Monday, May 1, 2023
HomeRoad Trip14 Issues to Do with a Weekend Getaway to Statesville, NC

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

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

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

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

Statesville is an ideal road-tripping vacation spot – particularly 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.

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

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

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

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

Transient Historical past

In 1753, Scots-Irish and German immigrants from Pennsylvania traveled south on the Nice Wagon Highway, searching for fertile land to construct farms. They discovered the proper 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 Conflict broke out within the American colonies. Though the Fourth Creek Congregation was residence to lower than 100 folks, Colonial Governor Arthur Dobbs nonetheless thought the frontier wanted defending. He approved the development of a blockhouse that was accomplished in 1756. However by 1761, the garrison was redeployed, and the fort deserted.

After the Revolutionary Conflict’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.

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

As we speak, Statesville is the official “Ballooning Capital of the East.” When Tracy Barnes based The Balloon Works in 1969, he cemented Statesville’s position in ballooning historical past. In 1974, the inaugural Nationwide Balloon Rally was hosted in Statesville – as we speak, the annual Carolina BalloonFest sees tons of of sizzling air balloons fill the sky.

No. 1

Begin the Day at Lake Mountain Espresso

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

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

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

110 West Broad Avenue, Statesville, NC | 704-252-1886 |

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

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

No. 2

Take a Tour of Fort Dobbs State Historic Web site

The formidable Fort Dobbs was not one thing simple to overlook. Straight sides of thick sq. lower logs stood twenty, thirty, perhaps 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 need to assault. Luckily, I didn’t must – the following guided tour was nearly to begin.

Fort Dobbs State Historic Web site preserves the placement of colonial North Carolina’s solely frontier fort. The unique fort, approved by colonial Governor Arthur Dobbs, was constructed from 1755-1756 throughout the bitter French and Indian Conflict. 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 have been gone.

In 2019, the state historic website 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 tools. Cease by the customer heart in a log home constructed by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Go for a stroll by means of the woods on the 0.75-mile nature path.

438 Fort Dobbs Highway, Statesville, NC | 704-873-5882 |

No. 3

Discover Historical past on the Statesville Historic Assortment

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

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

212 North Heart Avenue, Statesville, NC | 704-450-9828 |

No. 4

Go to the Iredell Museums

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

The museum is a good place to go to for any age. Kids benefit from the hands-on displays whereas adults can dive deeper into historical past. A number of the displays rotate a couple of instances annually. Plan to spend about an hour exploring the renovated constructing in downtown Statesville.

134 Courtroom Avenue, Statesville, NC | 704-873-7347 |

No. 5

Take a Guided Tour on the Historic Sharpe Home

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

As we speak, the Historic Sharpe Home is a well-liked occasion venue continuously rented for weddings and particular events. Guests can tour the home and see later homeowners’ adjustments to the inside design.

402 South Heart Avenue, Statesville, NC | 704-871-2085 |

No. 6

Go Buying in Downtown Statesville

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

It’s probably the most attractive downtowns in North Carolina and an ideal place to do some buying.

GG’s is the defacto present store for the town. Positioned at Heart and Broad Streets in the course of downtown, the retail store has supplied native paintings, residence 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 could result in opening First Flight Bikes in Statesville. Operated by his longtime enterprise associate Wes Davidson, the bicycle store sells highway, mountain, and electrical bikes, equipment, and every little thing it’s good to safe the bike to your automobile and take it residence.

After getting into a duathlon, David Carleton found a ardour for bicycling. Alongside along with his spouse, Angela, he opened Crossroads Biking Firm to assist others uncover a love for the exercise. By way of the small store on Broad Avenue, they promote highway, mountain, and electrical bicycles and every little thing it’s good 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 Outside. The retail store provides out of doors clothes, gear, and equipment for any sort of journey in North Carolina.

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

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

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

No. 7

Benefit from the Open air at Lake Norman State Park

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

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

759 State Park Highway, Troutman, NC | 704-528-6350 |

No. 8

Go to the Rescue Ranch

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

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

1424 Turnersburg Freeway, Statesville, NC | 704-768-0909 |

No. 9

Go for a Sizzling Air Balloon Journey

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

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

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

Air-Olina Aviation takes as much as three passengers for sightseeing, champagne, and journey rides. Sky Sweet Balloons flies twice on daily basis on weekends all year long. Tree High 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 Nearly Heaven Balloon. Massive Oh! Balloons is the fervour of pilots Charles Web page and Kristie Darling.

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

No. 10

Attend the Carolina BalloonFest

In 1974, Statesville native Invoice Meadows hosted the primary Nationwide Balloon Rally at Balloon Ascensions, a balloon flight coaching facility. Over the following forty years, the venue would change – however all the time saved in Statesville – and the rally’s 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 connected to wicker baskets.

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

Tethered balloon rides are supplied all through the day. It’s the proper alternative to go on your first balloon experience – and perhaps uncover one thing new to like.

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

No. 11

Spend an Night at Davesté Vineyards

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

In 2005, Dave and Ester DeFehr purchased a peaceable 60 acres of land in Troutman and planted their first grape vines. The next 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 means of a number of tastings, serving to novice guests {and professional} vinophiles uncover their favourite. Curated paintings adorns the partitions of the tasting room.

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

155 Lytton Farm Highway, Troutman, NC | 704-528-3882 |

No. 12

Get a Drink at Purple Buffalo Brewing Co.

I sat on the darkish oak bar at Purple Buffalo Brewing Co. and instantly observed pink gentle was forged in every single place. Purple accent lights have been strung beneath the bar. Overhead lamps have been fitted with pink lightbulbs. The silhouette of a buffalo blazed in vibrant pink on the glasses.

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

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

After spending eight years stationed in Japan with the Military, Bondi developed a passion for sake – an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting rice. He ready the Black & Blue on the bar prime in entrance of me. He began with 4 ounces of sake, then a coconut Purple 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 Heart Avenue, Statesville, NC | 704-380-2219 |

No. 13

Take a Guided Tour at Southern Distilling Firm

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

Guests 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.

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

211 Jennings Highway, Statesville, NC | 704-978-7175 |

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

No. 14

Benefit from the Native Delicacies

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

It will not 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 Invoice and Lisa McBane. All the pieces within the small restaurant is sourced regionally – the paintings on the partitions, meats and greens, and substances. The menu adjustments seasonally however sometimes contains salads, wraps, sandwiches, and burgers.

On any given morning, the road outdoors The Bristol Café begins half an hour earlier than the door opens. That’s as a result of homeowners Jeff and Joanie Hustead created probably the most 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 rooster breast.

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

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

You’ll be able to’t miss Randy’s BBQ with the intense pink 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. However not only one seaside – all of them. The menu is crammed with 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, picket beams supported a black ceiling, and the partitions have been coated with fascinating portraits of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Their menu of salads, entrees, sandwiches, and burgers is all about choices – many objects embody a listing of further add-ons for a totally personalized meal.

The place to Keep

Because the early 1800s, when the primary railroads have been constructed by means of Statesville, the town has been a hub of transportation by means of the area. And for that motive, there are a couple of nice locations to remain for a couple of nights.


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

Microtel Inn & Suites is an 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. Select from rooms with one queen mattress or two queen beds.


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

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


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

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



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments