January/February 2018

Do you recall your first encounter with a globe? Were you fascinated to have the world at your fingertips? Did you wonder how they were made? How the countries were drawn to replicate a flat map on a round surface?

Globes have always fascinated me. Thinking about planet Earth spinning on its axis and being able to replicate that motion with the spin of the globe gave me a huge sense of power. I still have the globe from my childhood we used to trace the routes of my father’s travels. It has some names unfamiliar to many today, such a Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka), Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and the mainland territory of Malaysia), and Yugoslavia (Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo). With the capability to see anywhere in the world, in real time, globes may seem antiquated.  That’s why the Conde Nast Traveler article by Meredith Carey entitled “How Globemakers Stay Relevant in 2018” captured my attention. It is a fascinating story about Bellerby & Co., a custom globe-making shop in London.

For company founder Peter Bellerby, it all began in 2008 when he was unable to find a globe he really liked for his father’s birthday. Consequently, Mr. Bellerby made a globe for his father’s gift. Today, with a staff of 15, Bellerby & Co. produces hand crafted, made to order globes for customers. Jade Fenster, the company’s social media manager, is quoted in the article as saying, “It’s a nice escape to think about a job where you’re not on a computer all day and are working with your hands. It reminds people of far off places and distant lands.” And that’s what I think of when I look at a globe, whether it’s my childhood globe, the small, hand painted globe purchased in a charming little shop in Salzburg, Austria many years ago, or the huge globe that graces Jones Street (Raleigh) at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Globes transport me to faraway places.

I was struck that this unique business in London continues a long tradition and fascination with world exploration and recognized a tie to those who drew the first maps of North Carolina during our colonial era. The accuracy of the earliest North Carolina maps is truly amazing. John White, a friend of Sir Walter Raleigh, who arrived with the first group of English settlers on Roanoke Island, mapped our coastline with incredible precision (image provided by the British Museum via a Creative Commons License). John Lawson, another Englishman, again provided details on his 1709 map of North Carolina that seem impossible without the wherewithal of modern technology. Scott Huler wrote a terrific article about North Carolina maps that appeared in the April, 2014 edition of Our State Magazine. To learn even more, the University of North Carolina’s Wilson Library has an amazing collection of maps available to the public with a click of one’s computer mouse.

A globe is defined by Webster’s as “a spherical representation of the earth.” Yes, and so much more. A globe represents yearnings and adventure. A globe tells stories. For a brief moment, holding it in one’s hand, a globe unifies and simplifies. And yet, because it is a circle, a sphere, it is endless, as are the adventures, the stories, the yearnings to travel, to continue to explore planet Earth.

Come with us to explore North Carolina in 2018 – from the Mountains to the Coast and places in between. Scroll down to learn more about the spring travel experiences.
(919) 302-0574

Duke Chapel, Durham and Duke Gardens
March 21, 2018

Join us for an immersion experience into the Duke legacy that has influenced our state for a century and a half. 
Our adventure begins as you board a deluxe motor coach for a comfortable ride to this dynamic city. Iconic Duke Chapel, the centerpiece of the Duke University campus, is our first stop.
A driving tour of the city’s core, narrated by our local expert step-on guide, will broaden one’s appreciation for the transformation of repurposed tobacco and manufacturing warehouses that continue to enrich and energize Durham.  

Doris Duke Center at Sarah P. Duke Gardens welcomes us for lunch, followed by a docent-led tour of the beautiful gardens that “create and nurture an environment for learning, inspiration and enjoyment through excellence in horticulture."

This tour offers departures from Raleigh ($159 per person) and Wilmington ($169 per person). 

North Carolina's High Country
May 22-24, 2018

Join us to experience an Appalachian springtime in North Carolina’s High Country. Located in northwestern North Carolina, in the mountain counties of Watauga, Avery, Mitchell, Ashe, Alleghany and Wilkes, the area’s natural beauty, hospitality, and unique culture has beckoned visitors for three centuries. Scheduled prior to the influx of summer residents and with rhododendron blooming, visit NC concierge’s adventure in the High Country will delight you.   

The enchanting town of Blowing Rock will be our base for exploration. Plans include visiting North Carolina’s oldest cheese manufacturer and viewing two of Ben Long’s famous frescos.

We’ll learn about the expansive biodiversity of Grandfather Mountain and explore its rugged beauty. We’ll gain an understanding of bark siding, a quality building material synonymous with the region, while touring the famous Eseeola Lodge.

Guests will have ample time to leisurely explore charming Blowing Rock with its captivating downtown and vast array of shopping and dining opportunities.

The cost for this tour is $1,357/guest, based on double occupancy. 

Roanoke Island and the Outer Banks
June 5-7 2018
Join us for an immersion experience into the unique geography, history and culture of North Carolina’s Inner and Outer Banks.
As we journey to Roanoke Island, we’ll stop for lunch in Columbia and visit the Center for the Sounds, along the Scuppernong River, where we’ll see exhibits and a video about the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.
Upon arrival on Roanoke Island we’ll travel back to 1585 as we explore Festival Park which celebrates the first English settlement in America, preparing us for our evening performance of The Lost Colony.
During our full day of exploration along North Carolina’s famous Outer Banks we’ll learn about the Wright brothers’ challenges, see construction of the new bridge over Oregon Inlet, and envision life in this rugged environment for the men and women of the US Life-Saving Service. Upon our return to Manteo there will be ample time to roam the charming waterfront shops.
On Day 3 we’ll cross the island to the village of Wanchese. This bustling area will capture your imagination and give you a glimpse into the life of today’s watermen. Then it’s back to Raleigh.

The cost for this tour is $1,297/guest, based on double occupancy. 
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What Our Guests are Saying About Us

"Mary Esther is always available to answer any questions you may have and with great patience. She also is very willing to help solve any problem you may have. She is an excellent planner, director and tour guide. Her trips have been super!"

"Just a short note to tell you how much we enjoyed our curated trip to the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit yesterday. It was truly first class ... It was our first trip with you and certainly will not be our last."

"We were very well educated as to what we would be doing and what we needed to do to make it all happen. Everything flowed as expected."

"We loved the carriage tour through the historic district. The homes and buildings were beautiful. We loved everything we did and thought each stop was delightful. Exceeded expectations."

"What I appreciate is that you provide guests an opportunity to learn and experience a part of NC while you take care of all the logistics and details!"

Contact us to book your tour today! 
visit NC concierge is a premier hospitality company dedicated to providing the discriminating traveler unique experiences savoring North Carolina’s history, geography, and culture at a leisurely travel pace while enjoying the state’s finest sites, cuisine, and lodgings. Itineraries are subject to change at the discretion of the company. Group size: minimum 10; maximum 30. Registration for each tour closes 30 days prior to tour start date. For more information, visit us at
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