Looking for Things to Do in Lenoir NC?
Just over an hour north of Charlotte is the small Southern town of Lenoir, North Carolina. Like many small towns tucked away on the very edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Lenoir has a strong community, lots of deep history, attractions, and some of the most beautiful natural scenery around. However, there are some things that make Lenoir unique and a fabulous place to take a trip.
Lenoir started as a small community called “Tucker’s Barn” after the Tucker family settled in the area in 1765. Years after the Revolutionary War, Lenoir was founded in 1841 and quickly became a popular furniture manufacturing town with the help of the Chestor-Lenoir Railway. Lenoir has had its fair share of growth, economic booms, and falls, but through it all, the community has stayed strong, and today Lenoir is seeing a fantastic amount of growth and development.
If you are looking for an escape from the city and want to spend some time fishing, hiking, or just enjoying small-town livin’, Lenoir should be the next spot on your list.
Things to do in Lenoir NC
To help you navigate your trip to Lenoir, we put together this thorough list of all the best sights, attractions, restaurants, and things to do. Enjoy!
1. T.H. Broyhill Walking Park
Address: 945 Lakewood Cir SW5, Lenoir, NC 28645
Right outside downtown Lenoir is the beautifully peaceful T.H. Broyhill Walking Park. This park is most famous for its gorgeous red walking bridge over the pond that has the atmosphere of a Japanese garden.
The park also features a botanical garden, a walking loop, and a nature sanctuary.
2. Tuttle Educational State Forest
Address: 3420 Playmore Beach Rd, Lenoir, NC 28645
The Tuttle Educational State Forest encompasses 288 acres at the Lenoir city limits.
The vast forest has diverse tree varieties and wildlife and is popular for its expansive hiking trails. Even check out the old schoolhouse.
3. Bo’s Family Entertainment
Address: 1115 Blowing Rock Blvd, Lenoir, NC 28645
Bo’s Family Entertainment is Lenoir’s premier entertainment facility with all the fun you can think of. They have everything from bowling, and mini golf, to laser tag, video games, and concessions.
4. Caldwell Historical Museum
Address: 112 Vaiden St, Lenoir, NC 28645
The Caldwell Historical Museum, founded in 1991, has a chronologically correct historical display of Caldwell County and Lenoir with over 20 permanent exhibits. There is no admission charge to gaze upon the tales of Caldwell County that date back over 100 years. There are photographs, relics, artifacts, videos, and more.
5. Caldwell Arts Council
Address: 601 College Ave SW, Lenoir, NC 28645
Caldwell Arts Council is a lovely art gallery that has been displaying local artists’ work since 1976. Their mission is to create an outlet for artists in Caldwell County to not only share and display their art but so they can also have a comfortable space to create art.
They have great kids’ programs, after-school programs, and learning programs for adults. It is free to check out the exhibits at Caldwell Arts. However, donations are highly appreciated.
6. Saunders Old Country Store
Address: 3584 Blowing Rock Blvd, Lenoir, NC 28645
What looks like a simple farmstand off the side of the road is a perfectly cute, humble corner store that specializes in Amish goods, handmade items, produce, canned goods, and more. The store is complete with an old-timey vibe, rocking chairs, and nostalgic decorations.
7. Black Bear General Store
Address: 4566 Blowing Rock Blvd, Lenoir, NC 28645
The Black Bear General Store is just about everything you wanted from a small, mountain town store. For four generations, Black Bear has been serving and sharing local goods, produce, homemade items, canned goods, trinkets, and more.
8. Greene’s Trading Post
Address: 5361 Blowing Rock Blvd, Lenoir, NC 28645
Greene’s Trading Post is a nice little kitschy shop with handmade items, jams, canned goods, jellies, bread, souvenirs, and more.
9. T. Henry Wilson Athletic Park
Address: 1010 Powell Rd NE, Lenoir, NC 28645
If you are looking for any sort of sports field, you’ll find it at T. Henry Wilson Athletic Park. There are over 18 acres of sports fields, walking trails, and open spaces.
✅ Lenoir Golf Course | 701 Norwood St SW, Lenoir, NC 28645
An 18-hole golf course that was originally opened in 1928. The course has a pro shop and an event center.
✅ Cedar Rock Country Club | 2065 Cedar Rock Estate Dr, Lenoir, NC 28645
The Cedar Rock Country Club was originally founded in 1965 and has some supreme golfing on its 7,153-yard championship golf course. The facility also has tennis courts, dining and meeting rooms, and a clubhouse with food and drink.
