Staycations In Wilkes County
There are many places to kayak in Wilkes County, including the Yadkin River. Two kayakers are pictured as they prepare to pass under the Yadkin River Greenway bridge between the Wilkesboros.
The newest addition to the series of trails at Cub Creek Park in Wilkesboro, the 1.5-mile Tornado Alley loop, features multiple jumps and extensive wooden boardwalk features.
The splash pad at the Carolina West Wireless Heritage Park in downtown Wilkesboro has been hugely popular with visitors since opening in 2018.
Featuring a wide swath of white sand, the beach at Boomer Park off N.C. 268 West is a popular summer destination for folks who want to beat the heat.
As we roll into July, its perhaps the most popular time of year for families and individuals to take long-awaited vacations to exotic locales and trendy tourist destinations.
But whats a person or family to do if theyre trying to pinch pennies and simply cannot afford a full-blown escape from day-to-day life in Wilkes County?
Many people perhaps are still hesitant to travel domestically by air because of the lingering effects of the coronavirus pandemic. A long-planned trip to a foreign country might still not be possible due to travel bans.
Well, you do what many folks do who are faced with those dilemmas: You take a stay-at-home vacation here in Wilkes.
Where to stay
Get paid to plan day trips, then sleep soundly in a new bed at nightwhats not to love?!
What to do
What to do
How to save money
Towns Across The River
An upstart from the beginning, North Wilkesboro became the center of industry and commerce while across the river, Wilkesboro remained the center of government .The railroad brought a great deal of industry to North Wilkesboro and Wilkes County including the C.C. Smoot Tannery, Winston Land and Improvement Company, and the Giant Lumber Company and Flume. Built around the trains depot, Downtown North Wilkesboro began to flourish in the late 1890s and early 1900s.
Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
You can also explore, in your own vehicle, more than 15 miles of roads through 35 acres of relatively wild land. Otherwise, you could take a guided tram tour. Watch for black bears, wild turkeys, all kinds of birds of prey, waterfowl, and other wildlife.
Visit the National Wildlife Refuges Visitor Center, open every day, for loads of local wildlife education and entertainment. There are interactive exhibits, audiovisual programs, and even virtual airplane rides. Watch a short film in the small theater or wander through the gift store.
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Best Things To Do In North Wilkesboro North Carolina
Have you ever visited a new place and felt wow about it? For many visitors, it happens at North Wilkesboro.
North Wilkesboro may not be as popular as other cities in United States, but dont let that fool you. North Wilkesboro is a smaller but beautiful upcoming tourist destination that is worth a visit. You will be surprised by some of the unique things to do and places you can explore at this hidden destination.
You can definitely plan a few hours of a side trip here while traveling to Charlotte or Asheville. You might wish to revisit it someday again, to take a break and relax at North Wilkesboro.
If you have plans to visit United States and are not sure if North Wilkesboro should be included in your itinerary, keep reading. In this list, we have put together some of the things to do in North Wilkesboro and around. We have a hunch that if you include this city in your travel plans, you will be thrilled you did so.
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
Youve probably heard of Sir Walter Raleigh. What about Virginia Dare, the first English child born in North America, and the Lost Colony? Did you know that the first English settlement was constructed on Roanoke Island 20 years before Jamestown? And that the English military had built a fort on the islands north shore two years before that?
How about the Civil War battle that may have changed the course of the war? Did you know that after the Civil War, a Freedmens Colony was established near Manteo? The Fort Raleigh National Historic Site brings all these stories and more to life.
See exhibits highlighting early Roanoke Island history at the visitor center. While there, be sure to walk out to the reconstructed earthen fort, the Freedmens Colony Monument, the Waterside Theatre, and the Thomas Hariot Trail, a .3-mile loop through the maritime forest out to the Albemarle Sound. Youll find interpretive signs about the Algonquin people who once inhabited the area, the English settlers, and the forest itself.
Fort Raleigh is just north of Manteo on U.S. Route 64. Admission and parking are free. The visitor center and grounds are wheelchair accessible however, the trails are earthen. Plan on at least 2 hours to tour the visitor center and walk the grounds.
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The 1915 Is A Community Event Space That Hosts Concerts Weddings Education And Artist Demonstrations At The The Blue Ridge Artisan Center And More You Can Drop By To Grab A Bite At The Delicious Farm
The 1915 Historic Federal Courthouse and Post Office is where you can catch bluegrass, folk, Americana, country, and other music. So if you can’t make it to Wilkes during MerleFest maybe you can still catch some live music .
It also houses The Blue Ridge Artisan Center, which hosts demonstrations like the one above and features works you can pick up from local artists in case you’re looking for a gift. And yes, I didn’t forget the food! You can check out the Artisan Cafe menu here.
Cub Creek Mountain Bike Trails
If you arent up for the rock gardens and challenges of the Warrior Creek trail, then Cub Creek is the perfect outdoor activity for you! The trails at Cub Creek Park are smooth with very little elevation change, a perfect trail for beginners and nature lovers.
