Wondering what to do in Kinston? Start with one of these popular itineraries.
Your time is precious, and we want your visit to Kinston to be a special one! If this is your first, second or third visit we want your memories of Kinston to last a lifetime! So, if you’re on a tight schedule and just have one day or you have several to really enjoy our town, we have created itineraries for you. Whether you are a foodie looking for “a wonderful dining experience”, an art enthusiast admiring our arts trail, a history lover seeking a unique experience on a Civil War Ironclad or looking for a family fun adventure….Create your itinerary from the options below and enjoy a truly memorable experience here in Kinston!
To assist you in planning the most successful tour, we have created sample itineraries around some of our most popular attractions. These itineraries are a mere sampling of what you may choose to experience on a trip to Kinston and Lenoir County. Please customize each itinerary to suit your needs…there is “gracious plenty to do”! You can also pick and choose attractions, events, restaurants and more to create your own one-of-a-kind experience from our website. Our staff is available to assist with itineraries, private tours and guides. Our assistance begins long before the dates are booked, continues throughout the duration of your stay and includes recommendations on group-friendly attractions, restaurants, accommodations, and events.
Civil War Tour
Your tour begins at the Kinston Lenoir County Visitors and Information Center
The Kinston-Lenoir County Visitors and Information Center is located on the historic battlefield of the First Battle of Kinston; indoor and outdoor displays are representative of the 1862 First Battle of Kinston and the Civil War. Restroom facilities, vending area, wireless Internet and local, regional and national maps are available. A 30 sq. ft. fiber optic map of Lenoir County and the surrounding area interprets the North Carolina Blue-Gray Scenic Byway through the Lenoir County area and the First Battle of Kinston. A 50-seat auditorium with films showings Lenoir County and its current attractions, the Blue-Gray Scenic Byway, and the history of the First Battle of Kinston. (30-45 minutes)
Relaxing Around Town
We invite you to take time out of your hectic schedule and stroll on our riverwalk along the Neuse River or ride along our bicycle trail. Maybe explore our Civil War Battlefields, visit the CSS Neuse Museum and CSS Neuse II. Discover Harmony Hall, where North Carolina’s Government held office during the Revolutionary War.
Capture the minds and hearts of your little ones as they visit the Neuseway Nature Center’s raccoons, osprey, red-tailed hawk, turtles, alligators, and many other creatures native to Eastern North Carolina. Catch a ride on Big Daddy’s Express and reach for the stars at the Neuseway Planetarium and Health & Science Museum.
Just a few miles away you may hear the roar of dragsters competing at the Kinston Drag Strip, where racers from Connecticut to Florida compete for lucrative purses. The crack of a baseball in historic Grainger Stadium, home of the Down East Wood Ducks, a farm team of the Texas Rangers, offers a taste of the way the game was meant to be played.
Kinston has long been a hub for the Cultural Arts and our Community Council for the Arts is definitely one of the finest art centers in the state. Visitors can relax and enjoy the exhibits in the state of the art center housed in a building listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings.
Southern cooking, fresh seafood, and Eastern North Carolina barbeque are features of Kinston restaurants and a variety of festivals and events provide year-round family fun!
Our Parks and Recreation facilities provide abundant opportunities for outdoor play activities and include an awesome dog park which you and your entire family can enjoy.
Lenoir County, NC is centrally located in eastern NC approximately 75 miles east of Raleigh (our state’s capital) and 75 miles west of Morehead City (one of our seaports and the beautiful crystal coast). Our county is a blend of agriculture and manufacturing. Lenoir County has three incorporated municipalities: Kinston is the county seat, LaGrange, lies approximately 10 miles west of Kinston and Pink Hill approximately 15 miles south of Kinston.
We are proud to be 1 of 10 communities selected by the National Civic League as an All-America City in 2009.
The All-America City Award is America’s oldest and most prestigious community recognition award. Since 1949, the All-America City Award has encouraged and recognized civic excellence, honoring communities of all sizes cities, towns, counties, neighborhoods, and regions in which citizens, government, businesses, and voluntary organizations work together to address critical local issues.
In 2017, Kinston had 20,509 residents and Lenoir County had 56,883 residents.