Frequently Asked Questions

About North Carolina

Where is North Carolina?

North Carolina is located on the Atlantic Coast in the southeastern United States. We are bordered by Virginia to the north and South Carolina to the south and Tennessee to the West, and are within a day’s drive or few hours’ flight from major East Coast cities including New York City, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Orlando and Miami.

What is the weather like in North Carolina?

North Carolina has four distinct seasons. Average temperatures range from highs in the low 50s (Fahrenheit) during the winter to the high 80s during the summer. Temperatures also vary by region and are generally a bit cooler in the mountains than in our rolling central region or along our coast and beaches.

What is the time difference between here and North Carolina?

North Carolina is located in the Eastern time zone (GMT minus five hours).

Where can I find free information about visiting North Carolina?

You can explore our award-winning travel guide online or download it from the Apple, Google or Kindle app stores. Once you’re here, visit one of nine Welcome Centers across the state for more on what to see and do.

Getting Here

Do I need a visa to visit North Carolina?

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens of the United Kingdom and other participating countries to travel to the United States without obtaining a visa for stays of 90 days or less for tourism or business.

To qualify, you must:

  • Have authorization under the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). ESTA applies only to those travellers entering the U.S. by air or sea. Travellers entering by land from Canada or Mexico are not required to register before traveling. If your ESTA registration is successful, it will be valid for multiple entries into the U.S. for two years or until the date your passport expires – whichever comes first.
  • A small fee is payable for the ESTA.
  • Travel on an approved carrier.
  • Have complied with the conditions of previous admissions to the U.S. and must not have previously been found ineligible for a U.S. visa.
  • Have the correct type of passport.

Visit the U.S. Embassy websites in the United Kingdom and Ireland for more information.

Where are the North Carolina airports?

North Carolina has 10 passenger-service airports located across the state.

From west to east, they are:

Direct flight from the UK to Charlotte and Raleigh are available.

Is my driver’s license valid in North Carolina?

Yes. All children under 12 must wear a seatbelt, and child safety seats are mandatory for children 3 and under. Motorists are required to use headlights when their windshield wipers are on during inclement weather.

While You’re Here

Will my credit card be accepted?

All major credit cards are accepted in hotels, restaurants, shops and car rental agencies. Visa and MasterCard are the most commonly used. Most debit cards are also accepted, but you should check with your bank before traveling.

Can I withdraw money from cash machines?

Cash machines – or ATMs – are widespread throughout North Carolina. You'll be able to withdraw cash at airports, petrol stations, in bars or at any bank. Your bank, building society or credit card company may charge you for withdrawing money abroad. Please check if charges apply before you travel.

Will my mobile phone work?

Yes, if it's tri-band. You might need to lift any overseas calling bars with your network provider. In addition, we suggest you make yourself aware of calling costs for making and receiving calls in the United States. Wi-fi is also readily accessible in North Carolina.

Will my electrical appliances work?

You’ll most likely need a travel adapter. U.S. outlets are 110V AC and require a two-pronged plug. You can purchase travel adapters at most international airports.

How old do you have to be to buy alcohol in North Carolina?

You must be 21 or older to buy or consume alcohol in North Carolina. Please note you might need to show identification to enter bars or pubs or order alcoholic drinks.

What are the shopping hours?

Shopping hours vary by location, but are generally 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Most shops are open every day of the year except Christmas. Be sure to call ahead to check days and hours of operation.

How much should I tip?

Tip 15 to 20 percent for taxis and restaurants. A 10 to 15 percent tip is common in bars.

Is smoking permitted?

Smoking is not permitted inside restaurants or bars, shopping malls or on public transportation in North Carolina.

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