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Our State: Celebrating North Carolina August 2020

Through compelling narrative stories and jaw-dropping photography, Our State magazine celebrates everything that makes our state great! Each month, we reflect the beauty of North Carolina, tell the stories of its amazing people and its remarkable history, and suggest wonderful places to visit. We are unabashedly in love with the Tar Heel State, and every page is designed to be an inspiring tribute to where we live.

United States
Mann Media
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min
on grace and goodwill

I can’t say there’s one perfect town in North Carolina, because there are so many I’m drawn to — Asheboro, where I grew up, will forever feel like home. Greensboro, my home now, has fantastic farmers markets and one of my favorite bakeries, Adrian and Adriana Haisu’s Augustino Gusto, known for their tangy sourdough bread and warmhearted welcomes. I settled right in to Sparta one weekend, where I had a fabulous lunch at La Mexicana Grill, and the owner, who had moved to North Carolina from Spain, and his wife, from Bolivia, popped over to my table during the busiest part of the day to make sure I was enjoying myself. I watched the couple move around the room, their attention focused on every diner. I’ve got a soft spot for Lumberton,…

2 min
call of the wild

1 The North Carolina Zoo, which comprises 2,600 acres, is located in the geographical center of our state, near Asheboro, in which county? A. Randolph B. Chatham C. Davidson 2 In 1967, members of the Raleigh chapter of the United States Junior Chamber first proposed the idea of a zoo for the whole state. Which name does this group generally go by? A. Jaycettes B. Jaycees C. Rotarians 3 Two of the zoos most popular residents are named Nikita and Anana. What type of animal, the largest land carnivore on earth, are they? A. Siberian tigers B. Brown bears C. Polar bears 4 Public art is a big part of the zoo experience: Around 50 pieces in a variety of styles and materials are on display. An impressive cast-bronze family of which type of pachyderms greets visitors at the zoo’s main entrance? A.…

2 min
top-shelf memories

MY HUSBAND AND I SPENT our last anniversary dining with my cousin and her husband at the Breezeway Restaurant (“Topsail Island Time Capsule,” June, page 42). We did not know it would be our last celebration of almost 59 years of marriage, but it was. My husband passed away a few months later. The Breezeway will always have a special place in my beloved memories of the Carolina coast and of my beloved husband. Thank you for this story about a quintessential beach restaurant that means so much to this native North Carolinian! Joyce Tart Morton OLIVE BRANCH, MISSISSIPPI AS A FORMER SURF CITY resident, your photo essay about Topsail Island hit me like a crashing breaker beneath the Jolly Roger Pier and brought back a rush of lifelong memories. Memories like…

1 min
art appreciation

WILSON Spinning wheels, rotating fan blades, road signs, mirrors, and scrap metal: The late Vollis Simpson made his kinetic sculptures, known as “whirligigs,” from whatever materials he could salvage during a career spent repairing farm machinery and relocating houses. Simpson’s wind-powered sculptures can be found around the world, but the largest collection is located in Wilson, not far from his former farm. At the two-acre Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park, 30 of his most impressive pieces — some reaching more than 50 feet into the sky — whirl in the wind.…

3 min

POPULATION: 18,500 NAMED AFTER: Waxhaw Indian tribe LOCAL LANDMARK: Circa-1900 pedestrian bridge over train tracks When Diane and Larry Hook bought a house within walking distance of downtown Waxhaw 30 years ago, there was almost nowhere to shop or grab a bite to eat. But the California expats took on active roles in their new community — Larry opened a tire business, and Diane joined the farmers market board — and transitioned from newcomers to downtown boosters. Now, they often walk to town to stock up on fresh produce and provisions at local markets, meet friends for dinner or drinks, and listen to live music. Downtown has undergone a significant revitalization over the past three decades, but Diane insists that the friendly neighbors, entrepreneurial spirit, and love of all things local…

1 min
asleep in the trees

EXCEPT FOR THE occasional roar of a motorcycle rounding a bend, the far western edge of the state is quiet. Outdoor adventurers and driving enthusiasts know and love Graham County for its hiking trails, waterfalls, and ribbons of looping, twisting roads. But for many, this peaceful place is still a well-kept secret. Eager to share the area with more visitors, Doug and Laila Mortimer found inspiration in an episode of Treehouse Masters: They realized that they could build cabins up in the air, creating covered parking below — a preference among some owners of sports cars and motorcycles — and cozy, comfortable accommodations above. They tucked six treehouses into a cool green glade on the edge of the Cheoah River. In reality, River’s Edge Treehouse Resort isn’t far from downtown…