15 Best Things To Do In Elizabethtown, North Carolina

things to do in elizabethtown north carolina
| 5 min read

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 quaint 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. Continue reading to find out more about the best things to do in Elizabethtown, North Carolina.

1. Eat some steak at Christopher's Steakhouse & Seafood

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Making Valentine's Day special for everyone

Posted by Christopher 's Steakhouse & Seafood on Saturday, February 14, 2015

Promising great food quality and tenderness, Christopher’s Steakhouse & Seafood serves a variety of hand-cut steaks, ribs, char-grilled seafood, appetizers, soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches, and chicken. There is even a lunch special that they serve every day from 11am to 3pm and all meals are served with either sweet or unsweetened tea. Burgers are also served with delicious fries.

Customers praise the restaurant’s cozy atmosphere, friendly staff, and, most importantly, its delicious food. Some have even noted that the food is fresh, well-cooked, and flavorful.

Christopher's Steakhouse & Seafood

Address: 703 E Broad St, Elizabethtown, NC 28337, United States

Website: Christopher’s Steakhouse & Seafood

Opening hours: 11am - 9pm (daily)

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2. Taste Lu Mil Vineyard's wines

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Lucille Taylor would be proud of these vines!!! Come see them grow! They are changing daily!!!

Posted by Lu Mil Vineyard on Thursday, June 9, 2022

Wondering about what to do in Elizabethtown, North Carolina? Head to Lu Mil Vineyard, which is a family-friendly, multi-use facility that produces grapes and wine. The vineyard offers a wonderful selection of fine wine that customers have reviewed to be very delicious. A past guest even recommends the tasty wine slushy.

There are also cabin and guest house rentals available if you feel the need to spend the night at the vineyard. You can also rent out the venue itself for special events like weddings. The vineyard also hosts several events like the NC Grape Festival from time to time.

Lu Mil Vineyard

Address: 438 Suggs-Taylor Rd, Elizabethtown, NC 28337, United States

Website: Lu Mil Vineyard

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm; Sun: 1pm - 6pm

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3. Try a classic Carolina burger at Melvins'

Source: Photo by Flickr user Gerry Dincher used under CC BY-SA 2.0

One of the good locations to visit in Elizabethtown is Melvins’ Hamburgers & Hotdogs. The eatery is an Elizabethtown institution that has loyal customers swearing for 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 homemade 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)

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

scene lone cypress Jones Lake State Park ncwetlands KG (69)
Source: Photo by Flickr user NC Wetlands used under CC0

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

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

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Lots going on at the Farmer's Market today - produce and chicken sales. Town of Elizabethtown, NC Elizabethtown White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce

Posted by Cape Fear Farmer's Market of Bladen County on Friday, July 10, 2020

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, homemade 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

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

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


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

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

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Bacon BBQ Cheeseburger!! Bacon, house-made onion rings, cheddar cheese, and house made BBQ sauce!!

Posted by Cape Fear Vineyard & Winery on Sunday, October 10, 2021

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

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

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Browns Creek Nature Park & Bike Trail on Sunday, February 13, 2022

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

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9. Make a splash at White Lake Water Park

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Come spend the day with us at #whitelakewaterpark We're open until 6 pm. All tiki huts are sold out for this...

Posted by White Lake Water Park on Saturday, June 25, 2022

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

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10. Tee away at Putt Putt Fun Centre

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Putt-Putt Fun Center on Thursday, August 21, 2014

One of the fun things to do in Elizabethtown, North Carolina, is to visit Putt Putt Fun Centre. The place is a family-friendly spot where everyone can find something exciting 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

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11. Sail away into the sunset on Elwell Ferry

Elwell Ferry
Source: Photo by Flickr user Gerry Dincher used under CC BY-SA 2.0

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

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

Editor’s note: Establishment is permanently closed

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

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Nearby attractions

13. Enjoy various water activities at White Lake

White Lake shore
Source: Photo by Flickr user Gerry Dincher used under CC BY-SA 2.0

White Lake is a captivating oasis known for its crystal-clear waters and inviting shores. This unique natural phenomenon, often referred to as the “Nation’s Safest Beach,” boasts a remarkable lack of currents and tides due to its sandy bottom and underground springs. Visitors flock to White Lake for an array of water-based activities, such as swimming, boating, kayaking, and jet skiing. The lake’s pristine environment provides an ideal backdrop for sunbathing, picnicking, and building sandcastles on its shores.

With its charming lakeside cottages, campgrounds, and recreational facilities, White Lake offers a perfect setting for family vacations and outdoor getaways.

White Lake

Website: White Lake

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14. Watch a performance at Carolina Civic Center

Carolina Civic Center, located in Lumberton, is a vibrant cultural hub that offers a wide range of entertainment and enriching experiences. Housed in a historic theatre building, the centre hosts an array of performances, including theatre productions, musical concerts, dance recitals, and comedy shows. Its diverse programming caters to a broad spectrum of interests, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

The elegant and atmospheric venue not only showcases top-notch performances but also provides an opportunity to appreciate the arts in a charming and intimate setting. Whether you’re a theatre enthusiast, a music lover, or simply looking to be entertained, Carolina Civic Center promises an enriching and fun-filled experience that celebrates the arts and brings the community together.

Carolina Civic Center

Address: 315 N Chestnut St, Lumberton, NC 28358, United States

Website: Carolina Civic Center

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15. Enjoy the sights and sounds of nature at Bladen Lakes State Forest

Bladen Lake Forest - Milky Way - Meteor
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Dennis Snipes used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The serene beauty of nature awaits you at Bladen Lakes State Forest. Managed by the North Carolina Forest Service, this state forest offers over 30,000 acres (12,140 hectares) of beautiful woodland.

Enjoy the peaceful sights and sounds of nature as you walk through the many hiking trails that are also connected to a large, undeveloped area where you can gaze up at the night sky. You can also do some birdwatching or horseback riding as the forest is teeming with life.

Bladen Lakes State Forest

Address: 4470 NC-242, Elizabethtown, NC 28337, United States

Website: Bladen Lakes State Forest

Opening hours: Open 24 hours

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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 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 attractions in Elizabethtown, North Carolina, a visit, and then let us know if you enjoyed them as much as we did.

Should you decide to venture out further into the neighboring areas, there are plenty of interesting things to do in Lumberton that will make your holiday all the more memorable. For comfy accommodation, you can book rooms in any of the hotels with two bedrooms in Fayetteville, which is only an hour’s drive away.

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Frequently asked questions about things to do in Elizabethtown

1. What are some of the best places to visit in Elizabethtown?

If you are in Elizabethtown on a holiday and would like to explore some of the best places to visit in the quaint town, you can enjoy the sun, sand, and water at Jones Lake State Park or be one with nature at Browns Creek Nature Park and Bike Trail.

2. Which restaurants can one try during their stay in Elizabethtown?

If you are a connoisseur of good food and would like to try some of the savoury items in some of the best restaurants in Elizabethtown, you can eat some steak at Christopher’s Steakhouse & Seafood, try a classic Carolina burger at Melvins’, or wine and dine in style at Cape Fear Vineyard & Winery.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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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