11. Golden Ticket Cinemas Twin
Address: 1966 Morganton Blvd SW, Lenoir, NC 28645
Golden Ticket Cinemas is the perfect hometown movie theater with clean, comfortable seating, tons of concessions, and all the hit movies.
12. Gamewell Park
Address: 2750 Morganton Blvd SW, Lenoir, NC 28645
A quiet, small-town park that has 13 acres for walking, having a picnic, or playing with the dog.
13. Lenoir Optimist Park
Address: 701 Mulberry St SW, Lenoir, NC 28645
A 12-acre park with picnic areas and a playground.
14. Zack’s Fork Mountain Bike Trail Lenoir
Address: Lenoir Greenway, Lenoir, NC 28645
If you are looking for some good mountain biking trails, this one should definitely be on your list! Zack’s Fork Mountain Bike Trail is 3.25 miles of totally off-road biking. The trial does have some challenging parts, though good children bikers could easily take on the path. Walkers are also welcome to hike the trail.
15. Brews and Mews Cat Cafe
Address: 219 N Main St, Lenoir, NC 28645
Brews and Mews Cat Cafe is Western North Carolina’s first and only cat cafe! This experience is adorable and unlike any other.
Guests can enjoy their coffee and pastries while ten adoptable cats hang around. You can book an hour-long experience which is available to book for everyone seven years old and up. Under six years old, you can book a 30-min session.
16. 4440 Ranch & Cattle Company
Address: 215 Main St SW, Lenoir, NC 28645
The 4440 Ranch & Cattle Company is the best local butcher shop around. They provide pasture-raised, grain-fed, F1 Wagyu Beef cut in ways possible. They also have pre-made burgers, stuffed peppers, and more to take home to heat.
17. J.E. Broyhill Civic Center
Address: 1913 Hickory Blvd, Lenoir, NC 28645
The county’s premier performing arts and conference center. The center seats 1,000 and holds live music, musicals, theater shows, and more.
18. Fort Defiance
Address: 1792 Fort Defiance Dr, Lenoir, NC 28645
Fort Defiance was a home built in the late 1700s where William Lenoir lived with his family. The original property had five buildings.
However, the smokehouse is the only original building still standing, although there are a few other historic buildings built in the early 1800s that are still there to explore. Fort Defiance is a great place to check out if you are interested in history.
19. Tybrisa Books
Address: 210 Main St SW, Lenoir, NC 28645
A popular local bookstore where everything is just $1.00. They have over 30,000 books to explore and purchase.
Wineries and Breweries in Lenoir, NC
✅ Twisted Vine Winery
Address: 487 Legion Rd, Lenoir, NC 28645
In the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is the family-owned winery, Twisted Vine Winery. They have 150 vines of grapes to produce a nice array of wines. They also serve draft beers and ciders. Everything can be enjoyed in their tasting room or on their lovely outdoor patio right outside of their big red barn.
✅ Six Waterpots Vineyard & Winery at Sullivan Estate
Address: 4040 James Dr, Hudson, NC 28638
Six Waterpots Vineyard & Winery is a family-owned winery that produces small-batch wines in many varietals. They offer tours of their vineyard and have great taproom tastings and specials. Their taproom is an event space and a lovely spot to enjoy fine wine.
✅ Liquid Roots Brewing Project
Address: 1048 Harper Ave, Lenoir, NC 28645
Liquid Roots Brewing Project is the fun, family-friendly brewery that Lenoir has been missing. Liquid Roots serves 16 taps with their brewed on-site craft beers and ciders that can be enjoyed in their spacious taproom or outside on their comfy outdoor patio, where dogs and kids are welcome. They often have live music throughout the week and host food trucks or do food pairings with local restaurants.
✅ Moonjoy Meadery
Address: 110 Church St NW, Lenoir, NC 28645
Moojoy Meadery is a small-batch meadery located in downtown Lenoir. They brew over 50 different varieties of meads using North Carolina honey and other locally sourced ingredients. 15 different meads are available at all times in their taproom.
✅ Happy Valley Filling Station
Address: 1275 NC-268, Lenoir, NC 28645
Happy Valley Filling Station, a brewery and pizzeria just north of Lenoir, offers craft beer and wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas. With a cozy taproom and outdoor seating by the Yadkin River, it provides a gathering spot for neighbors to enjoy delicious food and drink.
