Tourism

Dixie Highway Road Building and the Making of the Modern South, 1900 to 1930
uncpress.unc.edu / UNC Press

    

Before the 20th century, Southern roads were little more than rubble and dirt. Traveling from county to county was difficult and state to state was near impossible. The Dixie Highway, constructed in 1915, shifted control and funding of road regulations from local government to state and federal authorities. 

Altumnal via of mountains (fall)
steviep187 via flickr

  

Just because you don’t work for the federal government does not mean you are immune from the effects of the shutdown.

Tourism in North Carolina could be particularly hard hit by National Park Services closures. Host Frank Stasio speaks with News & Observer reporter Martha Quillin; and Phil Francis, former superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway about the effect of the shutdown on tourism along the coast and in the mountains.

http://www.house.gov/content/cao/io/images/house_floor.jpg

Thousands of federal employees in North Carolina are at home today after the government entered a partial shutdown. 

In Durham, most of the 2,000 employees at the Environmental Protection Agency's office have been furloughed.  Kevin McLaughlin is a communications specialist there.  He says he went into work long enough to record his outgoing message and shut down his computer before he left.

"I've met up with a few fellow federal employees.  We are enjoying the beautiful day.  I think I'll do some yard work.  I'm actually going to go volunteer," McLaughlin said Tuesday.

N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences
NCMNS

A research firm says the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences was the most visited of the state’s museums and historic attractions last year.   It’s the first time in nine years that Biltmore Estate has not topped the list.  Mathews-based Carolina Publishing Associates compiled the numbers.  The firm says 1,220,814 people visited the museum in 2012.  Biltmore attracted 1,123,144 visitors.

Dare County brought in a record amount of occupancy taxes in 2012 while a record number of sea turtles nested on Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  Numbers from the Outer Banks Visitors' Bureau show Dare County collected $382 million in occupancy taxes through November of 2012 compared to $367 million during the same period the year before.  The county levies the tax on hotels, motels and beach houses.  At the same time, park rangers reported a record 222 sea turtle nests in 2012. 

Grandfather Mountain Trees
Hugh Morton

With summer drawing to a close, thoughts turn to fall...and the tradition of leaf-peeping in Western North Carolina. While much of the country has been in drought, North Carolina has gotten plenty of rain in recent months...and that means the foliage this year could be particularly spectacular. Pamela McCown is coordinator for the Institute for Climate Education at A-B Tech in Asheville. She says rainfall is the most important factor in predicting a good year for fall foliage.