10 Things To Do In Elizabethtown, North Carolina

things to do in elizabethtown north carolina
Joyce
Joyce
Published

There is a certain charm about careening out of the city for a spontaneous road trip. Just five hours south of Washington, DC, or five hours north of Jacksonville, Florida, is a quint town. Elizabethtown in North Carolina is a place tucked snugly in a time warp of good old country living. The historic downtown dating all the way back to the 18th century, the honest-to-God farmers’ markets, the soul and blues music festivals, and the time-honoured state championship cook-offs preserve a nostalgia that is fast fading from the American South. This idyllic throwback to the simpler days of small-town life is not without its modern creature comforts though. From here on is a comprehensive guide to spending a weekend in style, right within Elizabethtown. Read below for the best things to do in Elizabethtown, North Carolina.

1. Try a classic Carolina burger at Melvins'

Posted by Melvins' Hamburgers & Hotdogs LLC on Thursday, April 23, 2020

Melvins’ Hamburgers & Hotdogs is an Elizabethtown institution that has loyal customers swearing by its cheap and tasty fare. Ordering at Melvins’ is down to a science, holler over the counter as the locals do and get cheeseburgers “all the way” with a side of chips and cold sweet tea. The friendly Melvins’ staff will then serve up a perfectly seared burger heaped generously with their famous home-made chili and slaw in record time. Snagging a table in Melvins’ might be a bit of a challenge but the free refills of sweet tea are worth it. A pro-tip from Elizabethtown locals in the know is to snag another cheeseburger “all the way” to go because one will never be enough.

Melvins' Hamburgers & Hotdogs

Address: 133 W Broad St 28337 Elizabethtown, North Carolina

Website: Melvins’ Hamburgers & Hotdogs

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 7:30am - 5:30pm (closed on Sun)

2. Enjoy the sun, sand, and water at Jones Lake State Park

JLSP fishing pier2
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Dincher used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Just a 10-minute drive from the Elizabethtown city centre, Jones Lake State Park is a beautifully conserved parcel of nature where visitors are welcome to frolic in the lake’s shallows, in addition to trying their hand at boating. Two-person canoes and four-person paddle boats are available for rent from just 7 USD per hour. For those who just want to lie back and relax, the clean sandy banks of Jones Lake boast prime picnicking areas where you can enjoy the sun and gentle breeze in the summer.

Jones Lake State Park

Address: 4117 NC-242 28337 Elizabethtown, North Carolina

Website: Jones Lake State Park

Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)

Price: Free of charge for park entry

3. Score local produce from Cape Fear Farmer's Market

Posted by Cape Fear Farmer's Market of Bladen County on Monday, 5 October 2015

Farmer-produced and farmer-sold is the mantra for the good folks down at the Cape Fear Farmer’s Market. Open from Monday to Saturday, this farmers’ market features a dizzying array of food that no gourmand can resist. Regular appearances at the farmers’ market are fresh produce such as seasonal fruits and vegetables, homely bakes, jams, jellies, and preserves made according to closely guarded family recipes.

Cape Fear Farmer's Market

Address: 106 Martin Luther King Drive 28337 Elizabethtown, North Carolina

Website: Cape Fear Farmer’s Market

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 7am - 11pm (closed on Sun)

Price: Free of charge for market entry

4. Embrace your wilder side at Cape Fear ATV and MX Park

Posted by Cape Fear Mx Park on Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Muck it up with a day of rough and tumble fun at Cape Fear MX Park, which provides exhilarating mud trails and a variety of different terrains for utility vehicles. While this all sounds rather dangerous, Cape Fear MX Park is kid-friendly and welcomes children to ride with their guardians’ permission since their tracks are regularly maintained and well-marked. Riders have to comply with stringent safety procedures put in place as well to make sure everyone has a good time.

Cape Fear ATV and MX Park

Address: 74 Kemp Woods Dr 28337 Elizabethtown, North Carolina

Website: Cape Fear ATV and MX Park

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 7:30pm; Sat: 8am - 7:45pm; Sun: 8am - 6:30pm

Price: 5 USD for park entry, 10 USD per rider, 5 USD per tent, 25 USD per Recreational Vehicle at the campsite

5. Wine and dine in style at Cape Fear Vineyard & Winery

Posted by Cape Fear Vineyard & Winery on Thursday, 13 July 2017

One of the most luxurious things that visitors to Elizabethtown can do is to drop by Cape Fear Vineyard & Winery. Wander around the spectacular vineyard grounds and admire the largest flowering display of camellias in the state. Sample from a wide range of signature wines produced right in the Cape Fear region and indulge in modern American dining that is always local and served fresh from the farm.

