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The 20 Best Things to do in Elizabethtown, NC

Elizabethtown

Located in Bladen County, North Carolina, USA is Elizabethtown. Many of the locals believe it earned its name from the wife of George Carteret, who was a royalist statesman in England that was one of the state's proprietors. Many communities within the original colonies before the United States fought for its independence as a nation were named either after the proprietors themselves, or members of their families, including their wives. While Elizabethtown only has a population under 4,000 citizens, it has much to see and do for travelers who would like to explore a piece of colonial history in settings that have yet to experience too much modernization.

Mount Horeb Presbyterian Church and Cemetery

20. Mount Horeb Presbyterian Church and Cemetery

Built in 1845, the historic Mount Horeb Presbyterian Church and Cemetery was built to resemble the same ancient Greek-style architecture that characterized its landscape, especially among its churches and temples. During the late 1800s, the American population embarked on a Greek Revival period that saw not only replicas of Greek buildings built, but ancient Rome's as well. As for the historic church and cemetery, there was a front portico that was added in 1932. As of 1987, it was registered as a landmark to the National Register of Historic Places. For Christian visitors, this is a worth-see. As for non-Christians, even just taking in the architecture and the historic feel of the place is more than enough reason to give it a visit.

Trinity Methodist Church

19. Trinity Methodist Church

Trinity Methodist Church was previously known as Old Trinity Methodist Church, which was registered in 1989 as a landmark by the National Register of Historic Places. Located at Broad and Lower Streets of Elizabethtown, this 1848 construct boasts a rectangular-shaped, two-story, federal-style architecture. Surrounding three sides of the church is an impressive cemetery. The Methodists are a denominational branch of Protestant Christianity, which follows the life and teachings by Charles Wesley, John Wesley, and George Whitefield. Together, they were the founders of Methodism, which was also called the Methodist Movement. The practice saw a methodical manner when it came to following the Christian faith system. Methodism started as a revival within the Church of England during the 18th century, which later became a separate denomination after John Wesley's death.

Cape Fear Farmer's Market of Bladen County

18. Cape Fear Farmer's Market of Bladen County

Located in the scenic downtown area of Elizabethtown, right on the corner of King and MLK Drive is the weekly Farmers Market that holds a number of events in addition to providing a quaint outlet for shoppers to visit each Saturday. It is also home to the Burneys Sweets & More, as well as the Barefoot's Sandwich Shop. For visitors of Elizabethtown, accessing the produce and other goods presented each week by its locals and surrounding farmers is a great opportunity to not only have a taste of what the community's vendors have to offer but take home unique, handcrafted items not available anywhere else. The common area of the farmers' market usually hosts different events held by either local or traveling talent as a means to entertain both the shoppers and the vendors.

Burney's Sweets & More

17. Burney's Sweets & More

One of the anchor stores of the Cape Fear Farmer's Market of Bladen County is Burney's Sweets & More, which specializes in homemade-style baked goods, cakes, donuts, pastries, and sandwiches. Aside from Sundays and holidays, this franchised eatery offers visitors a fantastic opportunity to simply sit, relax, and enjoy a sweet bite, even if you're not in the area to shop at Elizabethtown's farmer's market. For travelers who've spent the night in Elizabethtown that want to grab a coffee and morning pastries before hitting the road, Burney's makes a good stop to do so.

Barefoot Sandwich Shop - Copy

16. Barefoot's Sandwich Shoppe

Located at Cape Fear Farmer's Market of Bladen County is an eatery also known as Barefoot's Sandwich Shoppe. Formerly known as Big Tom's Subs N' More. The new name came about when the new owners, Bo and Kelly Barefoot took over the establishment as of February 2020. In addition to serving up sandwiches, there are also burgers, pizzas, and desserts to choose from. Also licensed to sell alcohol, Barefoot's makes a good pit stop for locals and travelers to either enjoy some foodie fun in the sun, any day of the week.

Cape Fear MTX - Copy

15. Cape Fear ATV and MX Park

For travelers who like to camp, or at least stay in a more remote area as opposed to a hotel right in Elizabethtown, the Cape Fear MX Park offers a kid-friendly environment that can venture through the well-marked and maintained trails the site has to offer. For trail riders with different all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), taking advantage of the mud trails is just too tempting to pass up. The safety measures put in place at the park is designed to ensure everybody enjoys themselves, but in a safe enough environment where everybody can enjoy themselves.

