Thursday, December 8, 2022

Winter Bucket List in the Heart of NC


Celebrate the Winter Season


Beat the winter blues by checking off bucket list items in the Heart of North Carolina. Randolph County shares its winter magic with visitors during this special season. November through February are typically hibernation months – this allows a better opportunity to explore with fewer crowds. Build your memorable adventure with our suggestions below!  

 Enjoy Winter Wonders

Kersey Valley Christmas | Lights, Santa, Action - Archdale, NC


Photo Credit: KerseyValleyChristmas.com

Multiple light displays, Santa’s workshop and photos, Grinch cave, reindeer games, jumping pillow, mega slide, and a roasty toasty village (and more!) await your family at Kersey Valley this Christmas season. An event that will surely delight the young and the young at heart.         

Millstone Creek Orchards | Christmas with the Kringles Market | Ramseur, NC 

Photo Credit: Millstone Creek Orchards

The Kringles are visiting Millstone Creek Orchards this season for a magical Christmas adventure! Enjoy Christmas photos with professional photographers, visits with Holly (the Christmas cow), an orchard hayride, Christmas cookie decorating, reindeer food creation stations and memorable visits with Santa & Mrs. Claus. Christmas hayride & light show, visits with Santa & Mrs. Claus, reindeer food creation station, Christmas cookie decorating, letters to Santa & hot cocoa. In addition to the event, enjoy hot apple cider donuts, s’more roasting, playground, and shop for your family Christmas tree in the tree lot.  New family traditions with Christmas Wreath Making Workshops with fresh greenery throughout November and December. Reservations are required as space is limited.                                              

Cold Weather Fun Indoor Ideas

Photo Credit: Luke Phillips


Family friendly activities found only in the Heart of North Carolina are the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with the people that matter the most. Since 1990 the Family Sports Center in Asheboro, NC, has brought the fun with 32 bowling lanes, billiards, arcade and so much more.  The newest indoor attraction to our area is The Bunker Lounge at Holly Ridge Golf Links in Archdale. The Bunker is a state-of-the-art indoor simulator and game facility that is unlike anything you’ve experienced at a golf facility – experience virtual golf, archery, baseball, dodgeball, and more in the six bays of entertainment. 

Wanting to learn about history this holiday season? Check out the American Classic Motorcycle Museum to see one of the largest private collections of antique Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the country – 45 bikes dating from 1936 to 1978. Fly high at the NC Aviation Museum and Hall of Fame in Asheboro to view two large hangars filled with military artifacts, planes and memorabilia from WWI to present. Race into the Petty Museum showcasing the careers of this four-generation NASCAR Hall of Fame racing family including Lee, Richard, Maurice, Kyle and Adam Petty. Follow the family from the early “dirt” days to the present. Cars, trophies, and awards, along with nostalgic family memorabilia fill the building.  

Family-friendly Entertainment

Photo Credit: Randolph HUB


See a show, movie, or holiday special in our inviting theaters. From our traditional movie experience at Cinemark VII in the Asheboro Mall, to our family-owned and operated Liberty Showcase Theater in Liberty, NC where performances include the Jerry Allison's Annual Christmas Show. Don’t miss seasonal performances at the Sunset Theatre located in historic Downtown Asheboro for family entertainment in this gem of a venue. 

Wintertime Warm Up at Local Eateries

Photo Credit: The Wet Whistle Co.


Support our local restaurants, bakeries, and coffee shops this winter season – we have over 50 to choose from in Randolph County. A handful of our dining establishments have lots of history, serving residents and visitors for over 75 years! Explore our dining options that include award-winning fried chicken at Magnolia 23  in  Downtown Asheboro or daily soup specials at David’s Restaurant in Asheboro. Warm up with a cup of coffee or tea at The Wet Whistle Co. in Archdale. Whatever the mood you are in this winter, Randolph County can delight the tastebuds. Find your dining inspiration here. 

