Freeman Round House Museum
There is a beauty and wonder to be had about the cultural traditions and contributions that the African American community has made in Wilson. The best place to gain an understanding and appreciation of this is at the Freeman Round House Museum and African American Museum. Established in 2001, the museum exists to preserve, shed light on, and promote African American art, culture, and history to all those who come to visit. Though most of the museums exhibit is indoors, be sure to walk around the grounds as the museums namesake, Oliver Freeman, was an extremely creative man. As such, many of his works can be seen around the museum including the iconic dinosaur statue.
1202 Nash Street East, Wilson, North Carolina 27893, Phone: 252-296-3056
Why Well Be Back
And its not just one thing above them all. Sure, the kind folks we chatted with along the way, that epic fried chicken and barbecue at Parkers, and the amazing whirligigs come to mind, but I cant just sum it all up in one sentence or even a paragraph.
I think you need to come and see it for yourself. Explore some of these fun things to do in Wilson and youll get a sense of why well be back.
Special thanks to the City of Wilson for hosting us during our stay. All opinions within this article are our own.
Enjoy These Outdoor Things To Do In Wilson
Wilson Rose Garden
Slowly browse the 1,200 rose plants that are inside the Wilson Rose Garden, one of Eastern North Carolinas most beautiful locations. Here, youll find 100 varieties, including historic old garden roses and modern hybrids.
Seasonal Note: The roses typically bloom from May to October, so stop by and take it all in if youre in the area during these months!
Wilson Botanical Gardens
The Wilson Botanical Gardens beautiful fountain, lush plants, and an herb garden are open to the public. It features various native plants as well as a beautiful Childrens Secret Garden.
Its a peaceful, beautiful slice of nature and great any time of year for all ages!
Note: Pets are not allowed in the gardens.
Winding around the beautiful lake and past beautiful homes, Lake Wilson is the perfect spot for a walk and some fishing. The two-mile scenic trail is a popular spot to watch the boats fishing out on the water!
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Wilson Botanical Gardens Wilson North Carolina
The Wilson Botanical Gardens were designed for showcasing the array of plants that are able to be used within a home landscape. A handful of the gardens highlight herbal and medicinal plants, ornamental grasses, and mixed plants, as well as turfgrass, hosta, flowers, and daylilies. The Childrens Secret Garden is geared towards small children, offering something interesting for younger guests, while other gardens, such as the Arboretum, cater more towards visitors who enjoy viewing different shrubs and trees. The Wilson Botanical Gardens are open to the general public Monday to Friday from 10:00am until 5:00pm.
1806 Goldsboro St S, Wilson, NC 27893, Phone: 252-237-0113
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Check Out The Food Scene Downtown
Wilson is rich with Southern heritage, including the comfort food and familiar cuisine that many are all familiar with.
There are many establishments downtown offering these dishes, and theyre close enough to one another for one epic restaurant hopping tour.
Bills Grill is a favorite for its selection of American steaks, Southern dishes, and other home-style meals that taste like your grandmas cooking.
At Ruckus & Redemption, they specialize in gourmet burgers, small plates, and tasty sides perfect for the adventurous foodie.
If you want something for your sweet tooth, Wilson Doughnut Shop has Southern-style pastries that will leave you wanting more.
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Immerse In History At Freeman Round House
North Carolina has a long history with slavery, and Wilson is sadly not an exception.
However, the city has its own monument that celebrates and preserves Black history and creativity: the Freeman Round House.
Its named after Oliver Freeman, a prolific and multi-talented craftsman specializing in masonry and stonework.
During his active years, he became the communitys go-to stonemason for their homes and buildings.
The Freeman Round House is actually a stone bungalow that he constructed himself, eventually adding a garden and sculptures of his own creation throughout the years.
Today, these simple and intriguing elements attract many tourists to the destination.
The bungalow itself is repurposed into a museum that showcases not only Freemans life but also the contributions, lives, and culture of past African Americans in Wilson.
Visit The Country Doctor Museum
Although not necessarily located in the city of Wilson, one really awesome place you might be interested in visiting is a place called The Country Doctor Museum. Its located about a few miles away in the city of Bailey.
