Piedmont (North Carolina) – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (2024)

The Piedmont is the central region of North Carolina, a plateau of gentle hills between the flat Coastal Plain and the majestic mountains. The Piedmont is home to the state's biggest cities as well as rolling farmland; fast-growing research centers as well as old-fashioned Southern hospitality.


Research Triangle
A sprawling metro area anchored by three major research universities.
Piedmont Triad
Historic North Carolina: Old Salem, Civil Rights sites, and quiet townscapes.
Charlotte Metro
The culture and activity of North Carolina's biggest city, plus NASCAR.
Small towns popular for golfing.


Piedmont (North Carolina) – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (1)

Map of Piedmont (North Carolina)

Research Triangle:

  • 1 Chapel Hill - Home of the University of North Carolina.
  • 2 Durham - Famous for Duke University and tobacco connections.
  • 3 Raleigh - North Carolina's capital, with great museums and cultural attractions.

Piedmont Triad:

  • 4 Greensboro - One of the largest cities in the state, with several colleges and universities, attractive historic districts, and civil rights history.
  • 5 High Point - "Furniture Capital of the World".
  • 6 Winston-Salem - Mid-sized city, home to the famous historic Moravian settlement of Old Salem.

Charlotte Metro

  • 7 Charlotte - The Carolinas' largest city, and the center of commerce and culture in the Piedmont.
  • 8 Concord - Home of Charlotte Motor Speedway (formerly Lowe's Motor Speedway), host to three major NASCAR races; Concord Mills, the state's #1 tourist destination; a lovely historic district; and many cultural attractions.
  • 9 Kannapolis - Historic mill town now home to the NC Research Campus. Local attractions include the Gem Theater (built 1938); Cannon Village; and the Village Park, host to many concerts and festivals throughout the year.

Other destinations[edit]

  • 1 The Sandhills
  • 2 Hanging Rock State Park


Piedmont (North Carolina)
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The Piedmont is, in more ways than one, a transitional zone. It is between the Deep South (the Hollywood version of Southern culture) and the Mid-Atlantic coastline. It also represents a gradual transition from the Appalachian mountain range toward the coastal area. Therefore it seems rather "in the middle" culturally and politically. Standard rules of Southern culture -- pronounced etiquette, slower speech patterns, relatively conservative social standards -- are present, but not nearly as overbearing for visitors as one might expect to find in other areas.

Due to the strong banking industry, mild climate, and natural resources, it has become a desirable destination for companies and families to relocate from the Northeast and Midwest.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

The two main airports in the region are Raleigh-Durham (RDUIATA) and Charlotte Douglas (CLTIATA). Charlotte is a major hub for American, with destinations all around the world, while Raleigh-Durham is connected with most big cities in the US. The Greensboro area is also served by Piedmont Triad (GSOIATA) Airport, although in many cases it may be more convenient to fly into Charlotte or Raleigh-Durham and then drive around 1 - 1½ hours to your destination in the Triad.

By car[edit]

The main highways in the Piedmont are:

  • I-40 - connects California with North Carolina
  • I-85 - passes through NC on its way between Richmond and Atlanta.

By train[edit]

Amtrak's Carolinian service originates in New York and terminates in Charlotte, while the Silver Service passes through on its way to New York from Florida.

By bus[edit]

The Piedmont is well served by Greyhound and Megabus.

Get around[edit]

Driving is the most popular option for getting around the region. But train coverage is better than average for the US: Amtrak's aptly named Piedmont line goes across the Piedmont, as does the Carolinian. Both lines connect Raleigh and Charlotte as well as cities in between, such as Durham and Greensboro. The train is a convenient and nice way to travel between the region's cities.

Megabus and Greyhound buses are available. There's also a regional bus system called PART (Piedmont Authority for Regional Transit), mostly centered around the Piedmont Triad but with one line that connects to Chapel Hill. The Research Triangle and Charlotte Metro have their own bus systems as well.

There are short commercial flights between the airports in the area (though the region is small enough that flying within it probably isn't worth the hassle if you're not making a connection).

Biking in the Piedmont is a pleasant way to enjoy the green, wooded scenery and farmland. Expect plenty of hills.


Nature lovers will like Charlotte. The area is very green compared to most cities. The closest (large) bodies of water and waterways are:

  • The Catawba River
  • Mountain Island Lake.
  • Lake Norman.
  • Lake Wylie.

Several cities in the region have a good selection of museums, especially Charlotte and Raleigh. Greensboro is home to the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.

  • Old Salem: Visit this 1800-style neighborhood and check out the college. Learn how to make corn pancakes and play old fashion games.
  • Tour Greensboro's historic Blandwood Mansion, have lunch at one of several restaurants on South Elm Street (three blocks east), then visit art and antique galleries along South Elm Street between Elm and Lee streets. 5 hours.


A local favorite is Cheerwine soft drink, you should give it a try. Other favorites include Sun Drop and RC Cola. As for beer, Char-Meck is nothing out of the ordinary. Liquor is available by the drink throughout the county, though some nearby small towns have wrestled with whether to permit it.

Liquor is only available through state-sanctioned ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Commission) stores. Therefore, traditional liquor stores do not exist. Wine and beer are available for purchase at any gas station or grocery store.