'Tis the Season to Shop 'til You Drop

Find your next favorite gift items from one of our charming boutiques and shops in our downtown areas throughout Randolph County. Seeking the traditional shopping mall experience at Asheboro Mall with Belk, ULTA, and Books-a-Million. Hard to find treasures and unique furniture and fixtures can be found in any of our antique shops. Brighten cabinets with one-of-a-kind pottery, handmade in the Seagrove Pottery community by one of 50+ potters – complete list here. 

Want to give the gift of experiences this year? Check out our blog (here) of inspirational ideas and quick links to our partners that offer gift cards and certificates to unique experiences in the Heart of North Carolina.

When can we expect you? Visit HeartofNorthCarolina.com for places to stay and special military discount offers! Order a FREE travel guide and check out the listing of annual events on our bit.ly/HNCVBCalendar . We look forward to following along on your visit. Tag us at #theHeartofNC.

  


Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Seagrove, NC - Travel Tips and More!

 

How To “Do” Seagrove, the Pottery Capital of the USA 

Seagrove, NC is known as the Pottery Capital of the United States has around 80 working potters can be found here at any one time with around 50 shops, studios and galleries open to the public. Some potters here are ninth generation potters. Others have relocated from across the United States or other countries for internships or to get off the “show circuit” and immerse themselves in this creative, pastoral community. Even the mayor of Seagrove is a potter! 

Read more about the history of Seagrove’s pottery tradition here 



Visitor tips:

    What is Seagrove, NC? It's  a rural crafts town located in #TheHeartOfNC, an hour and a half north of Charlotte and west of Raleigh. We’re 45 minutes south of Greensboro. Asheboro is the largest city near Seagrove, an easy 20-minute interstate drive. The nationally ranked golf community of Pinehurst sits 40 minutes southeast of Seagrove.

   What kind of pottery? Search on the #SeagrovePotters or #SeagrovePottery hashtag to get a feel for the diversity of shapes, styles, colors and selections online. 

     When to visit? Thursday, Friday and Saturday offer the easiest access for the public--and the most chance to drop by a working shop to see pottery made. If it’s convenient, ask the owner to go behind the scenes and see the kiln.

     Call ahead if you plan to visit on other days of the week as most shops are family-owned, operated, and staffed. Sometimes, the potters may step out of the shop and run a quick errand.

     Visit The NC Pottery Center start your pottery quest at the official State pottery museum that showcases the history and pottery from the mountains to the sea with rotating exhibitions and one area devoted specifically to Seagrove work. It’s especially helpful if you’re trying to decide what potters you’d like to see.

     Grab a Map - Pick up a Pottery Map at the I-73/I-74 Heart of NC Visitor Center in Seagrove, the NC Pottery Center or one of the pottery shops. Or download it here.


Lodging in Seagrove:

           ●     Duck Smith House Bed & Breakfast 

           ●     The Seagrove Stoneware Inn is a potter-owned AirBnb. 

      ●     variety of hotels are just 20 minutes away in Asheboro. 

          

        

       Wine And Dine in Seagrove:

     The General Wine & Brew is a wine and beer bar. Potter-owned, that is known for its trademark glass bar that showcases the family’s collection of political, humorous, and historic buttons. The bar offers light snack foods. Food trucks are often parked on the weekends.

     Fresh Cuts Butcher and Seafood Market is the place to grab sandwiches, pimento cheese, chicken salad and NC-made pickles for a picnic on a pottery shop’s front steps. This purveyor of wine, beer, and groceries offers a hot bar and deli. Known for their country breakfasts and weekend specials, the team here is known for their hospitality and friendly nature.

     Plus More Nearby

       Events & Festivals in Seagrove:

Each year - the weekend before Thanksgiving - Seagrove welcomes visitors to enjoy the popular Pottery Festival Weekend. Two festivals celebrate the traditions of pottery making with vendor spaces open for shopping throughout the weekend.
 
The 40th Annual Seagrove Pottery Festival is held at Seagrove Elementary School and hosts potters and craftsman from across North Carolina and Seagrove. 

The Celebration of Seagrove Potters Fall Festival & Studio Tour will allow visitors to experience an indoor show at Luck's Cannery and a self-guided driving studio tour. Local food trucks will be on site along with information tents to enhance the visitor experience.