Hit a Vineyard

14. Hit a Vineyard

Visitors wanting to take in a more luxurious tour of Elizabethtown may want to visit Cape Fear Vineyard & Winery. In addition to taking in the scenery of the beautiful vineyard grounds, as well as the largest flowering display of camellias in the state of North Carolina, there is also a wide range of signature wines produced straight from the Cape Fear region. This allows travelers to wine and dine at the farm, which offers a memorable experience that makes a good subject to talk about when it comes to nifty getaway spots that can beat a tourist trap any given day. This is also a good place to go for lodging, as the farm offers cottage accommodations for travelers who would like to stay in a peaceful and quiet environment. This is also one of the places to go for group gatherings such as weddings, parties, and more. In addition to being a vineyard and winery, this is also a farm that features animals. For families, access to donkeys and peacocks may be just as much a highlight as everything else this place has to offer.

Cape Fear Weekend

13. Cape Fear Weekend

Technically, Cape Fear Weekend isn't a place, but rather a guide for visitors to go over whatever happens to be going on as far as events go in Elizabethtown and the surrounding area. While the publication itself is from Wilmington, North Carolina, it covers the entire Cape Fear region, including Elizabethtown. Ideally, using Elizabethtown as a starting point, using the weekend guide to access whatever happens to be going on in the area, or nearby, is a good way to make the most out of a vacation experience.

Melvin's - Copy

12. Melvin's Hamburgers & Hot Dogs

Eateries are just as impressionable among visitors as are the sightseeing opportunities, especially if they happen to be really good ones. In the case of Melvin's Hamburgers & Hot Dogs in Elizabethtown, this is no exception. When the locals favorite a place there is a reason for it. Not only does Melvin's have some of the best food the town has to offer, but even folks out of town who know about the place will go out of their way just to come here. This speaks volumes. Not only is the place known for its burgers and hot dogs, but has a rather famous reputation for its homemade chili also. Getting a table at Melvin's isn't always easy to do, but it's definitely worth it.

Putt-Putt Fun Centre

11. Putt-Putt Fun Centre

Putt-Putt Fun Centre not only features a miniature golf course but is a family-friendly spot that has something for everyone. Although a franchise with more than one location, there's a reason why Putt-Putt has become a family favorite across the nation. Perhaps grab a quick bite before a game for that little extra energy boost, or afterward once you've worked up an appetite.

Greene's Pond

10. Greene's Pond

For nature enthusiasts, taking in the opportunity to canoe, fish, or simply take in some trail walks, this 140-acre area is a must. For fans of the sport of fishing, see if you can catch bass, bream, or catfish. You can also rent a canoe or boat and head out on the pond and just take in the tranquility of natural scenery at its best. There are also rentable cabins and spots at its RV park, as well as its infamous Treehouse.

Elizabethtown Inn - Copy

9. The Elizabethtown Inn

For travelers, especially when it's on vacation, where a person stays is every bit as important as the sights taken at the destination area. If the accommodations are terrible, the entire experience won't be as ideal as it should be. When the accommodations are fantastic, it adds more value to the trip. In the case of the Elizabethtown Inn, this isn't merely just some bed and breakfast. This is an accommodation facility that has some rich history to it, as well as a tourist attraction unto itself. As one of the oldest structures still standing in Elizabeth town, it is estimated his inn was built in 1834. It used to be the home of Colonel John McDowell and was rumored to serve as a hospital during the American Civil War. In Elizabethtown, this Greek-Revival piece of architecture served as a home for a number of families before turned into a bed and breakfast inn. The location it's standing in is not its original as it was moved a few hundred yards from its original site. In 2015, renovations were performed to turn the house into an inn so guests who reserve themselves a room can take in a bit of history as they enjoy their stay.

Wine

8. Lu Mil Vineyard

Lu Mil Vineyard is more than just a place to go for the day. There are also cabin rentals that allow travelers to spend the night, or perhaps a few nights, as they take in all that Elizabethtown and its neighboring communities have to offer. Of course, it's not a vineyard without a tasting bar, nor a gift shop, nor a scenic opportunity to learn more about the Lu Mil Vineyard and the people who run it. Because of the scenery and what it has to offer, the vineyard also offers group gathering opportunities such as corporate events, weddings, and any other special gathering that comes to mind.

