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16+ Fun Things to do in Salisbury NC & Nearby

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Salisbury is another one of North Carolina’s finest historical towns. The town holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously inhabited colonial town in the Western region of North Carolina. You can find Salisbury in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, in Rowan County, just 25 miles from Charlotte. 

Salisbury is recognized for its historic preservation, so it is a treasure for history buffs and those curious about the area’s history. It is the primary cultural center of Rowan County because of its thriving downtown districts. 

Salisbury is an exciting combination of a historical town mixed with an ever-expanding urban vibe, plus several beautiful outdoor activities. In Salisbury, North Carolina, there is a little something for everyone. 

Things to do in Salisbury NC

Salisbury is a unique and interesting place to explore, from museums to parks to theatres. Here are all the things you don’t want to miss out on, on your next trip to Salisbury, NC. 

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1. Piedmont Skydiving

Address: 500 Airport Rd, Salisbury, NC 28147

Are you up for a thrilling experience? Piedmont Skydiving is North Carolina’s highest-rated skydiving dropzone. They create a truly unforgettable experience for either skydiving beginners or pros. If you have ever thought about skydiving and were curious about the experience this is the perfect place to start. They offer lessons and have some of the best guides around. 

Piedmont SkyDiving

2. Rowan History Museum

Address: 202 N Main, St, Salisbury, NC 28144

The Rowan Museum was founded in 1953 to help preserve, collect, share, and educate the public about the history of Rowan County and Salisbury. The museum is located in a 19th-century courthouse which is believed to be the finest example of antebellum architecture in North Carolina. 

Once inside the museum, you enter a whole new world. The artifacts are displayed tastefully along the walls on the first and second floors of the old courthouse. It is a great telling of the deep history of this land.

Rowan History Museum

3. Dan Nicholas Park

Address: 6800 Bringle Ferry Rd, Salisbury, NC 28146

Dan Nicholas Park is the outdoor center of Salisbury. There is camping and a fantastic 10-acre lake for swimming, fishing, or paddling. You can also enjoy the train, playground, gem mine, aquarium, and carousel. To top it all off, you can’t forget the nature center and aquarium. 

Entrance to Mini Golf at Dan Nicholas Park

There are over 300 acres of the park to explore and enjoy. Pets are allowed, but not at any of the attractions. Spend the day taking in the scenes or relaxing under the picnic shelter. The options are endless.

Dan Nicholas Park Sign

4. Dunn’s Mountain Park

Address: 1740 Dunns Mountain Rd, Salisbury, NC 28146

Protected under a Conservation Easement, this 83-acre park is peaceful and filled with nature. The park includes spectacular views, picnic shelters, restrooms, and activities such as hiking and bird watching. With so much land to explore, it’s easy to get happily lost in this park. 

Dunn's Mountain Sign

5. Waterworks Visual Arts Center

Address: 123 E Liberty St, Salisbury, NC 28144

Waterworks history dates back to 1959 when the center was first created as the Rowan Arts Guild. It remained that way until 2003 when it was converted into the Visual Arts Center.

This museum is free to visit and has many diverse exhibits that open people’s eyes to the world of art. The galleries include five professional galleries, three outdoor sculptures/sensory gardens, photography and clay studios, classrooms, a library, and a gift shop. 

Waterworks sign

6. Meroney Theater, Piedmont Players Theatre

Address: 213 S Main St, Salisbury, NC 28144

The Meroney Theater is a special place for the residents of Salisbury. Since 1905, this theatre has provided a place for people to relax and enjoy entertainment. For a while, the theater showed movies until it lay in ruin after Hurricane Hugo. After barely surviving the strong winds and rains, public financial support helped renovate the historic building. 

The theatre re-opened in 1995 and has been the place to see live plays and performances. Shows happen every weekend, and artists put on shows such as James and the Giant Peach, Bye Bye Birdie, and so much more! 