Can't make it for Pottery Festival Weekend? Check out this calendar for events throughout the year - celebrating American Craft Week, Spring Kiln Openings, Pottery Pumpkin Patch, and Tea with Seagrove Potters, to name a few!

     
   
    Expand Your Trip
:

     Consider spending a full day or afternoon at the North Carolina Zoo, the largest natural habitat zoo in the world in Asheboro, NC. An AZA-certified destination, the zoo leads animal and field conservation programs in more than 10 countries. Encounter 1,800 animals along a five-mile walking trail, take a spin on the endangered species carousel, tackle a ropes course, hop on the ZooFari tour or feed a giraffe. Walk through the seasonal butterfly garden and gardens made for kids. The outdoor art and sculpture collection is worth zoo admission alone.

     Carolina Bronze Sculpture and Garden in Seagrove offers tours by appointment. Established in 1990, the bronze foundry casts sculptures for a global list of clients. Tour the foundry, and visit their sculpture garden.

     Seagrove Orchids Seagrove Orchids is a working orchid nursery cultivating and offering nearly 220 different species of beautiful orchids. You can tour this working orchid nursery on Fridays and Saturday. All other days by appointment only. Seagrove Orchids has quickly established itself as "the orchid nursery" in North Carolina.


For more information, call the Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau at 336-626-0364, or visit https://www.heartofnorthcarolina.com/ for a detailed list of Seagrove Potters and their events! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Gift the Experiences of the Heart of NC!

 

 Give the Gift of Experiences to

Make Memories in the Heart of NC

Purchasing gifts for loved ones can often be a challenge. Consider giving the gift of experiences this upcoming season. We have compiled a perfect list of all ages of experiences that are unique to our area. When you think of a gift you may think about why you would give someone a gift, it may be to show appreciation for their friendship, it could be an item they need, or it could be an activity that makes them happy. Make memories and by trying something new with your loved ones in the Heart of NC from this list of family-friendly adventures.

Family-Fun for all at the North Carolina Zoo

*Gift idea: North Carolina Zoo Annual Membership

Photo credit: North Carolina Zoo

More than 1,800 animals call the North Carolina Zoo home. These wild animals represent two continents, African and North America, with Asia coming soon! At the world's largest natural habitat zoo, the animals have acres of room to roam, and so do you! With 5-miles of walking trails inside the park, nature play areas for children, a zoo animal-themed carousel, and an expansive collection of art exhibits located throughout the Zoo – make sure you lace up your walking shoes for this adventure.

The North Carolina Zoo is open daily (closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Days). Begin new traditions or continue old ones with your loved ones this holiday season at the North Carolina Zoo. 

Purchase Annual Memberships Here 

 

Thrill-seeking Fun at Kersey Valley Attractions

*Gift idea: Kersey Valley Attractions Gift Card

Photo credit: Kersey Valley Attractions

Kersey Valley Attractions will satisfy any adrenaline seeker on your gift list this season. Choose one or more experiences found on this 83-acre farm to check off your bucket list. Zipline along the tree lines on the aviation-themed flight path or take a shot at the state-of-the-art laser tag outdoor course. If you want to stay at ground level, Bomb Bowling or Axe Throwing may pique your interest. The Piedmont Triad’s best real-world adventure game rooms offer family-friendly, creepy, and scary Escape Rooms.

Seasonal experiences include the award-winning Kersey Valley Spookywoods, an immersive haunted house attraction featuring a family-friendly corn maize adventure during the day. The Christmas season is filled with joy, hot cocoa, lights, Santa, and a train ride around the park. Kersey Valley Christmas is in its second season and has expanded the light display for even more Christmas cheer for all ages!

Purchase a Gift Card for Kersey Valley Attractions – good for most adventures!


Take a Scenic Drive and Explore the Pottery Highway

*Gift idea: Handmade items only found in Seagrove! 