Browns Creek Nature Park and Bike Trail

7. Browns Creek Nature Park and Bike Trail

Just fifteen minutes away from Elizabethtown's downtown core is Browns Creek Nature Park and Bike Trail, which is a spot of nature easily accessible from town. With six miles worth of mountain biking and hiking trails, visitors can take in the scenery of majestic hardwood forest in a natural park environment at its pristine best. Whether the opportunity is taken in as a means to score a good workout or to seek some thrills through a variety of adventurous terrain, doing so at a location that doesn't have any set hours seems to be as ideal as any. There are no fees to worry about here as the park is open for all to enjoy at their own leisure.

Elwell Ferry

6. Elwell Ferry

Although currently closed, the hope for Elwell Ferry to reopen again is alive and well as the residents and visitors of Bladen County know how important this cable ferry is for the local communities. As a tourist activity, this is a five-minute jaunt from bank to bank, giving visitors a fantastic view of the rich history of trade and small-town living in the state of North Carolina. Elwell Ferry had been in operation since 1905 that was designed to serve the communities lined along the inland river of Cape Fear. Although the ferry may not be in operation at this time, just the area alone is worth the visit as there are a number of historical monuments, as well as park settings, that can be taken in.

Cape Fear Winery - Copy

5. Cape Fear Winery

Visitors wanting to take in a more luxurious tour of Elizabethtown may want to visit Cape Fear Vineyard & Winery. In addition to taking in the scenery of the beautiful vineyard grounds, as well as the largest flowering display of camellias in the state of North Carolina, there is also a wide range of signature wines produced straight from the Cape Fear region. This allows travelers to wine and dine at the farm, which offers a memorable experience that makes a good subject to talk about when it comes to nifty getaway spots that can beat a tourist trap any given day. This is also a good place to go for lodging, as the farm offers cottage accommodations for travelers who would like to stay in a peaceful and quiet environment. This is also one of the places to go for group gatherings such as weddings, parties, and more. In addition to being a vineyard and winery, this is also a farm that features animals. For families, access to donkeys and peacocks may be just as much a highlight as everything else this place has to offer.

White Lake Water Park - Copy

4. White Lake Water Park

Since 2004, White Lake Water Park has been one of North Carolina's favorite spots for children of all ages to have a great time. There is always something available for any given person, based on how easy they want to enjoy their day, or how adventurous they're willing to go. Between the water slides, giant wave pool, and the park's sun deck, there is no lack of activity opportunities to find at the park. If one wishes to relax on the lazy river ride, that is available. If you need to wine and dine, the tiki bar is on-site to cater. There are also party rentals and other social-related gatherings available, but it's always advised to call ahead to ensure there aren't any advisories in place that can throw a wrench into one's itinerary.

Jones Lake State Park

3. Jones Lake State Park

Just outside the downtown core of Elizabethtown by ten minutes is Jones Lake State Park, which is a state-protected natural park reserve. Visitors are welcome to play around at the lake's shallows, as well as do some boating. Available for rent are canoes that can seat two people, as well as paddle boats that can seat four people. There are also some clean sandy banks along Jones Lake that offer prime picnic areas that offer ample opportunity and scenery to simply take in the sun. There's also a visitor's center and exhibit hall that offers an opportunity to learn more about the area's ecology. Visitors also hike through the four-mile trail that takes you through bay thickets, pond cypress stands that are draped with Spanish moss. There are also camping sites available at the site, both as single bookings and grouped bookings.

Pork & Beats Festival

2. Pork & Beats Festival

Usually, each November, Elizabethtown hosts the Pork & Beats Festival. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the scheduled event for 2021 has been canceled. However, when there isn't a pandemic ruining people's fun time, this annual event sees top cooks coming from all parts of North Carolina to compete in the NC Pork Council's annual event. The event starts on Friday, which sees the cooks preparing their pigs so that come Saturday morning, the product is ready for judging by the council. Visitors attending this festival can see the cooks in action, as well as ask any questions should the opportunity present itself to do so. The best part about the festival is competitors will submit samples for blind taste tests. Once all the prepared barbeque samples are collected for your consumption, feast away at what they've prepared for you. All proceeds of the product sold go towards local charities.

Elizabethtown

 

1. Downtown Elizabethtown

There is no better opportunity to explore a quaint-sized community like Elizabethtown than to visit its downtown area. In addition to visiting its shops, you also get to meet some of the locals, many of whom will be happy to share their own tales of what makes their community so wonderful in their eyes. You also take in the architecture, which makes great photographic opportunities to go along with your own collection of stories you will bring home with you. While visiting the downtown core of Elizabethtown, don't forget to take a photo of the mural dedicated to its own American astronaut, Curtis Brown.

Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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