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15 Best Things To Do In Wilson, North Carolina

What are some of the best things to do in Wilson, North Carolina?

After all, when we think about the city of Wilson in North Carolina, what typically comes to mind?

Well for starters, the city of Wilson is located approximately 40 miles east of the capital city of Raleigh. It was chartered back in the year of 1849 and steadily grew as an agricultural city. First was cotton, and eventually changed into tobacco as the demand grew, which gave this city the nickname of “The World’s Greatest Tobacco Market” during the 19th century.

As the demand for tobacco started to fall during the 20th century, the city of Wilson was forced to make a change. Which is why in today’s society, the city of Wilson has changed once again to become a very diverse economy based on agriculture, manufacturing, commercial, and service businesses. It’s a thriving area that is constantly growing and changing for the better.

In fact, according to the census of 2010, the population of this city was estimated to be about 49,459 people living inside of it.

And because the city is constantly growing, it means that that visitors who come to this city will be able to find a variety of different things for them to see and do all year-round.

For instance, the city of Wilson is known to have a “southern culture with a focus on the arts”, which can be seen in the various festivals, shops, restaurants, crafts and more.

From things like the Wilson Rose Garden to the North Carolina Baseball Museum or even the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park and Lake Wilson, the city of Wilson has plenty of things to offer anybody who visits it.

Which is why if you are wondering exactly what things you are able to see and do when you visit the city of Wilson, North Carolina, then do not worry.

In this post, we’ll be detailing all the best things to do in Wilson, North Carolina.

So if you’re ready, lets get started!

Things To Do In Wilson, North Carolina

In no particular order, here are the best things to do in Wilson, North Carolina.

Visit Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park

Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park

One of the most unique and interesting places you can ever visit while in Wilson, North Carolina, is a place called Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park.

The Vollis Simpson Whiligig Park is a two-acre park that features 30 kinetic sculptures created by a local farm machinery repairman, Vollis Simpson.

In fact, there is even a pretty cool backstory behind all of this. During his retirement, Vollis Simpson used various kinds of things like milkshake mixers, ceiling fans, bicycles and more to depict certain farm animals and people. And to make the structures even more beautiful, he even cut out reflective portions of discarded road signs into small squares and applied them to the structures which made them shine at night.

These “whirligigs” helped made the town famous and have even received numerous international artists’ commendations and awards. They were even included in the public art of the Olympic Games back during the year 1996. Plus, the whirligigs were even named “North Carolina’s official folk art.

Aside from the 30 whirligigs that you may find in this area, there is also a large grass amphitheater and a pavilion for community events. All of which makes this place one of the most interesting places you can ever visit.

Today, visitors who come to the Whirligig Park will be delighted to see all the marvelous creations standing all around the area. It’s a perfect experience which is suitable for the entire family to enjoy.

Have Fun At Lake Wilson

Lake Wilson

If you’re into nature and love doing various kinds of outdoor activities, then one place you definitely have to visit is a place called Lake Wilson.

Lake Wilson is a really beautiful lake that stretches out far and wide and offers visitors plenty of amazing views and things for them to see and do.

For instance, it is here where you can find a really pristine shoreline that is suitable for various kinds of water activities. In fact, some of the most popular activities you can see and do here includes things like kayaking, swimming, boating, paddle boarding and more. Plus it is also a very popular spot for fishing as you can catch various kinds of fishes like bream, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and bluegill fishes.

Aside from the water activities, Lake Wilson also provides a really nice area for people to do some land activities too. For example, Lake Wilson is known for its beautiful nature trails that offers hikers and joggers to some of the most scenic views possible.

Plus the area also has plenty of parks which are suitable for picnics, frisbee golf, outdoor playground, relaxing and more.

It’s the perfect place to relax and bring your entire family as there is definitely something to do for everyone of all ages and experiences.

Visit The Wilson Botanical Gardens

Wilson Botanical Gardens

If you love gardens and nature in general, then one place you might find some interest in is a place called the “Wilson Botanical Gardens”.

The Wilson Botanical Gardens are located right behind the Wilson Agricultural Center and can be easy to miss you aren’t careful in looking. This garden specializes in showing plants that are either native to North Carolina or which can be grown easily in the North Carolina Climate.

A handful of the gardens here highlight herbal and medicinal plants, ornamental grasses, mixed plants, as well as turf grass, hosta, flowers, and daylilies. With the abundance of plants being found here in this garden, it truly makes for a perfect getaway for those who are wanting to appreciate the beauty of nature in a more finer manner.

But not only that, the Wilson Botanical Gardens is also home to a really beautiful Children’s Secret Garden which is geared towards the smaller children, offering many interesting things for the youngsters to learn and explore. In fact, some of the playful areas you might find includes things like the raining sunflowers, garden tunnel, rain wall, music court, dino dig, banana split sundae garden with water gig fountain and more.

