After a break following the holiday chaos, I took my first day trip to visit Stanly County for my 100 county tour across North Carolina. My first county visit this year was of Albemarle, NC, located in Stanly County. Stanly County is located in the central part of the state, approximately 45 minutes north of Charlotte. Stanly County was formed in 1841 west of the Pee Dee River. It’s named for John Stanly, a New Bern resident and a representative in the North Carolina House of Commons. Albemarle was named after the duke of Albemarle was one of the first Lord Proprietors of North Carolina. Also, the county seat was named Albemarle in his honor in 1857.
Albemarle is a quaint, welcoming small town and where we spent our time on our winter day trip to Stanly County! Here are 5 things to do in Albemarle, NC!
Day Trip Guide: 5 Things to Albemarle, NC
Dine at Off the Square
My friend, Clarke, and I got into town in time to grab an early lunch at Off the Square. I would recommend either arriving right around opening time or calling for a reservation. It is the cutest space with great attention to detail. They have a great wine and beer list, including Prosecco on tap. Additionally, their menu is outstanding and the staff was super welcoming!
We arrived on a day where they had rolled out a new brunch menu, so Clarke and I started with the mini chocolate chip pancakes and the crab bites. For our entrees, Clarke ordered a goat cheese salad with grilled chicken and I got the Mediterranean salad that included falafel. This is a must stop dining spot on your trip!
Enjoy a Local Brew at Uwharrie Brewing Company
Uwharrie Brewing Company was celebrating their grand opening while we were in town, so we stopped by to check it out. They have a great selection of beers and wine, plenty of places to sit down and relax, outdoor space, food trucks, plus it is dog friendly. Make a plan to stop by!
Check Out Local History in Downtown Albemarle
There is a lot of local history to take in while visiting Albemarle. After our lunch at Off the Square, we took a walk downtown and visited the Courthouse Square Park. In addition, the historic Snugg House is located right across the street from Uwharrie Brewing Company. And take a look through the recently renovated Stanly County History Museum to learn more local history located right near Courthouse Square Park!
Stroll Downtown and Shop Local
Downtown Albemarle is full of cute shops and a mural to welcome you into town! I always find that there is no better way to explore a town than by taking a little walk through. There is a coffee shop, Second Street Sundries, that helps provide employment for people with Autism. There is a cute clothing boutique, Livi Bug’s Boutique, located right beside Off the Square, plus a great soap shop, Uwharrie Soap Co, a trendy boutique, Whiskey Eunoia, Albemarle Sweet Shop, plus two different axe throwing venues.
Explore One of the Many Trails
Photo via AllTrails
Did you know that 2023 is the Year of the Trail in North Carolina?! Check out City Lake Trail. Itlocated right in Albemarle, for a 1.7 mile way to stretch your legs and take in the views. There are several other trails right outside of town as well! Check them all out here!
Other Things to Do in Albemarle
Stanly County Winter Wine Festival
Clarke and I stopped by the Stanly County Winter Wine Festival to check out some of the Stanly County vineyards + others from the western part of the state. This annual tradition is quite fun despite the rain and chilly temperatures. Make a plan to attend next year!
Uwharrie Wampus Cats Summer Collegiate Baseball Team
Albemarle will be the home to a brand new wooden bat summer collegiate baseball team, the Uwharrie Wampus Cats! Follow along for the reveal of their mascot and their schedule so that you can make a plan to visit in this summer to catch a game!
Albemarle was wonderfully welcoming and I am grateful I had the opportunity to experience it. It is a delightful spot for an afternoon day trip and you’ll meet some friendly folks while you’re there.
Thank you to David Fath and the City of Albemarle for the tickets to the Winter Wine Festival. It was a delightful trip and I hope you’ll go visit the kind people of Albemarle and Stanly County soon!