The Country Doctor Museum is one of the most popular places to visit as there is so much history and culture behind this building. In fact, this museum is the oldest museum in the United States that depicts rural health care. It was created back in the year of 1967 by a group of women who wanted to preserve the areas history.
The museum is comprised of two nineteenth-century houses which houses country doctors office practice. It is here where visitors will be able to learn about the historical exhibits related to pharmacy, surgery, and sick rooms.
Not only that, but inside this museum visitors will be able to find over 5,000 medical items. Ranging from artifacts to historic text, and even includes information on nursing, pharmaceutical, and home remedies. All of which makes for a really enjoyable experience.
Tours for this museum are offered every hour on the hour from 10am to 3pm. If you are wanting to visit this place however, you can only come during certain days. The museum is closed Sundays, Mondays, and certain holidays. So do be sure to check the schedule before you decide to come.
Overall, it is a fantastic place to learn about all kinds of historical medical situations and anything dealing with health.
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Tour The Colorful Trails Of Wilson Botanical Gardens
For plant lovers and budding horticulturists, the Wilson Botanical Gardens is a must-see destination.
This scenic attraction is designed to showcase the various flora of the region and other species used in home landscaping.
Its trails are lined with flowering bushes bursting with color, towering trees, turfs of all kinds, and seasonal decor.
Theres even a Vollis Simpson whirligig on one section.
In addition, it has several water features like a fountain, a small pond, and a tiny brook gurgling with clear water.
While visiting is already a great experience in itself, youre can also join the many programs offered by the facility.
These can help you learn more about the plants, try your hand at gardening, and even interact with seasoned gardeners.
Its a relaxing and memorable experience for the whole family!
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Something Different Wilson North Carolina
The Something Different Cafe is, as the name would suggest, something different in the way of restaurants in Wilson, North Carolina. The family-owned and operated business has been around for more than twenty-five years, serving lunch in the cafe Monday through Friday from 11:00am until 2:00pm, as well as catering services for groups or events with anywhere from five to three thousand people. Originally founded as the Swiss Colony in 1988, Something Different has expanded and changed over the years, but the quality service and traditional food has remained the same through all of it.
3342 Airport Blvd NW, Wilson, NC 27896, Phone: 252-291-0889
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Oliver Nestus Freeman Round House
1202 Hines Street SE Website
Looking to learn about African-American history in North Carolina? This museum is housed inside the small round house on the grounds, and is a perfect homage to the contributions of African-Americans to the region. The center hosts a concert series on the lawn in the summer. This small museum is open 10 am to 3 pm Tuesday to Saturday.
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Imagination Station And Nc Museum Of The Coastal Plain
224 Nash Street SE Website
Housed inside the historic post office and courthouse building , youll find the Imagination Station featuring educational exhibits connecting science and history. The second floor houses a Herpetarium with reptiles from different parts of the world. The third floor of the building houses the N.C. Museum of the Coastal Plain. Admission costs $5 plus tax. This may be a great place for educational groups, but unless youre looking for something to keep the kids entertained, this museum has a little growing up to do.
Watch A Game At Fleming Stadium
Do you love baseball? How about attending a baseball game?
If you do, then one thing you might love doing is to simply visit the Fleming Stadium and watch a game of baseball.
Fleming Stadium is the premiere place to watch baseball at its finest. It is a pretty old stadium as it opened up back in the year of 1936, but has since kept its great shape without having much damage to it.
This stadium was once host to a professional and minor league baseball games, although in recent years no professional team has visited since the 1970s. But that doesnt stop this arena from playing ball. In fact, even though no professional teams play here, it is still home to the Wilson Tobs of the Coastal Plains League .
Its a very good stadium as no matter where you are sitting, you are almost always guaranteed a great view and a great experience.
So if you have the time to spare, why not come visit this stadium and catch a ball game or two.
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Marty’s Bbq Wilson North Carolina
2643 Ward Blvd, Wilson, NC 27893, Phone: 252-281-1709
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Things To Do In Wilson Nc For Kids
Wilson offers families of rail fans a chance to see operating model trains.