Visitors who come can stroll through the manicured paths, participate in the educational programs or even learn about the experiments being housed throughout the area. Plus depending on when you come to this garden, you might even run into one of the various events they might be hosting all throughout the year.

It’s definitely one of the most peaceful and beautiful places in all of Wilson, and is definitely worth your time in visiting.

Walk Around Barton College

Barton College

A fun and interesting place visitors might love to see is a simple and small college called Barton College.

Barton College is a private liberal arts college of the city of Wilson and is a very small college with only about one thousand students enrolled to it.

The colleges main focus is on the nationally recognized programs in social work, nursing and even education. However that isn’t really what draws people to this college.

In fact, the Barton College is also home to a very amazing theater that draws visitors from many different places to come see it’s really awesome performances.

Known as the “Kennedy Theater”, it is a popular theater that is host to a variety of different world-class performances all throughout the year. Some of which includes international performers, musicals, concerts, and more. In fact, some of the past performances that were held here includes things like Peter Pan, the Rocky Horror Show, and Macbeth.

It’s one of the best places you can visit if you are wanting to see some truly inspirational and amazing performances.

But even if you don’t want to see the performances, just simply roaming around the campus grounds is also a fun way to explore things as this college has so many cool things for you to see and explore.

Check Out Imagination Station Museum

Imagination Station Museum

Do you like science? How about museums? What about a science museum?

If that sounds like you, then one place you should definitely visit is the Imagination Station museum. It is a science museum that is trying to get both children and adults alike interested in science with many interactive exhibits for you to see and explore.

The Imagination Station Museum is basically a 3 floor building consisting of so many things for you to see and learn. The first floor consists of the earth and body exhibits. The second floor contains the Herpetarium with reptiles from different parts of the world. And the third floor of the building houses the N.C. Museum of the Coastal Plains. All of these things put together will give you hours of enjoyment as you see and learn different things.

For instance, coming to this museum, visitors will be able to find many exhibits. Some of which includes the “Science on a Sphere”, which is a global display system that projects planetary data onto a six foot diameter sphere. Another cool and interesting exhibit is one called the “Body-ology”, which is an exhibit designed to move you. You’ll be able to try things like a snowboard machine, climb a rock wall, race the wild and more.

There is even a Curiosity Corner for toddlers to learn and play as well! How cool is that?

And when you are all done exploring with the building, there is even an area where you can adopt an animal. You aren’t actually taking the animal home, but you are able to provide a donation which will ensure the animal you adopt gets taken cared of. They will even provide you with a certificate and animal fact card as well.

It’s truly an amazing place to visit and one where you will definitely spend hours on end learning all the cool information that they have to offer.

Eat Some Delicious Barbecue At Parker’s Barbecue

Parker's Barbecue

If you’re in the mood for food, then there is no place better to go than at the famous “Parker’s Barbecue”.

Parker’s Barbecue is an institution and one that is highly popular around the city of Wilson, North Carolina. They are primarily known for serving some of the best tasting barbecue in the entire region.

For instance, visitors who come here will be able to find things like Barbecue Pork plates that are served with a side of cole slaw and corn sticks, Fried chicken dinner with sides of Brunswick stew and string bins, or even seafood items like fried shrimp, oysters, oyster stew and more.

Plus, everything is being offered at a really reasonable price and the portions they give are enough to feed a family. It’s a truly amazing place that draws in visitors over and over again who loves to eat their food.

With over 50 years of experience and many restaurants opened around the surrounding area, it’s no wonder Parker’s Barbecue is considered to be one of the best barbecue restaurants in the entire area.

Walk Around Wilson Rose Garden

Wilson Rose Garden

One of the best places to visit in Wilson, North Carolina is a place that is dedicated to all things roses.

The Wilson Rose Garden is a beautifully made garden that pays a humble tribute to the beautiful rose.

It is here where you can find over 1,200 individual plants and over 180 species being planted inside this location. In fact, you will most likely find many roses that you have never seen in person before or even heard of. From things like miniature roses to climbing roses and even hybrid roses. They have it all.

Visitors who come here are able to stroll around the area, take pictures, smell the flowers, and relax all around. Many of these gardens and flowers make for a really beautiful backdrop and will instantly provide a pop for any picture you are wanting to take.

If you want to visit this garden in its most beautiful form, then you’ll have to visit during the months of May through October. As typically that is the time when the roses will be in full bloom and make the garden an even more beautiful place than ever.

But the best part about this garden is that since it is an accredited public garden, entrance to this garden is completely free. Which means you won’t have to pay a penny to come in and admire its beauty.

