The Hidden Gems of Goldsboro, NC: 12 Must-See Attractions

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The quaint city of Goldsboro in North Carolina’s Coastal Plain offers a rich and colorful history with many attractions for all the family.

Thanks to its position as Wayne County’s count seat, it features landmarks, and important facilities as well as plenty of parks and green spaces.

Goldsboro is a warm and welcoming traditional city that captivates visitors with its rustic charm.

Let’s see what it has to offer the humble tourist.

1. Cliffs of the Neuse State Park

The Cliffs of the Neuse State Park is located 15 miles from Goldsboro and sits 90 feet high on bluffs that overlook the Neuse River.

The cliff faces comprise of sedimentary layers of clay, sand, gravel, seashells, and shale, creating a colorful array.

Cliffs of the Neuse State Park Goldsboro
Cliffs of the Neuse State Park

Longleaf pine trees complete the landscape alongside old creeks that were formerly used to make cornmeal and moonshine.

If a spot of fishing in the peace and quiet appeals, then the creeks are the perfect spot.

Alongside the river, an 11-acre lake offers water sports and other recreational activities.

There are boats available to rent, you can go kayaking, paddling, seasonable swimming or simply picnicking.

There is a 4-mile hiking trail and a 3.5-mile bike trail too.

With an amphitheater and auditorium, visitor center with exhibits, and lake bathhouse, there really is something for everyone at this state park.

Furthermore, you can camp here in tents, camper, trailers, and RVs or rent a camper cabin.

2. Agricultural Tours

Given Goldsboro’s rich agricultural history, you can take part in an agricultural tour of the ear, away from the hustle and bustle of the metropolitan area.

There are acres and acres of open land in the area with long rows and lines of crops, laden vineyards, and livestock out to pasture.

Holly Grove Farm Goldsboro
Holly Grove Farm

There are many farms in the area that are open to the public and allow you to experience life from simpler times.

A popular farm to visit is Holly Grove Farm, famous for its chevre (goats’ cheese).

They have over 1,000 dairy goats – and each apparently has its own personality! At 22-minutes’ drive from downtown Goldsboro, it’d be wrong to give it a miss!

Another stop is Mount Olive Pickles!

The Number 1 best-selling pickle brand in the US now has over one million square feet of space. They have a gift shop that is open to the public. It’s a 25-minute drive away from Goldsboro.

3. Waynesborough Historical Village

Old Waynesborough Park is located where the old town of Waynesborough used to be.

Between 1787 and 1847 – The town was the original seat of Wayne County. The site features a historic village with nine buildings that have been brought here from all over the county.

The buildings all date from the 1860s up to the 1920s and include Wiggins House – a one-room residence with a hearth.

There’s no plumbing or electricity in this home. Water came from a nearby spring about ½ a mile away.

Waynesborough Historical Village in Goldsboro
Waynesborough Historical Village

The dwelling originally had four beds with curtains to screen them.

A separate kitchen was connected outside via a walkway. This house was originally located on land in Cliffs of the Neuse State Park.

Other historical buildings include:

  • General Store
  • Kennedy Doctor’s Office
  • Park Hill School
  • Print Shop
  • Faircloth Law Office
  • Bethany Quaker Meeting House
  • Roberts School
  • Salem (Pomona Grange)
  • Churchill-Cogdell Cemetery
  • Hay Barn
  • Blacksmith Shop

Aside from the historical village, Old Waynesborough Park also offers 150 acres of recreation area, with trails, forests, and cypress swamps. People even get married here!

4. Goldsboro Bridge Battlefield

Step back in time and visit the Goldsboro Bridge Battlefield where around 15,000 soldiers fought back in December 1862.

You’ll get to see what they saw and walk in their footsteps. You can explore alone or book a guided tour with an expert.

The battle took place on December 17 of that year, three miles south of Goldsboro.

The bridge was an important passing point for troops and trains full of supplies from the Deep South up en route to Virginia.

As such, the bridge was vital for the Confederate’s supply chain, and therefore a target! The expedition to attack it was called Foster’s Raid.

