Fayetteville -In 1783, two early settlements, Campbellton and Cross Creek, converged and were named Fayetteville, the first city in America to be named after the French General Lafayette. After the Revolution, with no permanent state capital, the NC state's legislature periodically met here. In Fayetteville in 1789, North Carolina ratified the U.S. Constitution and chartered the University of North Carolina, America's oldest state university. The sixth-largest metro area in North Carolina also has numerous historic sites, seven museums, three colleges and universities and many patriotic sites. Even though Fayetteville's early history revolved around the shipping and trade on the Cape Fear River, it is now mostly known as the home of Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base. And while the "don't ask don't tell" policy governs the many LGBT military personnel, the city still boasts a vibrant and growing gay community with two gay nightclubs and several LGBT organizations. One of the most beautiful restorations of a downtown is in progress and the city also has a wonderful small Museum of Art, a Transportation Museum and the new US Airborne and Special Operations Museum that has just opened.

Hickory - In the 1790s, a tavern was built in the northwest section of Catawba county. This area became known as Hickory Tavern. This name remained intact for almost 100 years until 1870 when the city of Hickory was incorporated. The Hickory area is home to many leading US manufacturers of furniture and fiber optic cable. Forty percent of the world's fiber optic cable is made in the Hickory area. The region is the home of Bernhardt, Broyhill, Boyles, Century Chair, Century Furniture, Classic Leather, Drexel Heritage, Henredon, Hickory Chair and Mitchell Gold furniture companies. Hickory has a quiet and but very social LGBT community with wonderful private parties and gatherings.

Salisbury - Experience authentic North Carolina heritage in many unique ways while savoring the charm and character of an area rich with centuries of history, adventure and discovery. History buffs are drawn to Salisbury-Rowan County, NC for its rich background with treasurers spanning over two centuries of history. From the early days of Daniel Boone and Andrew Jackson, through the involvement of NC in the Civil Warand General Stoneman’s raid into the golden age of rail transportation there is something to interest everyone. Adjoining the city is the town of Spencer that is the home to the NC Transportation Museum featuring a living museum of railroading with real steam engines and train excursions.

 

New Bern - North Carolina's second oldest town, was founded in 1710 by a Swiss nobleman who named it after his native city of Berne, Switzerland. Bern means "bear" and the "Bern Bear" symbol is seen on the flag. Commemorative cast-iron bear heads decorate the historic City Hall and Central Fire Station. The town of New Bern survived an Indian uprising in the early 18th century to become the capital of the British province of North Carolina. Throughout its rich and colorful history, New Bern has been a witness to revolution and a victim of war; in fact, it was occupied by Union troops during much of the Civil War. New Bern's historic importance as a strategic riverside port and its tradition of being a center of culture earned it the nickname "The Athens of North Carolina" in the 19th century. Today, New Bern welcomes visitors with a blend of European cachet and a rich tradition of true Southern hospitality

Boone - In 2005, Boone was recognized by travel journalists of Adventure Sports Magazine as the ultimate outdoor adventure destination in the Southeast. With spectacular views of the near-by Linville Gorge, Boone is a hallowed gem of outdoor adventure and there are dozens of opportunities for adventures and seemingly endless trails for hiking, running and biking. In addition to the 200 miles of trails in the Pisgah National Forest the area is also known for great skiing and snow boarding. There are great trails such as the Greenway Trail, on the wooded preserve owned by Appalachian State University, and a section of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail that runs right through town on its 900-plus-mile jaunt across the state of North Carolina. With hundreds of miles of byways and trails and some of the highest peaks in the East…Boone has a little something for everyone.

 

While there are larger metropolitan areas in our state, much of North Carolina still remains rural or in the form of very small towns. And in many small towns, LGBT life is quiet and almost hidden. But in a strange way, sometimes the local rural folk are more accepting as they totally incorporate "maiden aunts" and "confirmed bachelors" into their own everyday social life. Many LGBT people hold positions of respect within the smallest communities. And while often no official LGBT groups or nightclubs exist, many of NC's rural gay population feel comfortable at home on the farm, in the country or in the small towns where everyone knows one another and accepts each other. This has always been one of the best parts of "Mayberry", North Carolina. 

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