With beautiful winding paths that take you around the garden and benches all around, this is a place where you can truly enjoy the experience of roaming around the park.

Attend The North Carolina Whirligig Festival

North Carolina Whirligig Festival

If you happen to be visiting the city of Wilson, North Carolina during the month of November, then you might just be able to partake in one of the city’s biggest festivals.

Known as the “North Carolina Whirligig Festival“, it is a festival that is celebrating the historic downtown area of Wilson as well as the creations made from Vollis Simpson.

This event is a family friendly event that takes place at the Whirligig grounds. Visitors who come will be able to enjoy things like live music, delicious food vendors, and even a live paining from a local artist that is in Residence.

But that’s not all!

In fact, the Whirligig Festival is also host to a variety of different events. For instance, there is an event called the “Fitness Challenge”, where you can see things like the King BMX Show, test your strength and stamina on the Whirligig Warrior course, and more. There are also events like a video dance challenge, cooking contest, and even a chalk art contest where visitors can try to enter and see how they compare against all the rest.

But the best part about this event is that it is completely free to enter. Which means visitors can come and enjoy a fun filled day having fun with various activities for them to see and do.

So if you’re ever in the area of Wilson, North Carolina during the month of November, than this is one event you definitely have to join.

Go Visit A Brewery

Brewmasters in wilson, nc

Whenever you are visiting some place new, one of the best things you can do is to simply go visit a brewery and try out all the craft beer that they carry.

And here in Wilson, North Carolina, you can find quite a few different breweries for you to visit. Each one providing some really spectacular experience that will have your mouth dancing in joy.

In fact, one of the most popular breweries for you to visit is one called “Brewmasters“. They are a popular spot where locals and tourists alike come visit and catch up with each other over a nice cold drink.

It is here where you can find that the shop specializes in craft beer and serves up more than 1,000 different types of beer (and also more than 100 types of wine for the wine lovers).

For instance, you can find drinks like sour apple, coco loco, hopgarten pils, denver rare, batch 1000 and more all available for you to order. Plus they also serve some tasty foods for you to order as well. From things like chicken tenders and fries, chef salad, chicken sandwiches and more, all of which will pair perfectly well with your drinks.

Overall, the place has a really friendly atmosphere with a friendly staff and makes for a really enjoyable experience where you can talk all you want, eat all you want, and drink some of the best beer in the region.

Explore The North Carolina Baseball Museum

The North Carolina Baseball Museum

Do you like baseball? How about some history?

If that sounds like you, then one of the best things you can see or do here in the city of Wilson, is to simply go to a baseball museum. After all, the state of North Carolina is home to some of the biggest and brightest baseball stars to have ever played the game.

Located in the Fleming Stadium, this baseball museum is dedicated to all things related to North Carolina and Baseball. Inside, visitors will find cases upon cases on display of baseball and memorabilia of baseball players who were either born in the state of North Carolina or attended school in the state of North Carolina, or even ended up playing in North Carolina at some point in their career.

With over 3,300 square feet of memorabilia, the North Carolina Baseball Museum is a dream place to visit for any fans of baseball. From players like Luke Appling to Rick Ferrell or even Hoyt Wilheim and other hall of famers, this place has it all.

And the best part about this museum is that it is insanely cheap to visit. The museum is run by volunteers and all they ask for is around $3 dollars for admission into this museum.

If you ever have the time to spare, visiting the North Carolina Baseball Museum is definitely a thing everybody should see and do.

Find And Buy Some Antiques At Boone’s Antiques

Boone's Antiques

One of the best things you can ever see or do while visiting a new city is to simply go exploring around some antique shops.

And here in the city of Wilson, North Carolina, there are many antique shops for you to visit. The most popular of them all is one called Boone’s Antiques.

Boone’s Antiques which was established back in 1952, has grown considerably into what is now one of the largest retail and wholesale collections of items dating back to the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries in North America. It is a must-see place for any fans of antiques.

The building encompasses around four acres of countless antiques, with aisle and rooms being stocked full of distinctive pieces of any kind. From things like European and Chinese porcelain to Queen Anne Furnishings or even grandfather clocks and more, they have it all.

It’s a really great place to visit for all your antique needs. For instance, if you are needing that special lamp or chair to complete the layout in your room, you might just be able to find something of interest here in this building.

So why not come visit, you might just find a great gift or souvenir to bring back home.

Attend The Wilsons Farmers & Artisans Market

Wilsons Farmers & Artisans Market

One of the best things you can see or do while visiting a new city is to check out their farmers market.

And here in Wilson, North Carolina, visitors are able to find one of the best farmers markets in the entire region held here at the Whirligig Park area. They operate each Wednesday and Saturday and is one of the most popular places to visit.

