Friday, August 27, 2021

Fall in the Heart of NC

*Please note that at the time of publication, COVID-19 is still affecting the operations of our attractions, restaurants, and event venues. We encourage you to review and plan ahead as details are subject to change.***

Fall in love with the Heart of North Carolina this season – with dramatic leaf colors, crisp cool weather, and fun festivals. Grab your boots, scarf, and seasonal flavored drink (pumpkin or apple) to begin your adventures in the Heart of North Carolina.  

History meets trails - Soak in the fall scenery around our numerous trails. Explore historic sites, see beautiful fall color as the leaves change, and feel crisp breezes as temperatures cool with the change of the season. The Heart of North Carolina boasts 19 trails for you to explore. For the complete Randolph County Trail Guide here, from our friends at Piedmont Legacy Trails.

Faith Rock Trail, an access point of the designated Deep River State Trail, has an easy 3/4 mile loop with a big payoff. Cross over the historic bridge, take in the beautiful views of the river, and step back in time from the top of Faith Rock - where American Patriot Andrew Hunter was cornered by the Tory Army in 1782 during the Revolutionary War.

Located at 1306 Andrew Hunter Rd, Franklinville, NC 

                       More Information

Randolph County's Pisgah Covered Bridge is one of North Carolina's two remaining covered bridges that was built in 1911 at a cost of $40. The bridge is 54 feet in length and crosses the West Fork Branch of the Little River within the Uwharrie National Forest. This site serves as a direct connection to Randolph County's past mode of transportation when horse and wagon were common and automobile travel was in its infancy. 

Located at 6925 Pisgah Covered Bridge Rd, Asheboro, NC 

                                                                                               More Information                   

We love to explore the trails inside the North Carolina Zoo to discover animal adventures on a large scale, but did you also know that the Zoo has trails for exploration with no admission? Check them out when the season change. The main mission of the trails is to protect native wildlife and their natural habitats.

Located at 4401 Zoo Pkwy, Asheboro, NC

                                                                                                More Information 

Fall Harvest  –  Gather your friends and family for harvest time fun on the farm.  

Millstone Creek Orchards (MCO) is a working farm with opportunities for visitors to explore the 18-acre property with u-pick adventures, hayrides, fishing, and educational classes. This fall MCO is pumpkins and apples. We never leave the farm without trying a fresh apple cider slushie paired with hot apple cider donuts. Reservations are required for u-pick adventures - don't miss out on the fun!

Located at 506 Parks Crossroads Church Rd, Ramseur, NC                     


          More Information and Reservations


Kersey Valley Attractions is home to family-friendly adventures during the day and a haunted trail once the sun sets. Get lost at Kersey Valley Maize Adventure, a corn maze experience offering a maze, train ride, jumping pillows, pedal carts, treehouse village, and dinosaur discovery zone. Kersey Valley Spookywoods started out with a dare in 1985 and has grown into one of America's most popular and scary haunts. Reservations are encouraged on weekends in September and October. 

Located at 1615 Kersey Valley Rd, Archdale, NC                                                                    

                                                                                               More Information

Seagrove Pottery – Pottery Highway in Seagrove, NC is fun every time of year, but the fall brings seasonal pottery and new adventures. Explore over 50 pottery shops within a 20-mile radius this season and treat yourself to autumn pottery. For an ultimate road trip adventure, plan a visit to Seagrove, the Pottery Capital of the US.   


Potters Pumpkin Patch is an annual celebration of participating potters opening their shops along scenic Pottery Highway, NC Hwy 705, by selling their festive fall wares. Our talented potters showcase special items including 
pumpkins, gourds, autumn leaf pottery, woodland creatures, scented candles, and seasonal refreshments. Stop in at any of the shops and get your Potters Pumpkin Patch Map with event details for each location.

