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Named after the largest body of water in the area, the Jordan Lake Destination is located in central North Carolina and is home to multiple forested areas, lakes, and prominent cities. The two most notable metropolitan areas nearby are Raleigh and Durham, which are both approximately northeast of Jordan Lake. Raleigh is the second-largest city in the state of North Carolina, though it was initially constructed to be the state capital and remains as such to this day.[4] The Jordan Lake State Recreation Area offers a wide range of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, and boating. Jordan Lake itself is actually a reservoir that was built in the late 20th century and is roughly 14,000 acres in size.[5] Due to contrasting seasonal temperatures in the summer and winter, it is recommended that visitors to the Jordan Lake Destination plan their trips sometime between May and early June, or alternatively between August and October. This will make it less likely to experience some of the harsher temperatures that the area witnesses, as well as the "hot and muggy" summers of North Carolina.[8]

What Raleigh is known for

Located in central North Carolina, the Jordan Lake Destination is home to various cities, notable geographical features, and attractions. The destination is named after Jordan Lake, which is the largest body of water that can be found within the region's borders. The lake is roughly an equal distance away from both Durham and Raleigh, the two largest cities in the area. 

Regarding Jordan Lake itself, it is part of the Jordan Lake State Recreation Area, where visitors can experience many features in or around the 14,000-acre reservoir. There are over 1,000 campsites spread across five "access areas" to the park, in addition to swim beaches and boating ramps. It should be noted that camping locations are available on a "first-come, first-served basis" and require a fee. Park officials also note picnicking, hiking, fishing, and boating as some of the more popular things to do while at Jordan Lake. More specifically, fish that are catchable at the lake include catfish, panfish, crappies, and bass.[1]

Though Jordan Lake offers visitors the chance to experience a variety of outdoor activities, there are also metropolitan areas in the destination which provide forms of entertainment. Raleigh, North Carolina, is situated to the northeast of Jordan Lake and is the second-most populated city in the state. Known as the "City of Oaks," Raleigh is home to over 460,000 residents in the city proper and upwards of 1.4 million in its combined metro zones. The economy of the town is driven by financial services, equipment pertaining to telecommunications and medicine, paper products, and food processing, to name a few. Additionally, Raleigh is the state capital of North Carolina and is one of only a few capital cities in the United States that was originally incorporated with the express intent to become the state's governmental headquarters.[4]

Raleigh, North Carolina, is home to an extensive list of attractions and diversions. Some of the city's most popular free attractions include the North Carolina Museum of Art, the North Carolina State Capital, Dorothea Dix Park, Pullen Park, and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Many of the parks located in the town are "open to the public from dawn to dusk" and allow visitors the chance to view the city's skyline. With regards to paid attractions, the city is famous for the "Raleigh Beer Trail," which caters to those who "like giving a variety of breweries a try," with over 30 potential stops. Catching a Carolina Mudcats game is another notable paid attraction, in addition to exploring many of the town's rooftop and underground bars.[3]

To the northwest of Raleigh and northeast of Jordan Lake, the city of Durham, North Carolina, stands as the second-largest city in the Jordan Lake Destination. Similar to Raleigh, the attractions in Durham consist of catching a local baseball game (with the town's team being the Durham Bulls), visiting a wide mix of bars and other nightlife businesses, or paying homage to one of the area's historical landmarks.[7]


With summers that are "hot and muggy" and short, cold winters, the Jordan Lake Destination's climate is typically described as "partly cloudy" throughout most of the year. Temperatures in Raleigh often vary anywhere from 33 to 89 degrees Fahrenheit, with more extreme temperatures that can push the boundaries to 20 and 95 degrees. These ranges, of course, are dependent on the season of the year, seeing as how the winter months in Raleigh rarely experience a climate hotter than 60 degrees. This same temperature acts as an inverted cutoff point during the summer, with very low probabilities that even the lowest temperatures in June, July, and August will go under 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of the contrast between the area's harshest seasons, tourism is generally recommended in the spring and fall. Early May to mid-June is one such recommended range of time, with the other prominent one being late August to mid-October. The Jordan Lake Destination experiences a few inches of rainfall per month on average, and August is the month that generally has the most rain. Snowfall is possible in select areas of the destination, such as Raleigh, and one is most likely to experience it from December to February.[8]

As a whole, the Jordan Lake Destination encompasses hundreds of square miles in central North Carolina. The southernmost point of the designated area is Rockingham and Hamlet, which both lie close to the state's border with South Carolina. Greensboro, North Carolina, is not located in the destination, though Randleman, Burlington, and Mebane all fall within the area's boundaries. This border stretches until Wake Forest and Raleigh to the east before dropping back down to the point near Hamlet. The Jordan Lake Destination includes some of the densest forests in the state and is home to parts of the Uwharrie National Forest, the entirety of Raven Rock State Park, and the aforementioned Jordan Lake State Recreation Area. Falls Lake and the Shearon Harris Reservoir are the two most significant bodies of water after Jordan Lake itself. 

North Carolina as a whole is home to many species of plants and animals. Wild turkeys, northern bobwhites, and belted kingfishers are all types of birds that can be spotted in the area. A variety of turtles exist in the region, with the most common locations to find them being in slow-moving rivers, marshes, and swamps. Yellowbelly sliders, in particular, are often used as pets. Regional mammals include foxes, bobcats, elk, rabbits, and beavers. Finally, mimosa, redstem filaree, box elder, and milkweed are examples of native flora in North Carolina.[9]


The existence of Jordan Lake, the namesake of the Jordan Lake Destination, comes as a result of a natural disaster that took place in North Carolina in 1945. A "particularly damaging tropical storm" hit the region and necessitated extensive flood control. These projects eventually transformed into the Jordan Lake Dam, which is also known as the New Hope Dam or B. Everett Jordan Project. The project's lattermost name—and the name of the lake itself—come in honor of B. Everett Jordan, who was a U.S. Senator from North Carolina. The reservoir wouldn't adopt its current name of "Jordan Lake" until 1974.[2]

It wasn't long after that that the Jordan Lake State Recreation Area was created, with the formal establishment taking place in 1981. It came as a result of the New Hope Dam Project and was meant to provide further aid in flood control, managing water quality, and focusing on the conservation of fish and other wildlife in the area. Today, the park is handled by three state agencies, namely the Division of Forest Resources, the Division of Parks and Recreation, and the Wildlife Resources Commission.[5]

Raleigh, North Carolina, the largest city in the Jordan Lake Destination, was first established as the state's capital in 1792. The city is unique in the fact that it was planned to be the state capital before its initial incorporation, making it one of the only capitals of its kind in the United States. The city's limits were surveyed and planned by a man named William Christmas in April of 1792. Union Square—known in modern times as Capitol Square—was set apart for the capital building. Planning for the town was remarkably extensive, preceding many of the town's would-be residents. Raleigh came to be known as "a city of streets without houses" as a result.[6]

By the turn of the 20th century, Raleigh was still home to a relatively small amount of citizens (13,643). This population would increase by 79 percent in the next 20 years, and the town's infrastructure continued to grow and develop. "Professionals such as educators, attorneys, physicians and entrepreneurs were enticed to the city as growth in commerce, health care and education increased."[6] In modern times, the city of Raleigh itself has over 460,000 residents, with approximately one million additional people living in the city's extended metropolitan region.[4]

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Morehead Manor Bed and Breakfast

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