Discover Summer in the Inner Coastal Plain

Historic Site

Items marked with an asterisk (*) are within the N.C. Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources.

Bertie County

3rd of July on the Cashie - Live Music and Fireworks at the Roanoke/Cashie River Center. Free. 7:30 p.m.

Tour Historic Hope Plantation  - Former home of Gov. David Stone (1770-1818), a combination of Federal and Georgian architecture, and on the National Register of Historic Places.

Cashie River Tour - The Sans Souci Ferry is a cable ferry on the Cashie River, a tributary of the Roanoke River. It is a free ferry, one of three remaining cable ferries in N.C., and is credited with saving about 20 miles for folks desiring to reach the other side! Note: no schedule...gotta blow your horn for service.

 Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge - Find deer, otter, beaver, muskrat, black bear and more than 190 species of migrating birds and an informal trail system, including the Charles Kuralt trail.

Bladen County

*Jones Lake State Park - The park surrounds two of the many mysterious bay lakes in eastern North Carolina. Canoes, kayaks, or motorized craft of 10 horsepower or less are welcome. Travel the four-mile loop through bay thickets and pine cypress stands draped in moss. Family camping sites are quiet and serene.

*Singletary Lake State Park - Singletary Park is around Carolina bays, and welcomes group reservations for canoeing, kayaking, or small watercraft recreation. Also used for live action role-play adventures.

Elwell Ferry – One of the last remaining inland river ferries, the Elwell crosses a sleepy Cape Fear River. For over a century, the ferry has shuttled passengers across the river between the tiny crossroads towns of Kelly and Carvers.

Columbus County

*Lake Waccamaw State Park - Visit a Carolina bays lake that is home to aquatic life seen nowhere else. Shallow tea-colored water accommodates fishing and wildlife viewing. Trails for hiking.

* N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences-Whiteville - Interactive science museum modeled after the Raleigh center, and includes an investigative lab, naturalist center, discovery forest, distance learning classroom and more. Experience Science Cinema, a monthly documentary film series, or take in one of the museum’s many other special events.

Watermelon Day – Come to Whiteville July 7 for free watermelon samples (while supplies last), recipes, nutritional information and prizes in celebration of a Southern summer favorite.

Fair Bluff Depot Museum - This museum was founded in 1990 to collect and preserving records from the area. In 1993, the old 1897 Railroad Depot was opened as a museum. Over 800 items and artifacts from 1700s to 1940s are on display.

N.C. Watermelon Festival - Two day festival July 27-28 in Fair Bluff for summer’s sweet treat.

Chadbourn Depot Museum - The museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been lovingly restored. It displays a variety of historical artifacts including model railroads, period furnishings, Audubon prints, railroad memorabilia and even fashions from the early 1900s.

Lake Waccamaw Depot Museum - A National Register of Historic Places venue, established in the 1850s, that includes period artifacts.

Horace Carter Museum - The museum honors newspaperman Horace Carter, publisher and editor of the Tabor City Tribune, which he started in his twenties.

Cumberland County

*Museum of the Cape Fear - Complex includes a museum showcasing the history of the lower Cape Fear region; Arsenal Park, where a U.S. Army arsenal was burned to keep it out of Confederate control, and the 1897 Poe House, home to an affluent businessman and family.

*Carvers Creek State Park - The 1,420 acres Long Acre Farm was donated to the Division of State Parks in 2010 and was once the estate of James Stillman Rockefeller. The master plan is complete and the park is under development. Visitors can enjoy hiking, picnicking, viewing historic structures and fishing.

 Airborne and Special Operations Museum - The museum preserves and honors the feats of U.S. Airborne and Special Operations troops. The self-guided chronological tours spans from the 1940s to the present war on terrorism.

Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum  - Two floors of engaging, artifact filled exhibits offer a history of the area up to the 20th century and located in the 1890 Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley depot. Vintage cars, airplanes and a 1920s gas station are highlights, along with the early history of Ft. Bragg and Pope Air Base.

Fayetteville Markethouse - Built in 1832 on the site of the old State House where North Carolina delegates ratified the U.S. Constitution. Historically meat, produce and household goods were sold here, and occasionally so were slaves. One of 50 National Landmarks in North Carolina.

Fayetteville after 5 - Enjoy live entertainment and food trucks the second Friday of each month through August at Festival Park, 5 - 11 p.m.

Duplin County

Cowan Museum of History and Science - Housed in the Kelly-Farrior House (ca. 1848) with an adjacent historical park, the museum showcases 19th and 20th century tools and technology, including woodworking and agricultural tools, and household technology.

Liberty Hall - A restored plantation of the 1800s, ancestral home to the Kenan Family, guided tours include the 11-room house, 12 dependencies – including a garden shop, carriage house and servants quarters – and a visitor’s center exhibit hall.

