30 BEST Things to Do in Statesville, NC

Welcome to Statesville, North Carolina – a charming city nestled in the heart of the Tar Heel State, where Southern hospitality meets rich history and vibrant culture. Whether you’re a local seeking new adventures or a visitor eager to explore, Statesville offers a tapestry of experiences that captivate the senses and leave a lasting impression.

This city has something for everyone, from historic landmarks to outdoor adventures and culinary delights. If you find yourself in the small city, you may want to enjoy some of the best things to do in Statesville.

So, lace up your walking shoes, charge your camera, and get ready to immerse yourself in the enchanting allure of Statesville!

Best Things to Do in Statesville, NC

1. Learn With Fun at Children’s Museums of Iredell County

Iredell Museums
Image courtesy of Iredell Museums
  • Address: 134 Court St, Statesville (GPS)
  • Hours: Wednesday- Friday: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, Saturday: 11:00 am-4:00 pm
  • Admission Fee: General Admission: $5, Children 2 and under: Free

If you’re accompanied by restless young children bored out of their minds, make your way to Broad Street to experience the iconic Children’s Museums of Iredell County. 

With a history spanning over 60 years, this children’s museum holds just as much appeal for adults as it does for children. One of the main highlights is the 3,000-year-old Egyptian Mummy, affectionately named ‘Margaret the Mummy’ by none other than Statesville’s school children.

This educational venue is thoughtfully designed to both entertain and broaden the mental horizons of kids. Through engaging plays, displays, and events, it imparts lessons in history, science, and art.

2. Visit the Statesville Soccer Complex

Statesville Soccer Complex
  • Address: Simonton Rd, Statesville (GPS)

Nestled on Simonton Road, the sprawling 70-acre Statesville Park & Soccer Complex boasts seven immaculate soccer fields. Notably, two of these fields are equipped with lights, extending gameplay into the late evening hours. This complex holds the distinction of hosting the annual North Carolina State Cup, a prestigious event taking place every May.

Beyond soccer, the complex offers an array of amenities for visitors. Picnic shelters, children’s playgrounds, a well-appointed concession stand, and expansive grassy areas provide a welcoming environment for all. Moreover, the complex caters to a range of interests with features such as a beach volleyball court and an 18-hole golf course.

3. Discover the Vibrant Pulse of Historic Downtown Statesville

Historic Downtown Statesville
Image courtesy of Downtownstatesville.com

Stepping into historic Downtown Statesville presents a splendid opportunity to meander through age-old streets adorned with historical structures. Complementing this simple yet captivating experience are an array of restaurants, quaint shops, charming cafés, and inviting bars that effortlessly transition a tranquil day into a vibrant nightlife.

If fortune smiles upon you, you might find yourself in Historic Downtown Statesville during its transformation into an art crawl, which is one of the best things to do in Statesville. During this time of year, local artists and purveyors come together, uniting the community with the promise of fun times.

4. Witness the Changing Colors at Bigleaf Slopes Park

Bigleaf Slopes Park
  • Address: 341 Twin Oaks Rd, Statesville (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday -Sunday: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm

Photographers, nature enthusiasts, outdoor enthusiasts, and those who seek serene spaces will find sheer delight in a visit to Bigleaf Slopes Park. This enchanting park captures the kaleidoscope of autumn colors during the peak foliage season, making it a haven for those who appreciate the beauty of nature’s transformation.

Alongside its visual wonders, the park offers a bike trail and several walking trails for active exploration.

Amenities at the park include ample parking space, a handicap-accessible portable toilet, convenient bike racks, changing stalls, and a host of other facilities.

5. Fly High During the BalloonFest

The BalloonFest
Image courtesy of Carolina Balloon Fest / Things to Do in Statesville, NC
  • Address: 260 Hangar Dr, Statesville (GPS)
  • Hours: Friday: 3:00 p – 8:30 pm, Saturday: 7:00 am -8:30 pm,
    Sunday: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm, Monday – Thursday: Closed

Statesville is one of the most famous places for hot air ballooning in North Carolina. Annually, during the third weekend of October, the entire Statesville community unites to take part in BalloonFest. This vibrant festival showcases a mass ascension featuring more than 50 hot air balloons, along with morning competitions, evening balloon glows, live entertainment, and a plethora of engaging activities.

BalloonFest is a splendid family-oriented event in Statesville where attendees can soar high in hot air balloons, explore the artisan village, and peruse a souvenir-filled marketplace.

