14 Issues to Do with a Weekend Getaway to Statesville, NC

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Bourbon, battles, and balloons. There have been many causes for a street journey to Statesville, however for one weekend, these had been my causes. I discovered in regards to the metropolis’s bourbon legacy, visited a reconstructed British frontier fort, and watched a dozen colourful sizzling air balloons fill the sky. However in between, I explored just a few extra causes to go to Statesville as a result of I didn’t need folks pondering the solely factor I did all weekend was bourbon, battles, and balloons.

Since Statesville’s founding shortly after the Revolutionary Struggle, town has been a transportation hub. Railroads linked town – and all of North Carolina’s Piedmont – to the increasing westward frontier. A century later, the interstate freeway system joined Statesville to in all places else.

Driving is the one strategy to go to Statesville. Charlotte-Douglas Worldwide Airport is an hour south, and Amtrak is thirty minutes simple in Salisbury.

Statesville is an ideal road-tripping vacation spot – particularly should you’re on a street journey throughout North Carolina. The interstate highways will whisk you away to Charlotte, Winston-Salem, and Asheville. The four-lane-divided highways result in Boone and Asheboro.

However first, discover Statesville. It’s simple to seek out superb issues to do with a weekend getaway. Native purchasing, eating, breweries, historical past – it’s a melting pot of small-town facilities that gives a bit of little bit of every little thing.

Take this sooner or later, for instance. It’s what I name an ideal day of journey. I began with an infinite serving of hen and jalapeño waffles and ended with an infinite serving of crab cake penne. In between, I loved a glass of Riesling at an area vineyard, went for a lakeshore hike at a state park, and watched the Carolina Panthers recreation at a craft brewery.

Flick thru this listing of issues to do in Statesville and let me know – what would you do with a weekend getaway?

Deliver a set of checkers for these public tables on Broad Avenue.
Deliver a set of checkers for these public tables on Broad Avenue.

Temporary Historical past

In 1753, Scots-Irish and German immigrants from Pennsylvania traveled south on the Nice Wagon Highway, on the lookout for fertile land to construct farms. They discovered the right place for a settlement south of Yadkin Valley in North Carolina’s Piedmont. It was named Fourth Creek Congregation as a result of it was situated on the fourth creek west of Salisbury, the westernmost city within the North Carolina colony.

In 1754, the French & Indian Struggle broke out within the American colonies. Though the Fourth Creek Congregation was house to lower than 100 folks, Colonial Governor Arthur Dobbs nonetheless thought the frontier wanted defending. He approved the development of a blockhouse that was accomplished in 1756. However by 1761, the garrison was redeployed, and the fort deserted.

After the Revolutionary Struggle’s conclusion in 1783, North Carolina rapidly established counties all through the state. In 1789, Iredell County was created, and Statesville was based because the county’s seat.

All through the 1800s, Statesville established itself as a central transportation hub within the North Carolina piedmont. Tobacco, herbs, and whiskey had been produced close by and shipped by railroad throughout the nation. After the Federal Support Freeway Act in 1956, Statesville once more grew to become a hub of transportation as Interstates 77 and 40 intersected northwest of the city.

Right this moment, Statesville is the official “Ballooning Capital of the East.” When Tracy Barnes based The Balloon Works in 1969, he cemented Statesville’s function in ballooning historical past. In 1974, the inaugural Nationwide Balloon Rally was hosted in Statesville – at this time, the annual Carolina BalloonFest sees lots of of sizzling air balloons fill the sky.

No. 1

Begin the Day at Lake Mountain Espresso

The aroma of roasted espresso beans pulled me like a magnet into the native espresso store. Inside, high-top tables had been unfold throughout a hardwood flooring. Gentle blue built-in bookcases had been full of wine bottles, tea, mugs, and shirts. A mezzanine with white balusters wrapped across the total espresso store.

Lake Mountain Espresso was the conclusion of Andy Smith’s dream. After years of touring by Europe and visiting native espresso retailers in historic buildings, Smith constructed his espresso store in a 130-year-old business constructing in downtown Statesville.

The oldsters at LMC roast their very own beans, grind them recent for each espresso served and provide quite a lot of methods to take pleasure in your favourite brew. Comfy seats on the bottom flooring and mezzanine are the right place to benefit from the heat beverage, get some work executed, and plan your subsequent journey. The menu additionally consists of tea, chilly drinks, and some baked items.

110 West Broad Avenue, Statesville, NC | 704-252-1886 | https://lakemountaincoffee.com

Did You Know? Parking all through Statesville is freed from cost! Many of the downtown streets function parallel parking, however you’ll find just a few public parking heaps for simpler maneuvering.

