Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Rocky Mount, NC

  • Published 2021/09/14

Rocky Mount lies in the Atlantic coastal plain region of the US state of North Carolina.

What makes this city unique is its geographical position.

It sits between the Edgecombe and Nash counties, making it an access point to both territories’ best.

However, in Rocky Mount alone, you will already find many places to visit and things to try.

With its Southern charm, thriving arts scene, and local breweries just an hour drive from Raleigh’s busy metropolis, Rocky Mount has it all.

Apart from the breathtaking landscapes, the city holds exciting sporting events that gather thousands of visitors each year.

Additionally, the Rocky Mount Event Center, and other thrilling family activities, may be credited with the tourism boom.

You should take advantage of all Rocky Mount has to offer if you’re visiting this area of the country!

Here are the 15 best things to do in Rocky Mount, NC:

Visit Rocky Mount Children’s Museum and Science Center With Your Kids

For families with children in Rocky Mount, the Rocky Mount Children’s Museum and Science Center, founded in 1952, is a must-visit destination.

You’ll find a wealth of information on North Carolina’s history as well as science exhibits, such as “Native Knowledge: Shared Science” and “The Secret of Bees.”

You may also explore interactive exhibitions, get close to animals, and learn numerous logical games here.

In addition, there’s an astronomy facility where students may gaze at the sky, observe the space’s origin, and gain information about the planets.

The center adds new shows now and then, so make sure to check back frequently to remain up to current on the most recent additions.

Rocky Mount Children’s Museum and Science Center is open on Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 10 am to 5 pm, and from 12:30 pm to 5 pm on Sundays.

Discover the Craft Beers of Koi Pond Brewing Company

Craft beer lovers in Rocky Mount will love Koi Pond Brewing Company!

Also known as “The Pond,” this pet and family-friendly taproom offers tasty cuisine and a wide range of beers and wines.

The Koi Pond Brewing Company was founded to produce tasty, fascinating, and exquisite craft beer and promote the history and culture of eastern North Carolina by using as many locally derived ingredients as possible.

Koi Pond Brewing opened in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, in 2016.

Besides the local flavors, their taproom provides a wide variety of international craft beers of the highest quality.

The taproom lies in Rocky Mount Mill, a National Register of Historic Places-listed structure dating back to 1835.

There are also a few non-alcoholic beverages and wines offered.

The Koi Pond Brewing Company conducts trivia evenings and also live music regularly.

Tour the Different Attractions of Rocky Mount Mills

Outside View of Rocky Mount Mills

gurezende /

Rocky Mount Mills combines entertainment, cultural, residential, and commercial attractions into one unique location.

This vast 80-acre property houses the River & Twin “tiny house” hotel, many craft brewers, restaurants, and community meeting spots.

And did you know that you can also kayak at the Tar River located next to it?

Outside View of Rocky Mount Mills

gurezende /

When it comes to preserving the history of Rocky Mount Mills, which is a restored historic cotton mill, its owners employed a unique strategy that celebrates its past while giving it new life.

Rocky Mount Mills also provides brewers with equipment and a startup incubator to assist them in expanding brew right from the start.

Check Out the Local Masterpieces at Bel Air Art Center

If you’re an art enthusiast, it is worth your time to drop by Bel Air Art Center.

The Bel Air Art Center, housed in a historic structure going all the way back to 1924, exists to provide a venue for all artistic disciplines to grow and coexist under one roof.

The studio artists, along with the atmosphere produced by their interactions, form the center’s foundation.

The Bel Air Art Center’s spacious gallery features a diverse selection of professional works of art in a comfortable and clean environment.

The center is open Tuesday through Friday, from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm and from 10:00 am to 3 pm on Saturdays.

Take the Tar River Trail

Do you want to enjoy the outdoors and appreciate nature while in Rocky Mount?

The Tar River Trail is the place to be.

The three-mile waterway begins at City Lake and finishes at Martin Luther King Jr. Park.

It’s an ideal location for people who want to stroll, cycle, or inline skate.

It’s also accessible to those with walking difficulties.

Following the path along Tar River, the home of Tuscarora Native Americans prior to the arrival of Europeans, the trail is a popular tourist destination.

Even though most of the route is paved, one section comprises a boardwalk that travels through swampy areas.

Taste the Local Flavors of Rocky Mount at Smith’s Red & White

If you want to taste the dishes that speak of Rocky Mount’s history, look no further.

Smith’s Red & White is a homegrown restaurant with humble beginnings.

In 1954, Sherwood Smith established Smith’s Red & White in a small area of a local fertilizer and feed shop.

Over the years, Smith was able to develop his grocery company with the aid of his family, resulting in the over 20,000 square foot shop it is today.

Later, he opened a restaurant next to the market, called Smith’s Red & White, that serves a variety of old-fashioned, home-cooked meals, including meatloaf, country ham, barbecue, chicken, and more.

With over 60 years of experience in the sausage business, Smith’s Red & White is a household name.

See the Various Exhibits of Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences

Outside of Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences

Harris Walker, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the most spectacular cultural facilities on the East Coast is the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences in Rocky Mount.

Former structures of Braswell Memorial Library and Imperial Tobacco Company have been combined to create this new facility in Rocky Mount.

Together they became the Children’s Museum and Science Center, and the Arts Center, and a community theatre where local artists could perform.

The 135,000-square-foot complex is home to several well-preserved historic elements from the building’s past.

It also has exhibitions in a variety of fields, such as modern art, technology, and fashion.

