Burlington, North Carolina was born when the North Carolina Railroad needed a place to build, repair, and maintain the railroad in the area, The bustling metropolis would have died out when the railroad company left if it hadn’t been for the tenacity of its citizens who believed in their community. Burlington offers visitors a wealth of history, a passion for the conservation of natural resources, shopping, and unique dining options that have stood the test of time. Families and visitors will find everything from old-fashioned baseball to modern-day farm-to-table dining in Burlington.


1.Conservators Center

Conservators Center
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Conservators Center is 45 acres of forested area and housing facilities for over 70 large and small wild cats, including lions and tigers. In 2007, the center opened its doors to the public in an effort to help fund the growing facility to ensure the animals received the best care in their new home. Visitors of the Conservators Center will learn about the individual animals at the facility from well-educated tour guides who are always up-to-date on facts and information they obtain from reliable sources. Staff at the center include well-trained veterinarians specializing in large animals to keep each resident healthy and strong.

676 E. Hughes Mill Road, Burlington, NC 27217, Phone: 888-650-1139 or 336-421-0883

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2.Cedarock Park

Cedarock Park
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Cedarock Park began as a farm in 1830 and is now a sprawling 500-acre nature preserve along the banks of Rock Creek in the Cane Creek Mountains. The park offers six miles of hiking trails and six miles of horseback riding paths. Visitors can play on one of two 18-hole disc golf courses or shoot a round of footgolf. Additional sports include a basketball court, a volleyball court, and open fields for more outdoor games. Other activities include camping, kayaking, canoeing, picnics, and playgrounds. The highlight of Cedarock Park is the restored 1800s farm where guests learn about life on a 19th-century farm and interact with the goats and donkeys.

4242 R Dean Coleman Rd, Burlington, NC 27215, Phone: 336-229-2410

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3.Granddaddy’s Antique Mall

Granddaddy’s Antique Mall
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Granddaddy’s Antique Mall provides visitors with two-acres of treasure hunting fun amongst the 230 booths of antiques and collectibles. The antique mall features a Mom and Pop General Store display with an old-timey feel that takes you back in time. Guests will stumble upon a wide selection of vintage clothing and toys, antique art pieces and memorabilia, a multitude of classic advertising signage, and a plethora of general store knick-knacks. Granddaddy’s Antique Mall first opened in 1997 and is one of the biggest malls of its kind offering a great place to search for unusual home decor and unique gifts.

2316 Maple Ave., Burlington, NC 27215, Phone: 336-570-1997

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4.City Park

City Park
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City Park is a fun-filled family activity center featuring an amusement park with a miniature train, railed car ride with the choice of a firetruck, police car, tractor, truck, and jeep, as well as a boat ride. The carousel is currently being refurbished and scheduled to reopen in 2021 and the airplane ride is closed for maintenance. A large playground offers slides, swings, and climbing adventures and is adjacent to a picturesque fountain. Guests can picnic in the park or rent a gazebo for special occasions. Nature lovers enjoy strolling along the park’s trails and crossing the bridges over Little Almanac Creek.

1388 Main Street, Burlington, NC 27215, Phone: 336-222-5030

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5.Alamance Battleground State Historic Site

Alamance Battleground State Historic Site
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Alamance Battleground State Historic Site commemorates the location of the battle fought in 1771 between Royal Governor William Tyron and a group of settlers. It also marks the location of a Revolutionary War battle between General Cornwallis and the Deleware Light Infantry. A visitor center shows guests a film about the battles and life as a settler in North Carolina. Also on display are archeological relics discovered on-site, a replica of a war cannon and two monuments dating back to 1880 and 1901. Tours of the Allen House built in 1872 that depict homes built in the early days of North Carolina’s history.

5803 NC-62, Burlington, NC 27215, Phone: 336-227-4785

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6.Glencoe Mill Village

Glencoe Mill Village
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Glencoe Mill Village is the best-preserved cotton mill complex in the United States. This historic district consists of over 50 buildings and structures originally erected beginning in 1880. The village is made up of a cotton mill and textile complex as well as the housing community where employees lived. The 105-acre site sits on the banks of the Haw River and buildings include a mill, wheelhouse, picker and dye houses, along with warehouses, an office, and a company store. Guests can drive-by the historic complex, read the many informative placards or visit the Textile Heritage Museum. The area features walking trails, picnic spots, and a canoe launch.

Glencoe Street, Burlington, NC, 27215

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7.Burlington Athletic Stadium

Burlington Athletic Stadium
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Burlington Athletic Stadium was originally constructed in Danville, Virginia before being disassembled and rebuilt at its current location in North Carolina. It serves as the home field for the minor league Burlington Royals, Major League Baseball’s farm team for the Kansas City Royals. The stadium had a cameo appearance in the 1988 movie Bull Durham and was also the location for the longest single game lasting 27-innings over an 8-hour period that same year. Burlington Athletic Stadium gives visitors the authentic minor league experience before the days of big-money baseball. The layout of the clubhouses and dugouts gives fans a chance to get autographs as the players pass through the concourse.

