Things to Do in Roanoke Rapids, NC
Like any community, there are plenty of great things to do in Roanoke Rapids, NC. Sometimes these events, attractions and restaurants are well known, while other times it takes a well-trained eye or local guide to introduce you to them. If you are looking for more variety, the more populous cities in North Carolina are certain to accommodate your desires of activities.
The Roanoke Valley arts scene thrives with festivals, community events, concerts and other performances by artists residents might not expect to see in a community this size. Halifax County Arts Council
Rich national and regional history runs through North Carolina's Roanoke Valley as steadfast as the river for which it is named.
Roanoke Valley music fans no longer have to trek to some distant city to see a great live music show. Local concert venues and area music festivals offer a variety of exciting live music events and fun activities in the Valley throughout the year. The Festival Park at Carolina Crossroads
There’s no shortage of fun activities in the Roanoke Valley. Whether stepping back in time and exploring the Valley’s historic sites or gazing at breathtaking scenery and wildlife, one is sure to find something for the whole family to enjoy. “The possibilities are endless,” says Lori Medlin, President/CEO of the Halifax County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “In fact, to highlight what an interesting place the Roanoke Valley is, we launched the Roanoke Valley Rocks campaign.”
The Family Fun Series at The Centre opens with a H.I.T.! The acronym stands for the Halifax Inflatable Tour‚ coming to The Centre at Halifax Community College on Sept. 15. Kids of all ages will have a ball watching the Fred Garbo Inflatable Theater Company with its big‚ blow-up people and animals. The fun continues outside‚ where Party Town USA will provide inflatable rides for kids to do some bouncing of their own.
Is that a kookaburra? And is that a pygmy goose standing next to a pink-eared duck? More than 2,500 endangered birds from around the world live at Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park in Scotland Neck. The 18-acre avian breeding preserve was established as a sanctuary in 1989, and officials decided to open it to the public in 2006.
Harvest season in Halifax County yields a crop of festivals celebrating agriculture. The Enfield Peanut Festival kicks off the season with street dancing‚ live music‚ food‚ arts and crafts‚ and a pig cook-off the first weekend in October. The festival provides the meat for Friday’s barbecue‚ which draws cooks from all over the county.
Where can you go to see 200-year-old stonework‚ numerous bird species and wildlife‚ the handiwork of high school art students and the inside of a hydro-power flume? Visitors can experience all this and more at the Roanoke Canal Museum and Trail in Roanoke Rapids. The Roanoke Canal Museum follows the story of the Roanoke River‚ from the building of the canal to its use for electric power generation.
In the Roanoke Valley, cool waters and warm sunsets blend effortlessly on a canvas of rolling farmland, attracting and inspiring artists of all genres.
Dallas Jones has served with distinction at Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Midway and Guadalcanal. But, by his account, his story is just one of many that deserve to be heard. “Being a Pearl Harbor survivor, I’ve never had a shortage of people wanting to talk to me, but my concern is for every veteran to have a chance to tell his story,” he says. Dallas Jones Veterans Museum
Be sure to try the Hatteras fish soup. That particular dish has won contests and awards for David Watson, executive chef and owner of David's Restaurant in Roanoke Rapids. The popular eatery in the Uptown Roanoke Rapids Historic District has been serving hungry customers since 1999. “Hatteras fish soup is actually a full dinner made with shrimp, oysters, clams and flounder,” Watson says. “Other popular dishes at my restaurant are the roast rockfish and a chicken David meal I created.”
Just like the rockfish return from the ocean to the Roanoke River, former residents and visitors come back to Second Street Lunch for its famous and fabulous fresh hamburgers and hot dogs.
If you’re looking for barbecue, then look no further: the Roanoke Valley has plenty of finger-licking-good restaurants to choose from. The secret: some say it’s in the barbecue sauce. Just ask Kimberly Woodruff Amerson, owner of Ralph’s Barbecue in Weldon. She’ll tell you one reason the sauce in the area is so popular is because it “is a little more tangy."