6. Journey Through Time at Fort Dobbs

Fort Dobbs
Image courtesy of Carolina Balloon Fest / Things to Do in Statesville, NC
  • Address: 438 Fort Dobbs Rd, Statesville (GPS)
  • Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Closed: Sunday – Monday
  • Cost of Admission: Adult: $2, Children: 5-12: $1

All kinds of wars leave indelible evidence in their wake. Fort Dobbs in Statesville stands as a remnant of one such conflict, the French and Indian War, a seven-year ordeal. Nestled at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this historic site remains remarkably preserved, offering a window into a tumultuous era.

Guided interpretive tours, demonstrations, and reenactments provide visitors with an immersive understanding of the events that transpired during this critical period, shedding light on Fort Dobbs’ role in the global conflict.

7. Step Inside the Historic Sharpe House

Historic Sharpe House
Image by JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ, M.D., CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Address: 402 S Center St, Statesville (GPS)

The Sharpe House was once the residence of Colonel Silas Alexander Sharpe, the first mayor of Statesville, but it represents much more than that. Constructed in 1866, this house stands as a symbol of the challenges that have molded the community into what it is today.

Beyond its historical significance, the place now serves as a museum, offering insights into the contributions and struggles of various notable personalities.

8. Roam the Streets of the Academy Hill Historic District

Academy Hill Historic District
Image courtesy of City of Statesville / Things to Do in Statesville, NC
  • Address:600-698 S Mulberry St, Statesville (GPS)

One of the smallest districts in the city, the Academy Hill District emerged during the late nineties and early naughts. Taking a stroll through the district offers an enriching way to spend a day in Statesville, allowing you to explore all the captivating nooks and crannies of this old neighborhood. 

The district boasts tree-lined streets, Victorian homes adorned with Queen Anne detailing, stately buildings, and a variety of manufacturing plants that contribute to its character.

Within this district, noteworthy highlights include the Mulberry Street School, the 100-year-old Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, and the Statesville Male Academy, both adding to the district’s historical significance and charm.

9. Celebrate Arts and Culture at the Iredell Arts Council

Iredell Arts Council
Mark Evan’s Painting Exhibit in Iredell Arts Council / Image courtesy of The Iredell Arts Council
  • Address: 203 S Meeting St, Statesville (GPS)

Statesville boasts a diverse art scene, with art galleries around every street corner and within each district. However, if you’re in search of the city’s vibrant arts and culture in a single destination, you’ll find it at the Iredell Arts Council. 

Housed in the historic Old Jail building in Downtown Statesville, this council is a hub for artistic and cultural activities. From concerts and poetry readings to film festivals and an array of artistic endeavors, the Iredell Arts Council serves as a dynamic celebration of creative expression.

If your visit coincides with the summer months, you’re in for an exciting experience. The City of Statesville Recreation and Parks Department collaborates annually with the Iredell Arts Council to present the Art in the Park Festival. This event brings local artists and artisans together, lining the pathway in the scenic Martin Luther King Jr. Park.

10. Diversify your Palette at Katana Kitchen

Katana Kitchen
Image courtesy of Katana Kitchen / Things to Do in Statesville, NC
  • Address: 132 Beechnut Ln, Statesville (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Saturday: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm, Sunday: 11:00 am -3:30 pm

Katana Kitchen stands as one of Statesville’s most popular Asian fusion eateries. Nestled on a serene side road, this culinary gem invites you to savor the harmonious blend of Japanese and Chinese flavors. 

The restaurant’s versatility is particularly appealing to a diverse group of diners, each with a distinct palette. Here, you can order an authentic hibachi, indulge in dumplings, savor a cheeseburger, and delight in fries—all under one roof. The menu offers an array of fascinating options, and once you’ve sampled the flavors, you’re likely to become a returning customer.

11. Enjoy the Nature at Mac Anderson Park

Mac Anderson Park
Image courtesy of Mac Anderson Park
  • Address: 433 N Race St, Statesville (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday: 5:00 am – 9:00 pm

Find solace and tranquility at Mac Anderson Park—an exquisite and easily accessible location in the city. Whether you’re seeking a beautiful setting for introspection, meditation, or simply to clear your mind by strolling or cycling amidst lush greenery beneath the sheltering canopy of tall trees. This park offers an ideal retreat. 

Spanning 38.2 acres, Mac Anderson Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Its notable feature is a serene river that further enhances the park’s allure.

12. Show Some Love to Furry Friends at the Rescue Ranch

The Rescue Ranch
Image courtesy of The Rescue Ranch
  • Address: 1424 Turnersburg Hwy, Statesville (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday: 8:00 am -4:00 pm

If your heart finds solace in the presence of animals, a visit to Rescue Ranch in Statesville would be a delight. This 87-acre property, a non-profit organization founded by NASCAR driver Ryan Newman and Krissie Newman, serves as a sanctuary and safe house for over 80 rescued animals. 

