When I made it my mission to start exploring more of North Carolina, with a particular focus on eastern North Carolina, I realized that I should feature the area where I grew up. I’ve mentioned before that it is an area that is figuratively drying up. But I feel strongly that the region has a lot to offer, and the county where I’m from definitely has some unique weekend getaway opportunities. It’s located on Roanoke River and has a gorgeous canal trail. At one point, the river was really beneficial in connecting the outlying areas to the interior of eastern North Carolina with transporting crops for sale. This is evidence as you drive through and look at the architecture of county.
Since most of the towns are small, I thought I’d give a short snapshot of the variety of options that there are in this rural county. When I was growing up, I spent a lot of time trying to find things to do so this is a mix of old and new favorites.
What to Do in Halifax County
David has always been a fan of bird watching, so we met my parents at Sylvan Heights Bird Park for his birthday. I hadn’t been to Sylvan Heights since I was in middle school, so I was excited to visit and see all the updates that had been done to the space. I invited my parents, who live close by, and I think my mom had the most fun feeding these little birds in the Landing Zone. My favorite part were the accesses to the wetlands, including in this treehouse where we enjoyed spotting other wildlife. This is definitely an interesting site to check out!
Also, be sure to stop at The Freez for a burger, some fried okra, and a chocolate milkshake.
Halifax has always been one of my favorite places in North Carolina. When I was growing up, my dad would take me to the Historic Halifax site. It seemed like we always went on the hottest day of the year and we would go explore these sites. There was a cute little downtown with a little lunch place, shops, the county courthouse, and a bank.
Over the years, a lot of the businesses closed and the buildings became delapadated. Recently, Patterson Wilson, a native to the town, came in and began revitalizing the area, starting with a delicious farm to table restaurant in the Hen & the Hog. I’ve had both lunch & dinner here and it didn’t disappoint. The quaint downtown now holds the restaurant, an antique shop, and a soon to be art studio. I love strolling the quiet streets and peeking into the windows. I thought the former hotel building with the sweet zinnia growing out of the wall was symbolic of the growth the town is seeing. P.S. Patterson owns an Air BnB that I will definitely be staying in the next time we come to town.
The Roanoke River was really important for agriculture, but also, for electriciy. The Roanoke Canal Trail is great for running, biking, or walking your pups, but the Canal Museum is a beautifully restored building with great information about the history of the region. The Riverside Mill is a converted cotton factory powered by the canal’s electricity, and it it my go-to for antiquing. There is also a gorgeous aqueduct and other interesting buildings that were instrumental in getting electricity to the area. I’ll be honest and tell you that I didn’t really appreciate all the beauty that is in the area until I left.
I am so glad to see Weldon Mills is back up and running as a distillery. There are food trucks, live music, and drinks available in this gorgeous old corn mill. A friend had her wedding reception here a few years ago, so it will still double as an event space and a private club, as well as public space.
What are you favorite things to do in your hometown?
You can check out more of eastern North Carolina favorites here. Want to know why Eastern North Carolina is so important to me? I dedicated this post to the region. And here is my love letter to North Carolina, my favorite things to do around the state, and the best places to stay while going on a new adventure.