Wilson, North Carolina, is approximately 40 miles west of Raleigh and 17 miles northeast of Rocky Mount. The area features a restored downtown business district with a number of vintage structures on the National Register of Historic Places. The historic district features a collection of antique stores and several large public parks, but families visiting Wilson also have a number of attractions focused on family activities.
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The Country Doctor Museum
The Country Doctor Museum is 20 minutes outside of Wilson, but if youre coming from the Raleigh area, chances are youll pass right by it. If so, its definitely worth the stop.
Weve visited several times over the years and have enjoyed seeing the live leeches, old apothecary jars, and learning how doctors would make their ownpills.
We love the gift shop where you can purchase old-style wooden toys and other treasures.
Know before you go:
- There is a small admission price.
- Tours are provided every hour, on the hour .
- No gum, candy, food, or drinks are allowed in the buildings.
See Stunning Pieces At Wilson Arts Center
Wilson Arts Center is the heart of the visual art scene in the city, a sprawling facility where the whole community gathers to create and appreciate artworks.
Its also a favorite venue for performance art, with a few theater plays, live music concerts, and dance recitals performed on stage.
On regular days, the center is open for visitors who want to see the pieces created by talented local artists.
They have a set of galleries as well as rotating exhibits that showcase stunning paintings, sketches, sculptures, and other works.
You can even join a workshop to hone your skills or find a hidden talent for a particular medium or technique.
Whatever you choose to do, youre still guaranteed a memorable experience amongst the best of Wilsons art scene.
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Visit The Wilson Botanical Gardens
If you love gardens and nature in general, then one place you might find some interest in is a place called the Wilson Botanical Gardens.
The Wilson Botanical Gardens are located right behind the Wilson Agricultural Center and can be easy to miss you arent careful in looking. This garden specializes in showing plants that are either native to North Carolina or which can be grown easily in the North Carolina Climate.
A handful of the gardens here highlight herbal and medicinal plants, ornamental grasses, mixed plants, as well as turf grass, hosta, flowers, and daylilies. With the abundance of plants being found here in this garden, it truly makes for a perfect getaway for those who are wanting to appreciate the beauty of nature in a more finer manner.
But not only that, the Wilson Botanical Gardens is also home to a really beautiful Childrens Secret Garden which is geared towards the smaller children, offering many interesting things for the youngsters to learn and explore. In fact, some of the playful areas you might find includes things like the raining sunflowers, garden tunnel, rain wall, music court, dino dig, banana split sundae garden with water gig fountain and more.
Its definitely one of the most peaceful and beautiful places in all of Wilson, and is definitely worth your time in visiting.
Ten Things To Do In Wilson Nc
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Less than an hour to the east of Raleigh, and 10 minutes off I-95, lays the town of Wilson, North Carolina. Chartered in 1849, the town grew as agriculture in North Carolina grew: first with cotton, then changing over to tobacco as the demand grew. Like so many other towns in North Carolina that depended on tobacco farming, for a time Wilsons downtown was almost abandoned. Be part of Wilsons downtown resurgence by visiting and remembering #downtownturnaround. Here is a list of things to do in Wilson to get you started.
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Enjoy The Outdoors At Lake Wilson
One of the lesser-crowded bodies of water in town is Lake Wilson, located on the city’s northern edge.
This attraction is a reservoir made after Toisnot Swampwhich is actually a small riverwas dammed.
For nature lovers, the lake is one of the most undisturbed areas in the city, with thick forest upriver crisscrossed by a few trails.
Youre welcome to explore these routes and try spotting some of the wildlife, including birds, insects, and the rare river otters.
On the lake itself, theres a curving wooden bridge that lets you walk all the way to the center.
Its the best place to take in the views, especially in fall when the trees lining the banks change color.
You can also try kayaking, canoeing, and boating, as there are a few launches installed on the shores.
Oliver Nestus Freeman Round House Museum
4.5 based on 8 reviews
The Freeman Round House is an African-American Museum. Its purpose is to preserve, promote, and present African-American history, art, and culture to all citizens of Wilson and the region in order to increase the awareness, understanding, and appreciation of cultural traditions and African-American contributions to society.
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