The organization also specializes in humane education programs for youth and families and arranges camps, field trips, scout programs, and so much more to spread the message of loving animals and treating them with kindness and humanity.

13. Roll and Strike at Pla Mor Lanes

Pla Mor Lanes
Image courtesy of Pla Mor Lanes
  • Address: 2505 Davie Ave, Statesville (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday: 12:00 pm -9:30 pm, Tuesday – Thursday: 9:00 am -9:30 pm, Friday – Saturday: 12:00 pm – 12:00 am, Sunday: 1:00 pm- 8:00 pm

The thrill of knocking down all the pins with a single roll of the ball remains unmatched, no matter which part of the world you are in. If your hands are itching to make a strike in Statesville, make your way to Pla Mor Lanes. Situated on Davie Avenue, this bowling alley offers 24 non-smoking, family-friendly lanes and you can opt for open bowling or league bowling.

Every lane has lightweight balls and bumpers so that little bowling champions can join in on the fun too. If bowling is not your cup of tea, you can enjoy other facilities such as the lounge area, televisions, billiard tables, and arcade games.

14. Embrace Tranquility at Lake Norman

Lake Norman Shore Trail

Craving a day by the lake with friends and family? No worries. Statesville is only a 20-minute drive from Lake Norman, the largest man-made lake in North Carolina. The lake and its surrounding area are so legendary and conveniently close to Statesville that they become almost an unmissable attraction. 

Encompassing a surface area of over 32,475 acres, this expansive inland sea offers visitors from Statesville a multitude of activities, from swimming, fishing, and skiing to wakeboarding, boating, paddling, hiking, and biking. You can even enjoy cruises, regattas, waterfront dining, and mesmerizing sunsets.

15. Unravel the Secrets at Regal Corn Maze

  • Address: 347 Bell Farm Rd, Statesville (GPS)

No child can resist the allure of a corn maze adventure. At the family-friendly Regal Corn Maze, parents will also find joy in watching their kids explore the maze, providing a full day of entertainment. Situated on Bell Farm Road, Regal Corn Maze is a compact park featuring expansive grasslands and exhilarating rides, ensuring your children remain engaged throughout the day.

The park offers a range of brain-teasing games for young adults, allowing them to challenge their minds and compete with one another to determine the sharpest among them. You can also plan an unforgettable birthday party in the park.

16. Immerse Yourself at Zootastic Park

Zootastic Park
Image courtesy of Zootastic Park
  • Address: 448 Pilch Rd, Troutman (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday, Wednesday- Saturday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sunday: 12:00 pm- 5 pm
  • Cost of Admission: Adults: $17, Children ( 2-11): $15

If you and your little ones have never had the chance to hold a baby monkey or cuddle with lion and tiger cubs, it’s time to visit Zootastic Park in Statesville. It proudly holds the title of the largest hands-on zoo in America. The sheer variety of animals is astounding, ranging from kangaroos to large cats and primates.

The park is divided into two sections. The walk-around area hosts most of the exotic animals, including tigers, giraffes, lions, kangaroos, monkeys, and more. In the drive-thru section, you’ll find Watusi, water buffalo, eland, blackbuck, zebra, emus, and others.

Zootastic Park is particularly popular for its exclusive private animal encounters that allow you to get up close and personal with some of the baby animals. 

17. Savor and Unwind at Wine Maestro Statesville

  • Address: 121 W Broad St, Statesville (GPS)
  • Hours: Tuesday – Thursday: 12:00 pm -8:00 pm, Friday: 12:00 pm -10:00 pm,
    Saturday:12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Sunday -Monday: Closed

For an exquisite and indulgent experience in downtown Statesville, make your way to Wine Maestro. This charming establishment invites you to relax with your loved ones while enjoying a glass of fine wine chosen from a diverse array of options.

Additionally, they offer freshly crafted draft beers sourced from local breweries. Enthusiasts will also appreciate their extensive collection of imported brewed beers and ciders.

Each day, you can savor ten wines by the glass and enjoy a selection of 10 draft beers while you explore your surroundings.

18. Sink your Teeth into Delectable Food Prepared at Twisted Oak American Bar & Grill

Twisted Oak American Bar & Grill
Image courtesy of Twisted Oak American Bar & Grill
  • Address: 121 N Center St # 104, Statesville (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Thursday: 11:00 am -10:00 pm, Friday- Saturday: 11:00 am -11:00 pm, Sunday: Closed

Offering mouth-watering cuisines in a dog-friendly setting, Twisted Oak American Bar & Grill is practically a rite of passage for all visitors to Statesville. This American-style eatery boasts a diverse menu featuring highly creative dishes. 