Dont forget to visit the suspension bridge and tunnel of trees, arguably the most memorable portion of the trail!
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Dooleys Tavern And Grill
One of the main restaurants in the heart of Wilkesboro is Dooleys Tavern and Grill. Their vibe is welcoming and relaxing, setting the tone for a place to kick back and enjoy good conversation and quality food.
They make everything in-house and have the largest gluten-free selection in the area! The Cooper Barrel Burger is absolutely delicious and receives a 10/10 from us.
Doc Watson Garden Of The Senses
The first MerleFest was put on as a way to raise money for the WCCs Horticulture Department. B Townes, a professor at WCC, connected with Bluegrass legend Doc Watson and asked him to play.
He agreed to do so under the agreement that they would memorialize Watsons son, Merle, who died in 1985 tragically, with a garden. The garden today is filled with beautiful plants and even a wall with Braille plaques.
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*** Thanksgiving Recipes ***
These roasted brussels sprouts get a fair amount of spice from the crushed red pepper flakes, which cuts…
After trying every turkey-roasting method under the sun, I’ve finally settled on this as absolutely the…
We love how the cinnamon-scented streusel topping lets the juicy berries peek through.
Italian sausage and a heap of Parmesan cheese lend signature flair to the easy Thanksgiving dressing…
It’s all about the layers and ruffles in this dramatic seasonal pie.
Poach quince in rosé with a dash of cocktail bitters and a few warm spices, then assemble into a tart…
Leave the sausage, nuts, dried fruit behind in favor of this easy, vegetarian-friendly stuffing recipe…
Alton Brown’s turkey brine recipe from Good Eats will give you a flavorful Thanksgiving turkey with juicy…
Bone-in turkey breasts are easy to find, and as impressive as a whole bird when you roast them in butter…
This recipe was handed down by my great-grandmother. It is a family favorite that we make every Thanksgiving….
Cutting leeks into large pieces gives them a presence equal…
This crunchy crumble is the perfect topping for an ice cream sundae, easy apple crumble, or our Build-Your-Own…
Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park
Marvel at the strange wonders of Wilsons Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park. Its truly a fun place just to walk around and stare at the whirligigs as they get blown around by the wind.
The two-acre park features 30 kinetic sculptures created by local farm machinery repairman Vollis Simpson. Along with those 30 whirligigs, theres a large grass amphitheater and a pavilion for community events.
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Horseback Riding At Leatherwood Mountains
If saddling up and seeing it all from atop a horse is your way to go, then Leatherwood Mountains will top your list of things to do in Wilkesboro. At this beautiful mountain resort, you can ride but also, eat and sleep.
Stay for the week or just come by for some horseback riding.
Their equine center is one of the best in North Carolina and brings people from all over the Southeast to ride their trails and mountains.
Anchor Coffee Serves Up Delicious Coffee And Beer On Tap You’ll Want To Sit For A Spell In This Inviting Shop And If You Time It Just Right You Can Catch Some Music Performances
When I dropped in here a year ago, I loved the atmosphere and could’ve seen myself hanging out there all the time if there was a space like this in Wilkes while I was growing up. I know friends who swear by their brew and I get why. It is GOOD. Plus, you can do mobile ordering and pick up your own coffee-making goods in-store or online here!
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Things To Do With Kids In Wilkesboro Nc
- TripBuzz found 6 things to do with kids in or near Wilkesboro, North Carolina, including 3 fun activities for kids in nearby cities within 25 miles like West Jefferson and Lenoir.
- From Yadkin Valley Gymnastics Academy to Wilkes Heritage Museum, the Wilkesboro area offers 67 different types of family activities, including: History Museums, Gymnastics, Boat Tours and Movie Theaters.
- Nestled in the mountains of North Carolina, Wilkesboro is a small, rural town offering an array of outdoor fun and recreation. This includes fishing, kite flying, and kayaking in the warmer months, and sledding and skiing in the winter season. Along with state parks, the community is home to several vineyards and wineries where local wines can be sampled.
Best Things To Do In Wilkesboro Nc Top Activities & Places To Go
- Emily Appelbaum
Once a popular destination for NASCAR fans and enthusiasts, Wilkesboro, NC is home to one of NASCARs first race tracks, the North Wilkesboro Speedway.
Situated along the south bank of the Yadkin River, Wilkesboro offers a lot of natural scenic views and opportunities for exciting outdoor activities.
Planning a road trip to the city soon? Weve prepared a list of some of the best things to do in Wilkesboro, NC to make your trip as enjoyable as possible.
Want to know more? Read on to discover all the fun stuff and exciting places Wilkesboro, NC has to offer.