(High) The reconstructed blockhouse is a powerful construction to discover. (Backside) Historian Jason Melius demonstrates firing a musket.

No. 2

Take a Tour of Fort Dobbs State Historic Website

The formidable Fort Dobbs was not one thing simple to overlook. Straight sides of thick sq. reduce logs stood twenty, thirty, possibly even fifty toes excessive. Gun ports encircled the constructing’s first, second, and third flooring. A trench surrounded the constructing.

It was not a spot I’d ever need to assault. Happily, I didn’t need to – the following guided tour was nearly to start out.

Fort Dobbs State Historic Website preserves the placement of colonial North Carolina’s solely frontier fort. The unique fort, approved by colonial Governor Arthur Dobbs, was constructed from 1755-1756 through the bitter French and Indian Struggle. The fort was garrisoned by as many as fifty troopers for a decade, however by 1766 the fort was deserted, and by the 1800s, all remnants had been gone.

In 2019, the state historic web site accomplished the reconstruction of the unique blockhouse. Take a guided tour of the primary two flooring and see the absolutely furnished sleeping quarters, powder room, and tools. Cease by the customer middle in a log home constructed by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Go for a stroll by the woods on the 0.75-mile nature path.

438 Fort Dobbs Highway, Statesville, NC | 704-873-5882 | www.fortdobbs.org

No. 3

Discover Historical past on the Statesville Historic Assortment

In a big business constructing on the fringe of downtown, the Statesville Historic Assortment shows 1000’s of pictures, artifacts, and interpretive panels from all through Statesville’s historical past. Operated by Preservation Statesville, the museum is an enchanting place to go to.

Study in regards to the skilled baseball gamers born in Statesville. Take a look at the film posters of movement photos filmed within the metropolis. Take a dive into the native liquor historical past. And a peek at lots of of historic artifacts.

212 North Middle Avenue, Statesville, NC | 704-450-9828 | www.preservationstatesville.org

No. 4

Go to the Iredell Museums

Probably the most well-known piece within the Iredell Museums’ assortment is the three,000-year-old Egyptian mummy, lovingly referred to as Margaret the Mummy by native faculty kids. When the museum was based by a gaggle of locals within the mid-1900s, the purpose was to carry the surface world to Statesville and foster a worldwide studying expertise.

The museum is a superb place to go to for any age. Kids benefit from the hands-on displays whereas adults can dive deeper into historical past. Among the displays rotate just a few occasions annually. Plan to spend about an hour exploring the renovated constructing in downtown Statesville.

134 Court docket Avenue, Statesville, NC | 704-873-7347 | www.iredellmuseums.org

No. 5

Take a Guided Tour on the Historic Sharpe Home

After spending just a few years within the South Carolina Lowcountry coaching within the tannery enterprise, Silas Sharpe returned to Statesville and constructed the grandest home anybody within the city had ever seen. Accomplished in 1866, the two-story body home includes a Classical Revival model just like the elegant plantation houses of the south.

Right this moment, the Historic Sharpe Home is a well-liked occasion venue ceaselessly rented for weddings and particular events. Guests can tour the home and see later house owners’ modifications to the inside design.

402 South Middle Avenue, Statesville, NC | 704-871-2085 | http://thesharpehouse.org

No. 6

Go Buying in Downtown Statesville

Downtown Statesville has an abundance of spaciousness. Broad brick and concrete sidewalks are separated from the two-lane roads with boundaries of timber and flower gardens. Wood rocking chairs and metallic bistro tables seem randomly, invitingly, and pleasantly.

It’s one of the crucial beautiful downtowns in North Carolina and an ideal place to do some purchasing.

GG’s is the defacto present store for town. Situated at Middle and Broad Streets in the midst of downtown, the retail store has provided native paintings, house décor, clothes, and handmade pottery since 1969. It’s the very best place on the town for a memento to recollect your go to to Statesville.

When Jeff Archer found a ardour for constructing bicycles, he didn’t know that it will result in opening First Flight Bikes in Statesville. Operated by his longtime enterprise associate Wes Davidson, the bicycle store sells street, mountain, and electrical bikes, equipment, and every little thing it’s essential safe the bike to your automotive and take it house.

After getting into a duathlon, David Carleton found a ardour for bicycling. Alongside together with his spouse, Angela, he opened Crossroads Biking Firm to assist others uncover a love for the exercise. By means of the small store on Broad Avenue, they promote street, mountain, and electrical bicycles and every little thing it’s essential get began.

Nick Martin found a ardour for the outside after spending eight years in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Partnering with Adam and Kaley Dykstra, Nick and Amy moved to Statesville and opened Roots Out of doors. The retail store gives out of doors clothes, gear, and equipment for any sort of journey in North Carolina.