Jesse and Angela purchased the property in 2019 to preserve the community and embarked on a journey to create exceptional pizzas and beers using local ingredients.
Drinks and Restaurants in Lenoir, NC
We cannot list them all, but here are some great options while you are in town.
✅ 1841 Cafe
117 N Main St, Lenoir, NC 28645
1841 is a local favorite cafe, bar, and restaurant. If you are looking for a friendly conversation, a good beer, and a quality meal, you’ll find it at 1841 Cafe.
✅ Clarence’s Friendly Lunch
Address: 1871 Norwood St SW, Lenoir, NC 28645
Clarence’s Friendly Lunch is exactly as it sounds! It is a breakfast and lunch spot with delicious home-cooked meals served with classic Southern hospitality.
Address: 137 Main St, Hudson, NC 28638
If you are looking for a reliable breakfast, lunch, and dinner spot, Dari-Frez should be on your list. This restaurant opens early and closes late and always has classic meals that you can count on.
✅ JD’s Smokehouse
Address: 2731 Morganton Blvd SW, Lenoir, NC 28645
JD’s Smokehouse is a tried-and-true BBQ joint with hardwood smoked meats, a great variety of apps, and drinks. JD’s was named #1 BBQ in North Carolina by Carolina Country Magazine!
✅ Judy’s Cafe
Address: 2303 Morganton Blvd SW, Lenoir, NC 28645
Judy’s Cafe is a classic, Southern-inspired breakfast and lunch restaurant. They serve some of the best home-cooked meals around that will make you feel like family.
✅ Pancho Villa
Address: 2153 Morganton Blvd SW, Lenoir, NC 28645
Pancho Villa is one of Lenoir’s premier authentic Mexican cuisine restaurants. They have genuine Mexican flavors and lots of daily specials.
✅ Katz Sandwich Co.
Address: 1859 Harper Ave, Lenoir, NC 28645
Katz Sandwich Co is a women-owned business that stands behind their quality meals and traditional recipes. They make amazing charcuterie boards, veggie platters, wraps, and more using locally sourced products.
✅ Pelican’s SnoBalls Lenoir
Address: 520 Realty St SW, Lenoir, NC 28645
Pelican’s SnoBalls is a New Orleans-style shaved ice business with tons of exciting and unique flavors. Some flavors include candy apple, dill pickle, pink champagne, praline, and so much more. They are open seasonally.
✅ Village Inn Pizza Lenoir
Address: 1234 Morganton Blvd SW, Lenoir, NC 28645
A popular pizza chain that has locations all around North Carolina. They have been in business for over 50 years and still use the same beloved family pizza recipes.
✅ Italy Grill
Address: 1112 Morganton Blvd SW, Lenoir, NC 28645
A charming, family-style, authentic Italian restaurant. They have excellent service and great prices.
✅ The Icey Freeze
Address: 814 Morganton Blvd SW, Lenoir, NC 28645
The Icey Freeze is a spot almost any local will tell you to stop by. They have been around for over 40 years and absolutely love serving their prize-winning hot dogs and hamburgers. They have been voted #1 hot dog and #1 hamburger in Caldwell County and make for a great little stop for lunch or dinner.
✅ Camp Coffee Roasters & Cafe
Address: 522 Mulberry St SW, Lenoir, NC 28645
Camp Coffee Roasters is a charming coffee shop that serves fair-trade, locally roasted, organic coffee and coffees from around the world. Visitors are welcome to stop in for their favorite caffeinated beverage or grab a light breakfast or lunch.
✅ The Shake-N-Dog
Address: 209 N Main St, Lenoir, NC 28645
The Shake-N-Dog is a community-driven sandwich shop with a huge menu of all your favorite sandwiches and a few specialty recipes thrown into the mix. They are located right in downtown Lenoir, and sandwiches can be enjoyed inside their shop or taken to go.
✅ Blue Moose Coffee Lodge
Address: 250 Morganton Blvd SW, Lenoir, NC 28645
Blue Moose Coffee Lodge is a cute drive-up coffee stand with delicious coffee and tons of specialty coffee drinks. Service is fast, and you can’t go wrong.
✅ Mayflower Seafood Lenoir
Address: 303 Blowing Rock Blvd, Lenoir, NC 28645
Though Lenoir isn’t the closest place to the ocean, Mayflower Seafood makes you feel like you’re right on the coast with their delicious, freshly caught seafood dishes.