                        More Information  

Festivals and events in the Heart of North Carolina are vibrant and fun. Beginning in September with our biannual antiques festival with over 400 dealers. October weekends are filled with street festivals focusing on arts and crafts, live music, all the deep-fried foods - we even honor the King of NASCAR! We wrap up the fall season with our Seagrove Pottery friends by supporting their art during their annual festival and studio tours to purchase fall-themed decor and get an early start holiday shopping!                                              

 Check out our events calendar for a complete list of upcoming events in the Heart of NC. 

Share your fall adventure with #TheHeartofNC

Friday, August 6, 2021

Award-Winning Finds in the Heart of NC


For some “winning” is a room filled with trophies and medals—or that long-awaited promotion. For others, it may be a houseful of family over the holidays. Whatever your ‘winning in life’ moments are, find new ones with this list of award-winning experiences from the Heart of North Carolina.

Drum roll, please……YOU are the ultimate winner of an unforgettable visit with your closest family and friends.

Photo from Charlotte Parent

Ø πŸ† Wildlife Conservation Award: North Carolina Zoo –The North Carolina Zoo was spotlighted by Nat Geo WILD! as they premiered “Secrets of the Zoo: North Carolina” in 2020. The recipient of recognition for their regional and international animal conservation efforts in the wild for over two decades, the zoo is also the largest natural habitat zoo in the world! It protects all aspects of the natural world, from vultures and gorillas in Africa to endangered plants and amphibians that are native to North Carolina. Find out how you can save wildlife—and the planet—by visiting 

Kyle Petty Charity Ride for Victory Junction Camp |Photo:

Ø πŸ† Social Impact Award: Richard Petty & Petty Family Attractions – NASCAR roots begin with the Petty family and is showcased within the Petty Family Attractions and Petty Museum. The King of NASCAR, Richard Petty is a seven-time Cup Series champion and won a record of 200 races during his career. Of all the accomplishments in his career, Petty thinks of his family as his number one trophy. To honor his late grandson Adam’s memory and build upon his inspired dream, the Petty family created Victory Junction, a NASCAR-themed camp to enrich the lives of children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses. To date, Victory Junction has provided over 50,000 children opportunities of a lifetime. 

Eck McCanless Pottery

Ø    πŸ† Creative Inspiration Award: Seagrove Pottery community – Collecting pottery is a MUST if you are passionate about supporting the arts while checking off bucket list travel. Visit with more than 100 working potters in Seagrove, the #1 American Craft Town. Explore at your own pace, duck into a studio to see work being made, try a class at Thomas Pottery, and choose from a wide variety of styles and colors. 

Ø πŸ† Most Frightening Award: Fall at Kersey Valley’s Spookywoods Haunted Attraction – A tradition that began in 1985 with a group of teenage boys and a game of ‘dare’ is now one of America’s top haunted attractions. From the moment you arrive at Kersey Valley Attractions, you are fair game to each haunted creature residing on the property. Encounter special effects of light, sound, smell, dense atmosphere, air pressure, and liquid. With 13 themed sets along the haunt, you will leave with an understanding of how Spookywoods is one of the scariest scream parks in America according to Encounter a little less fright that is completely family-friendly by experiencing the seasonal Sunflower Extravaganza (mid-August to mid-September) and Maize Adventure – a Cornfield Maze (mid-September to early November). 

Ø πŸ† Entertainers of the Year Award: The Liberty Showcase Theater – Think you have missed your chance to hear legendary artists such as The Oak Ridge Boys, Doug Stone, The Kentucky Headhunters, Kathy Mattea and more perform their chart-topping hits? Look no further than The Liberty Showcase Theater located in charming Downtown Liberty. Dewey & Leslie Brown are an entertainment power couple with deep connections to the bluegrass music industry. They invite nostalgic entertainers (and friends!) to their intimate venue. Dewey played fiddle with the legendary Dr. Ralph Stanley for more than 12 years and Leslie is an accomplished bass player, songwriter, and vocalist who loves clogging and square dancing. For a complete list of upcoming scheduled musicians visit 

     πŸ† High Flying Aviation Award: NC Aviation Museum & Hall of Fame – Step back in time at the NC Aviation Museum & Hall of Fame by viewing a Piper J-3 Flitfire, flown by Orville Wright. The past meets the present as visitors learn the importance of aviation history with displays throughout two hangars – great photo ops here! Continue your journey through history by seeing a stunning A-26 bomber used in combat during the Vietnam War, built in 1943. With an expansive collection of military artifacts and civilian memorabilia from WWI to the present including an impressive collection of military vehicles, weapons, and uniforms, you will even see a Presidential Limousine. 

