Thursday, July 14, 2022

Summer Bucket List 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: 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 across Randolph County.

  • 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, Getaway Asheboro. Insider tip: do not forget to ask about their military discount offerings. For a complete list of options, visit our website, HeartofNorthCarolina.com or click here

Photo Credit: Getaway Asheboro


Family-friendly Summer Itinerary Ideas

We have taken the work into our own hands and created a weekend of fun for your family! Get inspired and plan your time in the Heart of North Carolina with this quick itinerary link HERE!

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.

Friday, July 1, 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

     
   
    Expand Your Trip
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     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.


Call Heart of North Carolina  at 336-626-0364 for more information, Or visit https://www.heartofnorthcarolina.com/ for more information 

Saturday, June 25, 2022

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 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 COVID-19 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! 

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!



 

  

Monday, April 4, 2022

Feel Your Heart Race: Why We Love Richard Petty




The heartbeat of NASCAR can be felt right here in #TheHeartofNC, the birthplace, and home of “The King,” race car driver and legend, Richard Petty. Petty was destined to become a racing great. His father, Lee Petty, helped pioneer the sport and won the inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959. What began with Lee continued with Richard, his son Kyle, and eventually, Kyle's son Adam and his daughter's son Thad Moffitt. 

About Richard Petty: NASCAR Legend


In 1958 at the age of 21, Richard Petty drove in his first NASCAR event and in 1959 won his first race at Columbia Motor Speedway. Today Petty is one of the most respected and well-known figures in motorsports. He was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame In Charlotte in 2010 in its inaugural class. His career was full of highs, winning the Winston Cup Championship 7 times, the Daytona 500 7 times, 200 wins in NASCAR competitions, and over 700 top ten finishes throughout his career. With so many victories and accomplishments under his belt, Petty has remained humble. Fans could always find Petty staying late to sign autographs and he was voted the Winston Cup's most popular driver 9 times.  

Visitors to The Petty Museum in Randleman, NC can re-live or learn firsthand the great moments in Petty family racing history. The museum is located next to the The Toomes- Petty House where Richard and his brother were raised. At the museum, guests can see and photograph The King’s belt buckle collection, championship rings, trophies, and a multitude of cars driven by the Petty family throughout the decades. Even those who are not NASCAR fans warm to the daring family stories, videos, collection and displays of this museum. 

Petty as the voice of Strip "The King" Weathers in "Cars"


Today’s younger generation knows Richard Petty as the voice of Strip “The King” Weathers from the Disney Pixar animated trilogy, “Cars.” A little-known fact, Richard's late wife, Lynda Petty, voiced Mrs. "The King" Weathers. At the Petty Museum, visitors can see these characters in real life, immortalized in Petty blue.

How Victory Junction Changes Lives


We can brag on Richard Petty’s incredible racing career for days on end, but what he and his family have achieved beyond the racetrack is rooted in their love of community and family. In 2000, Richard Petty’s grandson and fellow NASCAR driver, Adam Petty, was tragically killed in a practice crash at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on May 12, 2000.

Only nineteen years old at the time of his death, Adam left behind a compelling and compassionate vision of helping children with mental and physical disabilities.

In June 2004, Victory Junction Camp opened its doors in Adam’s honor. Its mission is to enrich the lives of children with serious illnesses by providing life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun and empowering, at no cost to children or their families.

The camp runs solely on donations from the generous public. Funding is raised from signature events such as Run to Victory (a 10k/5k/Fun Run), Hearts of Victory Fundraising Dinners, and the Campership Classic Disc Golf Tournament. You can donate online, or attend one of the many events throughout the community.

The camp is colorful and joyous—with bright, high-energy designs in all activity areas as well. Ziplines and outdoor activities are designed for campers with physical disabilities. A larger-than-life version of the #45 car that Adam Petty drove can be seen at Adam’s Race Shop and is a beloved camp area. Cabins are specially tailored to accommodate the changing medical needs of each group of campers. 

A racetrack is the camp’s central base and used to highlight camp activities. Each camp session hosts NASCARnival night with games, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, and tethered hot air balloon rides. Oftentimes race teams such as Richard Petty MotorsportsPenske, and Roush Fenway Racing will send drivers and pit crews for these events. The teams perform a live-action pit stop complete with tire changes while campers are encouraged to take part and feel like a member of the crew.

Doctors, nurses, therapists, and medical support teams volunteer to come in for each week in their medical specialty, creating a magical experience for the campers….and allowing caregivers and parents to take the only breaks many of these families ever receive.

The Richard Petty Tribute Park 


The legacy of Richard Petty is interwoven throughout the hills of Randolph County, as well as the racing community. The Richard Petty Tribute Park is a way of giving back to the man who has done so much for so many. The life size statue, created and designed by Carolina Bronze Sculpture, will be placed in Downtown Randleman's Commerce Square Park to be admired by NASCAR fans, family, and friends for years to come.  The King and his daughters, Sharon and Rebecca, get a first look at the casting.      


- by Heart of NC Editorial Staff

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Spring Bucket List in the Heart of NC

Spring Bucket List 

Build your Spring Bucket List with what is blooming in Randolph County. The temperatures are just right with days being in the high 60Fs and evenings in the low 40Fs. See the beauty of the nine municipalities. Plan with our must-do list for your spring visit in the Heart of North Carolina. 

Start Collecting 

Did you know that Randolph County is home to many antique shops and the bi-annual Liberty Antiques Festival. The festival is being held the last Friday and Saturday in April (this year April 29-30). Find classic treasures and one-of-a-kind items. The thrill of the find is here. The antique vendors offer a wide variety of items from classic memorabilia to repurposed and refinished goods at affordable prices. 


Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels



Smell the Flowers 

From Ramseur to Seagrove, the farms are blossoming. At Millstone Creek Orchards in Ramseur, select Saturdays offering open air Spring Markets. At Seagrove Orchids see more than 200 different species, perfect for new or experienced orchid lovers. Seagrove Orchids has quickly established itself as "the orchid nursery" in North Carolina and it's worth the tour. The North Carolina Zoo offers over 51,000 plants along five miles of shaded pathways. It is definitely worth the stop between seeing over 1,000 animals at the world's largest natural habitat zoo.  

Photo by NC Zoo


Zip Through New Colors 

Go over the trees and Zipline in Randolph County at Kersey Valley Zipline in Archdale and Richland Creek Zip Line in Asheboro. Ziplining is fun for all thrill seekers. This experience is a fun challenge independently and with a group.  A spring season adventure offers a chance to catch trees as they grow new foliage


Photo by Canva



Birds & Bees aren’t the Only Ones Flying 

Immerse yourself with speed! See historic high flying aircraft at the North Carolina Aviation Museum and Hall of Fame in Asheboro. Planes and memorabilia dating back to WWI to present.  Don't miss the history of the King of NASCAR and his family, at Petty Family Attractions in Randleman. 

Photo by Petty Family Attractions




Trail On 

Randolph County is home to 19 trails, including the Deep River State Trail. In the spring months the trails are ready for you to explore by walking, running or hiking. Start planning your next hike here.


Photo by Piedmont Legacy Trails
 

Be sure to check out other seasonal bucket lists from the Heart of NC for your ultimate bucket list!
Share your next trip to Randolph County with #TheHeartofNC  

Summer Bucket List in the Heart of NC

Y our childhood vacations may have included a station wagon, soggy PB&J sandwiches, layers of sunscreen, and pesky mosquito bites. But w...