✅ Perkz Cafe
Address: 538 Wilkesboro Blvd NE SE, Lenoir, NC 28645
Perkz Cafe is your classic, small-town 50s-style dinner/breakfast cafe. It’s a quality greasy spoon with the best Southern hospitality.
✅ Los Izotes El Salvadorean Restaurant
Address: 1506 N Main St, Lenoir, NC 28645
If you love or have never tried El Salvadorean food, now is your chance to get it! Los Izotes has absolutely incredible authentic El Salvadorean food and drinks with spectacular prices.
You can try homemade Horchata, sopes, pupusas, tortas, and more in their casual-style restaurant
✅ Taste of Havana
Address: 819 West Ave NW A, Lenoir, NC 28645
Havana is known for having some delicious Cuban-style foods with tropical flavors, savory meats, and more. Taste of Havana serves exactly that through their friendly, knowledgeable staff.
✅ Mi Molcajete
Address: 104 Main St SW, Lenoir, NC 28645
Mi Molcajete is a fun, family-owned, and operated Mexican restaurant. They have authentic flavors, handmade tortillas, seafood dishes, and more.
✅ The Flour Shoppe
Address: 810 West Ave NW, Lenoir, NC 28645
Located in downtown Lenoir is the beloved Flour Shoppe, a locally owned and operated micro-bakery They serve beautiful handmade pastries, cookies, macarons, brownies, cinnamon rolls, and just about any other delicious treat you can think of.
✅ Piccolo’s Italian Restaurant
Address: 915 West Ave NW, Lenoir, NC 28645
Authentic Chicago-style pizza and Italian restaurant that uses decades-old family recipes and traditional baking methods. The classy restaurant is vintage, inspired with low lighting and a nice relaxing atmosphere.
✅ Hannahs BBQ Lenoir
Address: 137 Blowing Rock Blvd, Lenoir, NC 28645
A fun, small-town barbecue joint with family recipes and homemade meals. This is a comfortable sit-down restaurant, perfect for a family-style restaurant. If you go, you must try the baked beans!
✅ Hole Lotta Doughnuts
Address: 308 Morganton Blvd SW, Lenoir, NC 28645
Hole Lotta Doughnuts has a whole lotta everything, including homemade donuts, coffee, and pastries to keep everyone happy. This is the perfect place to bring the family so the kids can enjoy the play area and, of course, dive into a delicious box of donuts.
✅ Blanca’s Cakes and Honduran Restaurant
Address: 2441 Norwood St SW, Lenoir, NC 28645
A locally-owned business that has been serving Caldwell County for 25 years. Blanca’s designs some of the most stunning and delicious cakes you’ll ever try.
They also have incredible pastries and serve some amazing Honduran cuisine for breakfast and lunch.
Things to do near Lenoir, NC
While there is so much to do in Lenoir, it’s good to check out the surrounding areas as well. Here are some spots you should visit.
✅ The Mitford Museum
Address: 145 Cedar Valley Rd, Hudson, NC 28638
The Mitford Museum isn’t just a museum but a literary tale that is told to you by Jan Karon herself as you walk through the building. Jan Karon, the author of the New York Times best-selling books, “The Mitford Novels” displays her life starting as a little girl working in the cotton mills to where she is now. The museum has lots of history of Caldwell County.
✅ Redwood Park
Address: 470 Redwood St, Hudson, NC 28638
Redwood Park is an excellent family park and was named the number one park in Caldwell County.
The park includes a public swimming pool, sports fields, walking trails, indoor soccer, event center, and picnic areas.
✅ Xscape Escape Room Attraction
Address: 3318 Hickory Blvd, Hudson, NC 28638
The Xscape Escape Room Attraction is a top-rated escape room experience that has two thrilling themed rooms for everyone of all ages.
✅ Skylite Skating Rink
Address: 1509 Cajah Mountain Rd, Hudson, NC 28638
A classic skating rink that was originally built in 1970. The rink has recently been renovated to have all the newest features, the coolest colors, and even more concessions.
✅ The Blowing Rock
Address: 432 The Rock Rd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605
The Blowing Rock is a very famous attraction that can be found right off the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 290. The rock provides not only beautiful panoramic views of the mountains but also the rocky walls of the flume form a wind tunnel that blows anything that falls down directly upward.
✅ Tweetsie Railroad
Address: 300 Tweetsie Railroad Ln, Blowing Rock, NC 28605
Tweetsie Railroad is an old-timey train theme park with kids’ rides, games, train rides, shows, and more.
