Set in the foothills of North Carolina, the city of Lenoir is nestled at the foot of the state's scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. At first glance, there may not seem like much to Lenoir, but this former furniture making capital is more than meets the eye. It's a place to discover nature, explore history, browse museums, take in the arts, and more. Lenoir is a place where visitors can slow down and enjoy a more laid back pace to life, along with the historically rich area and natural scenery. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.Fort Defiance

Fort Defiance
© Fort Defiance

Fort Defiance in Lenoir, North Carolina is considered to be one of the country's most unique restorations. The home of the Lenoir family until 1961, over three hundred pieces of artifacts and original furnishings can still be seen in the house today. The historic Fort Defiance was constructed back in 1792 by a hero of the Revolutionary War and has been carefully restored to its original 18th-century and 19th-century splendor. The five-acre property also features a 200-year-old boxwood garden. Fort Defiance is open to visitors Thursday to Sunday from April through October and by appointment on the weekends from November through March.

4555 Fort Defiance Dr, Lenoir, NC 28645, Phone: 828-758-1671

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2.Wilson Creek, Lenoir, North Carolina

Wilson Creek, Lenoir, North Carolina
© Patrick Jennings/

Located within the Pisgah National Forest's Grandfather district, the Wilson Creek area can be found in northwestern Caldwell County and is a popular destination for recreation enthusiasts and hikers, made up of 4.6 miles of wilderness, 2.9 miles of scenic land, and 15.8 miles of recreational area. Camping is allowed throughout the area, however, campsites must be at least 100 feet from the water. Other outdoor recreation activities possible in the Wilson Creek area include fishing, mountain biking, kayaking, and canoeing. While the Wilson Creek Gorge area is open to visitors for the day, there is limited parking available.

Lenoir, NC, Phone: 800-551-6949

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3.Caldwell Heritage Museum, Lenoir, NC

Caldwell Heritage Museum, Lenoir, NC
© Caldwell Heritage Museum

The Caldwell Heritage Museum exists to educate and preserve Caldwell County's history for generations to come through various exhibits and educational programs. Opened in 1991, the museum highlights the chronological history of the county, dating back to the pre-Colonial era through the present day. Among the Caldwell Heritage Museum's historic artifacts are early maps and Native American arrow points and spears. Other collections are focused around photography, military, and music. Special collections are displayed for short time periods every year. The museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 10:00am until 4:30pm and on Saturdays from 9:00am until noon.

112 Vaiden St, Lenoir, NC 28645, Phone: 828-758-4004

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4.Caldwell Arts Council, Lenoir, North Carolina

Caldwell Arts Council, Lenoir, North Carolina
© Caldwell Arts Council

The Caldwell Arts Council has been an important part of the local community since 1976, promoting and presenting high quality arts in Lenoir, North Carolina. Located in the downtown district, the arts facility features five galleries serving as exhibition space for regional and local artists. The exhibits typically change on a monthly basis and vary from traditional and contemporary paintings to photography, sculpture, and fine craft. In addition to the art exhibitions on display throughout the year, the Caldwell Arts Council also has a permanent sculpture collection featuring more than 80 sculptures, a number of which are on display outdoors.

601 College Ave SW, Lenoir, NC 28645, Phone: 828-754-2486

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4 Best Things to Do in Lenoir, North Carolina

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