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The buzz about the North Carolina Mountains dates back to the early 19th century, when wealthy Lowcountry planters flocked to the highlands to escape the summer heat. Today visitors still come here to enjoy the cool, green mountains and all the activities they provide—hiking, camping, fishing, boating, and just marveling at the scenery. Asheville, the hub of the mountain region, is one of the biggest small cities you'll ever visit, with the artsy élan and dynamic downtown of a much larger burg.
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