Photo credit: VisitNC

Oftentimes the best memories can be made on a winding country road. One of the most beautiful back roads in Randolph County takes visitors to Seagrove, NC, nestled in the southern part of the Heart of NC. The true experience of the Seagrove Pottery community is meeting the makers of this craft, some are 8th generational potters. Driving down NC Hwy 705, Pottery Highway, you will encounter historic areas of North Carolina which have been making and selling hand-thrown and hand-built pottery since the eighteenth century. 

Insider tip – plan to explore the charming dining and unique shops throughout the Downtown Seagrove area as well to support the small businesses. 


Begin Planning Your Visit Today!

 

Off-Broadway Entertainment Comes to the Heart of NC

*Gift idea: RhinoLeap Productions Season Pass

Photo credit: Jeremy Skidmore

RhinoLeap Productions is a professional theater production company based out of Randolph County since 2015. The upcoming production season is filled with comedy, drama, tragedy, documentaries, podcasts, and seasonal entertainment. Production subscriptions include a ticket to each RhinoLeap performance for 2022 - 2023. 

Learn About Productions and Purchase Tickets Here

 

Legendary Entertainment at the Liberty Showcase Theater

*Gift idea: Liberty Showcase Theater performance tickets

Photo credit: Randolph Hub

Live music and world-class entertainers perform in an intimate vintage movie theater in the downtown area of Liberty. Established in 1949 as The Curtis Movie Theater, this historic venue now hosts legendary artists from the music industry across several genres including bluegrass, country, and gospel. Theater owners, Dewey, and Leslie Brown are also known to entertain their guests with original music written and performed by the couple. Consider the gift of music for your loved one to make memories and check off bucket list items by visiting the Liberty Show Theater.

Learn About Performances and Purchase Tickets Here 

 

Fuel for the Adventures - Dining Local

*Gift idea: Gift Cards to Local Dining Establishments


Some of the fondest memories are made around the dining table. Delicious food has a way of bonding people together. Additional highlights of the entertainment and adventures mentioned above include having a meal, or two, among our extensive list of local award-winning dining establishments. From farm-to-table and tastes of comfort to pizzas made in a wood-fired oven or delicious burritos from an authentic taco stand; some of our dining options have been in business for over 75 years. Grab a drink at our brewery, wineries, and tasting room to sample beers and wines made right here in Randolph County.

See Our Foodie List in Randolph County Here!

When can we expect you? Visit HeartofNorthCarolina.com for places to stay and special military discount offers! Order a FREE travel guide and check out the listing of annual events on our bit.ly/HNCVBCalendar . We look forward to following along on your visit. Tag us at #theHeartofNC.

                     

 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Family Friendly Fall FINDS – Day or Night!




Fall can be defined by many people as colorful foliage, tasty homemade treats, and fun family traditions in pumpkin patches and corn mazes. In the northwestern portion of the Heart of North Carolina, Archdale and Trinity have many attractions for family fun during the day and spooktacular entertainment at night. Read on to plan your next memory making tradition with loved ones.

Where to FIND Fall Foliage

Take a seasonal stroll along paved walking trails at Creekside Park in Archdale or elevate your walk with the workout stations throughout the trail. Not only is this 107-acre park geared toward passive recreation there are multiple opportunities to take in nature by exploring the 1.24-mile orienteering course featuring 12 control points. Competitive fun for all ages continues with the 18-hole disc golf course designed by Russell Swartz in 2011. Children of all ages and abilities will enjoy multiple playgrounds with one being ramped and ADA compliant. Celebrating one year of parkrun events in 2022 - join this international 5k event, weekly at Creekside Park, one of three in North Carolina, FREE registration. Convenient electric car charging stations available.

Photo credit: Doll Girl


Fall temperatures continuously attract golfers to Holly Ridge Golf Links, a premier public golf course that leads the way in challenging, affordable golf in the Piedmont Triad. While tee times are preferred for the area’s finest 18-hole course, feel free to drop in for a quick nine. Delicious food and beverages from the newly renovated bar and grill will keep you energized for continued entertainment in The Bunker, an HD golf simulator experience with six bays of virtual play from courses worldwide.

