The small town of Elizabethtown in Bladen County, North Carolina, is a prime rural vacation spot for everyone.
Most of its tourist sites feature natural riches that relieve stress and induce maximum relaxation for travelers.
Did you know several historians have debated about its name?
According to researchers, the name "Elizabethtown" may have come from Isaac Jones’ wife.
Isaac Jones once owned the property where the town currently stands.
Another possible inspiration for the name Elizabethtown was Queen Elizabeth I of England.
No matter how it got its name, the town proves time and again why it’s one of the best vacation gems in North Carolina.
Are you ready for a new adventure?
Here are the best things to do in Elizabethtown, North Carolina:
Go Swimming at Jones Lake State Park
Along North Carolina Highway 242, you’ll find yourself at the community destination, Jones Lake State Park.
This park borders two North Carolina bay lakes, offering a stunning aquatic view beyond.
However, one of the lakes, Salters Lake, requires a permit before you can start exploring.
Go for a quick swim at the shallow depths of Jones Lake instead.
Rent a canoe or a paddle boat for a serene afternoon spent in the middle of the waters.
For a peaceful experience, rest by the wooden swings overlooking the lake.
Plan a family or group camp or wander the visitor center halls, showing plenty of exhibits.
Jones Lake State Park shows Elizabethtown at its most tranquil.
Ride Your Bike along Brown’s Creek Bike Park and Nature Trail
If you’d to to trek down Elizabethtown’s trails, check out Brown’s Creek Bike Park, and Nature Trail.
This trail reaches just under 13 miles but offers a challenging route for bikers and hikers.
Some of its features include bridges, downhills, and switchbacks.
Challenge yourself to a bike climb along uneven terrain and slopes.
If you want more adventure in your biking journey, try to jump the occasional hurdle.
No wonder this place is an ideal biking competition spot for competitive mountain bikers.
You can find Brown’s Creek Bike Park and Nature Trail on East Broad Street.
Have Fun at the Motocross Track at Cape Fear ATV and MX Park
Regarding ATV parks and campsites, you can never go wrong with Cape Fear ATV and MX Park.
This tourist spot along route 701 is a mix of motorized trails and MX tracks, which takes your archaic camping to the next level.
Its motocross track is a great space to practice your dirt biking skills.
A drag strip is also onsite for drag racing hosting events.
If you want to try more aquatic activities, Cape Fear ATV and MX Park also have a variety of ponds.
You can stay there for a few hours of fishing.
You can try a modern camping experience at the designated RV spots within the property.
At night, make a campfire circle with loved ones from firewood you can buy on the grounds.
This park is one for the books!
Wade in the Pool at White Lake Water Park
Plan a day of swimming at White Lake Water Park, where the splashing and fun never stop.
White Lake Water Park is a small, seasonal water park on North Carolina Highway 53.
With its wave pool and impressive slides, this water park continues to impress tourists of all ages with its amenities.
Every family member should have a grand time from immersive swimming to hanging around.
Children can enjoy a wading pool and kiddie slides to help them release their pent-up energy.
The more daring adults can try the 50-foot tall Double Turbo Twister Slide.
Take a break at the sun deck for some tanning or rent a tiki hut for a more private recession from swimming.
Practice Your Hunting Skills at Bladen Lakes State Forest
Spanning an astounding 30,000 acres is the Bladen Lakes State Forest, located on North Carolina Highway 242.
The North Carolina Forest Service manages this natural preserve, which holds the title of the largest state-owned forest.
This working forest lets you join an educational trip on forest preservation.
Likewise, its “show me” design presents better eco-friendly ways for construction projects while saving the planet.
Have a fun time exploring the wild and mellowing out while staying away from the cities.
Bladen Lakes State Forest also offers camping and hunting alongside educational tours.
Stay for the night and lay outside your tent for a front-seat view of the stars.
Bring your bike or bird guidebook with you for scenic biking or bird studying experience.
Sip Premium Wine at Lu Mil Vineyard
Sipping wine at Elizabethtown is a unique way of getting to know the town.
In that regard, premium wine awaits you at Lu Mil Vineyard.
The first production of estate wines at Lu Mil Vineyard started in 2005.
In December 2005, the tasting and gift shop opened to the public, offering some of the best Muscadine wine within the state.
This 78-acre multi-use vineyard offers venues for event spaces and temporary accommodations for tourists.
The Vineyard Cabins and Taylor House provide unique housing facilities reminiscent of the 70s.
Learn more about wine production and antiques at the museum in the Barrel Room.
Bridge and pond areas also give you magnificent views of the vineyard.
If you’re ready to visit Lu Mil Vineyard, head to Suggs-Taylor Road.
Rent a Lakeside Cottage at Cape Fear Vineyard and Winery
Cape Fear Vineyard and Winery offers more than regular wine tasting and selling.
Established in 2014, this facility on Vineyard Drive is a high-quality event hosting venue.
Visit their distillery on Bourbon Street to see what beverages they have in stock.
Find fine handmade crafts at the gift shop and bring home an item or two to commemorate your visit.
Do you have a wedding, birthday, or corporate event coming up?
The Gallery Ballroom offers up to 250 seats for your extravagant parties and celebrations.
Other venues, like Porchside Pergola and The Lily Pad, provide a smaller, more intimate setting for you and your friends.
The lakeside cottages fuse standard lodging and peaceful scenery if you need a place to stay for a few nights.
