From Elizabeth Hudson: A State of Light

Our editor in chief gives North Carolina the unofficial name, “State of Light,” reflecting on the beauty that shines all around us — from the sun that rises above the crashing waves of our coast to the glinting rays that shimmer through our mountain waterfalls.

This is NC

Hush Puppies

Rooted in coastal fish frys, according to North Carolina lore, the humble hush puppy has swept the state from east to west, and these golden-brown rounds can be found across all levels of dining establishments.

Dancing on the Sand

A music trend that originated on the North Carolina coast evolved into a popular genre and dance that’s celebrated in New Hanover County each summer.


Veal Piccata

Serve these crispy veal cutlets with lots of crusty bread to wipe up every last bit of the rich mushroom sauce.


Daybreak on the Coast

Dawn on the North Carolina’s beaches sharpens the senses: Colors look brighter, crashing waves sound louder, and the potential for the day ahead seems infinite.

Tracks in the Sand

For the Ramblin’ Kids, no training ground better captured the freedom and infinite possibilities of learning to drive than the beaches at Cape Lookout National Seashore.

Washed Ashore

Shark teeth, ancient ship wrecks, deadly jellyfish, and … spaceship debris? Keep an eye out when roaming our beaches — you never know what surprises are lying at the water’s edge.

The Lighthouse Issue

Chasing the Light

A former classroom teacher’s life journey with a world-renowned photographer became one of the great romantic stories of our time — based on a mutual calling to save North Carolina’s magnificent lighthouses.

The Cape Fear Lighthouse’s Prism Project

When the Cape Fear Lighthouse was dismantled more than 60 years ago, the pieces of glass that composed its Fresnel lens scattered in a hundred directions. Now, The Old Baldy Foundation is attempting to put the lens back together.

America’s Lighthouse

The Cape Hatteras Light has guided mariners for more than two centuries and undergone massive changes, but its connection to the Jennette family remains constant.

Edenton’s Landmark Light

First built to provide safe passage to trade ships en route to Plymouth, the Roanoke River Lighthouse has seen several iterations, three locations, and a pair of men who gave the otherwise doomed building a new lease on life.

Climbing the Oak Island Lighthouse at 99

A North Carolina veteran survived torpedoes, a storm at sea, and America’s bloodiest battle of World War II. Decades later and a world away, he defied the odds again by becoming the oldest person to ascend the Oak Island Lighthouse.

Preserving the Outer Banks’ Life-Saving Stations

Tucked away amid the towering lighthouses that dot North Carolina’s coast are life-saving stations once manned by brave surfmen who risked their lives to rescue mariners in peril. One Outer Banks resident has dedicated his life to making sure those surfmen are not forgotten.

Meghan Agresto

In Corolla, one lighthouse keeper follows in the footsteps of generations of lightkeepers, taking care of the grounds and welcoming curious visitors into the Currituck Beach Lighthouse.

Dale Mutro

For a born and raised “O’cocker,” the lighthouse was an abiding presence throughout Dale Mutro childhood’s. As an adult, he has helped tell the tower’s story.

John Havel

For the son of an ironworker, the intricate railings and Italianate brackets of the Hatteras Lighthouse sparked a lifelong infatuation with America’s most iconic lighthouse.

Heber Guthrie

Born on Harkers Island and the great-grandson of a lightkeeper, Heber Guthrie now dons the visage of former lightkeepers to inspire a sense of Down East pride in younger generations.