A Cool Summer Retreat in the Heart of NC

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Maybe your childhood vacations included a station wagon, PB&J sandwiches, layers of sunscreen, campfire stories, and games of freeze tag with cousins. You can relive these iconic, affordable experiences with your children when you visit the Heart of North Carolina. Randolph County is located directly between Charlotte and Raleigh and loaded with once-in-a- lifetime adventures for your family. Dive into our list of memory-making activities.

Back to nature: Walk, hike, or bike ride on any of our 19 nature trails (bit.ly/RandolphCountyTrailsGuide) featuring visible markers and multiple levels of difficulty along the Deep River State Trail (bit.ly/DeepRiverStateTrail).

Thrill: Soar through the forest in the shadow of Purgatory Mountain on Richland Creek ZipLine – with 14 zip lines, three sky bridges, and one swinging bridge for an adrenaline rush in some of the Heart of NC’s most scenic wilderness area.

Farm Fun: Millstone Creek Orchards offers pick-your-own seasonal fruits and flowers. Take a hayride tour and visit the Saturday farmers market on mornings through August.

Ultimate Outdoor Adventure Park: Conveniently located near I-85 in Archdale, Kersey Valley Attractions offers 83-acres of adrenaline-pumping fun.

  • NEW this year to Kersey Valley is Bomb Bowling, a mashup between football, bowling, horseshoes, and cornhole.
  • Axe Throwing – in a controlled environment with a guide throughout the 18-hole course
  • Laser Tag – an outdoor high tech military grade tactical laser from Laser Tag Pro that shoots harmless infrared light over 1,000 feet with protective gear required!
  • Escape Room – choose from five amazing-themed rooms and solve the puzzles in time to escape in record time.
  • Up for an individual challenge? Try the High Ropes Course – designed with an unforgettable acrobatic workout that includes a 34-foot-high rock-climbing wall
  • Zipline – a first class zip line featuring a closed course aviation theme with 14 lines and 1.5 miles of cable employing massive, engineered sky towers representing airport city codes from across the country and around the world.

World’s Largest Natural Habitat Zoo: The North Carolina Zoo offers exciting animal encounters, enchanting outdoor art displays, and conservation education opportunities for all ages. Considered an international leader in animal conservation with field conservation programs in more than 10 countries, the zoo is a part of the scenic Uwharrie Mountains. Guests can encounter 1,800 animals along five miles of walking trails, take a spin on the carousel, and feed a giraffe. Children will learn about the Zoo’s ambassador animals, splash in a manmade creek, or make mud pies at the Kidzone play area. Add on to your ticket, and take a Zoofari tour aboard a specially outfitted, open-air vehicle for an exclusive tour of the 40-acre Watani Grasslands. On this tour, an experienced zoo educator will introduce you to nine species—nearly 100 animals! Discover rhinoceroses, gazelles, greater kudus, ostriches, and many exotic antelope. Whether your favorite animal is an elephant, ostrich, polar bear, or flamingo – you can see them all at the North Carolina Zoo. Special note: Reserved ticketing and timed admission are required at NCZoo.org

Indoor Inspiration

Quirky Museum Crawl:

  • Learn high-flying history and see airplanes at the North Carolina Aviation Museum & Hall of Fame – home of Piper J-3 “Flitfire” flown by Orville Wright
  • See one of the largest private collections of antique Harley-Davidson® motorcycles in the country, including 45 bikes ranging from 1936 to 1978 at the American Classic Motorcycle Museum
  • Race into the Petty Museum showcasing the careers of this four-generation NASCAR Hall of Fame racing family including Lee, Richard, Maurice, Kyle, and Adam Petty. Follow the family from the early “dirt” days to the present with displays of cars, trophies, and awards.
  • View more than 26 fully restored John Deere™ tractors, a 1926 return tube boiler from P&P Chair Company in Asheboro (producers of the Carolina Rocking Chair used by President John F. Kennedy), and multiple steam engines from the 19th century at the Neal Agricultural & Industrial Museum.
  • See more than 800 pieces of pottery, artifacts, and photographs tracing NC’s pottery history from Native Americans to the present at the North Carolina Pottery Center.

Vintage Shopping: Visit several antique and vintage stores in Downtown Asheboro – the Collector’s Antique Mall is home to more than 95 dealers within a 35,000 sq ft space.

Local Art and More: Check out Randolph Arts Guild Shop and Morings Art Center Gallery for local artists and unique gifts. Shop Southern Swag Farmhouse or rustic farmhouse goods, repurposed and new home decor, vintage jewelry, and boutique clothing. Take a step back in time at Melvin’s Variety & Hardware Store (celebrating 59 years in business!) specializing in household goods, tools, seasonal décor, and vintage games.

Craft Your Own Studio Tour: Seagrove is known as “The Handmade Pottery Capital of the United States” with more than 100 working potters living here. You can visit and shop about 50 shops, galleries and working studios. When you take a piece of Seagrove pottery home, you are also supporting this large family of artists who make a living in this craft.

Feed Your Mind and Soul

Whether you need a quick coffee and pastry break at The Table Farmhouse Bakery, a hearty steak dinner at Holly Ridge Golf Links on their breezy patio, or live music and a food truck with an intimate setting at The General Wine and Brew – our dining establishments are top notch experts in their safe hospitality and cuisine!

Relax and Recharge

Check into your overnight accommodations after your adventure filled day. Choose from affordable hotel brands – located in Archdale and Asheboro, quaint bed & breakfast inns – in the Town of Seagrove, fun themed and family friendly campgrounds in Asheboro – near the North Carolina Zoo, or our newest remote tiny cabins.

Insider tip: Ask about military and AAA discounts. For a complete list of options, visit our website: HeartofNorthCarolina.comWe look forward to following along during your visit – tag us at #theHeartofNC or @theheartofnc. Order your FREE travel guide bit.ly/FREETravelGuide for more planning tips and destinations.
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