When you hear North Carolina, what do you think? Many know the state for its fabulous barbecue and the rivalry of Duke University and University of North Carolina basketball powerhouse. Other than that, most people are running short, unless of course you live there. About two hours from the Virginia state border is the town of Greensboro, NC, which is full of hidden gems that are well worth a visit. On your next visit to North Carolina, find time to stop in Greensboro and visit five of the best treasures the city has to offer.
that of Stamey
This one shouldn’t surprise you, as it would be a shame if you visited North Carolina and didn’t try some of the best barbecues around. Stamey’s has been in business since the 1930s, barbecuing the “Lexington” style. To give you an idea of the size of the Lexington-style barbecue, every year in Lexington, NC the city hosts a barbecue festival and last year 100,000 people showed up. Yeah, that’s a big deal. So there is no argument when someone says there is no better place than Lexington to barbecue in the South East, but Stamey’s is right behind, especially with their secret barbecue sauce recipe. .
Old Guilford Mill
Located about 20 minutes outside of Greensboro is the old renovated Guilford Mill, which was once used to grind grain in 1767. Now, 240 years later, this same mill continues to produce stone-ground grain and is open to the public. They produce a variety of items including gingerbread mixes, muffin mixes, pancake mixes and more, all in the shop located in the mill. If you are traveling to the area, this is a great stop on a road trip, and you can also shop for classic southern toppings like cookie and hushpuppie mixes. Nothing beats the freshest ingredients apart from beautiful scenery and well-maintained historical monuments.
It’s not very often that thrill seekers find a one-stop-shop to visit, but in Kersey Valley you can get a bit of everything, especially during the fall months. Just a 15 minute drive from Greensboro, Kersey Valley offers what they call the “gold standard” of the zipline and laser tag industry year round. During the fall months, Kersey Valley is home to Spooky Woods, one of North Carolina’s most popular (and spooky) haunted houses. They also have a corn maze titled Maize Adventure and a rock and gems panning station. Honestly, it’s not every day that you find a place that has three adrenaline pumping activities and great family fun all in one place, so spend the day exploring Kersey Valley you sure won’t regret it.
Sylvia Gray had the idea of starting a business in 1937, but it then turned into a surplus store. Once Sylvia realized she had quite a business, she turned it into a WWII surplus store and started repairing military items. After a while, she decided that with all the items she had accumulated, it would be a great idea to turn the Army surplus into a thrift store. Now Sylvia’s business has grown into Elsewhere, a living art exhibit in downtown Greensboro. You wander the crowded aisles and see artists who have started to create works of art with the many items in the store. The only rule is that you can watch, touch occasionally, but you are not allowed to buy.
Reserve Garden at Benjamin Park
If you’ve never visited a bog garden, you’re definitely missing out. It’s a beautiful slice of nature that really takes relaxation to a whole new level. At Benjamin Park’s Bog Garden, you can explore 7 acres of natural bog garden and admire the variety of wildlife that inhabit it. Plus, the tour is completely free, so why not pack the picnic basket and have a date with your partner, or maybe a day out with the family. The park was cleaned up shortly after Dr Joe Christian discovered that the “beautiful wilderness of swamps, streams, established trees and what once was a beautiful lake” was completely unrecognizable. Now the park is thriving again and has become a popular destination for nature lovers in Greensboro.
Image courtesy of Chris Hau
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