While a few staples remain the same, their menu undergoes frequent changes, ensuring that every visit to this establishment offers a unique culinary experience. Their Chophouse burger is highly recommended.

19. Create Cherished Memories at Martin Luther King Jr. Park

Martin Luther King Jr. Park
Image courtesy of Image courtesy Martin Luther King Jr. Park / Things to Do in Statesville, NC
  • Address: 911 Lakewood Dr, Statesville (GPS)
  • Hours: 24 hours

Martin Luther King Jr. Park on Lakewood Drive stands as the most renowned park in Statesville. Cherished for its well-maintained grounds and serene pond, this park is a favored venue for wholesome family gatherings, friends’ reunions, wedding photoshoots, and even weddings themselves.

While the park’s captivating beauty attracts most of its visitors, its facilities also contribute to its appeal as a convenient spot for small gatherings. The park is equipped with three shelters featuring fireplaces, multi-use trails, playground equipment, a bocce ball court, and the centerpiece—a remarkable open-air amphitheater. Another notable feature is the twenty-four lighted horseshoe courts, adding to the park’s array of attractions.

20. Engage in Casual Sports at the Kimbrough Park

Kimbrough Park
Image courtesy of Kimbrough Park
  • Address: Stateville 28677, 1833 E Greenbriar Rd, Statesville (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday: 6:00 am – 9:00 pm

Kimbrough is your quintessential neighborhood family park located on East Greenbriar Road. It’s the ideal destination when you’re seeking a serene and peaceful atmosphere without the need for hours of driving to reach a beautiful spot.

The park offers a variety of amenities, including a multipurpose field, outdoor basketball courts, a picnic shelter, playground equipment, and bathrooms. Additionally, there’s a walking trail that encircles the pond. For many locals, this park holds a special place in their hearts as it has been a part of their upbringing.

21. Learn About The Art And Science Of Distillation at the Southern Distilling Company

Southern Distilling Company
Image courtesy of Southern Distilling Company
  • Address: 211 Jennings Rd, Statesville (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday & Wednesday- Thursday: 10:00 am -6:00 pm, Tuesday: 9:00 am -5:00 pm, Friday & Saturday: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm, Sunday: 12:00 pm -5:00 pm
  • Cost of Admission: To book a tour, check here.

Did you know that Statesville was once dubbed the ‘liquor capital of the world’? The Southern Distilling Company, situated on Jennings Road, is dedicated to preserving that legacy.

Despite being one of the largest state-of-the-art distilleries, this family-owned establishment crafts products from locally grown grains found right in the city’s backyard. Their close ties with all their growers ensure an authentic taste in their offerings. The distillery features a spacious tasting room and even a conference room, allowing for important business meetings while showcasing its range of traditional American whiskeys.

Your choices at the distillery encompass agave spirits, bourbon, rye, single malt, cordials, pre-mixed cocktails, and rum.

22. Find One-of-a-Kind Treasures at the Resettlers Antique Mall

Resettlers Antique Mall
Image courtesy of Resettlers Antique Mall
  • Address: 1635 Salisbury Rd, Statesville (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday -Saturday: 10:00 am -5:30 pm, Sunday: 1:00 pm- 5:00 pm
  • Cost of Admission:

Resettlers Antique Mall caters to those with a penchant for antiques, vintage items, and memorabilia from days gone by. The store boasts an extensive collection of antique items gathered from people all around the world. Many of these items even have their dedicated stall, allowing you to delve into the journey of a particular antique that has captured your interest.

If you find yourself in possession of numerous antique items and are seeking to liquidate them, you’ll be welcomed with open arms to the mall. The staff will go above and beyond to ensure you receive the maximum profit. Additional services include internet auctions, full-service auctions, and, in many cases, the option to buy or sell your items with instant cash.

23. Put Your Intellect to the Test at Key to Escape

Test at Key to Escape
Image courtesy Test at Key to Escape
  • Address: 150 E Sharpe St, Statesville (GPS)

Escape room enthusiasts are in for an exhilarating experience at Key to Escape. Situated on Sharpe Street, this family-friendly escape room venue boasts a flawless track record with no negative reviews to its name. 

The family-owned establishment has curated a range of escape rooms, each featuring unique themes, challenges, and mind-bending puzzles that will awaken your inner Sherlock.

