Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Statesville, NC

  • Published 2021/11/18

The usual American city is an assortment of nature, history, and culture, where you’ll find parks, museums, and art galleries.

So, you might think it’s tough for one city to separate itself from the others in terms of attractions.

Luckily, Statesville, North Carolina, is different.

While it shares many things with other towns, its popular destinations retain its authentic and distinct local flavor.

You’ll find a blend of entertainment and education at Statesville through its historical sites and modern experiences influenced by other cultures.

You’ll have tons of fun while learning more about the city and the world.

Do you want to know more about Statesville’s top attractions?

Check out this list below.

Go Back in Time at the Fort Dobbs Historic Site

View of Fort Dobbs Historic Site

Kgoettge, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you want to learn more about the British colonial period of American history, head to Fort Dobbs in Statesville.

It’s the only site connected to this era in the state, making it a top historical attraction.

The British built the fort in 1756 to repel attacks from the French and Native American tribes.

Named after the English governor Arthur Dobbs, the defense also protected the white settlers living in the area.

View of Fort Dobbs Historic Site

Cdtew, English: Credit: Clark D. Tew, 2012, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In 1760, Fort Dobbs managed to fight off Cherokee warriors.

The British had all but won the Seven Years War in 1761, so they abandoned the fort.

By 1766, Fort Dobbs had become ruins.

Today, the state rebuilt the citadel to welcome visitors curious about this part of American history.

Visit Fort Dobbs at 438 Ft. Dobbs Road, Statesville, NC 28625.

Drink Fine Spirits at the Southern Distilling Company

In the 1880s, people used to call Statesville the “Liquor Capital of the World.”

The city became home to several distilleries and wholesalers, which draw people from all over until today.

One of Statesville’s leading distilleries is the Southern Distilling Company.

The family-owned business started in 2013 to revive the city’s roots as a liquor capital.

The company uses cutting-edge technology to create its signature spirits, like whiskey, bourbon, and rye.

Likewise, they work with local farmers to source their ingredients and to support local agriculture.

Their work led to the creation of the award-winning Southern Star Bourbon Whiskey.

Visit the Southern Distilling Company at 211 Jennings Rd, Statesville, NC 28625.

Explore the World at the Iredell Museum

For more than 60 years, Statesville’s Iredell Museum has taught residents and travelers about the grander world around them.

The museum began as an endeavor from Iredell residents to expand the horizons of Statesville citizens.

Inside the museum, you’ll find several artifacts taken from all over the world.

Its most prominent permanent display is the 3,000-year-old mummy, which arrived from Faiyum, Egypt, in 1957.

Today, schoolchildren in Statesville fondly call it Margaret the Mummy.

The 20-acre Iredell Museum also features historic log cabins called the Gregory Creek Homestead.

Many of these buildings date as far back as 1790 to 1890.

Of course, the museum also holds Native American artifacts, together with clothes from the 19th century.

Visit the Iredell Museum at 134 Court Street, Statesville, NC 28677.

Make Some Money at the Resettlers Antique Mall

If you’ve got antiques at home and you don’t know what to do with them, drop them off at Statesville’s Resettlers Antique Mall.

The mall offers you the chance to sell off precious antiques for the most value.

Otherwise, you can also rent a booth at the mall and sell your items yourself.

On the other hand, if you want antiques, you can join the mall’s regular auctions.

Besides antiques, Resettlers also sells other products, such as North Carolina wines.

They also sell cheeses and butter from Ashe County.

Visit the Resettlers Antique Mall at 1635 Salisbury Rd, Statesville, NC 28677.

Relax at the Martin Luther King Jr. Park

Statesville also doesn’t suffer from a shortage of parks.

Here, you’ll find Martin Luther King Jr. Park, formerly Lakewood Park.

The place offers visitors various activities and relaxation options.

The 25-acre park hosts an open-air theater, where you can watch live shows.

Likewise, you can try some horseshoe at one of the park’s 24 lighted and paved horseshoe courts.

These courts have become so popular that the World Horseshoe Tournaments have taken place there twice.

You can just have a picnic with your family or friends at the picnic shelters for a simpler time.

These shelters also have grills, so you’ll never worry about food.

Visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Park at 911 Lakewood Dr, Statesville, NC 28677.

Learn Local History at the Statesville Historical Collection

A historic city needs a museum devoted solely to its local history.

In Statesville, this museum is the Statesville Historical Collection.

The museum aims to preserve citizens’ appreciation of their roots through displaying historical memorabilia.

Inside the museum, you’ll find memorabilia, historical documents, photographs, and old newspapers.

These items tell the story of Statesville from its founding in the 18thcentury to the present.

So, if you want to know more about the city, you’ll never go wrong at the Statesville Historical Collection.

Visit the Statesville Historical Collection at 212 N Center St., Statesville, NC 28677.

Relive Statesville’s Past at the Historic Sharpe House

Outside View of Historic Sharpe House

JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ, M.D., CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’ve had your fill of museums, you can still relive Statesville history by visiting the Sharpe House.

