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

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

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

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

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

Statesville is an ideal road-tripping vacation spot – particularly when you’re on a highway 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.

But first, discover Statesville. It’s simple to search out wonderful issues to do with a weekend getaway. Local procuring, eating, breweries, historical past – it’s a melting pot of small-town facilities that gives a little bit little bit of the whole lot.

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

Browse by way of this checklist of issues to do in Statesville and let me know – what would you do with a weekend getaway?

Bring a set of checkers for these public tables on Broad Street.
Bring a set of checkers for these public tables on Broad Street.

Brief History

In 1753, Scots-Irish and German immigrants from Pennsylvania traveled south on the Great Wagon Road, searching 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 positioned on the fourth creek west of Salisbury, the westernmost city within the North Carolina colony.

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

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

Throughout 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 Aid Highway Act in 1956, Statesville once more turned a hub of transportation as Interstates 77 and 40 intersected northwest of the city.

Today, 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 National Balloon Rally was hosted in Statesville – at this time, the annual Carolina BalloonFest sees tons of of scorching air balloons fill the sky.

No. 1

Start the Day at Lake Mountain Coffee

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 ground. Light blue built-in bookcases had been filled with wine bottles, tea, mugs, and shirts. A mezzanine with white balusters wrapped across the complete espresso store.

Lake Mountain Coffee was the belief of Andy Smith’s dream. After years of touring by way of 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 of us at LMC roast their very own beans, grind them contemporary for each espresso served and supply quite a lot of methods to take pleasure in your favourite brew. Comfortable seats on the bottom ground and mezzanine are the right place to benefit from the heat beverage, get some work accomplished, and plan your subsequent journey. The menu additionally contains tea, chilly drinks, and some baked items.

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

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

(Top) The reconstructed blockhouse is a formidable construction to discover. (Bottom) Historian Jason Melius demonstrates firing a musket.

No. 2

Take a Tour of Fort Dobbs State Historic Site

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

It was not a spot I might ever wish to assault. Fortunately, I didn’t must – the following guided tour was nearly to begin.

Fort Dobbs State Historic Site preserves the placement of colonial North Carolina’s solely frontier fort. The unique fort, licensed by colonial Governor Arthur Dobbs, was constructed from 1755-1756 throughout the bitter French and Indian War. 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 totally furnished sleeping quarters, powder room, and gear. Stop by the customer middle in a log home constructed by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Go for a stroll by way of the woods on the 0.75-mile nature path.

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

No. 3

Explore History on the Statesville Historical Collection

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

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

212 North Center Street, Statesville, NC | 704-450-9828 | www.preservationstatesville.org

No. 4

Visit the Iredell Museums

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

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

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

No. 5

Take a Guided Tour on the Historic Sharpe House

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. Completed in 1866, the two-story body home includes a Classical Revival fashion just like the elegant plantation houses of the south.

Today, the Historic Sharpe House is a well-liked occasion venue ceaselessly rented for weddings and particular events. Visitors can tour the home and see later homeowners’ adjustments to the inside design.

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

No. 6

Go Shopping in Downtown Statesville

Downtown Statesville has an abundance of spaciousness. Wide brick and concrete sidewalks are separated from the two-lane roads with obstacles of bushes and flower gardens. Wooden rocking chairs and steel bistro tables seem randomly, invitingly, and pleasantly.

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

GG’s is the defacto reward store for the town. Located at Center and Broad Streets in the course of downtown, the retail store has supplied native paintings, house décor, clothes, and handmade pottery since 1969. It’s one of the 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 accomplice Wes Davidson, the bicycle store sells highway, mountain, and electrical bikes, equipment, and the whole lot you want to safe the bike to your automobile and take it house.

After getting into a duathlon, David Carleton found a ardour for bicycling. Along together with his spouse, Angela, he opened Crossroads Cycling Company to assist others uncover a love for the exercise. Through the small store on Broad Street, they promote highway, mountain, and electrical bicycles and the whole lot you want to 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 Outdoor. The retail store presents out of doors clothes, gear, and equipment for any sort of journey in North Carolina.

Opened in 1998, Carolina Mountain Sports presents 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 important supply for planning your subsequent out of doors journey.

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

Selvin Giron is the third era of his household to personal Flor de America Cigar Factory. In 1965, his grandmother, Flor Diaz, realized the high-quality craft of creating cigars and introduced it to America. The cigars are nonetheless handmade within the small store on Broad Street in Statesville.

No. 7

Enjoy the Outdoors at Lake Norman State Park

When Duke Energy impounded the Catawba River in 1964, it created Lake Norman – the most important synthetic lake in North Carolina. Just 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 contains 17 miles of shoreline for scenic views of the lake, fishing from a wood pier, and swimming on the seaside. The Lake Shore Trail is one among three mountaineering trails within the park with little elevation change. The 30.5-mile Itusi Trail is ideal for mountain biking. The 33-acre Lake Park is separated from Lake Normal by a dam – it’s the right place for kayaking or paddleboating.

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

No. 8

Visit 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 gives sanctuary to animals rescued from neglect.

Visitors 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 10,000-square-foot Earnhardt Family Playground is the area’s solely all-inclusive playground for kids of all skills. Call to schedule the excursions and plan to spend a day with barnyard animals and playground gear.

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

No. 9

Go for a Hot Air Balloon Ride

In a room stuffed 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 way of the room as cheer unfold as quick as an inflating balloon.