Come and visit the battlefield and see what happened!

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5. Goldsboro Arts Council

If art and culture are your thing, a stop at the Arts Council of Wayne County will be right up your street.

With events, exhibits, and educational facilities, the Arts Council offers an array of activities for all ages.

There’s an annual Juried Art Show as well as a huge list of workshops and camps on offer, such as making Spell Jars with the Hamsa Oracle and summer camps for children.

6. The Bryan Multi-Sport Complex

If you’re looking for ways to burn off some energy, the Bryan Multi-Sport Complex is the place to go.

There are eight natural and artificial turf playing fields, three illuminated ones, walking trails, a playground, and even a picnic shelter.

Fancy a game of Quidditch? No problem! They do that here too! There’s also soccer, football, ultimate frisbee, cross country, and lacrosse!

7. Stoney Creek Park

Stoney Creek Park is a great place for all the family.

There’s a natural children’s play area, a covered picnic area, walking trails, a dog park, a butterfly garden, and an 18-hole disc golf course!

The play area has three boulders for climbing, some low-level tree trunks marked with numbers, letters, and shapes, and a place for sand play!

8. Busco Beach Rides

Busco Beach’s tagline is “Ride hard and get dirty” – it’s safe to say they are telling the truth with that statement!

The site offers a range of activities and trails for rides whether ATV, UTV, dirt bike, Golf Cart or Jet ski rides!

There are more than 2,000 acres available for riding as well as large ponds for jet skis and swimming.

Busco Beach Rides Goldsboro
Busco Beach Rides

Aside from the riding, you can also hook up an RV or camp.

Some events include:

  • bonfires
  • scavenger hunts
  • concerts
  • parties
  • snorkel parties
  • and beach parties

9. A Secret Garden Winery

If you’re looking for something a bit more upmarket and the grown-ups, A Secret Garden Winery offers tastings!

Their wines are made without any preservatives or chemicals for a truly delicious taste.

In Fact – Their wine ingredients are simply three things: juice, water, and sugar! It is fermented with the wild yeast that is already present on the grapes.

The grape variety is known as Muscadine, and it’s also used in jam and jelly making.

10. Downtown Escapes

We’re not talking about escaping from it all here.

Rather, we’re talking about escaping from somewhere specifically!

Downtown Escapes is an escape room center with live-action interactive rooms where you work together to solve puzzles.

The aim is to complete your mission within a specific timeframe (usually an hour) and escape the room you’re in!

11. Berkeley Mall

For shopping in the heart of Goldsboro, head to Berkeley Mall.

There are over 40 stores inside as well as several other buildings on the outside and lots of dining options.

Berkeley Mall in Goldsboro
Berkeley Mall

It’s the only enclosed mall in the whole the region.

Here are a few of the stores inside the mall:

  • Aeropostal
  • American Eagle
  • Bath & Body Works
  • Belk (and Belk Home & Kids)
  • Burlington Shoes
  • Claire’s
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • Dr Fox at Lenscrafters
  • Firestone
  • Foot Locker
  • Game Stop
  • GNC
  • Gold & Diamond
  • GQ Fashion
  • Hibbett
  • Jade Express
  • JCPenney
  • Joann
  • Journeys
  • Moda Media Luna
  • Motion Jewelry
  • PetSmart
  • White’s Boutique

12. Herman Park

Fresh air and recreation abound in Herman Park.

It’s a great stop-off for the kids to burn off some of that seemingly everlasting energy.

There are 10 lighted tennis courts, a playground, picnic shelters, a gazebo, Park House, The Lady in the Park Fountain, and a miniature train on weekend afternoons.

Oh, and plenty of open space too! People often reserve one of the picnic shelters or gazebos for a special occasion.

Final Thoughts on Things to Do in Goldsboro NC

Whether your fancy a trip to the mall, getting dirty on an ATV, playing a game of Quidditch or a having a stroll along a battlefield, Goldsboro ticks all the boxes!

There really is something for everyone in this North Carolina city. One thing you can be sure of – you’ll be made very welcome here!

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