Outside the Meroney Theater

7. Cinemark Tinseltown USA

Address: Innes Street Market, 305 Faith Rd, Salisbury, NC 28146 

You may have heard of the popular movie theatre chain Tinseltown USA. There are over hundreds of Tinseltowns, not just in the United States but also in places around the world.

When it comes to movie theatres, Tinseltown is one of the best. They have comfy seats, are always playing the newest and most popular movies, and have a variety of showtimes and, of course, great snacks and popcorn. 

Whether you are going on a date, looking to take the kids someplace, or just want to escape into the big screen for a couple of hours, Tinseltown is the place to be. Salisbury’s Tinseltown is located right outside of downtown Salisbury. 

Tinseltown USA Movie Theater

8. Grievous Gallery

Address: 111 W Bank St, Salisbury, NC 28144

The Grievous Gallery is Carolina’s very first anger room. What’s an anger room, you might ask? Have you ever just wanted a room you could go to throw stuff, break stuff, and smash things for a little bit?

Well, that’s precisely what an anger room is. It is a warehouse-style room with glassware, TVs, tables, and more, and guests are encouraged to break all of it! 

Depending on your group size, you can have the room for 30-40 minutes and up to 100 pieces of glass. Grab some friends and some close-toed shoes, and let some of that repressed aggression out for a little bit. 

Outside Grievous Gallery

9. Salisbury National Cemetery

Address: 202 Government Rd, Salisbury, NC 28144

Originally established in 1863, the Salisbury National Cemetary was created as a burial site for Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War while held hostage at a Confederate war camp. The cemetery has 65 acres, with over 6,500 graves holding veterans and their families. 

National Cemetery

Walking and heritage tours are available to book to get an insider look into the graves and memorial sites. Otherwise, the cemetery is open to the public and a beautiful place to walk around respectfully and enjoy. 

National Cemetery Entrance

10. Ellis Park

Address: 3541 Old Mocksville Rd, Salisbury, NC 28144

Ellis Park has 26 acres of green grass, outdoor activities, and more. The park is conveniently located just two miles from downtown Salisbury, making it a great stop if you are exploring that area.

The park has a fun playground, ball fields, bocce courts, disc golf, horseshoe pits, pickleball courts, tennis courts, a volleyball court, a game room, and picnic shelters. There is also a 1.5-mile walking trail through the park. 

Ellis Park Sign

11. Millbridge Speedway

Address: 6670 Mooresville Rd, Salisbury, NC 28147 

The Millbridge Speedway is North Carolina’s premier dirt track facility. It is a family-owned and operated place that is forever changing to be the best it can be for the riders and the viewers. The track is inexpensive to visit and an excellent place to bring younger kids who are just getting excited about racing. 

You can watch live races every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday from March through October. There is a concession stand with light snacks and drinks and bathrooms. 

Entrance to Millbridge Speedway

12. Josephus W. Hall House Museum 

Address: 226 S Jackson St, Salisbury, NC 28144

This beautiful mansion has an old and fascinating history. The house was initially designed in 1820 as classrooms for the Salisbury Female Academy. It was made into a residential home by 1825.

Dr. Jospehus Hall purchased the house in 1852 and served four generations of the Hall family before being purchased by the Historic Salisbury Foundation in 1972. 

Visitors are welcome to roam the halls of the Hall house and experience what life was like for the families back in the 1800s-1900s. You will see original wallpapers, furnishings, ceilings, a kitchen restored in 1852, and even a desk used by Andrew Jackson to study law.

The house has centuries of history and many stories to tell. It feels like an honor to enter the house and hear the tales. 

The Josephus Hall House Outside

13. Lee Street Theatre

Address: 329 N Lee St, Salisbury, NC 28144

The Lee Street Theatre was opened in 2008 and quickly became known for using the most diverse and unique performance style in the area. They are known for one-act play festivals, ten-minute plays, off-broadway-style performances, and much more. 