Balloonists dwell all through North Carolina’s Piedmont. They don’t fly from airports or helipads or balloonpads. Instead, they plan with homeowners 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 important place to remain if you wish to go for a scorching air balloon journey.

Pro Travel Tip What goes up doesn’t come down once more in the identical place. The thrill of a scorching air balloon journey is the light move with the airstream a number of hundred ft above the bottom. But 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 automobile on the launch web site.

Air-Olina Aviation takes as much as three passengers for sightseeing, champagne, and journey rides. Sky Candy Balloons flies twice on daily basis on weekends all year long. Tree Top Flyer Ballooning has a spectacular pumpkin-themed balloon. David Litton is a first-grade instructor throughout the week, however on the weekends, he takes to the skies with Almost Heaven Balloon. Big Oh! Balloons is the eagerness of pilots Charles Page and Kristie Darling.

The finest technique to discover a balloon flight is to contact the Statesville tourism of us – 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 Bill Meadows hosted the primary National Balloon Rally at Balloon Ascensions, a balloon flight coaching facility. Over the following forty years, the venue would change – however at all times saved in Statesville – and the rally’s title modified to Carolina BalloonFest, the nation’s second-oldest annual balloon competition.

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

Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome. Live music performs on the principle stage. Children can benefit from the Kids Zone, and adults can flick through the North Carolina Wine and Craft Beer Garden.

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

Did You Know? Established in 1972, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the oldest annual balloon competition on this planet. And, with over 500 collaborating balloonists, it’s the most important balloon competition on this planet. The annual occasion is held in October, one of the best time to go to New Mexico.

No. 11

Spend an Evening at Davesté Vineyards

Puffy white clouds dotted throughout a deep blue sky whereas a stringed instrument lullaby echoed from the principle stage. The glass of Riesling was completely paired with the enjoyable autumn afternoon. Comfortable tables and chairs had been sprinkled beneath a thinning cover of leaves – and my excellent 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 following 12 months, 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 way of a number of tastings, serving to novice guests {and professional} vinophiles uncover their favourite. Curated paintings adorns the partitions of the tasting room.

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

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

No. 12

Get a Drink at Red Buffalo Brewing Co.

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

I requested proprietor Joe Bondi about it. “When I opened this bar, I chose the buffalo because I wanted a big, iconic animal. And then I added the color red to make it an easily identifiable brand.”

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

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

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

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

No. 13

Take a Guided Tour at Southern Distilling Company

When Pete and Vienna Barger based Southern Distilling Company in 2013, they didn’t know Statesville was as soon as referred to as the “Liquor Capital of the World.” Pete defined, “We put the business in Statesville because Statesville was the right place for the business.” It was additionally the primary licensed distillery within the metropolis since 1903.

Visitors to the regionally 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.

 At the tour’s conclusion, saddle as much as the snug leather-clad barstools on the impeccable wood bar for an opportunity to style their rye and wheated bourbon whiskeys. Before leaving, attempt their Double Shot Coffee Bourbon Cream Liqueur – and determine what number of bottles you wish to take house.

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

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

No. 14

Enjoy the Local Cuisine

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

It wouldn’t be shocking to see Kelli Simko Walker smiling. In 2015, 5 years after 220 Café opened, she purchased the restaurant with the assistance of enterprise companions Bill and Lisa McBane. Everything within the small restaurant is sourced regionally – the paintings on the partitions, meats and greens, and elements. The menu adjustments seasonally however usually contains salads, wraps, sandwiches, and burgers.

On any given morning, the road exterior The Bristol Café begins half an hour earlier than the door opens. That’s as a result of homeowners Jeff and Joanie Hustead created one of the fascinating 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 Street Burger Co. was the third restaurant opened by the dynamic growth duo of Jason Cole and Andrea Chadwick. The two-story restaurant inside a historic constructing options hardwood flooring, brick partitions, and a crimson tin ceiling. Over two dozen burger creations populate the menu, however you may as well create your individual 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 realized the whole lot he is aware of about cooking whereas working for 19 years at an Italian restaurant in New York City. When he left the Big Apple in 2019, he moved to Statesville and opened his first restaurant – Pasta Amore. Peruvian by start, Mesias is aware of Italian meals and makes the whole lot from scratch – together with the Italian cheesecake made with ricotta cheese.

You can’t miss Randy’s BBQ with the intense crimson sloped roof paying homage to a Fifties drive-in. Randy and Robin Pittman opened their first location in close by Troutman in 1985 – the identical 12 months 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 one of the 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 may get to the seaside in Statesville. But 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 after 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, wood beams supported a black ceiling, and the partitions had been lined with fascinating portraits of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Their menu of salads, entrees, sandwiches, and burgers is all about choices – many objects embrace a listing of further add-ons for a completely personalized meal.

Where to Stay

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


Red Roof Inn PLUS+ is a superb budget-friendly choice. The motel options the traditional architectural fashion with strong rails on the higher flooring and an iconic pitched roof. But the property is barebones with few different facilities – they put the whole lot into the renovated visitor rooms. Choose from rooms with one king mattress or two full beds.

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


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

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


Hilton Garden 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 snug visitor rooms embrace two queen beds or one king mattress.

The Inn on Front Street is Statesville’s solely mattress and breakfast. Built in 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 procuring and eating. The 4 bedrooms in the principle home characteristic personal loos. Two further bedrooms, every with personal loos, are positioned within the historic carriage home.


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