Duplin Winery - From a small family undertaking in the 1970s to a selling 450,000 cases annually today, the third generation still produces the best muscadine wine in America. It is the oldest and largest winery in the south, producing red, white, blush, sparkling and non-alcohol varieties. Tours available.

Edgecombe County

Spring Music Festival and Backyard Cookoff - A stage, performers, food vendors and a dance floor come to the Tarboro campus of Edgecombe Community College June 10 along with corn hole and grills for a cookoff competition.

Tarboro. Civil War Trail - Old Courthouse grounds, Confederate Gen. W.D. Pender highway marker. Cemeteries between Calvary Episcopal Church and Howard Memorial Church. Other markers also.

Princeville African American Museum - History of African Americans who joined U.S. Colored Troops and community formed by formerly enslaved persons.

 

Gates County

*Merchant’s Millpond State Park - Rent canoes or kayaks, go camping at one of the family or group campgrounds, or picnic at the pond. The scenic pond is surrounded by picnic grounds, nine miles of hiking trails and a visitor center with museum-quality exhibits.

Great Dismal Swamp - The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is the largest intact remnant of a vast habitat that once covered more than one million acres of southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina.

Greene County

Hookerton Hometown Celebration - Come enjoy, food, local vendors, prizes, fireworks and more May 5, 3-9 p.m.

Fishing, canoeing, camping on Contentnea Creek and explore Caswell’s Landing walking trail.

Greene County Museum - Offers various programs and displays throughout the year which are free to the public. The Museum also has an extensive genealogy collection in the history room which features an internet connection to Ancestry Plus and more.

Halifax County

*Historic Halifax - Located on the Roanoke River, the town of Halifax developed into a commercial and political center around the time of the American Revolution. A guided walking tour takes you into several authentically restored and furnished buildings. Visit June 17-18 for the British Occupation of Halifax re-enactment, or celebrate Independence Day in this town that was at the heart of the American Revolution.

Roanoke Canal Museum and Trail – Learn about the history of the Roanoke Canal, then borrow a bike through the museum’s bicycle loan program for a healthy, safe and enjoyable experience on the scenic, historic Roanoke Canal Trail.

301 Endless Yard Sale -  June 15-16. Travel 100 miles along Highway 301 from Roanoke Rapids through Wilson, Rocky Mount, Smithfield/Selma and Dunn to find deals, antiques and collectibles.

Cryptozoology & Paranormal Museum – Looking for Bigfoot? You might find evidence of him here at this museum in Littleton dedicated to the paranormal.

Sylvan Heights Bird Park – Get an unforgettable up-close experience with over 2,000 waterfowl, parrots, toucans, flamingos, and other exotic birds from around the world.

Harnett County

*Raven Rock State Park - The Cape Fear River is the frequent hiking destination for visitors entering Raven Rock State Park, whether it’s Lanier Falls, the Fish Traps rapids or the massive Raven Rock, an ageless landmark for river travelers. Along the way, hikers will experience steep terrain, mountain laurel and rhododendron thickets and tumbling creeks.

Averasboro Battlefield - On the Averasboro battlefield a well-planned and well executed tactical Confederate military operation delayed and damaged the progress of Union Gen. William Sherman, slowing his progress to Goldsboro. See authentic Civil War artifacts, a map of the battlefield, and information about the Smith family and plantations.

 Gen. William C. Lee Airborne Museum - The home of Gen. William Lee, the father of American Airborne, who first organized airborne troops in the U.S.  It tells the story of the origins of the airborne, has military artifacts and personal artifacts of Gen. Lee and his wife, Dava. Early 20th century neo-classical revival house.

Hertford County

Brady C. Jefcoat Museum of America -  Among the quirkiest museums in the state, it features the world’s largest collection of washing machines, irons, and everything from mouse traps to bed pans. Open weekends and by appointment for groups during the week.

Travel the S-shaped bridge - The only S-shaped swing bridge in the U.S. still in use. Built in 1929, the curved approaches connect a skew in the road on either side of the Perquimans River, it offers great views and is said to be the inspiration for the 1920s song, “Carolina Moon.”

Hoke County

Carolina Horse Park - A 250 acre, nationally recognized, horse park for the preservation of open space for equestrian and recreational use. It is the only multi-disciplined facility in the mid-Atlantic region suitable for championship equine events. Also hosts cross-country runs, dog shows, county festivals and more.

Mill Prong - Historic Plantation house whose main section was built in 1772, and is a two-story, three bay Federal dwelling. Open first Sundays monthly, 2-5 p.m., or by reservation.

Johnston County

*Bentonville Battlefield – Site of the largest Civil war conflict in North Carolina, involving 80,000 combatants and lasting three days. Visit Aug. 26 for the Life on Campaigns Summer Artillery Program. Hear the cannons roar and see 1860s style artillery and infantry drill.