Holly Ridge Golf Links Photo credit: Richard Schaffer

The Bunker | HD Simulator Photo credit: Conner Jarrell


Where to FIND History

Privately owned with a primary mission of preserving North Carolina’s farming heritage and industrial legacy, Linbrook Heritage Estate is home to Linbrook Hall, Historic Hoover House, and Neal Agricultural and Industrial Museum. Connect agricultural history to today’s modern technology with tours of each site.

Linbrook Hall is the center piece of Linbrook Heritage Estate and is not only a house, but an event and fundraising venue. With four floors of antiques from all over the world, seasonal tours are offered to guests with reservations.

Linbrook Heritage Estate - Linbrook Hall


Relive Randolph County early farm life from 1905 to 1944 at the homestead of the Neal family is the Historic Hoover House. Restored to its original appearance, early farm equipment and hand-built tools are on display for viewing through guided tours.

Linbrook Heritage Estate - Historic Hoover House


See artifacts and more than 26 fully restored John Deere® tractors at the Neal Agricultural and Industrial Museum. View a 1926 return tube boiler from P & P Chair Company in Asheboro, producers of the Carolina Rocking Chair used by President John F. Kennedy, multiple steam engines from the 19th century, and see demonstration of the War of the Currents. Open daily to the public, children FREE admission!

Linbrook Heritage Estate - Neal Agricultural and Industrial Museum


Where to FIND Thrills & Chills

Explore fall colors from above at Kersey Valley Zipline with 14 lines and 17 sky decks providing a bird’s eye perspective. A pumpkin patch, corn maze, gem mining, and a jumping pillow will entertain the entire family building traditions and fall memories.

Kersey Valley Zipline


Guests can check off their thrill-seeking list with activities on this 83-acre adventure park at every turn. From intense themed Escape Rooms to a challenging Axe Throwing Course, adrenaline will flow into the late hours of the night with one of the top haunts in America – Kersey Valley Spookywoods. Each year, since 1985, movie quality sets with soul-shaking special environmental effects spook the bravest of guests. Get scared HERE, if you dare!  

Kersey Valley Spookywoods

 

Where to FIND Relaxation & Rest

Since opening in 2007, as Randolph County’s first commercial vineyard, Zimmerman Vineyards has welcomed thousands of visitors and residents to take in spectacular views among 140 acres at the foot of Mt. Shepherd. Guests enjoy weekend tours, wine tastings, intimate art shows, and live music during the height of Zimmerman’s season. Find your spot on the rustic flagstone terrace for ultimate relaxation.

Zimmerman Vineyards Photo credit: evercastro92

Rejuvenate from your fall exploration at one of our affordable hotel properties, conveniently located off I-85, near local dining establishments and a charming shopping district. Book your accommodations here before your visit!

We look forward to following along during your visit – tag us at #theHeartofNC. Make sure to order your FREE travel guide bit.ly/FREETravelGuide for more planning tips.

 

 


Monday, September 19, 2022

Ultimate Bucket List in the Heart of North Carolina

Located in the center of North Carolina, the Heart of North Carolina offers budget-friendly experiences including multiple hiking trails, local dining, exploring historic sites, flying among the treetops, and visiting the world’s largest natural habitat zoo. Continue for the Ultimate Bucket List of adventures ahead!

Carolina blue skies, rolling hills among our scenic back roads, miles of hiking trails, and majestic roaring lions…yes, we said lions! We have it all in the Heart of North Carolina. We invite you to #TakeItOutside and find adventure solo or with your family and friends. Use this fun guide to find the outdoor gems that transform a getaway into a treasured memory. We want you to stay safe and travel smart.


#13 - Enjoy talented musicians, stroll the vineyards, and sip wine at Zimmerman Vineyards. Find an intimate setting and beautiful views at the base of Mt. Shepherd in Trinity (birthplace of Duke University). The vineyard is open Saturday 12 - 6 pm and Sunday 1 - 6 pm.  Songwriter Sunday at Zimmerman Vineyards is a FREE event from 3 to 5 pm every Sunday, March through October.