The city’s first mayor, Colonel Silas Alexander Sharpe, finished the house in 1866, and it has become an essential symbol of Statesville’s past.

When the house changed owners to the Grays, they remodeled the house from Classical Revival to the Federal style.

They also displayed their collection of precious antiques in the house, gathered on their travels worldwide.

The National Register of Historic Places welcomed the Sharpe House in 1980.

Visit the Sharpe House at 402 South Center St., Statesville, NC 28677.

Follow the Trails at Bigleaf Slopes Park

Stretch your legs by hiking or cycling at Bigleaf Slopes Park, a 104-acre space that comprises woods and open areas.

The woods also feature diverse plant life, including the Bigleaf Magnolia, where the park gets its name.

You can choose to go down the 3.5-mile Blue Main loop or the one-mile Orange Loop.

Both trails welcome hikers and bikers.

If your bike breaks down, you can bring it to the bike repair station.

Otherwise, you can park them at the bike racks if you wish to continue on foot.

Visit the Bigleaf Slopes Park at 341 Twin Oaks Rd, Statesville, NC 28625.

Try Asian Fusion Cuisine at Katana Kitchen

Who says you can’t have delicious Asian food at Statesville?

The city’s Katana Kitchen offers a delectable variety of Asian fusion meals for the ravenous or the curious.

You can try the best Vietnamese or Thai food, like fish curry or diced chicken in bean sauce.

Otherwise, you can simply go for the traditional Japanese.

Whatever your choice, you’ll indulge your cravings for new food at Katana Kitchen.

You’ll end the meal wishing you can eat it all again.

Visit Katana Kitchen at 132 Beechnut Ln, Statesville, NC 28625.

Get a Sense of Community at the Academy Hill Historic District

The nearly 70-acre district offers tourists a chance to learn how the Statesville community lived throughout history.

You can find many historic buildings there, such as a mission school and a public high school.

Along the way, you’ll also see several luxury mansions standing on both sides of the street.

One of the district’s most famous buildings is the nearly 100-year-old Blessed Sacrament Cathedral.

During your tour, you can stop by these notable structures for photographs.

It’s a walking tour you won’t soon forget.

The Academy Hill Historic District is at Statesville, Iredell County, NC.

Reflect on Life at the Shiloh AME Zion Church

If you want some solace during your trip, check out the Shiloh A.M.E. Zion Church in Statesville.

It’s a church for the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, founded in 1796.

Devoted tourists can visit and make a confidential prayer request.

The pastor and the rest of the congregation will pray for you.

On the other hand, you can drop by and simply admire the Gothic architecture of the church.

You can take photographs while you marvel at the design and scale of the building.

Visit the Shiloh A.M.E. Zion Church at 1115 Salisbury Rd., Statesville, NC 28625.

Enjoy a Sports Day at Harris Park

Among the parks, you can visit in Statesville is Harris Park.

However, it’s not a nature park, but a sports park.

So, if you’re a sporty traveler who can’t get by without a game, bring your friends or family to Harris Park.

Harris Park is large enough to accommodate several sports without overlap.

For example, you can play football here, while another group plays softball nearby.

When you finish with football, you can proceed to the basketball court with no trouble.

For kids, Harris Park also has playgrounds where they can swing to their hearts’ content.

On the other hand, why not just take them to the courts?

Visit Harris Park at 1345 Lerain Ct, Statesville, NC 28677.

Grab a Cup of Joe at The Coffee Lodge

Sometimes you just want to spend the afternoon chilling at a coffee shop.

At Statesville, you don’t need to worry.

You can just go to The Coffee Lodge and enjoy your friends’ company while sipping a cup of coffee.

Of course, good coffee alone might not be enough.

You’ll need tasty treats to pair with your drink.

So, The Coffee Lodge also sells pastries like bagels for your cappuccino, Frappuccino, or latte.

Watch the day go by with great coffee in hand.

Visit The Coffee Lodge at 1623 Buffalo Shoals Rd, Statesville, NC 28677.

Have a Nightcap at Wine Maestro

True to its roots, Statesville has no shortage of craft breweries, distilleries, or wineries.

One of the city’s best wine shops is Wine Maestro, which also offers craft beer.

They sell imported wines and beers from across the globe.

Likewise, they also sell several kinds of gourmet cheese and other snacks that go best with wine.

The friendly staff at Wine Maestro can also teach you tips about appreciating your bottle of wine.

For example, they can tell you which wines go best with particular dishes.

So, if you plan to surprise your date with your exquisite taste in wine, consult with the Wine Maestro first.

You’ll never run out of wine options at Wine Maestro since they offer 800 wines imported from everywhere in the world.

You can choose among their selections of North Carolina wines, white wines, sparkling wines, and red wines.

Visit the Wine Maestro at 121 W Broad St., Statesville, NC 28677.

Final Thoughts

Each American city offers travelers a signature blend of history, nature, and culture.

Statesville is no different.

Its attractions will surely fill your phone’s photo albums and leave you with memories you’ll cherish until the next time you visit.

Bring your family or friends and enjoy these unmissable attractions that you can’t find anywhere else.

So, plan your Statesville trip today!

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