They are currently playing Wait Until Dark, Legally Blonde, and Lead Me A Tenor, just to name a few. If you are looking for something unique during your trip to Salisbury, then a trip to the Lee Street Theatre will be the perfect place. 

Lee Street Theatre

14. Hurley Park

Address: 304 Annandale Ave, Salisbury, NC 28144

Hurley Park is a little smaller than the other parks mentioned in Salisbury but still has plenty of room to explore. Woodlands, gardens, and relaxing pathways are what mainly make up the 18 acres of the park. 

The park is beautiful to visit during the spring as the flowers are in full bloom or in the fall as the trees brighten with color. This is one of the most peaceful areas in all of Salisbury.

Hurley Park

15. Bell Tower Green

Address: Corner of West Innes and South Jackson St, Salisbury, NC

Bell Tower

The Bell Tower has been a landmark in Salisbury for centuries, located directly in the heart of historic downtown Salisbury. The green is an amazing communal space where kids can play; live music is performed at the amphitheater, weddings are hosted, and so much more.

Things to do in Sailsbury NC include the Bell Tower Green, a beautiful park

16. The Fun Factory

Address: 120 N Church St Ste C, Salisbury, NC 28144

The Fun Factory is exactly as it sounds, a place for simply having the most fun! They have slides, ball pits, trampolines, a toddler gym section, arcade games, and more. It is the perfect place to bring the kids to get some energy out and have a great time. 

The Fun Factory Outside

Drinks and Restaurants in Salisbury NC

You can’t visit Salisbury without checking out its ever-growing restaurant and drink scene. Many people have come from the bigger cities to share their foods and beverages in a quieter, more relaxed town, and the scene has become so diverse and delicious. Here are some of Salisbury’s finest restaurants and breweries.

👉 New Sarum Brewing Company

Address: 109 N Lee St, Salisbury, NC 28144

New Sarum Brewing Co Mural

New Sarum Brewing Company was born right in the heart of Salisbury, named after the famous landmark, “Old Sarum” in their sister city Salisbury, England. The company’s location is a brewery and taproom, meaning the beer is brewed right on-site to serve visitors.

New Sarum Brewing Flight

They consider their taproom more like a German beer garden, with plants, decorations, and a lovely outdoor patio. They serve snacks, hold live events, and often host food trucks. New Sarum Brewing Company is a kid and dog-friendly taproom so the whole family can be together. 

New Sarum Brewing Outside at Night

👉 Go Burrito! 

Address: 115 W Fisher St, Salisbury, NC 28144

Go Burrito Sign

If you’re craving a California-style burrito, you can get that right here at Go Burrito! After California natives Mikey and Lily Wetzel visited North Carolina, they knew they had to share their food with this part of the country. 

Cheesy Nachos from Go Burrito Sailsbury

Go Burrito! has the best rooftop hangout in Salisbury, plus some of the yummiest, freshly cooked burritos around. You can stop in for burritos to go or sit down in a friendly environment to share burritos with the family. Be sure to try their prized burrito, the San Diego burrito, next time you’re in town. 

Rooftop Patio at Go Burrito overlooking the Tower Green

👉 Hendrix Barbecue

Address: 1624 W Innes St, Salisbury, NC 28144

Hendrix barbecue is a classic NC barbecue joint with three locations, two in Salisbury and one in Spencer. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Hendrix has a fun old-time feel inside.

They serve great vinegar-based North Carolina barbecue, burgers, wings, and more. Hendrix Barbecue is the perfect family-friendly restaurant with fast service and great food. 

outside Hendrix Barbecue

👉 Morgan Ridge Railwalk Brewery and Eatery

Address: 421 N Lee St, Salisbury, NC 28144

The team from the award-winning Morgan Ridge Winery opened this brewery and eatery in 2016. They have a variety of handcrafted beers on the menu, including IPAs, ambers, stouts, and more, along with offerings from their winery. They have an outstanding menu with mouthwatering burgers and sides if you get hungry.  