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North Wilkesboro North Carolina
|North Wilkesboro, North Carolina|
|Town Hall in downtown North Wilkesboro|
|Key to the Blue Ridge|
|Location of North Wilkesboro, North Carolina|
|6.62 sq mi|
|Land||6.62 sq mi|
|Water||0.00 sq mi|
North Wilkesboro is a town in Wilkes County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 4,382 at the 2020 US Census. North Wilkesboro is the birthplace and original home of Lowe’s Home Improvement, which continues to have a major presence in the community. The town is also known as one of the birthplaces of the sport of stock-car racing, and the North Wilkesboro Speedway was the first NASCAR-sanctioned track. Due to the town’s proximity to the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains and the numerous tourist venues there , North Wilkesboro has been nicknamed the “Key to the Blue Ridge”.
Call Family Distillers Is A Craft Distillery That Makes Moonshine Which Is An Essential Stop During Your Stay In The Moonshine Capital Of The World Seriously Did You Even Visit Wilkes If You Didn’t Sip Some ‘shine The Answer Is No
The area has a big history with moonshiners so it’s only natural that some *open* distilling goes on. Today the Call family, self-professed descendants of moonshiners and distillers, make moonshine and fruit brandy you’re more or less legally obligated to try . You can book a distillery tour, or at the very least stop in to buy some spirits.
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Best Things To Do In Wilkesboro North Carolina
Wilkesboro is a pretty little town located in the heart of the Yadkin Valley, surrounded by some of the most remarkable natural beauty in the state. The town is known for its legendary small-town charm and its famous annual blue grass and blues Music Festival. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a wide variety of activities at the W. Kerr Scott Reservoir and the Stone Mountain State Park. You can learn all about the history of the town and its musical heritage at the Wilkes Heritage Museum, while a self-guided walking tour of the revitalized historic downtown is a must for all visitors. You can admire much of the regions beautiful scenery by taking a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
Side Story: Tom Dooleys Grave
Hang down your head Tom Dooley, hang down your head and cry.
Tom Dooleys grave is not a publicly accessible tourist attraction and not counted among the rest of our favorite things to do in Wilkesboro. However, its still important to note since the story has shaped the areas business scene.
The Tom Dooley song depicts the story of the 1866 murder of Laura Foster. Stabbed to death, Tom Dooley, whose name was actually Tom Dula, was then hung in Statesville but his gravestone can be found in Wilkes County.
There is still some controversy over what really happened, but if you go to the Wilkes Heritage Museum, theyll give you the real scoop! The song was made popular by The Kingston Trio in 1958 but also recorded by Bing Crosby, Doc Watson, and even the Grateful Dead.
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Merle Watson Garden Of The Senses
Editor’s Note: There’s no photo available at the time of writing
Eddy Merle Watson lived from 1949 to 1985 and was an American folk and bluegrass musician, considered to be one of the best flat-picking and slide guitarists of his generation. He was tragically killed at age 36 when a tractor he was working on slid down an embankment and killed him. The Merle Watson Garden of the Senses was made to honor this legend and is made to be enjoyed by both sighted and visually impaired people.
The plants in the garden are chosen for their beauty, unusual texture, or strong scents. The garden also contains a 45-meter brick wall known as âNatureâs Alphabet.â This wall has a series of brick sculptures representing every letter in the English language, and around each sculpture is a pocket outline, allowing the visually impaired to feel around each letter representation.
Merle Watson Garden of the Senses
Address: 1328 S Collegiate Dr, 28697 Wilkesboro, NC
Warrior Creek Mountain Bike Trail
At Kerr Scott, there are also 40 miles of mountain biking trails including the Warrior Creek Mountain Bike Trail.
It took ten years to build the 13-mile trail, which is known as one of the best mountain bike trails throughout North Carolina. Here, you can boot off of rocks, bank difficult turns, and enjoy beautiful mountain scenes along the way!
Other notable characteristics include the super-stacks of berms that are the most talked about feature of this trail.
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Welcome To Downtown North Wilkesboro Partnership
Downtown North Wilkesboro Partnership is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the historic preservation, protection, culture, and use of North Wilkesboro’s traditional downtown area.
Since the beginning, our primary goal has been to revitalize the downtown area of North Wilkesboro. We will accomplish this by making Downtown North Wilkesboro a vibrant and attractive center of activity for the citizens of Wilkes County, as well as helping the area to become a tool for economic development to attract tourism to the downtown area.
And While You’re Enjoying The Outdoors A Drive On The Nearby Blue Ridge Parkway Is A Must To Take In Some Breathtaking Views Especially During Fall When The Leaves Start To Change Stop At Some Stunning Overlooks For Wonderful Photo Ops Or Plan Lots Of Outdoorsy Things Along The Way
This bucket list driving route is full of breathtaking mountain sites and stretches 469 miles from the Shenandoah National Park near Waynesboro, Virginia, to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Cherokee, North Carolina. From Wilkesboro you can access it via Highway 421, which is something I’ve done many times with my own family. Driving on it for a spell is the perfect Sunday afternoon activity when you have no other plans.
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