Opened in 1998, Carolina Mountain Sports activities gives out of doors clothes and kit particularly for backpacking, paddling, and fly fishing. The workers is aware of the area all through the Carolinas, Virginia, and Georgia, making them an incredible supply for planning your subsequent out of doors journey.

Lee Dellinger Effective Artwork is an artwork gallery that includes unique work and sculptures from artists all through the nation. The one-room gallery with white partitions is vibrant and invigorating, an incredible place to browse the native paintings.

Selvin Giron is the third era of his household to personal Flor de America Cigar Manufacturing unit. In 1965, his grandmother, Flor Diaz, discovered the tremendous craft of creating cigars and introduced it to America. The cigars are nonetheless handmade within the small store on Broad Avenue in Statesville.

No. 7

Benefit from the Open air at Lake Norman State Park

When Duke Power impounded the Catawba River in 1964, it created Lake Norman – the biggest synthetic lake in North Carolina. Only a twenty-minute drive from Statesville whisks guests away to Lake Norman State Park and a profound stillness beneath a cover of greenery.

The state park consists of 17 miles of shoreline for scenic views of the lake, fishing from a picket pier, and swimming on the seaside. The Lake Shore Path is one in all three mountain climbing trails within the park with little elevation change. The 30.5-mile Itusi Path is ideal for mountain biking. The 33-acre Lake Park is separated from Lake Regular by a dam – it’s the right place for kayaking or paddleboating.

759 State Park Highway, Troutman, NC | 704-528-6350 | www.ncparks.gov/lake-norman-state-park

No. 8

Go to the Rescue Ranch

In 2012, NASCAR driver Ryan Newman and his spouse, Krissie, based Rescue Ranch on 87 acres in Statesville. The non-profit animal welfare group supplies sanctuary to animals rescued from neglect.

Guests can schedule a 90-minute guided tour of the property. The excursions embrace hands-on experiences with the rescued animals and an opportunity to feed a few of them. The ten,000-square-foot Earnhardt Household Playground is the area’s solely all-inclusive playground for kids of all skills. Name to schedule the excursions and plan to spend a day with barnyard animals and playground tools.

1424 Turnersburg Freeway, Statesville, NC | 704-768-0909 | www.rescueranch.com

No. 9

Go for a Scorching Air Balloon Journey

In a room filled with residents, enterprise leaders, and balloon pilots, Statesville Mayor Costi Kutteh proclaimed, “Statesville is now the ‘Ballooning Capital of the East’.” A cacophony of clapping echoed by the room as cheer unfold as quick as an inflating balloon.

Balloonists stay all through North Carolina’s Piedmont. They don’t fly from airports or helipads or balloonpads. As a substitute, they plan with house owners of enormous, open fields and take off from dozens of places. Statesville simply occurs to be the central hub for his or her launch websites and an incredible place to remain if you wish to go for a sizzling air balloon trip.

Professional Journey Tip What goes up doesn’t come down once more in the identical place. The joys of a sizzling air balloon trip is the mild circulate with the airstream a number of hundred toes above the bottom. However don’t fear about the place you land – the balloonists’ groups have a plan for that. A chaser car follows the balloon to the touchdown web site. After unloading, the chaser returns the passengers to their automotive on the launch web site.

Air-Olina Aviation takes as much as three passengers for sightseeing, champagne, and journey rides. Sky Sweet Balloons flies twice day by day on weekends all year long. Tree High Flyer Ballooning has a spectacular pumpkin-themed balloon. David Litton is a first-grade trainer through the week, however on the weekends, he takes to the skies with Virtually Heaven Balloon. Massive Oh! Balloons is the eagerness of pilots Charles Web page and Kristie Darling.

The easiest way to discover a balloon flight is to contact the Statesville tourism people – they may have all of the up to date details about balloonists working within the space.

No. 10

Attend the Carolina BalloonFest

In 1974, Statesville native Invoice Meadows hosted the primary Nationwide Balloon Rally at Balloon Ascensions, a balloon flight coaching facility. Over the following forty years, the venue would change – however all the time saved in Statesville – and the rally’s identify modified to Carolina BalloonFest, the nation’s second-oldest annual balloon pageant.

The three-day pageant is usually held through the third weekend of October. The brisk fall air tickles your pores and skin whereas ballooning above a panorama of reds, oranges, and yellows through the autumn foliage. On the bottom, spectators watch the gargantuan balloons come to life with heated gases from pressurized canisters connected to wicker baskets.