Railwalk Brewery entrance

Every weekend they have live music and an amazing brunch. With a friendly staff, great vibes, and lots of space, this is an excellent place to take the family for any meal or a quick drink at the bar. 

Railwalk Brewery outside

👉 Bottle and Can

Address: 116 W Innes St, Salisbury, NC 28144

Bottle and Can is a proud women-owned facility serving a large selection of craft beer from local breweries and their favorites from around the country.

They have over 1000 beers, ciders, and wines packaged and ready to take home, along with a taproom to try free samples of their favorites. You won’t get a better selection of craft beers and ciders anywhere else. 

Outside Bottle & Can

👉 Cauble Creek Vineyard

Address: 700 Cauble Farm Rd, Salisbury, NC 28147

Cauble Creek Vineyard is 36 acres of family-owned vineyards and a winery. Across from the vineyards, there are several parcels of agricultural sites owned by the same family that produce some of the best-tasting fruits and vegetables in the area.  

Cauble Creek Vineyard Bottles of Wine

The Cauble Creek tasting room offers wine tastings and a fantastic selection of wines and fresh produce. They have a variety of events happening all year, the local favorite being the “Pick Your Own Grapes” day, held every year in September. This beautiful venue is perfect for having a relaxing wine tasting. 

Cauble Creek Vineyard Outside

👉 II Colosseo Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria

Address: 716 Jake Alexander Blvd W, Salisbury, NC 28147

II Colosseo Italian Restaurant is owned and operated by the Scotto family. The family takes great pride in creating the most authentic and beautifully-tasting Italian dishes you’ll ever try. They are known for having a wonderful selection of sauces, bread, pizzas, pasta, desserts, and more. 

The menu is very expansive, and they have a good selection of wines. For lunch or dinner, Colosseo Italian Restaurant is always an excellent option for a great family meal. 

II Colosseo Restaurant outside

👉 LaCava Restaurant

Address: 329 S Church St, Salisbury, NC 28144

LaCava is a formal dining restaurant in a beautiful historic church built in 1897. This setting gives the atmosphere a wondrous, enchanting feel as guests dine on fantastic Italian and Continental cuisine.

They have excellent homemade pasta, sauces, and desserts. They also serve handcrafted cocktails, and there is an extensive wine menu. LaCava is the perfect place for a romantic evening. 

La Cava Restaurant entrance

Things to do Near Salisbury NC

While there are so many things to do directly in Salisbury, it’s fun to explore outside the town every now and then and see what the rest of the area has to offer. 

🔍 N.C. Transportation Museum

Address: 1 Samuel Spencer Dr, Spencer, NC 28159

Just outside downtown Salisbury, the N.C Transportation Museum is a historic site, once home to Southern Railways’ largest stem locomotive repair facility in the southeast.

Transporation Museum Sign

The museum includes an authentic train station built in 1898, a full-size replica Wright flyer, all kinds of locomotives and passenger rail cars, and a massive Back Shop that houses antique rail cars, locomotives, automobiles, fire trucks, and more!

Transporation Museum train cars

You can get lost here for hours observing the fascinating rail cars and learning about railway history. The N.C Transportation Museum is fun for everyone of all ages and makes the perfect family outing. 

Transporation Museum train car

🔍 Gold Hill Mines Historic Park

Address: 735 St Stephens Church Rd, Gold Hill, NC 28071

Gold Hill Mines Historic Park is a 70-acre park privately owned by the Historic Gold Hill and Mines Foundation. The park is open seven days a week for the public to enjoy the hiking trails, ball fields, playground, and picnic areas.

As visitors walk through the park, they will see many historic buildings, museums, and mine shafts dating back to the gold rush. Download the map from the website for a self-guided walking tour of the park. 

🔍 NC Museum of Dolls, Toys & Miniatures

Address: 108 4th St, Spencer, NC 28159

NC Museum of Dolls, Toys, and Miniatures is a quaint and charming little museum tucked away in the town of Spencer, NC. The museum holds a large collection of antique toys, dolls, dollhouses, and model trains. It is a unique family-friendly destination and one of North Carolina’s most unforgettable museums. 

