Congratulations to winners of the 2012 News & Observer Travel Photo Contest. The competition was keen, with 571 entries.
The winning photos -- which we present today -- will transport you across North Carolina and around the world. The Readers Choice award goes to a dramatic shot of a splashing humpback whale near Juneau, Alaska, snapped by Lori Martin of Clayton.
We hope you enjoy this armchair visit to destinations near and far.
--Juli Leonard, photo editor