Local resources can often be one of the most valuable assets to a successful business. For Aunt Ruby’s Peanuts in Enfield, proximity to some of the South’s finest peanut crops is the key to success. “We only process peanuts that have been grown in northeast North Carolina,” says Bob Allsbrook, president of A&B Milling, the company that produces Aunt Ruby’s peanut products. “We believe in buying locally.”
The Roanoke Valley is smack-dab-with-a-cloth-napkin in the midst of North Carolina barbecue country, where the meat is cooked slow and the sauce has the tang of vinegar. For a taste of this regional treat, stop by Ralph’s in Weldon, The Barbecue Stand in Scotland Neck or Lynch’s in Hollister. Ralph's Barbecue
In historic Enfield, A&B Milling Co. has been shelling out their popular Aunt Ruby’s Peanuts for more than 50 years.
Paws here — at the Halifax County Visitors Center Dog Run. The fenced-in park behind the Visitors Center off of Interstate 95 at exit 173 has opened to give motorists traveling with dogs a convenient place to stop and let their pups play, and many residents take advantage of the facility, as well.
Home to one of the greatest striped bass runs anywhere in the world and teeming with wild creatures, from white-tailed deer to black bears to possums, the Roanoke Valley's forests, river banks and lakes add up to an outdoorsman's paradise.
A trip to Medoc Mountain State Park can mean both a reflection on rich history and a long roster of activities in a beautiful natural setting.
Vast lands, heaps of wildlife, a river and three lakes make the Roanoke Valley a great destination for outdoors enthusiasts. Fishing, hunting, kayaking, paddling and canoeing are only a few of the many activities that make this place a hub for alfresco fun and recreation. “It’s a great place to live and visit,” says Lori Medlin, president and CEO of the Halifax County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). Rockfish Capital of the World
Adam Fields grew up on Lake Gaston and spent a lot of time waterskiing with his family. Then he discovered the sport of wakeboarding and began training hard on the lake. Today, Fields is a well-known champion wakeboarder. He has won numerous competitions throughout the United States and abroad, and even established a wakeboarding school at Lake Gaston called AF Wake.
For years, park ranger Ed Wilkerson pondered a frustrating contradiction: How can a park founded as a bridle trail park have no place for horses? No deep mystery was involved in Medoc Mountain State Park’s missing bridle paths. As the demand for hiking trails grew with the park’s popularity, building bridle paths took a back seat, eventually becoming nearly impossible to develop around existing trails. Fortunately for the area’s equine community, a happy turn of events in 2007 solved his conundrum.
Getting active is easy in Roanoke Valley, NC, as the area offers a variety of recreational opportunities such as hiking, fishing and boating. In addition, cultural options including museums and historic landmarks are plentiful. 1. Go boating or fishing on the Roanoke River, or set up camp in the area. 2. Explore the 18 acres the Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park has to offer, and learn about the importance of waterfowl, wildlife and wetland conservation.
By canoe or kayak, the Roanoke River is a beautiful and, in places, an exciting trip. Chris Wicker, director of Roanoke Rapids parks and recreation, often paddles the six-mile stretch Roanoke Rapids to Weldon. “It’s a beautiful place,” he says. “When people paddle the Roanoke in this area, they’re likely to see bald eagles. The last three or four times I’ve been on the river, I’ve seen eagles, blue herons and osprey.”
In Hollister, 21 miles southwest of Roanoke Rapids and 325 feet straight up, is a hunk of granite the locals call Medoc Mountain. “Everyone comes out and says, ‘Where’s the mountain?’” says Nicole Crider, park ranger. Visitors won’t find a mountain here. The 3,700-acre state park gets part of its name from the elevated remains of ancient peaks worn away by millions of years of erosion. The ‘Medoc’ aspect comes from a wine region in France. One-time owner of the property, Sidney Weller, was a winemaker.
Golfers in the Roanoke Valley have plenty of choices to hone their skills. Scotfield Country Club in Enfield is a public course in a beautiful setting in a rural area of the county. “It’s quiet here,” says Doug Sellers, course manager. “We have no houses around the course, so it’s very scenic.” Ponds on three holes complement the landscape, including willows on each side of one fairway. The course features 6,260 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72.
Roanoke Rapids, N.C. has a variety of shopping destinations to choose from. Below is a listing of some of the stores available here.