Beer, Wine and Shine Trail - Four award-winning wineries and tasting rooms joined with new breweries and distilleries in the county. Travel past tobacco, cotton or cornfields, visit a farmer’s market on the way to tour Gregory Vineyards in Angier, Hinnant Family Vineyards in Pine Level, Deep River Brewing in Clayton, Double Barley Brewing in Smithfield and Broadslab Distillery in Benson.

Ava Gardner Museum - The museum has an extensive collection of original scripts, photos, costumes and personal effects of the movie star Ava Gardner. The current exhibit, “Ava Living in London,” features her last years in London until her death in 1990.

Annual Gospel Singing Convention -Friday night concerts, Saturday competitions for choirs, duets, quartets, family groups and more, June 22-24 at Benson Singing Grove.

Stepping into the Past. Tobacco Farm Museum - Every Saturday, July-December, demonstrations of traditional arts, crafts and trades.

Selma’s Annual All-American Festival – On July 3, enjoy live entertainment, a variety of vendors, children’s activities, and a great fireworks display.

Sundown in Downtown Concert - Bring your lawn chair to enjoy live music in the Benson Singing Grove. Bring a picnic basket or vendors will be available.

Lenoir County

*CSS Neuse II - The world’s only full-sized Confederate gunboat, it indicates what a sailor’s life was like during the Civil War. The 158-foot long vessel draws visitors from across the U.S. and foreign countries.

Gov. Richard Caswell Museum - North Carolina’s first elected governor, Caswell also was a Revolutionary War hero. He was a delegate to the Second Continental Congress and only ill health prevented him from signing the Declaration of Independence.

Kinston Music Park - A celebration of African American Musical Heritage, located in the Sugar Hill district that once was the vibrant hub of African American music venues where musicians including Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong played. Visit August 13 for the Celebrating African American Music event featuring African American Music Trail performers Bill Myers, Dick Knight and vocalist Sharon McLaughlin, 5:30-7:30.

Caswell Center Museum - The Stroud House at Caswell Center was built in the late 8100s and was the main house of a plantation. Now the site of the Caswell Center Museum, it was opened in 1911 as the state’s first residential facility for patients with mental retardation. It offers a look into treatment methods from a century ago.  

Mother Earth Brewing - Tour a local craft brewery at this award-winning brewery in downtown Kinston. Check their website for music and event schedules each week.

Martin County

Martin County Geocaching Trail - Discover 10 points across the county so take one coin and sign the log book. Scout or 4-H groups take one coin. Get a prize when all 10 coins are collected.

Sen. Bob Martin Eastern Agricultural Center - Horse events featuring various horse shows summer in the 100,000-square foot facility.

Martin County Arts Council – View exhibits in the Flat Iron Gallery, enjoy performances ranging from music to theater, and visit the gift shop to purchase work by area artists.

Fort Branch Civil War Site - Sitting 70 feet above a bend in the Roanoke River, this Confederate earthen fort provided a safe and clear view of Union gunboats approaching from down river. Open to the public Saturdays and Sundays.

Nash County

Tar River Trails – Walk, bike or paddle along the Tar River in Rocky Mount.

Stonewall Manor – Historic Stonewall Manor provides a unique look into the early 19th century planter’s life in eastern N.C.

Country Doctor Museum - Learn about the history of rural healthcare at this museum in Baily, N.C. It was created in 1967 by a group of energetic women from North Carolina, whose initial interest was to build a lasting memorial for rural physicians. Over the decades, the museum's collection grew to over 5,000 medical artifacts and many volumes of historic texts gathered from across the nation.

Downtown Live - Free live performance concerts on the Imperial Center lawn second and fourth Thursday evenings through September.

Northampton County

Lake Gaston – Roughly 35 miles long, with 350 miles of shoreline, Lake Gaston is perfect for boating, fishing and water sports.

Northampton County Museum - Dedicated to preserving and protecting the history, material culture, and heritage of Northampton County from prehistoric times to the present. The museum is not just a repository for artifacts but a working, educational, interactive museum providing opportunities for young people to experience firsthand knowledge.

Camassia Slopes Preserve – Located on the north bank of the Roanoke River, the preserve boasts abundant wildflowers and migratory bird species.

Classics on the Green -  Held the third Friday of June, July and August in Jackson. Classic movies shown on the Courthouse Square Pavilion on big screen TV. Families sit under the stars on blankets or lawn chairs enjoying popcorn with the show. 

Pitt County

Barbecue Trail - Travel the barbecue trail from Ayden and Greenville to Murphy and into Tennessee. The North Carolina Barbecue Society selects classic joints to experience the pit cooked pork.

