North Carolina is located on the Atlantic Seaboard in the Southern United States. The first permanent settlement in the area was from Spanish colonial forces when the Juan Pardo-led Expedition built Fort San Juan in 1567. Eventually, North Carolina became one of the Thirteen Colonies and it was originally known as Province of Carolina. It includes a large range of elevations, from sea level on the coast to 6,684 feet in the mountains. North Carolina is a fast growing state, and was actually the third-fastest growing location in the United States between 2007 and 2008.