Kinston is a city in Lenoir County, North Carolina and the county seat since its formation in 1791. Kinston is located in the coastal plains region of Eastern North Carolina. It is home of the CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center, an educational museum that tells the story of the Civil War in the United States and the CSS Neuse, one of 26 ironclad ships commissioned by the Confederate navy. Grainger Stadium is a sports stadium in Kinston and the home ballpark for the Down East Wood Ducks of the Carolina League. Harmony Hall or the Peebles House, is the historic 18th-century house and the oldest building in Kinston. It has been home of a number of Kinston prominent citizens including North Carolina's first elected governor. The Community Council for the Arts (CCA) is a non-profit organization and a gallery featuring local artwork and offering educational programs.
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1.CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center
© CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center
CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center is an educational museum that tells the story of the Civil War in the United States. This interactive museum in Kinston, North Carolina explores the Civil War event that surrounds one of the civil war's last remaining ironclad ships. The CSS Neuse was one of 26 ironclad ships commissioned by the Confederate navy. With a wide, flat bottom, the ship looked very much like a river barge. When finished, the 158 feet long and 34 feet wide twin-screw steamer was plated with iron armor. Too late to enter combat, when Union troops occupied Kinston in March 1865, the Neuse crew burned the ship, which exploded and sank. The perfectly preserved ship was raised in 1963 and, after being moved a few times, ended up in 2012 at the CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center in Kinston.
100 N Queen St, Kinston, NC 28501, Phone: 252-526-9600
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2.Mother Earth Brewing, Kinston, North Carolina
© Mother Earth Brewing
Mother Earth Brewing is a green-conscious craft brewery in Kinston, North Carolina, with solar-powered taproom, a lively beer garden and regular tours. The brewery was established in the summer of 2008 by two friends from Kinston, with the mission to make a better world through quality beer and environmental stewardship. They are proud of their Green Brewery and love showing visitors around their production facility. Their tap room is located in the same building, occupying an entire block in the heart of downtown Kinston. They produce a range of craft beers, with interesting seasonals and very popular barrel-aged brews.
311 N Herritage St, Kinston, NC 28501, Phone: 252-208-2437
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3.Grainger Stadium, Kinston, North Carolina
Grainger Stadium is a sports stadium in Kinston, North Carolina. It is the home ballpark for the Down East Wood Ducks of the Carolina League. Before, Grainger was the home to the Kinston Indians and all the professional Kinston baseball teams. The stadium’s original structure was designed by architect John J. Rowland in 1949. The stadium is owned by the city and leased by the team. Its official name as it states on a plague is "Municipal Stadium", but it has been called Grainger Stadium since it was built. The name Grainger comes from Wills Granger, who donated half of the money for the land on which the stadium was built. It is the second-oldest stadium in the circuit. The stadium is often used for a range of events besides minor league baseball.
400 E Grainger Ave, Kinston, NC 28502, Phone: 252-686-5172
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4.Harmony Hall, Kinston, NC
© Harmony Hall
Harmony Hall or the Peebles House, is a historic building in Kinston, North Carolina. The 18th-century house is the oldest building in Kinston. It has been home of a number of Kinston prominent citizens including North Carolina's first elected governor. The house even briefly served as the state capitol during the Revolutionary War. The building has been renovated throughout its history, changing from the Georgian and Federal styles to Greek Revival. Harmony Hall was originally built on land Elizabeth Herritage inherited from her father, William Herritage. Elizabeth and her husband, Captain Jesse Cobb, completed the house by 1776. . Harmony Hall currently serves as a house museum that is operated by a local historical society. The house, which is considered haunted, is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday and may be rented for special occasions.
109 E King St, Kinston, North Carolina 28501, Phone: 252-522-0421
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5.Community Council for the Arts
© Community Council for the Arts
The Community Council for the Arts (CCA) is a non-profit organization and a gallery featuring local artwork and offering educational programs. The Council , established more than 50 years ago, is located in the Arts Center, in the heart of downtown Kinston. The Arts Center is a carefully renovated, 30,000 square foot building that offers residents, children and visitors high quality programs and continued development of the arts. The Community Council for the Arts is dedicated to providing Lenoir County residents the joy, promise, and the pursuit of artistic excellence.
400 N Queen St, Kinston, NC 28501, Phone: 252-527-2517
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6.Kinston Music Park, Kinston, North Carolina
© North Carolina Arts Council
The Kinston Music Park is located at Spring Hill and South Queen streets in the Kinston’s Sugar Hill district, the area that was once the vibrant hub of African American music. It was the place where musicians including Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong played. The dominant feature of the park is a 12-foot high, 23-foot wide massive sculpture with images of the most famous jazz, rhythm and blues, soul and gospel musicians from Kinston and surrounding area. The sculpture was created by David Wilson and Brandon Yow. There is a large ring of benches around the artwork. The park also has a large colorful tile mosaics created by Kinston students in a youth project honoring the North Carolina painter Romare Bearden. Another mosaic tile refers to the Uptighters, a 1970s band led by Tyrone Greene. Women in jazz are featured on another mosaic, showcasing the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, a multi-racial, all-female jazz band of the 1940s to 1950s.
