These Are The 10 Drunkest Cities In North Carolina

It’s not always the biggest cities and college towns that are getting ‘North Carolina’ drunk the most.

This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as info-tainment. Don’t freak out.

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Is there anything wrong with being called the drunkest city in your state?

Here’s what’s interesting about North Carolina: It’s towards the back of the pack when it comes to alcohol consumption per capita. Residents average 21 beers each a year.

The divorce rate is somewhere in the middle.

Bravo, North Carolina.

But, while hundreds of thousands of people don’t drink a drop, the cities below more than make up for it.

How do you decide how much a place drinks? By the number of available places to buy booze, and by how often people are talking about drinking, that’s how.

Plus, we thought why not add in a stereotype? Studies have indicated that when one or both partners in a marriage are alcoholics, that couple is three times more likely to divorce.

After analyzing all cities with a decent amount of people in them, we came up with this list as The Drunkest Cities in North Carolina. Read on below to see how your city might have fared.


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What drunken criteria did we use?

  • Number of bars and pubs per capita
  • Number of wineries per capita
  • Number of liquor stores per capita
  • Each city’s drunk related tweets within the last week
  • Each city’s divorce rate

For geo-located tweets, we measured the following raw number of tweets that came from within a city’s general area: #Drunk, #Party, #Beer, #Wine and #Cocktails

Note: For the sake of getting reliable numbers, we counted places within a city’s border, as well as within a short driving distance.


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1. Carolina Beach

The gang at The Fat Pelican, Carolina Beach, NC. From their Facebook page.

Population: 5,755
Divorce rate: 18.5%
Bars per capita: 1st
Liquor stores per capita: 9th

No surprises here if you’ve ever spent time in Carolina Beach. There are bars all over the place here, and since it’s a major tourist town, what you have is a combination of locals getting wrecked and beachcombers getting wasted during the busy months.

And look at that divorce rate. It’s the highest in the entire state. At times, there isn’t a correlation between the number of bas and the divorce rate. In Carolina Beach, there simply has to be.

2. Asheville

The Lexington Avenue Brewery, Asheville, NC. From their Facebook page

Population: 83,796
Divorce rate: 14.7%
Bars per capita: 3rd
Liquor stores per capita: 4th

This is basically a repeat for Carolina Beach, except that Asheville is a tourist draw in the mountains instead of the beach. And since Asheville has far, far more residents that actually live here, they can argue till their noses turn (even more) red that they should be considered the drunkest city in North Carolina.

There are bars and restaurants all over this place. You can trip and fall into a bar along Route 74 here and you’d land in a bar. Some people probably do just that.

Twitter had lots and lots to say about Asheville. This was a gem:

“Come to Asheville. I’ll get you drunk as hell”

3. Kill Devil Hills

The gang at Blue Crab Tavern, Kill Devil Hills, NC. From the Facebook page

Population: 6,714
Divorce rate: 18.5%
Bars per capita: 4th
Liquor stores per capita: 5th

Holy Matrimony, KDH! It says, “Till Death Do Us Part” for a reason. Too many late nights burning the candles at both ends must be putting a huge strain on your relationships.

The Outer Banks is one of the better coastal areas you can visit if you want to spend some time on the Atlantic. Especially if you want to party. There are fancy bars and restaurants here, and divey hole in the walls. You just have to seek out your buzz.

If you’re reading this from Kill Devil Hills, and you’re not hungover, congrats. Now get out there and have a shot on us.

4. Waynesville

Tipping Point Brewing, Waynesville, NC

Population: 9.864
Divorce rate: 15.6%
Bars per capita: 13th
Liquor stores per capita: 2nd

You’re probably thinking – where? But that’s right. Little ole’ Waynesville can make a case that it’s the drunk uncle of the North Carolina family tree. For such a teeny place, there are a lot of places to get popped every night of the week.

Waynesville is a blue collar city tucked away in the mountains about 5 or 8 beers west of Asheville. We’re pretty sure the folks in Waynesville know all the back roads, right? (Wink, wink.)

5. Carrboro

The Station, Carrboro, NC. From their Facebook page.