When visitors first come here, they’ll be met with a large, multi-purpose shelter which shades both the vendors and customers. The shelter is designed with a roof line copying the historic tobacco warehouses of the past that once were prominent in this area. Adjacent to the shelter, visitors can also find picnic tables where they can enjoy all the delicious foods or items that they bought from this market.

It’s a really great place to find many different things you might need and use. For instance, here at this market they specialize in locally produced vegetables, fruits, meats, honey, eggs, fresh baked goods, seedlings, plants and flowers. Whether its being sold freshly grown or even made into some type of delicious cooked foods, the options are endless.

But that isn’t all that this market has to sell.

In fact, this market has changed throughout the years and many artisans and artists have joined the market to offer some truly beautiful handcrafted items like jewelry and paintings, soaps and lotions, furniture and accessories, and home baked breads and desserts. 

It’s definitely one of the best places to visit as you will get to see and buy so many amazing things. Plus, its also a great way to help support the community.

Visit The Country Doctor Museum

The Country Doctor Museum

Although not necessarily located in the city of Wilson, one really awesome place you might be interested in visiting is a place called The Country Doctor Museum. It’s located about a few miles away in the city of Bailey.

The Country Doctor Museum is one of the most popular places to visit as there is so much history and culture behind this building. In fact, this museum is the oldest museum in the United States that depicts rural health care. It was created back in the year of 1967 by a group of women who wanted to preserve the area’s history.

The museum is comprised of two nineteenth-century houses which houses country doctor’s office practice. It is here where visitors will be able to learn about the historical exhibits related to pharmacy, surgery, and sick rooms.

Not only that, but inside this museum visitors will be able to find over 5,000 medical items. Ranging from artifacts to historic text, and even includes information on nursing, pharmaceutical, and home remedies. All of which makes for a really enjoyable experience.

Tours for this museum are offered every hour on the hour from 10am to 3pm. If you are wanting to visit this place however, you can only come during certain days. The museum is closed Sundays, Mondays, and certain holidays. So do be sure to check the schedule before you decide to come.

Overall, it is a fantastic place to learn about all kinds of historical medical situations and anything dealing with health.

Watch A Game At Fleming Stadium

Fleming Stadium

Do you love baseball? How about attending a baseball game?

If you do, then one thing you might love doing is to simply visit the Fleming Stadium and watch a game of baseball.

Fleming Stadium is the premiere place to watch baseball at its finest. It is a pretty old stadium as it opened up back in the year of 1936, but has since kept its great shape without having much damage to it.

This stadium was once host to a professional and minor league baseball games, although in recent years no professional team has visited since the 1970’s. But that doesn’t stop this arena from playing ball. In fact, even though no professional teams play here, it is still home to the Wilson Tobs of the Coastal Plains League ( a collegiate league).

It’s a very good stadium as no matter where you are sitting, you are almost always guaranteed a great view and a great experience.

So if you have the time to spare, why not come visit this stadium and catch a ball game or two.

Get A Burger At Best-N-Burgers


If you love burgers, then one really delicious place you should visit is one called “Best-N-Burgers”. Located in Wilson, North Carolina, Best-N-Burgers is one of the most popular burger restaurants for you to visit. People from all over descend to this area to get their hands on one of the restaurants many juicy burgers.

What started out as a dream back in 1955, has since took years of practice and perfection to make. And in 2014, Best-N-Burgers was established with the goal of serving the best cheeseburgers ever known.

Their burgers are popular because they use ground chuck that is 100% Certified Angus Beef, hand-pattied and grilled to perfection with their Signature Cheese. It is then assembled with only the freshest ingredients possible, making the burger an absolutely delicious item to have.

Visitors who come will be able to see that they serve six different burgers, with all of them being some type of cheeseburger. From things like Double Cheeseburger Special to Double Cheeseburger Without Cheese and more, you can find it all here.

But cheeseburgers aren’t the only item that they sell here. In fact, visitors who come can also find things like French fries, hot dogs, milk shakes and more that are freshly made for you to enjoy.

Overall, it’s a fantastic place to visit and one that will definitely have your belly fed full with all the delicious items that they have to serve.


Overall, the city of Wilson, North Carolina is filled with so many cool and interesting things for you to see and do. Many of these things will take you weeks if not months to see them all.

So hopefully this post about the “15 Best Things To Do In Wilson, North Carolina” was able to help you in some sort of way. This way if you ever find yourself visiting the city of Wilson, North Carolina, you will know exactly what things you are able to do.

Also if you happen to be visiting the state of North Carolina any time soon, you might be interested in my other North Carolina Posts:

Or if you are interested in reading some of my other posts about traveling, you can do so by clicking these links:

Or you can check out all my blog posts by click this link.

Hope you have a safe and fun trip~

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