NC Museum of Dolls Sign

🔍 Granite Lake Park

Address: 500 US-52, Granite Quarry, NC 28146

Granite Lake Park is a fun 6-acre park with a beautiful lake, an exciting playground, walking trails, piers, and picnic shelters. You can also find many plants native to this specific area of land. Although swimming is no longer allowed in the lake, it is a lovely place to walk around and enjoy a picnic. 

Lake at Granite Lake Park

Annual Events in Salisbury NC 

Like any good town with a strong community, Salisbury has plenty of exciting events that take place every year. 

🎯 Cheerwine Festival

Address: Downtown Salisbury, 217 S Main St

The Cheerwine festival began in 2017 upon the 100th anniversary of Cheerwine. Cheerwine, if you are not familiar, is a cherry-flavored soda only made in North Carolina. Salisbury is the birthplace of Cheerwine, and you won’t find anything like it anywhere else. 

The festival, taking place on May 20th of this year (2023), is a celebration of the town and the delicious soda. Vendors selling handmade goods and produce will be lining the streets, along with several delicious food trucks. There will also be live music, kids’ games and activities, and lots of Cheerwine. 

🎯 Autumn Jubilee

Address: Dan Nicholas Park, 6800 Bringle Ferry Rd, Salisbury, NC 

The Autumn Jubilee has been held the first weekend of October since 1980 in Dan Nicholas Park. Originally the event was an arts and crafts show and has since grown into an entire festival with games, food trucks, live music, vendors, and more.

The event takes place to celebrate the year, the upcoming fall, and the community of Rowan County. 

🎯 Wine About Winter in Downtown Salisbury

Address: Downtown Salisbury, NC

Wine About Winter is an annual event that happens in early February. Downtown Salisbury’s restaurants are given different wines, and adults on the tour can visit each restaurant to taste them. Trolley services are available for traveling between destinations. This is a fun opportunity to explore the town and sample local wines.

​​Where To Stay in Salisbury NC

Finding the perfect place to call home during your vacation is important. Luckily, Salisbury has a variety of rental cottages, rooms, and hotels in the area. You will easily find something to fit your needs perfectly. Here are a couple of the best lodging options in and near Salisbury.  

📍Comfort Suites Salisbury  – The Comfort Suites in Salisbury is just off I-85 and a short distance from Salisbury’s historic downtown area. This inexpensive hotel is perfect for a quick trip because of its convenience and accessibility. Amenities include free breakfast, an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and more. 

Outside the Comfort Suites

📍Lakefront Retreat – This beautiful lakefront retreat is just a thirty-minute drive from Salisbury, which is perfect if you are looking to lodge somewhere out of town. The large house, situated directly on High Rock Lake, is ideal for families and large gatherings.

The owners provide kayaks and paddleboards, and you are also welcome to enjoy the yard and fire pit. This comfortable, clean house will be unforgettable with the gorgeous lake backdrop. 

Salisbury NC: FAQs

📌 What is Salisbury NC known for?

Salisbury, NC is widely known for its historical preservation in museums, houses, and stories from the last two centuries. Salisbury is also known for being the birthplace of Cheerwine, a cherry-flavored soda only made in North Carolina. 

📌 How far is Salisbury NC from the beach?

Salisbury is a little bit of a drive from any beach. If you want to get to the coast, Sunset Beach (close to Myrtle Beach, SC) is a 3-hour and 40-minute drive. However, if you are okay with a lake beach, Lake Lure is much closer, 2 hours and 15 minutes away. Are you interested in the beaches in North Carolina? Check out our closest beaches to Asheville NC.

Final Thoughts

Salisbury isn’t one of North Carolina’s most popular towns; however, this charming little town still has much to offer. Not only does it have many family-friendly activities and parks, but it also has many museums and historical buildings that are perfect for learning more about the area and the history of Rowan County. 

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