Population: 19,702
Divorce rate: 8.3%
Bars per capita: 3rd
Liquor stores per capita: 12th

If you like to party and you’ve never been to Carrboro, it’s a must on your list. Right next door to Chapel Hill, Carrboro is sort of a hippie meets professor meets beer snob town where there are bars on top of bars on top of bars.

Head down to the Station (three bars in one!) or to one of the fancier bars like the Orange County Social Club and hop right in and make friends. Everyone is nice there. Because they’re all drunk after 2 p.m.

6. Brevard

The gang at Brevard Brewing Co., Brevard, NC. From their Facebook page

Population: 7,566
Divorce rate: 14%
Bars per capita: 10th
Liquor stores per capita: 12th

Little Brevard, North Carolina is about as isolated as you can get. And you know what that means. Lots of down time drinking, that’s what.

Right at the base of the Appalachians near the South Carolina border, there are quite a few bars and pubs for such a little town, including two breweries. It sounds like an interesting place – where white squirrels run around next to lots of waterfalls.

7. Raleigh

The Raleigh Times Bar, Raleigh, NC. From their Facebook page

Population: 405,007
Divorce rate: 10%
Bars per capita: 17th
Liquor stores per capita: 26th

Raleigh has the most bars in the state outside of Charlotte, which makes sense. However, Charlotte is a lot bigger, and we’re measuring per capita drinkers, remember people?

Downtown Raleigh is a chill place. There are lots of places to get drunk, and NC State has its share of outright debauchery. But according to Twitter, it’s a more mellow buzz.

But that might not be for so long. As we write, there’s a battle between those who want to keep Raleigh more conservative in nature, and those who want it to become #drunktown.

Or at least more ‘vibrant’ as they put it.

So who knows. If the drinkers outvote the rest of em, Raleigh might move to the top of this list one day.

8. Oak Island

Lazy Turtle, Oak Island, NC

Population: 6,889
Divorce rate: 15.6%
Bars per capita: 14th
Liquor stores per capita: 3rd

Oak Island is a drunk little place along the coast south of Wilmington. Apparently, they are borderline closet drinkers here, since they have the 3rd most liquor stores per capita in the entire state.

As you might expect, Oak Island is a summertime haven for tourists. So the bars here are plenty stocked in the off season. Dollar fifty shots anyone?

9. Morehead City

The Ruddy Duck Tavern, Morehead City, NC

Population: 8,720
Divorce rate: 15%
Bars per capita: 3rd
Liquor stores per capita: 27th

The Town of Morehead is another smallish place along the coast where there’s plenty of drinking going on.

We’re pretty sure that sitting out on the beach all day long (with a cocktail) is fun enough, but have you seen the Town of Morehead’s event calendar. There’s not really a lot to do here, so you can see why elbowing up next to a bar quite often might be the preferred activity here.

10. Black Mountain

Town Pump Tavern, Black Mountain, NC

Population: 7,855
Divorce rate: 16.4%
Bars per capita: 24th
Liquor stores per capita: 15th

Just where is this mysterious Black Mountain that we speak of? We had to look it up ourselves. It’s not too far from Asheville. And, yeah, they have lots of booze here for a city of barely 8,000.

And no, we’re not dogging you guys (or anyone else on this list) for over-consuming. We’re actually a little jealous. It sounds like it’s a blast in all of these places.

There You Have It

If you’re measuring the locations in North Carolina where there are a high number of divorced people, bars and liquor stores, and where people are talking about drinking the most often, this is an accurate list.

We also wrote about the most redneck cities in North Carolina if you didn’t read it yet. Click here to read that one.

Desktop users: Here’s a complete chart with the drunkest cities in North Carolina, along with their divorce rates:

City Divorce Rate Rank
Carolina_Beach 18.56% 1
Asheville 14.75% 2
Kill_Devil_Hills 18.53% 3
Waynesville 15.64% 4
Carrboro 8.35% 5
Brevard 14.18% 6
Raleigh 10.16% 7
Oak_Island 15.69% 8
Morehead_City 15.00% 9
Black_Mountain 16.42% 10
Marion 15.53% 11
Hendersonville 12.32% 12
Washington 13.75% 13
Hickory 13.37% 14
Southern_Pines 11.47% 15
Wilmington 11.61% 16
Hillsborough 10.94% 17
Bessemer_City 14.00% 18
New_Bern 11.59% 19
Pineville 16.14% 20
Fletcher 13.51% 21
Morrisville 9.81% 22
Morganton 13.53% 23
Aberdeen 18.32% 24
Elizabeth_City 11.91% 25
Belmont 12.52% 26
Mount_Airy 11.60% 27
Clayton 11.73% 27
Boone 4.18% 29
Salisbury 12.00% 30
Mocksville 9.60% 31
Wendell 13.00% 32
Mooresville 8.85% 33
Cornelius 11.81% 34
Roxboro 13.00% 35
Lenoir 17.23% 36
Mebane 10.07% 37
Chapel_Hill 4.97% 38
Lexington 13.64% 39
Matthews 8.97% 40
Newton 14.91% 41
Fayetteville 13.00% 42
Dunn 11.56% 43
Charlotte 9.98% 44
Goldsboro 12.37% 45
Statesville 12.53% 46
Lincolnton 13.75% 47
Burlington 14.00% 48
Wake_Forest 8.24% 49
Durham 9.99% 50
Nashville 17.00% 51
Whiteville 17.00% 52
Wadesboro 11.11% 53
Asheboro 12.71% 54
Woodfin 13.00% 55
Edenton 14.00% 55
Henderson 12.62% 57
Smithfield 10.11% 58
Clinton 12.00% 59
Reidsville 14.00% 60
Williamston 12.00% 61
Spring_Lake 9.42% 62
Davidson 8.10% 63
Albemarle 14.80% 64
Pinehurst 6.09% 64
Leland 13.38% 66
Eden 15.99% 67
Apex 8.78% 68
Kernersville 11.51% 69
Huntersville 7.96% 70
Lumberton 11.25% 71
Jacksonville 7.25% 72
Shelby 10.67% 73
Oxford 11.37% 74
Concord 11.08% 75
Kinston 10.59% 76
Kings_Mountain 11.06% 77
Garner 10.54% 78
Cary 7.41% 79
Thomasville 14.00% 80
Conover 11.88% 81
Selma 12.46% 82
Oak_Ridge 6.97% 83
King 12.03% 84
Gastonia 11.35% 85
Laurinburg 12.62% 86
Hope_Mills 14.31% 86
Gibsonville 11.95% 88
Fuquay-Varina 9.62% 89
Waxhaw 4.81% 90
Stallings 9.37% 91
Graham 12.16% 92
Monroe 9.24% 93
Harrisburg 7.49% 94
Mills_River 8.71% 95
Cherryville 8.73% 96
High_Point 11.00% 97
Archdale 14.61% 98
Clemmons 9.78% 99
Elon 3.40% 100
Greenville 8.59% 101
Siler_City 9.30% 102
Wilson 10.53% 103
Forest_City 11.60% 104
Rockingham 8.74% 105
Rocky_Mount 10.68% 106
Mount_Holly 11.51% 107
Greensboro 11.00% 108
Tarboro 9.71% 109
Butner 11.04% 110
Holly_Springs 8.67% 111
Stokesdale 7.68% 112
Sawmills 13.00% 113
Roanoke_Rapids 10.57% 114
Knightdale 6.41% 115
Sanford 9.85% 116
Lewisville 10.65% 117
Trinity 12.09% 118
Silver_Lake 9.30% 119
Kannapolis 11.00% 120
Ogden 12.04% 121
Wesley_Chapel 4.71% 122
Mint_Hill 8.50% 123
St._Stephens 11.68% 124
Winston-Salem 11.00% 125
Havelock 8.41% 126
Wrightsboro 11.60% 127
Ahoskie 11.00% 128
Boiling_Spring_Lakes 11.26% 129
Hamlet 10.87% 130
Piney_Green 11.00% 131
Winterville 9.07% 132
Half_Moon 10.78% 133
Summerfield 6.73% 134
Indian_Trail 7.59% 135
Etowah 9.14% 136
Kings_Grant 9.54% 137
Lake_Norman_Of_Catawba 9.09% 138
Murraysville 8.66% 138
Myrtle_Grove 8.64% 138
Seven_Lakes 4.81% 141
Porters_Neck 7.63% 142
James_City 7.39% 143
Unionville 5.43% 143
Weddington 3.42% 143
Marvin 1.28% 146