Staying in the small town of Gaston, North Carolina can feel like stepping back in time. Whether you’re looking for a romantic weekend getaway or an outdoorsy family vacation, there are plenty of fun and exciting attractions nearby for a perfect vacation. Book a stay at one of numerous picturesque Gaston vacation rentals today. Take a look at the most exciting things to do in and around Gaston.
1. Catch Your Own Dinner
Gaston lies just a few minutes away from the shores of Lake Gaston, a sprawling hydroelectric reservoir that spans multiple counties and two states. Due to its consistent water levels, it’s also known for world-class fishing. If you’re not sure where to start, consider reaching out to a local outfitter, such as Cast and Blast Guide Service or Jack’s Guide Service in Roanoke Rapids. Crystal Coast Adventures also offers fishing excursions in the Roanoke River.
2. Explore the Region’s History
The Roanoke Valley has an unusual ecosystem and an even more unusual history due to its importance as an early trade route and colonization point. You can discover this unique past at the Roanoke Canal Museum. The museum features oral histories, artifacts, and interactive exhibits to keep the whole family engaged.
3. Create Your Own Art
If you’re feeling creative, consider getting in touch with The Paint Palate. This local business caters to private parties, so it’s best if you’re traveling with a group. An experienced art teacher will come to your vacation rental or you can travel to the business location in Roanoke Rapids. Once there, you can sip wine and create your own masterpiece.
4. Paddle Down the Roanoke River
Whether you’re an experienced rafter looking for rapids or a newcomer just seeking a restful way to spend a quiet afternoon, you can find a nearby stretch of the Roanoke River to cater to your needs. The guides at Roanoke Outdoor Adventures can help you find the right launch spot and route to suit your needs.
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5. Enjoy Some World-Class Birdwatching
If you’re in the mood for some nature watching, head over to the town of Scotland Neck. This small community is home to Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park, which is the world’s largest waterfowl breeding complex. In addition to walking trails, you can also climb up into the Bird’s Nest, a tree house-like lookout point that offers spectacular views of the scenery.
6. Catch a Live Show At Carolina Crossroads
The Carolina Crossroads entertainment district is home to a few fun attractions, but the Roanoke Rapids Theatre is one of its most popular draws. This charming theater has an old-fashioned exterior with modern comforts inside, and hosts a variety of shows, including plays, concerts, and comedy performances.
7. Explore Medoc Mountain State Park
If you’re in the mood for adventure, head over to Medoc Mountain State Park, which lies about 30 minutes outside of Gaston. For a more strenuous hike, take one of the trails to the top of Medoc Peak. Fishing Creek is another popular draw, as its gentle currents are great for family-friendly fishing or kayaking. Stop in at the ranger station to learn about free guided hikes and other educational opportunities.
8. Try Your Hand at Wakeboarding
Lake Gaston’s smooth waters and reliable levels make it popular for a variety of water sports, including wakeboarding. You can learn this popular sport from world-class instructors at AF Wake, Inc. based in nearby Littleton. Options include private lessons as well has half- or full-day clinics. If you prefer to spectate, there are also frequent competitions and events in the area.
9. Check Out a Festival
Although availability varies depending on when you visit, there’s a good chance you can find a great local festival to visit during your time in Gaston. Halifax County Harvest Days, which is held every October, is the crowning jewel due to its large number of entertainers, vendors, and events, but small-town holiday festivals are a common occurrence. Look for agricultural festivals as well, such as the Enfield Peanut Festival or the Hobgood Cotton Festival.
10. Enjoy Some Southern Barbecue
There’s nothing better than a hearty country-style meal, and there are a few options for classic southern barbecue around Gaston. Carolina BBQ and Chicken has a diverse menu with plenty of local recipes. Ralph’s Barbecue in Weldon offers both buffet and menu options, and it serves all the southern classics, including fried chicken, hush puppies, and more.
11. Venture into the World of the Paranormal
While you’re in Littleton, stop in at the Cryptozoology and Paranormal Museum. The interactive exhibits and diverse topics ranging from ghosts to UFOs to Bigfoot himself are sure to delight skeptics and true believers alike. If you have time, sign up for a ghost tour to see the area’s most haunted sites.
12. Hike the Canal Trail
The Roanoke Canal has been a crucial feature of the region for more than 200 years, and you can get up close and personal with nature by hiking or biking the Canal Trail. This easy, well-maintained trail is suitable for all ages, but it does run for almost eight miles. Luckily, there are numerous access points, including Roanoke Rapids Lake and the Roanoke Canal Museum.
13. Sip Some Local Wine
If you’re in the mood for a relaxing, romantic day out, cross over the state line to visit the Rosemont of Virginia vineyards. This sprawling, historic estate lets you sample homegrown wines and offers tours of the vineyards. There is also a gift shop featuring crafts, foods, and more from local artisans.
14. Hit the Links
Gaston itself doesn’t have many golf courses, but there are quite a few in the area if you plan to play a few rounds while on vacation. The closest course is Scotfield Country Club in nearby Enfield. Lake Gaston Golf Club is a bit of a drive, but the wooded course is known for its scenic beauty.
15. Immerse Yourself In Art
The Halifax County Arts Council is based in nearby Roanoke Rapids, and this small gallery is worth a stop. There are rotating exhibits from local and nationally known artists, Sip ‘n’ See events, classes, and musical events.
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