Stay healthy[edit]

Allergy sufferers be warned: because of the heavily wooded nature of this region, this area will be hell on you during the spring. If you are sensitive to high pollen levels, you should consider coming another time, or bring medicine.

Go next[edit]

  • Central Virginia
  • North Carolina Coastal Plain
  • North Carolina Mountains
  • Olde English District, a region of South Carolina that includes some of Charlotte's suburbs
This region travel guide to Piedmont is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!
Piedmont (North Carolina) – Travel guide at Wikivoyage (2024)


What is the Piedmont region of NC known for? ›

The Piedmont is the central region of North Carolina, a plateau of gentle hills between the flat Coastal Plain and the majestic mountains. The Piedmont is home to the state's biggest cities as well as rolling farmland; fast-growing research centers as well as old-fashioned Southern hospitality.

What is considered the triad in NC? ›

The Triad is named for the three largest cities in the region: Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point. The region boasts excellent transportation and educational facilities, making the region a hub for commerce along the mid Atlantic region. There are approximately 900,000 jobs in the Piedmont Triad.

How many miles is the Piedmont region of NC? ›

The width of the Piedmont varies, being quite narrow above the Delaware River but nearly 300 miles (475 km) wide in North Carolina. The Piedmont's area is approximately 80,000 square miles (210,000 km2).

How many people live in the Piedmont Triad? ›

Population: More than 1.7 million residents live in the Piedmont Triad; the population continues to grow. Labor Force: More than 815,000 are available to work; Approximately 25,000 degrees are awarded each year.

What is the Piedmont most known for? ›

Piedmont is a veritable Epicurean paradise. Home of the renowned white truffle, and its namesake annual festival, it's also a land rich in dried fruits like walnuts, chestnuts and hazelnuts, homemade cheeses, soft delicate veal, and all the fresh veggies for which Italy is known.

What is special about the rocks in the Piedmont region of North Carolina? ›

Graves Mountain is a significant location for mineral collection, including lazulite, gem-quality rutile, and kyanite. Beyond kyanite, the Piedmont is also a source of granite, granite-gneiss, and marble as building materials. Historically, the region is also significant in terms of coal and gold.

What does the triangle mean in North Carolina? ›

The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina is also called the Research Triangle because of its proximity to three major research universities—Duke, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University—as well as being a hub for technology and biotech companies.

Which region of North Carolina has the lowest elevation? ›

Lowest Elevation: Atlantic Coast

North Carolina's lowest points are along its coastline, where the shore is at sea level. Beach cottages at Atlantic Beach, North Carolina.

What cities are considered the Triangle in North Carolina? ›

It comprises the cities of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, which are three of the largest cities in North Carolina. Originally getting its name from the locations of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University and North Carolina State University.

What are three facts about Piedmont? ›

Key Takeaways:
  • 01Piedmont is surrounded by the majestic Alps.
  • 02The region is home to the Slow Food movement.
  • 03Turin, the capital of Piedmont, was the first capital of unified Italy.
  • 04The Po River, Italy's longest river, flows through Piedmont.
  • 05Piedmont is renowned for its exquisite wines.
5 days ago

What is the main industry in the Piedmont region of North Carolina? ›

Textiles, Tobacco, and now Technology have all impacted the way people in the piedmont work and live. Mill Villages: Clusters of homes and communities surrounding a textile mill.

What is the elevation of the Piedmont in North Carolina? ›

The Piedmont occupies about 45 percent of the area of the state. Along the border between the Piedmont and the Coastal Plain, elevations range from 300 to 600 feet above sea level. To the west, elevations gradually rise to about 1,500 feet above sea level at the foot of the Blue Ridge.

What tribe lived in the Piedmont region? ›

The Occaneechi descend from several small Siouan speaking tribes who were living in the Piedmont of North Carolina and Virginia when the first European explorers arrived in the 1600s.

What is the average age in the Piedmont? ›

Average age of the population in Italy in 2024, by region
CharacteristicAverage age in years
9 more rows
Apr 19, 2024

What are the demographics of the Piedmont area of North Carolina? ›

Of this, 45.34% are males and 54.66% are females. US-born citizens make up 85.98% of the resident pool in Piedmont Centre, while non-US-born citizens account for 7.37%. Additionally, 6.65% of the population is represented by non-citizens.

Which describes the Piedmont of North Carolina? ›

Piedmont is a French word meaning "foot of the mountain," and North Carolina's Piedmont region is sometimes referred to as "the foothills." The rolling hills of this region range in elevation from just 300 feet in the east to 1,500 feet near the mountains.

What is Piedmont OK known for? ›

Piedmont thrived in the 1970's with its population booming by 124%. Besides ranking high in agriculture and livestock production, Canadian County had gained the reputation of a low-risk oil and gas exploration area, and oil rigs sprang up all over town.

Why is Piedmont unique? ›

It is a highly fragmented landscape long used by humans for agricultural and industrial purposes. Due to its broad climactic range, varied topography, and unique geologic history, the Piedmont is important for terrestrial and freshwater aquatic species.

What is grown in Piedmont region of North Carolina? ›

Although more land is in pasture or forage production, crops such as corn, cotton, soybeans and small grains contribute to the agricultural enterprises in many counties.


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