Ø πŸ† Get Outdoors Award: Deep River State Trail – Familiarize yourself with the natural and historical features that can be found in the Heart of North Carolina by exploring the Deep River State Trail. Recognized as a valuable resource to healthy living, it was designated as an official State Trail in 2007. Currently, hikers enjoy five miles of trail (with more planned) that are home to native wildlife creatures such as great blue herons, river otters, and osprey. Three designated trailheads serve as starting points for outdoor recreation of bicycling, hiking, walking, jogging, and paddling. 

Ø πŸ† Freshest Farm Escape Award: Millstone Creek Orchards – Return to nature at Millstone Creek Orchards, a family-owned, u-pick farm experience. They’ve been connecting travelers with seasonal produce—berries, peaches, pecans, apples, and pumpkins—for almost two decades. Plan to make memories with your family when you tour the 80-acre property with fishing ponds, a covered porch, and scrumptious apple cider slushies. Don’t forget to take home local goodies from the Apple Barn Country Store. They sell honey, jams, jellies, and Goat Lady Dairy cheeses. 

When can we expect you? Visit for places to stay and special military discount offers! Find us in the center of North Carolina, an hour and a half drive from Raleigh and Charlotte; we’re only two hours from Fayetteville, NC.

Order a FREE travel guide and check out the listing of annual events on our . We look forward to following along on your visit. Tag us at #theHeartofNC.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Ultimate Foodie Guide in the Heart of NC

An invitation to an extraordinary dining experience at The Table Farmhouse Bakery located in Downtown Asheboro

Visitors and residents that want to support local restaurants can begin with our ultimate foodie guide. Filled with quick bites, sweet treats, southern cuisine, authentic international dishes, and farm-to-table meals. There is a seat at every table in #theHeartofNC...grab your napkin and read on for our MUST eat spots!

donut, glaze king, cruller
Fresh made crullers at Glaze King

Glaze King- Wake up with a sweet tooth? This locally owned and operated doughnut shop puts the big names to shame with their homemade creations. Grab a fresh cup of coffee, your favorite confection, and enjoy the morning a little bit more in the Heart of NC with apple fritters, crullers, and bear claws!

Heritage Diner- End your search for a traditional southern breakfast with all the fixin’s because Heritage Diner brings it to the table. Don’t miss a visit to the American Classic Motorcycle Museum located above the diner for the largest, privately-owned collection of Harley Davidson® in the country.

The Chat and Chew- For specialty coffees and pastries, head over to The Chat and Chew for one of our favorites, the “Irish Moo” a hazelnut and Irish cream coffee creation. With an extensive offering of desserts, cheesecakes, and hand-dipped ice cream – make this stop an afternoon pick-me-up destination.

Outdoor dining for furry family members at Brewskie's

Brewskies- A local favorite offering a menu of espresso, craft beer, and wine paired with delicious flatbreads, sandwiches, and bakery items. A family-friendly dining option – for your furry family members too!

Sweet Baby Brown from The Table Farmhouse Bakery

The Table Farmhouse Bakery- From delicious blended coffees and pastries to fully plated meals, this farm-to-table style restaurant has fulfilled many cravings. We invite you to try the avocado smash toast, grits and greens, or one of their delicious, fresh salads made with seasonal fruits and vegetables. Pair any dish with a specialty drink – we’re talking about you, Sweet Baby Brown (espresso, brown sugar, whole milk in a mason jar!) - for the ultimate dining experience.

Jalapeno Margarita at The Taco Loco 

The Taco Loco- What started off as a hidden gem has become a local staple. Authentic Mexican cuisine in a stylish location refurbished in the heart of downtown Asheboro. Fresh guacamole and salsa, tacos made to order, and specialty margaritas. A foodie bucket list location to check off of your list!