Running for over 50 years, the Art Center has already hosted a wide range of special events as well as courses, community theatre, and displays.

Buy Locally Sourced Products from Tar River Flea Market

The Tar River Flea Market is where to go if you’re in Rocky Mount and want to meet the locals, find fresh ingredients, and take home a souvenir.

The 15-acre flea market includes shops indoors and outdoors, with more than 200 merchants in both areas.

Not only can you view and purchase nearly anything here, from collector’s items to technology and so on, but you can also sell any valuable items you have from home if you like.

Additionally, it is an excellent location to get fresh veggies from local merchants that sell there as well.

Vendors offering furniture, books, and toys may be found at the indoor market.

Additionally, there is a snack bar where you may unwind and enjoy cool beverages and desserts.

You might want to schedule your trip here because Tar River Flea Market is open only on weekends.

Grab a Snack at Brian’s Cheesesteaks

If your hunger kicks in while touring the city, take a pit stop at Brian’s Cheesesteaks.

As a local favorite in the Rocky Mount area, Brian’s Cheesesteaks is recognized for delivering excellent, quick, and fresh cuisine at reasonable rates in a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere.

As much as possible, the local neighborhood eater makes everything from scratch.

Every day, certified Angus beef is used to make the burgers and cheesesteaks served here.

Salads, soups, desserts, and other items (e.g., chili, chicken salad, and pimento cheese sandwich) are all handmade as well.

Brian’s Cheesesteaks is open Monday through Friday, from 7:30 am to 8:00 pm and from 7:30 am to 2:00 pm on Saturdays.

Picnic at Rocky Mount City Lake and Park

Rocky Mount City Lake and Park

Fredlyfish4, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Rocky Mount City Lake and Park, a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project, is situated at the banks of the Tar River.

If you’re looking to walk or run any time of the day, the park has a half-mile concrete route around the lake.

It is also one of the best places in the city for picnicking.

While enjoying your snacks or reading a book, you may rest beneath the trees and take in the lake’s splendor.

You may also explore tiny islands, in addition to enjoying the splendid scenery.

One of Rocky Mount’s most popular attractions, the locals refer to it as a place for them to gather.

Look Into Rockwell Mount’s Past at Stonewall Manor

The ancient Stonewall Manor is a famous attraction in Rocky Mount for history aficionados.

The manor is an excellent example of nineteenth-century agricultural life in the southern United States during the Antebellum period.

The Stonewall Manor, located on the picturesque Tar River, is well-known for its stunning landscape and architecture and is an excellent destination in town for anybody interested in learning more about the South’s history.

Stonewall Manor, which is on the National Register of Historic Places and is accessible for guided tours, takes its name from a massive granite wall that borders the front yard.

Test Your Limits at Ultimate Backyard Warrior

Are you an adrenaline junkie?

Or a fan of the show Ninja Warrior?

If so, try to conquer the Ultimate Backyard Warrior’s indoor and outdoor obstacles!

The facility has rock walls, cross-training space, air-conditioned cardio, and weight training.

Its major come-on is its two Team-Ninja-Warrior-style outdoor courses that are side-by-side.

If you are in the advanced category, you may also participate in its events.

It also offers lessons to adults and children designed to help students grow from novice to competitive level.

Whether you want to become a Ninja competitor or to prepare for obstacle course races, such as mud runs, or just want to replace your boring gym routine with a fun workout, UBW provides all you need at an affordable price.

Have Fun With Your Fur Babies at Best Friend’s Dog Park

On the outskirts of Rocky Mount is a dog park that is open to all your furry companions.

This off-leash dog park in Rocky Mount is a great place for dog lovers to go for a walk and enjoy the outdoors.

Each of the three gated sections of the park is nine acres in size, with one for little dogs and the other for large dogs.

This dog park is complete with all the amenities you and your pet need for a day full of fun activities, such as water fountains for dogs, a section with agility equipment, swimming pools, and a shady area for you to rest and relax.

Except for scheduled maintenance, the off-leash area is open from sunrise to sunset daily.

Watch Different Sports and Festive Events at Rocky Mount Event Center

Outside of Rocky Mount Event Center

Aegreen, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The 165,000-square-foot Rocky Mount Event Center is the heart of the city’s en_t_ertainment.

It is a place to enjoy music, entertainment, and more.

Locals and tourists go to Rocky Mount Event Center for concerts, rock climbing, and other family fun activities.

The center showcases eight basketball courts, sixteen volleyball courts, climbing walls, and a rope course in the athletic area.

Apart from athletic activities on a local and regional level, concerts, and entertainment events, the venue also hosts corporate conferences and trade exhibitions for the local business community to attend.

Check out Rocky Mount Event Center’s website to see the events scheduled this month!

Take Home The Bath Place’s Specialty Products

If you love body care products or are someone with sensitive skin, The Bath Place provides handcrafted, spa-quality natural bath and body products made with simple, healthy ingredients.

Before even entering the shop, you can already smell its wonderful goods.

This family-owned small business has the objective to offer its customers safe, healthy personal care products.

It features a variety of scents, including Lemongrass and Apricot Seed, Oatmeal Stout and Beer, and Spearmint & Eucalyptus.

Additionally, aromatic candles, lotion, and hand sanitizers are available here.

Final Thoughts

Have you ever been to Rocky Mount, North Carolina?

While you may think of Rocky Mount as a pit stop, it is much more.

From taking advantage of the city’s outdoor activities to sampling local beers to taking in the thriving arts scene, this city will keep you coming back for more.

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