Greenville Museum of Art - Features exhibits from its permanent collection of 19th and 20th Century American arts, as well as traveling exhibits from local, regional, and national artists.

Eastern Carolina Village & Farm Museum - This 5-acre site features a log church, blacksmith shop, stables, smokehouse, corn crib, schoolhouse, general store, tobacco barn and museum, houses, and cabins, as well as thousands of unique artifacts and antiques from the past.

Historical Museum & Indian Village - Explore the history of the Tuscarora Indians of Eastern North Carolina.

A Time for Science Nature and Science Learning Center – Science is fun! Learn about science and nature in a fun and welcoming setting.

Winterville Watermelon Festival - Experience a parade, family fun night, Watermelon Jam concert and more in a charming small town, August 23-25.

Robeson County

*Lumber River State Park - Endless possibilities for kayaking and canoeing on this National Wild and Scenic River with tent-friendly campgrounds, canoe-in campsite and hiking trails.

Museum of the Southeast American Indian - Step into another cultural dimension as you tour this museum at UNC-Pembroke featuring arts and crafts from the tribal Lumbee Indian life. Admission is free.

African American Cultural Center - Artifacts, paintings and photographs highlight the contributions and accomplishments of local African Americans. 

Pembroke Annual Lumbee Homecoming - Week-long festival celebrating the heritage of the Lumbee people of Robeson County includes beauty pageants, golf tournament, 5k run, parade, car show and more.

Robeson County History Museum - Housed in a former railway express station built in 1908, the museum has a rotating historic display that changes every two months as well as permanent exhibits. Artifacts recount Robeson County life and accomplishments from the earliest inhabitants to more recent past. 

Border Belt Farmers Museum - Early tobacco warehouse artifacts and farming equipment are on display in this converted Atlantic Coastline Railway Depot.

Carolina Civic Center - On the National Register of Historic Places and a member of the League of Historic American Theatres, the Carolina Civic Center Historic Theater is one of downtown Lumberton’s most historic landmarks. Enjoy live theater performances and movies in this historic building. 

Saturday Night Out and Cruise In. On the second Sautrday of each month. Features classic cars, food and family fun in downtown St. Pauls.

Sampson County

Sampson Arts – Visit the gallery located in the historic Victor R. Small House, connect with local artists, or take an art class.

Sampson County Museum – Learn about the unique heritage of Sampson County. The house was built in 1903 and features regional history, including the Coharie Indians, military, law enforcement and a sports hall of fame. 

Scotland County

Museum of Agriculture and History - A great place to see what day-to-day life was like in the rural South, the museum showcases the unique history of farming and industry in the region.

John McNeill House – The home of N.C. Poet Laureate John Charles McNeill, this beautifully restored structure yields insights into the life of the poet.

Indian Museum of the Carolinas - Through the millennia, the region now known as North and South Carolina was home to over 45 different Native American Indian cultures. The museum’s exhibits offer glimpses of Native American life in the past.

Heritage Village - Nestled in a grove of pecan trees, the John Blue House is the centerpiece of a collection of homesteads that tell the story of a different time in the region. Each of these structures were first built elsewhere by settlers and farmers in the areas and moved to the grounds for presentation.

Laurinburg After 5 – Live music from various artists on the fourth Friday night of the month at the James L. Morgan Complex.

Wayne County

*Aycock Birthplace – Visit the home of N.C. Governor Charles B. Aycock. Learn about 19th century farming and view the typical period schoolhouse onsite.

*Cliffs of the Neuse State Park - Cliffs of the Neuse State Park, with impressive cliffs overlooking the Neuse River, has been a landmark for centuries. Five hiking trails explore the riverside habitats and their mature forests and lead to some quiet fishing spots along the waterway.

Arts Council of Wayne County – Attend arts events, visit the gallery or take a class at the Arts Council in Goldsboro.

Wilson County

Eyes on Main Street Festival - For 100 days, downtown Wilson is transformed into a large-scale photograph gallery on Nash Street with the works of 100 photographers from more than 30 counties.

The Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park - Showcasing 31 whirligigs in historic downtown Wilson. The whimsical, welded and painted monumental sculptures capture the essence of visionary art.

N.C. Baseball Museum – Showcasing memorabilia from ball players native to North Carolina, including the seven North Carolinians inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown -- Luke Appling, Rick Ferrell, Jim “Catfish” Hunter, Gaylord Perry, Buck Leonard, Enos Slaughter, and Hoyt Wilheim.

The Roundhouse Museum – Housed in a round, stone house built by noted African American stone mason Oliver Nestus Freeman, the museum celebrates the culture and contributions of African Americans to the history and development of Wilson, N.C.

Imagination Station Science & History Museum - Science education museum with many exhibits for every age. Exotic animals from around the world on display. Up-close experience with daily live science programs and demonstrations.