Specialty made to order pizzas at The Flying Pig Food & Spirits

The Flying Pig Food & SpiritsWant to catch the big game? We saved you a seat, as long as you share your plate of Pig nachos (pulled pork drenched in queso and barbeque sauce over a heaping pile of nachos) or a slice of buffalo chicken pizza. *Local tip* – save room for a piece of signature cheesecake, made fresh by the owner daily.

Fresh Cuts Butcher & Seafood Deli- Take a break from pottery shopping in Seagrove and grab a quick bite to eat at the local deli. Fresh Cuts offers a "hot bar" with a menu that changes daily, but is always full of our southern cuisine favorites!

Signature southern dish at Magnolia 23

Magnolia 23- The fried chicken at Magnolia 23 has earned this little hideaway the honor of being one of the 75 best fried chicken restaurants in America by the Daily Meal! Grab a seat in the cozy southern restaurant, or take your food to go and relax under the shade of live oaks in the courtyard - either way, this is a meal you'll make a habit.

Snyder Farms Restaurant- A favorite stop for The King of NASCAR, Richard Petty to find country-style “mashed taters”, fried chicken, and hush puppies. You may need a nap after your meal here, it is practically like eating at Grandma’s on Sunday afternoons.

Something Different Steaks & Kabobs- Something Different Steaks & Kabobs offers a mix of American, Greek, and vegetarian dishes influenced by Chef Sinan’s years spent in Turkey, France, and America. The restaurant is beautifully decorated with local pottery from Seagrove, the handmade pottery capital of the U.S. and offers a wonderful ambiance for couples, families, and groups.

50 oz Tomahawk Ribeye with sides at Hamilton's Steakhouse

Hamilton's Steakhouse- Offering fresh-cut, in house certified Angus beef steaks, fresh seafood, and homemade pasta! This place is the perfect spot for date night with tasty cocktails, perfectly sized apps, and desserts made for sharing.

Holly Ridge Bar & Grill- Enjoy weekly specials while dining on the open-air patio overlooking the scenic greens of Holly Ridge Golf Course. Offering specialty sandwiches, fresh salads, tacos, or hand-cut rib eyes and pork chops!  

Lumina Wine & Beer- After dinner and dessert, head over to Lumina Wine and Beer for a nightcap on the string-lit porch. Find over 75 different craft beers and bottles of wine and one-of-a-kind art pieces created by local artists. Several options for entertainment include live acoustic music and wine tastings events during the week.

House favorite, Leo's Whiskey Sour at Leo's Whiskey Bar

Leo’s Whiskey Bar - A place to sit back and relax, listen to tunes from the 1940s and reflect upon a simpler time. Enjoy fine whiskey, bourbon, or scotch and visit with friends and neighbors.

Local craft beer at Four Saints Brewing Company

Four Saints Brewing Company- Local craft brew creating “great beer for great people” since 2015. Offering trivia nights, music bingo, and food trucks – plan a family night out! Grab a Potters Clay Amber Ale or one of their seasonal small-batch brews, and kick back for a great night in the Heart of NC.


For a complete list of dining in #theHeartofNC visit 

*The restaurants listed are recommendations with supported information from the Randolph Public Health Department scores of 90 or above.*

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

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

A Cool Summer Retreat in the Heart of NC

Your childhood vacations may have included a station wagon, soggy PB&J sandwiches, layers of sunscreen, and pesky mosquito bites. But we are sure they also included campfire stories, games of freeze tag with cousins, and harvesting fresh vegetables from the garden. Relive the affordable experiences your parents offered you as a child and let’s explore the Heart of North Carolina together. With several once-in-a-lifetime adventures for your family, we want to offer you options of indoor and outdoor activities to enjoy. We invite you to refresh your spirit, rejuvenate your mind, and reconnect with nature while making memories with loved ones.