#12 -
Plan a picnic at the Pisgah Covered Bridge - the ultimate place for a family Instagram photoshoot. Insider tip: Pick up a fried chicken to-go meal or pack your basket with goodies from the Fresh Cuts Deli in nearby Seagrove. 


#11 - Take a Hike! Discover the Deep River Rail Trail, a three-quarter-mile trail created by an old railroad bed. The route offers biking, jogging, and fishing. In search of something more challenging? A complete guide to Randolph County Trails – a total of 19 - can be found at bit.ly/RandolphCountyTrailsGuide .


#10 –
Come play at Creekside Park and Disc Golf Course. This 107-acre park offers tennis courts, baseball/softball/t-ball fields, picnic shelters, shuffleboard courts, horseshoe pits, playgrounds, an 18-hole championship disc golf course with beginners’ loop, orienteering course, and three miles of scenic walking trails along Muddy Creek. 


#9 –
Spend a day at Kersey Valley Attractions. Fly high on the ziplines or get a workout throwing axes. Kersey Valley is also home to a cornfield mazeescape roomslaser tag, and Spookywoods, voted scariest Haunted Attraction in NC, so visit again this fall!


#8 –
Enjoy outdoor dining at The Table Farmhouse Bakery or Magnolia 23 in Downtown Asheboro. In case of rain, check out our list of local options following safety measures: bit.ly/SupportLocalDining

#7 –Pick seasonal fruits at Millstone Creek Orchards. Stock up on freshly made cakes and cookies at the Apple Barn Country Store. Swoon over their famous, fresh-pressed apple cider and slushies.


#6 –
Celebrate Earth Day year round with offerings directly from the dirt – pottery! Make your way to Seagrove, the Pottery Capital of the U.S., and find a new coffee mug or gift as you design your own gallery crawl along Pottery Highway.


#5 -
Enjoy the scenery at Commerce Square Park in Randleman, then scoot over to the Petty Museum and Petty's Garage to see the cars and memorabilia of NASCAR legend, "The King" Richard Petty and his family. 

#4 – Enjoy a picnic lunch in Bicentennial Park in Downtown Asheboro with views of our uniquely themed murals. When you are finished, stroll Sunset Avenue for antique shops, “geeky” comics, collectibles, gifts, and crafts. Only a block away find your favorite carbon-neutral brews at Four Saints Brewing Company with a dedicated food truck, try small bites at Asheboro Popcorn Co and Asheboro Bagel Co.

#3 – Practice your golf swing while you play through the Asheboro Municipal Golf Course, designed by famed golf course architect Donald Ross in 1935. Additional courses can be found at bit.ly/GolfInTheHeartofNC

#2 – Love airplanes? Visit the NC Aviation Museum and Hall of Fame. See stunning military artifacts and civilian memorabilia from WWI to the present, including an impressive collection of military vehicles, weapons, equipment, uniforms, and a flight simulator; see the Piper J-3 "Flitfire" flown by Orville Wright.


#1 -
About those roaring lions we mentioned earlier…explore the world's largest natural habitat wildlife zoo in Asheboro. Our North Carolina Zoo works daily to save species globally. It showcases more than 1,200 animals from North America and Africa. Payton the polar bear, our newest addition, is looking for love with Anana. We have our paws crossed for bear cubs soon. Stop by the chimpanzee habitat to catch a peek at playful Asha and Obi. Visit the Watani Grasslands to check out our adorable baby rhinos! *Note - A 10-acre Asia continent is in the works for the North Carolina Zoo, details HERE.

When can we expect you? Visit HeartofNorthCarolina.com for places to stay and special military discount offers! Order a FREE travel guide and check out the listing of annual events on our bit.ly/HNCVBCalendar . We look forward to following along on your visit. Tag us at #theHeartofNC.

Until then - enjoy a virtual tour of #theHeartofNC below. See you soon!



 

  

Winter Bucket List in the Heart of NC

Celebrate the Winter Season Beat the winter blues by checking off bucket list items in the Heart of North Carolina. Randolph County shares i...