Garden chairs and blankets are welcome. Stay music performs on the primary stage. Kids can benefit from the Youngsters Zone, and adults can flick thru the North Carolina Wine and Craft Beer Backyard.

Tethered balloon rides are provided all through the day. It’s the right alternative to go in your first balloon trip – and possibly uncover one thing new to like.

Did You Know? Established in 1972, the Albuquerque Worldwide Balloon Fiesta is the oldest annual balloon pageant on this planet. And, with over 500 collaborating balloonists, it’s the biggest balloon pageant on this planet. The annual occasion is held in October, the very best time to go to New Mexico.

No. 11

Spend an Night at Davesté Vineyards

Puffy white clouds dotted throughout a deep blue sky whereas a stringed instrument lullaby echoed from the primary stage. The glass of Riesling was completely paired with the stress-free autumn afternoon. Comfy tables and chairs had been sprinkled beneath a thinning cover of leaves – and my good afternoon exercise was set.

In 2005, Dave and Ester DeFehr purchased a peaceable 60 acres of land in Troutman and planted their first grape vines. The next yr, after constructing the white barn for winemaking, they harvested the primary grapes and bottled the primary wine ever produced in Iredell County.

The tasting room and artwork gallery are the hub of actions at Davesté Vineyards. Sommeliers clarify the number of wines produced by a number of tastings, serving to novice guests {and professional} vinophiles uncover their favourite. Curated paintings adorns the partitions of the tasting room.

Outdoors, tables and chairs are unfold throughout the panorama and linked by paths. A small pond with a miniature waterfall churning beneath a footbridge. Deliver your personal blanket and stake out a patch of grass for a romantic getaway simply twenty minutes from Statesville.

155 Lytton Farm Highway, Troutman, NC | 704-528-3882 | www.davestevineyards.com

No. 12

Get a Drink at Crimson Buffalo Brewing Co.

I sat on the darkish oak bar at Crimson Buffalo Brewing Co. and instantly observed pink mild was forged in all places. Crimson accent lights had been strung beneath the bar. Overhead lamps had been fitted with pink lightbulbs. The silhouette of a buffalo blazed in vibrant pink on the glasses.

I requested proprietor Joe Bondi about it. “After I opened this bar, I selected the buffalo as a result of I needed an enormous, iconic animal. After which I added the colour pink to make it an simply identifiable model.”

The craft beer menu options ales and stouts like many native breweries. The Blueberry Ale had an attention-grabbing taste, and the Chillbillie Ale was my favourite. However essentially the most attention-grabbing drink on the menu was referred to as Black & Blue, and I used to be about to attempt it.

After spending eight years stationed in Japan with the Military, Bondi developed a keenness for sake – an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting rice. He ready the Black & Blue on the bar prime in entrance of me. He began with 4 ounces of sake, then a coconut Crimson Bull, and topped it off with Val’s Chocolate Stout.

It was the very best tasting, most disgusting-sounding drink I’ve ever tried. I requested for one more.

108 North Middle Avenue, Statesville, NC | 704-380-2219 | https://redbuffalobrewing.com

No. 13

Take a Guided Tour at Southern Distilling Firm

When Pete and Vienna Barger based Southern Distilling Firm in 2013, they didn’t know Statesville was as soon as often called the “Liquor Capital of the World.” Pete defined, “We put the enterprise in Statesville as a result of Statesville was the fitting place for the enterprise.” It was additionally the primary licensed distillery within the metropolis since 1903.

Guests to the domestically owned distillery can tour the spectacular 25,000-square-foot facility. The guided tour heads to the highest of gargantuan stainless-steel fermenters to see the method in motion, continues previous the brass nonetheless, and thru the stacks of oak barrels.

 On the tour’s conclusion, saddle as much as the comfy leather-clad barstools on the impeccable picket bar for an opportunity to style their rye and wheated bourbon whiskeys. Earlier than leaving, attempt their Double Shot Espresso Bourbon Cream Liqueur – and resolve what number of bottles you need to take house.

211 Jennings Highway, Statesville, NC | 704-978-7175 | www.southerndistillingcompany.com

(High) The jalapeno bacon hen and waffle at The Bristol Cafe. (Backside) Shrimp and girts – served with deep fried grit muffins – at Twisted Oak Bar and Grill.

No. 14

Benefit from the Native Delicacies

You might be forgiven for pondering Statesville’s meals comes from chain eating places and fast-food joints clustered across the interstate freeway exits. However ten minutes away from the hall of screaming engines, downtown is a bastion of native purchasing and eating linked by broad sidewalks and quiet streets.