✅ The Collettsville Cup House
Address: 2490 Old Johns River Rd, Collettsville, NC 28611
One of the more interesting attractions is the Collettsville Cup House, a house covered in over 34,000 coffee cups in the woods. The collection has actually grown so much that they’ve begun a second cup house next to the first.
✅ The Blue Ridge Parkway | Thunder Hill Overlook
Address: Blue Ridge Parkway – Milepost 290.4
Thunder Hill Overlook is one of the most accessible and most visited overlooks on the whole Blue Ridge Parkway. This overlook can be found right near Blowing Rock, at milepost 290.4, and has gorgeous 180-degree views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This is a perfect spot for a gorgeous sunrise.
Annual Events in Lenoir, NC
Annual events bring towns together! Here are some you don’t want to miss in Lenoir.
✅ 4th of July (July 4, 2023)
Every year on the fourth of July, Lenoir goes all out. Their small downtown strip is closed off to traffic and completely filled with fun and festivities. There is live music, food trucks, a parade, games, a petting zoo, kids activities, and fireworks to top it all off.
✅ Summer Music Madness (July 7, 2023)
A family-friendly fun night of live music in Downtown Square. Four bands play from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and it’s completely free! There will also be food trucks nearby.
✅ North Carolina Blackberry Festival (July 14-15, 2023)
The North Carolina Blackberry Festival is a popular event in downtown Lenoir that takes place each July. The festival is to celebrate summer and the great berry harvest. Fun and games like blackberry eating contests, the Little Miss Blackberry Pageant, Blackberry Cobbler Parade, vendors, food trucks, and live music line the streets for two days.
✅ Wood Fire and Smoke Festival (October 21, 2023)
The Wood Fire and Smoke is another very popular event that fills downtown Lenoir in October. The event is a fun BBQ Festival that also showcases skilled craftsmen, artisans, and brewmasters.
✅ Light Up Lenoir! (November 16-January 1)
Light Up Lenoir is an annual animated Christmas music and lights show in downtown Lenoir. This free event happens nightly from November 16 to January 1st and also includes free hot chocolate and cookies.
✅ Starry Night Christmas Parade (December 1, 2023)
The Starry Night Christmas Parade is a beloved holiday tradition. The event takes place on December 1st every year and includes marching bands, floats, drinks, candy, and a special visit from Santa.
✅ Downtown Carriage Rides (Selected dates throughout December)
During December, everyone is welcome to enjoy a holiday carriage ride through downtown Lenoir. The ride costs $30 (for four adults and two children) and is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit.
Where To Stay in Lenoir, NC
📍Elegant view at Longwood Cabin– A beautiful three-bedroom cabin that is surrounded by peaceful woods and a gorgeous view. Guests have full access to the fully stocked house and access to a big backyard which is great for summertime cookouts and barbecues. Being only ten minutes away from Lenoir makes this a perfect location for your stay.
📍Good Day Sunshine– If you and the family are looking to have lots of space on your vacation, this is an excellent option. This gorgeous log mansion has four bedrooms, sleeping up to ten guests, four bathrooms, a hot tub, and views unlike anywhere else. There is ample outdoor space, as well as plenty of space indoors. You won’t be disappointed with this stay!
📍Hampton Inn & Suites– Who said you need to break the bank to have a good trip? For a great price, the Hampton Inn & Suites provides a comfortable place for you and your family to stay. Amenities at the hotel include continental breakfast, family rooms, an indoor pool, and mini-fridges provided in each room.
Lenoir, NC: FAQs
📌 What is Lenoir, NC, known for?
Lenoir is known for being a small, growing town that is home to a Google Data Center and Exela Pharma Sciences.
📌 Does Lenoir, NC, have a downtown?
Lenoir has a newly renovated, historical downtown strip with quaint shops and restaurants.
📌How far is Charlotte to Lenoir, NC?
Lenoir is one hour and 19 minutes, or about 74 miles North of Charlotte.
📌 Is Lenior, NC, near the mountains?
Lenoir is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The closest mountain range is the Brushy Mountains, a segment of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
📌Who is Lenoir named after?
Lenoir, NC, is named after the Revolutionary War Hero, William Lenoir, who settled just north of where the present-day Lenoir sits.
The quaint little Lenoir may not have been on your radar before, but we certainly hope that you are considering a trip to the beautiful town now. A place full of history, great food, community, and activities. Everyone in the family will find something they love in Lenoir.
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