Outdoor Fun

  • Get back to nature with a walk, hike, or bike ride on any of our 19 nature trails with lots of visible markers and multiple levels of expertise along the Deep River State Trail.
  • Soar through the forest in the shadow of Purgatory Mountain on Richland Creek ZipLine - 14 zip lines, three sky bridges, and one swinging bridge for an adrenaline rush in some of the Heart of NC’s most scenic wilderness areas.
Photo Credit: Richland Creek ZipLine

  • If a farm adventure is what you are seeking, plan a visit to Millstone Creek Orchards to pick your own seasonal fruits or vegetables, take a hayride tour, and weekly farmers market through August.
Photo Credit: Millstone Creek Orchards

  • The ultimate outdoor adventure park is conveniently located near I-85 in Archdale. Kersey Valley Attractions is known nationwide for its fall haunted attraction Spookywoods, yet there is activity on this 70-acre farm all year round. NEW this year to Kersey Valley is Bomb Bowling, a mashup between football, bowling, horseshoes, and cornhole. Additional group activities include: Axe Throwing - in a controlled environment with a guide throughout the 18-hole course | Laser 
  • Tag – an outdoor high tech military grade tactical laser from Laser Tag Pro that shoots harmless infrared light over 1,000 feet with the protective gear required! | Escape Room – choose from five amazing-themed rooms and solve the puzzles in time to escape in record time. Individual challenges include: High Ropes Course – designed with an unforgettable acrobatic workout that includes a 34-foot-high rock-climbing wall | Zipline - a first-class zip line featuring a closed course aviation theme with 14 lines and 1.5 miles of cable employing massive, engineered sky towers representing airport city codes from across the country and around the world

Indoor Inspiration

  • Consider a fun museum crawl while learning historical facts at the North Carolina Aviation Museum & Hall of Fame – home of Piper J-3 "Flitfire" flown by Orville Wright | See one of the largest private collections of antique Harley-Davidson® motorcycles in the country including 45 bikes ranging from 1936 to 1978 at the American Classic Motorcycle Museum | 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 with displays of cars, trophies, and awards. | View more than 26 fully restored John Deere™ tractors, a 1926 return tube boiler from P&P Chair Company in Asheboro (producers of the Carolina Rocking Chair used by President John F. Kennedy), and multiple steam engines from the 19th century at the Neal Agricultural & Industrial Museum. | See more than 800 pieces of pottery, artifacts, and photographs tracing NC’s pottery history from Native Americans to the present at the North Carolina Pottery Center.

  • Plan your own Seagrove Pottery tour in “The Handmade Pottery Capital of the United States” with more than 100 individual potters to visit. When you take a piece of Seagrove pottery home, you are also supporting this large family of artists who make a living in this craft.

Feed Your Mind & Soul

Whether you need a quick coffee and pastry break at The Table Farmhouse Bakery, a hearty steak dinner at Holly Ridge Golf Links on their breezy patio, or live music and a food truck with an intimate setting at The General Wine and Brew – our dining establishments are top notch experts in their safe hospitality and cuisine!

Photo Credit: Food Diary of a City Girl  

Relax & Recharge

Check into your overnight accommodations after your adventure-filled day. Choose from affordable hotel brands – located in Archdale and Asheboro, quaint bed & breakfast inns – in the Town of Seagrove, fun themed & family-friendly campgrounds in Asheboro – near the North Carolina Zoo, or our newest remote tiny cabins. Insider tip: do not forget to ask about their military discount offerings. For a complete list of options, visit our website, or click here

Photo Credit: Getaway Asheboro

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

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

13 Ways to Get Outdoors NOW – including the World’s Largest Zoo!

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. 

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 .

#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, test your endurance on the high ropes course, 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 COVID-19 safety measures:

#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 and social distance 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

#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! 

When can we expect you? Visit for places to stay and special military discount offers! Order a FREE travel guide and check out the listing of annual events on our . 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!



Fall in the Heart of NC

*Please note that at the time of publication, COVID-19 is still affecting the operations of our attractions, restaurants, and event venues. ...