It could not be stunning to see Kelli Simko Walker smiling. In 2015, 5 years after 220 Café opened, she purchased the restaurant with the assistance of enterprise companions Invoice and Lisa McBane. All the pieces within the small restaurant is sourced domestically – the paintings on the partitions, meats and greens, and elements. The menu modifications seasonally however usually consists of salads, wraps, sandwiches, and burgers.

On any given morning, the road outdoors The Bristol Café begins half an hour earlier than the door opens. That’s as a result of house owners Jeff and Joanie Hustead created one of the crucial attention-grabbing culinary experiences in North Carolina’s Piedmont. Their grilled cheese includes a six-cheese mix. The Krispy Kreme Burger is a ½-pound chargrilled burger on a heat doughnut. And their brunch menu is heralded for the bacon jalapeno waffle topped with a candy tea marinated crispy hen breast.

Broad Avenue Burger Co. was the third restaurant opened by the dynamic improvement duo of Jason Cole and Andrea Chadwick. The 2-story restaurant inside a historic constructing options hardwood flooring, brick partitions, and a pink tin ceiling. Over two dozen burger creations populate the menu, however you can even create your personal from scratch utilizing any of their elements. Wash all of it down with a broad choice of 24 beers on faucet, a lot of them North Carolina craft beers.

Caesar Mesias discovered every little thing he is aware of about cooking whereas working for 19 years at an Italian restaurant in New York Metropolis. When he left the Massive Apple in 2019, he moved to Statesville and opened his first restaurant – Pasta Amore. Peruvian by beginning, Mesias is aware of Italian meals and makes every little thing from scratch – together with the Italian cheesecake made with ricotta cheese.

You possibly can’t miss Randy’s BBQ with the brilliant pink sloped roof harking back to a Nineteen Fifties drive-in. Randy and Robin Pittman opened their first location in close by Troutman in 1985 – the identical yr they married. Then, in 2019, the Pittman’s introduced their tender pulled pork to Statesville.  Step contained in the historic restaurant constructing and pattern their menu of barbecue, burgers, and all the very best sides.

After opening two different eating places and a wine bar, native builders Jason Cole and Andrea Chadwick handled Statesville to a different culinary staple – Smokin’ Southern Cantina. It’s the closest you will get to the seaside in Statesville. However not only one seaside – all of them. The menu is full of Mexican, Hawaiian, Jamaican, and Caribbean-inspired dishes like nachos, tacos, and burritos.

In 2013, Jason Cole and Andrea Chadwick modified the course of Statesville’s downtown redevelopment once they opened their first restaurant, Twisted Oak American Bar & Grill. You wouldn’t know the impeccably renovated restaurant was as soon as the horse stables – stuccoed partitions paired with brick partitions, picket beams supported a black ceiling, and the partitions had been lined with attention-grabbing portraits of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Their menu of salads, entrees, sandwiches, and burgers is all about choices – many gadgets embrace a listing of extra add-ons for a totally personalized meal.

The place to Keep

For the reason that early 1800s, when the primary railroads had been constructed by Statesville, town has been a hub of transportation by the area. And for that cause, there are just a few nice locations to remain for just a few nights.


Crimson Roof Inn PLUS+ is a superb budget-friendly choice. The motel options the traditional architectural model with stable rails on the higher flooring and an iconic pitched roof. However the property is barebones with few different facilities – they put every little thing into the renovated visitor rooms. Select from rooms with one king mattress or two full beds.

Microtel Inn & Suites is an attention-grabbing place to remain. The resort is sort of a cruise ship with small rooms and cramped quarters – however nonetheless comfy with all the very best facilities. Select from rooms with one queen mattress or two queen beds.


Fairfield Inn & Suites is a cushty place to spend a protracted weekend in Statesville. The resort options an outside swimming pool, spacious foyer, and complimentary breakfast. Select from rooms with two queen beds, one king mattress, or a collection with one king mattress and a sleeper couch.

Hampton Inn options the very best complimentary sizzling breakfast of any resort chain within the nation. The resort options an outside swimming pool, spacious visitor rooms, and enterprise facilities. Select from rooms with two queen beds or one king mattress.


Hilton Backyard Inn is the top-recommended resort in Statesville. The resort includes a spectacular indoor swimming pool, an on-site bar, and a spacious foyer. The comfy visitor rooms embrace two queen beds or one king mattress.

The Inn on Entrance Avenue is Statesville’s solely mattress and breakfast. In-built 1917, the Edwardian-style house was renovated in 2004 by innkeepers Mike and Jerilyn Davidson. The inn is inside strolling distance of all of the downtown purchasing and eating. The 4 bedrooms in the primary home function personal bogs. Two extra bedrooms, every with personal bogs, are situated within the historic carriage home.


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