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CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) — Gas prices are up an average of 20 cents a gallon more than last year, but AAA-Carolinas reports the highest number of North Carolinians in nine years will take to the highways this Memorial Day weekend.

The Charlotte-based motor club said almost 980,000 North Carolina motorists will drive more than 50 miles during the long weekend marking the start of the summer vacation season.

AAA says the average price for a gallon of gas in North Carolina is $3.62 a gallon. Gas is highest in Boone at $3.71 a gallon and cheapest in the Greensboro and Winston-Salem area at $3.59 a gallon.

The most popular destinations for North Carolina motorists this weekend will be Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, followed by Charlotte, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and Williamsburg, Virginia.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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