1450 Graham St, Burlington, NC 27217, Phone: 336-222-0223

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8.Textile Heritage Museum

Textile Heritage Museum
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Textile Heritage Museum was created in 2002 by volunteers wanting to preserve the memory of the textile industry. The museum was established to educate visitors about how clothing was made particularly for the US Military beginning during WWI. Items on display include textile machinery, the fabrics created at the mill, and the clothing that was made. The museum is part of the Glencoe Mill Village that was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Admission is free and guests can choose between a guided tour or explore the museum and surrounding village at their leisure. The complete tour will take approximately 1-2 hours in order to see all the museum and village have to offer.

2406 Glencoe Street, Burlington, NC 27217, Phone: 336-270-6374

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9.Haw River Trail and Paddle Trail

Haw River Trail and Paddle Trail
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The Haw River Trail consists of more than 20 miles of hiking along the scenic Haw River where visitors will encounter lush plant life and woodland creatures. In addition, guests can picnic or go fishing on spots along the sparkling waters. The Paddle Trail gives canoe and kayakers of all experience levels the opportunity to fully appreciate the beauty of the Haw River. Both the Haw River Trail and Paddle Trail are part of a community effort to promote conservation of this majestic natural resource. The results have improved the quality of the water and created habitats for the wildlife along the river.

3916 R. Dean Coleman Road, Burlington, NC 27215, Phone: 336-229-2229

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10.Alamance County Historical Museum

Alamance County Historical Museum
© Alamance County Historical Museum

The Alamance County Historical Museum is part of the nearly 1700-acre grain plantation from the 19th-century. The plantation house that now serves as the museum was built beginning in 1790 by a Bavarian family. The museum features a parlor, music room, and dining room on the first floor furnished with mid-19th-century pieces and accessories. The second floor contains three bedrooms, one of which is furnished with bedroom pieces and the other two contain collections of antiquities, like clothes, blankets, and military memorabilia. Visitors can wander the grounds and see the granary, corn crib, carriage house, garden, and the family cemetery.

4777 south, 9295, NC-62, Burlington, NC 27215, Phone: 336-226-8254

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11.Grill 584

Grill 584
© Grill 584

Grill 584 is named to honor the history of Burlington and its rapid industrial growth thanks to the perseverance of the community after the railroad company left in 1886. The numbers 584 represent the phone number prefix of the community whose people considered their town the place to be. Now the phrase 584 means excellence to the people of Burlington so its only fitting to name a great restaurant Grill 584. The menu features an all-you-can-eat-salad bar as well as nine different salads like Taco and Sashimi Tuna. The restaurant also serves soups, sandwiches, burgers, and seafood dishes like Flounder and Crab Cakes.

710 Huffman Mill Rd., Burlington, NC 27215, Phone: 336-584-0479

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12.Zack’s Hotdogs

Zack’s Hotdogs
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Zack’s Hotdogs was established in 1928 by Greek immigrant Zack Touloupas and his family when he heard a restaurant was for sale in Burlington. The original location, known as the Alamance Hot Wienie Lunch had eight barstools and four school desks for seating. In 1977, Zack’s son John set out to build a new restaurant where it still operates today and features the Dollar Bill rug hanging on the wall that was handwoven in Greece and represents the first dollar the restaurant made. Zack’s Hotdogs serves breakfast as well as the selection of hotdogs hamburgers, and sandwiches the family has been making for over 90 years.

201 W Davis St., Burlington, NC 27215, Phone: 336-226-4746

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13.Hursey’s Pig Pickin’ Bar-B-Q

Hursey’s Pig Pickin’ Bar-B-Q
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Hursey’s Pig Pickin’ Bar-B-Q began in 1945 in the backyard of Sylvester and Daisy Hursey who served friends and family their secret sauce hickory-smoked pork. Their little family business grew in popularity and Sylvester became the first bar-b-q wholesaler of North Carolina in 1949. The restaurant now smokes over 1200 pork shoulders a week and countless hams. The restaurant and catering menu offers a selection of sandwiches, dinner plates of chopped pork with coleslaw, fries, and hushpuppies, as well as chicken and rib dinners. Hursey’s Pig Pickin’ Bar-B-Q also serves up fried seafood platters of flounder and shrimp. The dessert menu features homemade cobbler, lemon pie, apple turnovers, and old fashioned bread pudding.

1834 South Church Street, Burlington, NC 27215, Phone: 336-226-1694

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14.Michelle’s Kitchen and Table

Michelle’s Kitchen and Table
© Michelle’s Kitchen and Table

Michelle’s Kitchen and Table was created in 2007 by Burlington native Michelle Morton whose classy yet homestyle take and bake entrees and desserts have been a big hit in the community. Due to the ever-growing popularity of her food, she moved to a larger location in order to serve diners in-house. In addition to the take and bake menu, the new location offers a seasonal farm-to-table menu made from fresh local ingredients. Featured items include southern fried chicken and waffles, brisket with apple slaw, and chocolate chess pie. Michelle’s Kitchen and Table reflects her passion for serving great food to family and friends.

2461 South Church Street, Burlington, NC 27215, Phone: 336-584-8441

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14 Best Things to Do in Burlington, NC