Cape Fear Vineyard & Winery

Address: 195 Vineyard Dr 28337 Elizabethtown, North Carolina

Website: Cape Fear Vineyard & Winery

Opening hours: Wed - Sat: 11:30am - 9pm; Sun: 11:30am - 3pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

Price: Subject to activity

6. Be one with nature at Browns Creek Nature Park and Bike Trail

Posted by Browns Creek Nature Park & Bike Trail on Monday, 27 April 2015

Browns Creek Nature Park and Bike Trail is located less than 15 minutes from downtown Elizabethtown and is a spot of nature that is easily accessible from the city. Comprising about 11km (6mi) of mountain biking and hiking trails that take visitors through a majestic hardwood forest, this nature park is ideal for a good workout. Thrill-seekers will also enjoy the park as the biking trail has a variety of terrains that keep things interesting.

Browns Creek Nature Park and Bike Trail

Address: 1992 East Broad St Elizabethtown, North Carolina

Website: Browns Creek Nature Park and Bike Trail

Opening hours: 12am - 11:59pm (daily)

Price: Free of charge for park entry

7. Make a splash at White Lake Water Park

Posted by White Lake Water Park on Tuesday, 16 July 2019

White Lake Water Park has been a beloved institute in North Carolina since it opened in 2004. Kids and kids at heart will have a great time here as there is something for everyone’s speed. Take it up a notch with attractions such as the double turbo twister slide and the giant wave pool, relax on the lazy river ride and soak up the rays on White Lake Water Park’s sun deck. When you get peckish, head over for some grub at the tiki bar, which serves up hot food and snacks as well as tiki drinks.

White Lake Water Park

Address: 192 NC Highway 53 E White Lake, North Carolina

Website: White Lake Water Park

Opening hours: 10am - 6pm (daily)

Price: 10.14 - 16.55 USD before 3pm; half-price after 3pm

8. Tee away at Putt Putt Fun Centre

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Putt Putt Fun Centre is a family-friendly spot where everyone can find something fun to do. This miniature golfing course will pit you against your family and friends, all in the spirit of friendly competition. Try a game or two and you will find yourself getting addicted and having more fun after you get the hang of it. Birthday parties can also be arranged in Putt Putt Fun Centre for your next family gathering.

Putt Putt Fun Centre

Address: 1608 White Lake Dr Elizabethtown, NC 28337

Website: Putt Putt Fun Centre

Opening hours: Hours vary according to the season

Price: Subject to activity

9. Sail away into the sunset on Elwell Ferry

Elwell Ferry NC Sept 2014 - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mikeiamunion21 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Elwell Ferry is a cable ferry that plys the inland river of Cape Fear. Running in operation since 1905, Elwell Ferry connects the two banks in Bladen County, North Carolina, and generations of local residents. Today, it is a fun tourist activity that can be completed in about five minutes from bank to bank. It will give visitors a glimpse of the rich history of trade and small-town living in North Carolina.

Elwell Ferry

Address: 1730 Elwell Ferry Rd Elizabethtown, NC

Website: Elwell Ferry

Opening hours: 6am - 6pm (daily)

Price: Free of charge

10. Enjoy hearty cooking at Glenda's Just Desserts and Lunch Counter

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Old-fashioned country cooking is the highlight of Glenda’s Just Desserts and Lunch Counter. Locals and tourists alike love Glenda’s country-fried flounder and okra served with creamy grits and a side of cornbread. Do leave space for her home-baked sweets and desserts, which are her specialty. Go for the honey buns, cream cheesecake, or choose from anything that Glenda baked fresh that morning.

Glenda's Just Desserts and Lunch Counter

Address: 315 Martin Luther King Dr Elizabethtown, NC

Soak in the atmosphere of small-town living in Elizabethtown, NC

While this idyllic little town might not be the first place that comes to mind for a vacation or weekend away, we at Trip101 have sussed out the best things to do in Elizabethtown, North Carolina. There is something for everyone, from lovers to friends and families. Give some of these activities a whirl and let us know if you enjoyed them as much as we did!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Joyce is someone who currently combines the two great loves of her life by writing about travel and food. She is always on the lookout for new eateries to fall in love with and share about (albeit...Read more

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