Awarded the All-American City in 2009, Kinston, North Carolina is located in the east and is just a hop, skip, and jump away from the ocean.
Not only is there a lot of history here, but there's plenty to keep you busy while you're passing through. Let's hit the road to see and learn more about Kinston.
History of Kinston
Due to the need to build new warehouses, Kingston came to fruition in 1762. Since the town was named after King George III, the town unanimously decided to drop the 'g' in 1784. This request was made following the English king's defeat in the Revolutionary War.
During the latter part of the 19th century, Kinston was all about business. After the Civil War, there was a slew of factories, distilleries, and mills in the city. There were also offices showing up for professionals, such as doctors and lawyers. This ushered in an era of progress. Many residents would likely agree that this spirit has continued on through today.
CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center
The CSS Neuse was an integral part of the Confederate Navy towards the end of the Civil War. The ironclad warship was steam-powered with a wooden hull.
Over 15,000 fragments of life in the 1860s. Were unearthed a century later when the Neuse was raised from the nearby river. The ship had been waiting silently underwater. As it had been purposely sunk by the Confederate Navy to avoid capture.
You can see what the ship left behind and more at the interpretive center. There are period reenactors who take you through life during the Civil War. The Neuse was so popular, they have a reconstructed version called the CSS Neuse II. At the center, they explain how CSS Neuse came to be and how it ended. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children three and up.
Neuseway Nature Park & Campground
This is no ordinary park. The Neuseway Nature Park is part nature center, part planetarium, and part campground. The park has events that go on throughout the year. So whether you're a local or visitor, there's an opportunity to get involved. And new events to see.
Public Arts Projects
There's scenic, then there's the Public Art Trail. The Community Council for the Arts in town has the largest public art collection in the state. If you're going on a stroll at 3 am or going on a daytime run, you can hit the trail. Spots you'll see along the way:
Mother Earth Brewing
We talked about Kinston being a city of progress and Mother Earth Brewing is a proud contributor of that forward-thinking. This craft brewery is trying to reduce its carbon footprint with a solar-powered taproom.
Even their slogan, "Small town. Small batch. Small footprint," sparks a conversation about their sustainable practices on location. You can come to enjoy the array of flavors served in their beer garden.
Top Local Eats
If you're wandering around Kinston, you've probably worked up an appetite. From a spot that has been raved about on TV. To some of the best BBQ pork and chicken around, there are plenty of local dining options to choose between.
Chef & the Farmer did not disappoint again! This place lives up to the Vivian Howard hype. All the seasonal items we tried from the meat and cheese platter to the sweet potato biscuits were absolutely delicious...
No matter what your reason for visiting Kinston, you won't want to leave without having experienced the nature, art, and history the city has to offer. Be sure to give yourself at least a few days. There's a lot to do and even more to eat.