Cape Fear Vineyard and Winery allows you to discover Elizabethtown through premiere entertainment, dining, and accommodations.
Add this winery to your must-see spots when you travel to Elizabethtown.
Enjoy a Putt Putt Game at Putt-Putt Fun Center
Putt-Putt Fun Center shows newer perspectives to classic golf games with its 36-hole course layout.
Arcade games make your visit even more exciting, plus batting cages and other indoor recreational activities.
The facility also hosts party zone packages for children and their celebrations.
You can also register for group packages for team-building exercises to help your office's cooperation skills.
Have a blast with your companions at the Putt-Putt Fun Center.
Go Canoeing at Greene’s Pond
Sometimes, all you need is a riverside retreat.
You’re in for a massive treat at the 200 acres of woodland at Greene's Pond.
Go fishing at the roughly 140-acre pond.
Try to catch a collection of fish species exclusive to Elizabethtown and North Carolina.
If you prefer a more immersive physical experience to your trips, rent a canoe or kayak for a little voyage.
Walking trails also circle the pond, so you can work on your cardio while you hike or run around.
This tucked-away campsite also allows RVs to park around the property for rural camping.
Find Greene’s Pond along West Swanzy Street.
Munch on a Zebra-Topped Donut at Burney’s Sweets & More
Don’t forget to stop by Burney’s Sweets & More to get your fill of sweets in Elizabethtown.
Since 2011, this bakery and dessert shop has given newcomers a taste of high-quality sweets.
By 2013, this shop had eventually opened a second location, which started its expansion throughout the state.
Today, Burney’s Sweets & More currently serves Fayetteville, Raleigh, Sanford, and Clinton.
For starters, try the bestseller croissants.
If you’re lucky, you might indulge in seasonal croissants, including pumpkin spice.
Try the zebra-topped donuts or even donut holes as snacks on your road trip.
You can find this magnificent bakery on Martin Luther King Drive.
Buy a Honey-Based Product at Cape Fear Farmer’s Market
If you want to shop for local produce, you can never go wrong with a visit to Cape Fear Farmer’s Market.
This market helps local fruit and goods producers and small business owners find their audience.
You will indeed find worthy purchases from baked goods to other farm-produced essentials.
Buy honey harvested from Elizabethtown’s best farm owners for your condiments collection.
Every Saturday, you can buy handcrafted items.
Moreover, the market’s common area is a go-to spot for most community events, both seasonal and yearly.
Visit Cape Fear Farmer’s Market to get a glimpse of how the town celebrates festivals.
This farmer’s market is near Melvin’s Hamburgers & Hot Dogs on Martin Luther King Drive.
Savor Sunday Brunch at the Elizabethtown Inn
Located on Cromartie Road, the Elizabethtown Inn welcomes wandering tourists in its halls.
Beyond lodging, this inn is also a great source of history.
This place is one of the oldest structures in Elizabethtown.
Reports also show that Colonel John McDowell used the inn as a field hospital during the Civil War.
In 2018, the current owner, Christine Marais, added a Southern flair to the architecture’s Greek Revival style.
Today, it’s a popular vintage and rustic site for those wanting to get away from the modernity of city lodgings.
Inside, you can hold meetings and receptions at the event venues.
Likewise, one of the most-awaited amenities at the Elizabethtown Inn is Sunday Brunch.
Are you ready to relax and unwind with the inn’s ample menu choices?
Stroll around Goldston’s Beach
Goldston’s Beach offers a family-friendly spot to enjoy the sun while frolicking in the waves.
This beach started welcoming guests in 1921.
The site eventually opened nightly accommodations to satisfy tourists’ desire for entertainment and leisure.
Over the years, this family-owned beach on White Lake Drive has seen various owners.
Today, it continues to help families, friends, and lovers make lasting memories.
Reminisce over beautiful memories as you watch the setting sun paint the sky orange.
Goldston’s Beach is part of the amenities of the Grand Regal, so you might want to check out this resort hotel, too!
Other Things to Do Nearby
If you’ve finally gone through the listed Elizabethtown spots above, there’s no need to worry!
Below are some nearby spots that can give you the escape you need.
Plan a Group Camping at Singletary Lake State Park
Singletary Lake State Park is in the neighboring city of Kelly, North Carolina, approximately 14 minutes from Elizabethtown.
This park on North Carolina Route 53 welcomes groups for camping, hiking, and nature retreats.
Some of the most common activities within the area are fishing and swimming.
At the same time, you may even find yourself doing an educational adventure around the forests of Singletary Lake State Park.
Learn more about the North Carolina ecosystem and friendly measures to preserve its use and life.
Dormitory-style cabins also line the property, bringing a modern take to your group or class retreats.
Watch an Indoor Equestrian Sorting Show at 5K Arena
Do you have an affinity for horses and team pennings?
5K Arena can help you live your dreams of seeing an equestrian sorting show live.
Its main shows include an outdoor and indoor arena for ranch sorting and all sorts of programs.
Warm-up pens also open to riders and their horses.
You can find the 5K Arena in Bladenboro, North Carolina, at least 19 minutes from Elizabethtown.
Elizabethtown is full of surprises regarding recreation and entertainment.
Knowing its memorable spots helps you plan and keeps you excited about the rest of its attractions.
Plan your trip today and discover the best things to do in Elizabethtown, North Carolina!