS Monitor shipwreck and a variety of reef fish.

    Other new and larger tanks house such marine life as sharks, barracuda and sea turtles.

    RINCA
    Phone: (252) 473-3493

  • Fayetteville in August will boast the opening of the Airborne and Special Operations Museum.
  • The 65,000-square-foot museum pays tribute to all U.S. airborne and special operations units of the past, present and future.

    Fayetteville CVB
    Phone: (800) 255-8217 or (910) 483-5311

  • The first annual Blackbeard's Bounty festival will be held May 19 and 20 in Morehead City.
  • Carteret Country Tourism Bureau
    Phone: (800) SUNNY NC or (252) 726-8148.

  • Concord's new Lowe's Motor Speedway track will host the Penzoil World of Outlaws sprint-car racing in conjunction with the Coco-Cola 600 and UAW-GM Quality 500 races in May and October. The new track also will be used for Supercross, flat-track motorcycle and monster-truck races.
  • Lowe's Motor Speedway
    Phone: (704) 455-3200

  • The long-running "Horn in the West" outdoor drama, set in the Appalachian mountains, marks its 50th anniversary this year.
  • The drama follows frontiersman Daniel Boone and his band of mountain settlers as they struggle against the British militia.

    Southern Appalachian Historical Association
    Phone: (828) 264-2120

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