Charlotte to Great Smoky Mountains Road Trip

An excerpt from

Local tip: Look for tours, especially historical tours, that allude to hornets. This might be in the form of a hornet’s nest symbol or the word “hornet” in the company or tour name. The hornet’s nest is Charlotte’s secret symbol of American spirit. The symbology comes from a supposed statement during the Revolutionary War made by British General Cornwallis. He called Charlotte a “hornet’s nest of rebellion” and the term stuck, becoming an icon of local pride. You’ll find it in everything from the city’s NBA team name to police badges.

Potentially the most important thing to know about the Carolinas is that the people who live there are very passionate about their barbecue and that the topic is very controversial. Don’t ask if mustard belongs in Carolina Barbecue Sauce. If you’re from a place where barbecue isn’t a topic to be avoided at parties like religion and politics, you’ll be delighted by any of Charlotte’s stops for the fare. For those who speak barbecue as a second language, we won’t pick favorites.

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