Home to world-famous barbecue, championship-winning NASCAR drivers, and award-winning wineries, Lexington is one of America's hidden gems. It has plenty of things for visitors to see and do, including lesser-known attractions like historical museums and memorials, local art galleries, and a beautiful park with a 140-foot-long cave where pioneer Daniel Boone is said to have hid out during his early years here. Of course, you'll need to make time for a meal at one of the city's famous barbecue joints, but true barbecue aficionados should also try to be here for the annual Barbecue Festival in April. Hours/availability may have changed.
© Childress Vineyards
Owned by the famous NASCAR entrepreneur Richard Childress, Childress Vineyards is one of the biggest wineries in the beautiful Yadkin Valley, and it boasts a state-of-the-art winery building modeled after a Tuscan villa. Their award-winning portfolio includes everything from classic reds and whites to sparkling wines and dessert wines, and some of the wines are made entirely with grapes grown in the winery's own 72-acre vineyard. Tours and tastings are offered all throughout the year, and visitors can often enjoy live music performances during the spring and fall. There's also an on-site bistro, which is open seven days a week.
1000 Childress Vineyards Rd, Lexington, NC 27295, Phone: 336-236-9463
2.Boone's Cave Park, Lexington, North Carolina
Named in honor of Daniel Boone, an iconic American pioneer who moved to the area in 1751, Boone's Cave Park is a peaceful 120-acre property on the banks of the Yadkin River. Amenities in the park are limited, but there are six miles of well-maintained hiking trails, and visitors are welcome to picnic and fish in the river. Brave visitors who don't mind crawling on their hands and knees can also explore the park's 140-foot-long cave, which is believed to have been Boone's hideout. If you'd like to spend the night, several primitive campsites are available to visitors by reservation.
3552 Boones Cave Rd, Lexington, NC 27295, Phone: 336-752-2322
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3.North Carolina Vietnam Veterans Memorial
© Leonard's Creek Chapter NSDAR
Located in a rest area just off the I-85, the North Carolina Vietnam Veterans Memorial was erected to commemorate the brave soldiers who were lost in the Vietnam War. A walkway leads from the parking lot to the monument, which is made entirely out of North Carolina red brick, and a plaque on the wall names each and every one of the more than 1,600 North Carolinians who lost their life in the war. The monument is also surrounded with beautiful evergreen trees that were planted in memory of all the Americans who lost their lives in the conflict.
I-85 Mile Marker 100, Lexington, NC
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4.Barbecue Festival, Lexington, North Carolina
© Barbecue Festival
Lexington is fondly referred to as the "Barbecue Capital of the World", so it's no surprise that the annual Barbecue Festival is one of the city's most popular events. It has been taking place every October since 1984, and although it started out as a relatively humble affair with only a few vendors, it has grown into an enormous celebration that sprawls across ten downtown blocks. Dozens of local restaurants and out-of-state vendors set up food stalls, but there are plenty of other attractions as well, including live music, a lumberjack competition, and family-friendly carnival rides.
100 Smokehouse Ln, Lexington, NC 27295, Phone: 336-249-9814
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5.RCR Museum & Gift Shop, Lexington, North Carolina
© RCR Museum & Gift Shop
Part of the Richard Childress Racing campus, the RCR Museum & Gift Shop offers a behind-the-scenes look at the history of some of the most famous teams and drivers in NASCAR history. The museum exhibits cover topics like Richard Childress’ early days as a NASCAR driver and the fame achieved by Dale Earnhardt and his No. 3 team, and the educational displays are supplemented by an incredible collection of cars that includes the Daytona 500 winning car driven by Dale Earnhardt. Visitors are welcome Tuesday through Saturday, and tickets must be purchased to enter the museum.