Kinston, NC 28501
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7.King's Restaurant Incorporated, Kinston, NC
© King's Restaurant Incorporated
Kings BBQ Inc.is a chain of BBQ restaurants that started in Kinston, North Carolina in 1941 when Frank King built a country store and filling station in front of his Kinston farm. More than 75 years later, King’s Restaurant Inc., their Eastern North Carolina-style BBQ, the family’s homemade sauce and Southern recipes are enjoyed by BBQ lovers in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Their Kinston, North Carolina location is a spacious, homey restaurant with cheerful red and white checkered tablecloths and cozy private booths. The menu includes King’s famous smoked pork, ribs, chicken, burgers, fish and homey classic country dishes.
405 E New Bern Rd, Kinston, NC 28504, Phone: 252-527-2101
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8.Lovick's Cafe, Kinston, North Carolina
© Lovick's Cafe
Lovick’s Café is an iconic family-owned and operated eatery in downtown Kinston, North Carolina, established in 1942. It started as Lovick’s Quick Lunch, offering cheap breakfast and lunch. Most of their customers were tobacco farmers coming to town to sell their products. During the depression and the WWII, when the meat was rationed, they came up with ‘the dough burger”, which became the staple on the menu. Their menu today is large and consists of comfort food and everyone’s favorites. Their famous Dough burger is still on the menu as well as JUMBO tea and lemonade. Lovick’s still serves a quick breakfast or lunch for a small price. They are now serving the 3rd and 4th generation of farmers’ families who continue the tradition of coming to Lovick’s for a homemade meal.
320 N Herritage St, Kinston, NC 28501, Phone: 252-523-6854
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9.Ellis Planetarium, Health and Science Museum
Encourage learning, wonder, and curiosity for yourself and your children at the Ellis Planetarium and Health and Science Museum. Home to a 24-foot dome within a 60-seat capacity round room, the Ellis Planetarium brings the sun, moon, stars, and even planets from lightyears close to each visitor. The planetarium’s digital ePlanetarium Discovery Dome makes the planetarium a fantastic stop for budding astronomers and astronauts thanks to its stunning projection quality. Meanwhile, the Health and Science Museum’s 5,000-square-foot space is filled with hands-on exhibits designed to educate visitors about the human body and science. Explore exhibits that represent the inner workings of the human body, stop by the farm-to-table room to learn about healthy eating, or see a miniature replica of the UNC Lenoir Hospital.
403 W. Caswell Street, Kinston, North Carolina 28501, Phone: 252-939-3302
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10.Kinston Battlefield Park
In 1862, 2,400 Confederate troops went to battle with 12,000 Union troops in what history remembers as the Battle of Kinston. Today, visitors can travel back in time to experience what the battle would have been like at Kinston Battlefield Park. Guests will start their journey through the park with a short film about this historic moment in time and will get the chance to peruse several displays. While exploring the memorial site, visitors will find war markers, an 1860s Baptist church that was once Harriet’s Chapel, several earthworks, and even a Confederate defensive hold that later became a Union hospital. To culminate the trip to the Kinston Battlefield Park, guests can visit the park’s plaza which honors the US states that deployed soldiers to the Kinston Battle.
1400 Harriette Drive, Kinston, North Carolina 28504
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11.GI Joe’s Military Living History Museum
© GI Joe’s Military Living History Museum
At G.I. Joes Military “Living History” Museum, the mission is simple: to provide each visitor with a non-political education about the country’s wars while honoring the brave men and women who fought for and served the United States. Seeking to honor the nation’s hard-working veterans, this museum welcomes veterans and families every week to come and speak about the experiences that shaped their lives – many of which could even be called the worst times for them. It is a museum that not only poignantly educates, but it also gives the veteran community a platform to talk through feelings and even processes similarities and differences during their time with the armed forces.
1165 Highway 11/55, Kinston, North Carolina 28504, Phone: 252-686-5139
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12.Lion's Water Adventure
© Lion's Water Adventure
Cool off and enjoy a day in refreshing pools and other water attractions at Lion’s Water Adventure. Perfect for summer trips with your friends or family, Lion’s Water Adventure features an enjoyable range of activities for visitors of all ages. Laze within an inflatable and sail down the 570-foot lazy river, or splash around with your young ones inside a 5,000-square-foot kiddie pool. Meanwhile, there are also several slides, including a 32-foot one, and water spray sections to play in. The park also has a great selection of concessionaires for when visitors get hungry each offering a variety of grilled food, snacks, beverages, and ice cream.
2602 W Vernon Avenue, Kinston, North Carolina 28504, Phone: 252-699-3009
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12 Best Things to Do in Kinston, North Carolina
- CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center, Photo: CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center
- Mother Earth Brewing, Kinston, North Carolina, Photo: Mother Earth Brewing
- Grainger Stadium, Kinston, North Carolina, Photo: JJAVA/stock.adobe.com
- Harmony Hall, Kinston, NC, Photo: Harmony Hall
- Community Council for the Arts, Photo: Community Council for the Arts
- Kinston Music Park, Kinston, North Carolina, Photo: North Carolina Arts Council
- King's Restaurant Incorporated, Kinston, NC, Photo: King's Restaurant Incorporated
- Lovick's Cafe, Kinston, North Carolina, Photo: Lovick's Cafe
- Ellis Planetarium, Health and Science Museum, Photo: lunamarina/stock.adobe.com
- Kinston Battlefield Park, Photo: Benikos/stock.adobe.com
- GI Joe’s Military Living History Museum, Photo: GI Joe’s Military Living History Museum
- Lion's Water Adventure, Photo: Lion's Water Adventure
- Cover Photo: Pavel/stock.adobe.com
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