Fowl Play

Each summer, families flock to an old-fashioned swimming hole on the South Yadkin River to watch a thousand tiny toy ducks hurtle through the rushes at Cooleemee Falls.

The Return of the Sea Turtles

Conservationist Jean Beasley is a living legend. Just like the sea turtles she rescues and rehabilitates on Topsail Island, she embodies resilience and hope. And when she releases her turtles back into the watery wild, those who are watching find themselves thinking of home in a new way.

Echo of the Bones

In Carteret County, a marine curator and dedicated volunteers have found a way to bring beached whales back to life. By sharing the creatures’ stories at the Bonehenge Whale Center, they’ve turned heartbreak into inspiration.

The Rum Diary

Tall tales of shipwrecks and smugglers on the Outer Banks inspired four young entrepreneurs to revive a storied tradition. Their Manteo distillery combines history and legend into a potent new concoction.

The Town that Backpacks Built

Muddy boots are a welcome sight in this postcard-perfect spot in the Smokies. Whether you hike in on the Appalachian Trail or drive in for a weekend visit, Hot Springs offers every traveler a special kind of trail magic.