236 Industrial Dr, Lexington, NC 27295, Phone: 336-731-3389
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6.Junius Lindsay Vineyard, Lexington, North Carolina
© Junius Lindsay Vineyard
Specializing in Old World style estate-bottled wines, Junius Lindsay Vineyard is a boutique winery with a beautiful open-air tasting room. They proudly produce all their wine using grapes grown in their own vineyard, all of which come from varietals native to France's Rhone Valley. The tasting room is open Thursday through Sunday between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., and the last tasting is held half an hour before closing. All tastings include a souvenir wine glass to keep, and visitors are welcome to bring their own food if they'd like to have a picnic on the winery grounds.
385 Dr Zimmerman Rd, Lexington, NC 27295, Phone: 336-764-4050
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7.Davidson County Historical Museum
© Davidson County Historical Museum
Housed inside a beautiful Greek Revival building that was built in 1858 to serve as the city's courthouse, the Davidson County Historical Museum has a wonderful collection of exhibits designed to educate visitors about the heritage of Davidson County. Most of the exhibits are arranged around different themes, and one of the major highlights is a historical courtroom that looks just as it would have in the 19th century. There's also a room dedicated simply to displaying the most curious items from the museum's collection of historic objects. The museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, and there is no admission fee.
2 S Main St, Lexington, NC 27292, Phone: 336-242-2035
8.Barbecue Center Inc, Lexington, North Carolina
© Barbecue Center Inc
As the oldest barbecue joint in town that still cooks its meat over pits, the Barbecue Center Inc is an ideal place to get a taste of authentic Lexington barbecue. Both sliced and chopped barbecue is available, and they separate the light meat from the dark so customers can order exactly what they like. If you want to end your meal with something sweet, there's also an extensive menu of decadent dipped ice cream cones, sundaes, and homemade pie. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served every day except Sundays, and curbside pickup is offered from 10 a.m. until closing time.
900 N Main St, Lexington, NC 27292, Phone: 336-248-4633
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9.Speedy BBQ Incorporated, Lexington, NC
© Speedy BBQ Incorporated
Another of Lexington's most beloved barbecue joints, Speedy BBQ Incorporated is a family-owned restaurant known for their generous portions and their mouthwatering barbecue sauce. The menu includes a large variety of barbecue plates and sandwiches, and you can choose from classic sides like hushpuppies, coleslaw, and baked beans. All menu items are available for both lunch and dinner, and the restaurant is open between 10:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Convenient curbside pickup is always available during opening hours, and if you're planning a cookout, the restaurant can provide an entire pork shoulder and some delicious sides.
1317 Winston Rd, Lexington, NC 27295, Phone: 336-248-2092
10.Coach's Neighborhood Grill, Lexington, North Carolina
© Coach's Neighborhood Grill
Coach's Neighborhood Grill is a franchise that can be found all over North Carolina, and if you're not in the mood for traditional Lexington barbecue, it's one of the city's best places to eat. The menu offers a wide range of appetizers, soups, and sandwiches, and there are approximately a dozen sides to choose from. If you'd rather have something more substantial, you can also order a hearty pasta dish, a burger, or a delicious steak. Lunch and dinner are served seven days a week, and lunch specials are offered on weekdays between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
51 Plaza Pkwy, Lexington, NC 27292, Phone: 336-843-1806
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10 Best Things to Do in Lexington, North Carolina
- Childress Vineyards, Photo: Childress Vineyards
- Boone's Cave Park, Lexington, North Carolina, Photo: chriss73/stock.adobe.com
- North Carolina Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Photo: Leonard's Creek Chapter NSDAR
- Barbecue Festival, Lexington, North Carolina, Photo: Barbecue Festival
- RCR Museum & Gift Shop, Lexington, North Carolina, Photo: RCR Museum & Gift Shop
- Junius Lindsay Vineyard, Lexington, North Carolina, Photo: Junius Lindsay Vineyard
- Davidson County Historical Museum, Photo: Davidson County Historical Museum
- Barbecue Center Inc, Lexington, North Carolina, Photo: Barbecue Center Inc
- Speedy BBQ Incorporated, Lexington, NC, Photo: Speedy BBQ Incorporated
- Coach's Neighborhood Grill, Lexington, North Carolina, Photo: Coach's Neighborhood Grill
- Cover Photo: City of Lexington - Government
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