24. Connect with the Past at the Statesville Historical Collection

Statesville Historical Collection
Image courtesy of Statesville Historical Collection
  • Address: 212 N Center St, Statesville (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday – Friday: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Saturday – Sunday: Closed

The Statesville Historical Collection is the realization of Steve Hill’s long-term dream. A local of Statesville, Steve has been collecting a wide range of items since his high school days. Over time, his collection expanded to the point where it began to weave a captivating narrative—one that deserved to be showcased to the world.

The Statesville Historical Collection captivates visitors of all ages with its array of documents, photos, and memorabilia. These artifacts provide insight into the town’s sports teams, social life, military history, religious heritage, and historic architecture.

25. Satisfy your Caffeine Cravings at Lake Mountain Coffee Shop

Lake Mountain Coffee Shop
Image courtesy of Lake Mountain Coffee Statesville
  • Address: 110 W Broad St, Statesville (GPS)
  • Hours: Monday -Friday: 7:00 am – 8:00 pm, Saturday: 8:00 am- 8:00 pm,
    Sunday: 10:00 am -5:00 pm.

Engaging in all the tourist activities in Statesville can leave you feeling thirsty. We recommend a visit to Lake Mountain Coffee Shop, where you can indulge in a variety of beverages, including their freshly roasted and brewed coffee. 

The enticing aroma alone will draw you into this charming coffee shop nestled in historic downtown Statesville.

26. Experience the Excitement of a Scavenger Hunt

Few things can unite a team as swiftly as an enjoyable game played together. In Statesville, the concept of team building reaches new heights with Let’s Roam’s incredible scavenger hunts. 

This company orchestrates exhilarating hunts throughout the city, offering an opportunity to forge unforgettable memories and cultivate a connection so robust that your company’s productivity and morale are bound to soar.

27. Elevate Your Exercise Routine at Statesville Fitness and Aquatic Center

Statesville Fitness and Aquatic Center
Image courtesy of Statesville Fitness and Aquatic Center
  • Address: 1875 Simonton Rd, Statesville
  • Hours: Monday – Thursday: 5:30 am – 9:00 pm, Friday: 5:30 AM–7:00 pm, Saturday: 7:00 am -4:00 pm,

For those who prioritize their health and seek to add excitement to their fitness routines, the Statesville Fitness and Aquatic Center provides the ideal opportunity. What’s more, parents can also introduce their little ones to an active lifestyle. 

The center offers an outdoor pool, an indoor climbing wall, a multipurpose gym and fitness center, martial arts classes, and a plethora of other activities.

28. Larkin Golf Club

Larkin Golf Club
Image courtesy of Image courtesy Larkin Golf Club
  • Address: 175 Club House Dr, Statesville (GPS)
  • Hours: Saturday – Monday: 6:30 am -6:30 pm, Tuesday – Friday: Closed

Interested in a game of golf during your stay in Statesville? Make your way to Larkin Golf Club, where you’ll find a well-rounded 18-hole Championship Golf Course. This idyllic course boasts a breathtaking layout featuring bent grass greens and Bermuda fairways.

The 18 holes are divided into three distinct categories: the initial holes offer a parkland feel, the second set caters to mountain golf enthusiasts, and the final stretch showcases a beach golf course landscape. This setup allows you to enjoy three distinct experiences all in one place.

29. Embark on a Tranquil Bird Watching Adventure on Norwood Loop Trail

Whether you’re a dedicated bird-watching enthusiast, a newcomer to the hobby, or simply curious about what all the excitement is about, the Norwood Loop Trail near Statesville in Lake Norman State Park offers the perfect opportunity to satisfy your curiosity.

Stretching over 5 kilometers, this trail provides a moderate to challenging experience that can be completed in just over an hour. You can choose to hike or speed along on your mountain bike and leashed dogs are welcome companions. 

As you traverse the trail, keep a keen eye out—you might be fortunate enough to spot a variety of bird species including the American Goldfinch, Indigo Bunting, Pine Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, Cedar Waxwing, Northern Cardinal, Killdeer, Mallard, and many more. This trail truly is a hidden gem and a haven for the birdwatching community.

30. Absorb the Historic Ambiance at King-Flowers-Keaton House

Situated on Bailey Farm Road, the King-Flower-Keaton House stands as an exemplary structure from the 1800s. Its Georgian-style framing, gable roof, and brick-end chimneys showcase architectural elements from two distinct eras. 

This historic house, along with its accompanying outbuilding, stands as a testament to the evolution of architectural styles. Notably, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. The lack of information about its history adds more anonymity to its already mysterious status.

About Natasha

Natasha moved to North Carolina for college years ago (but she's not trying to age herself here). Her days were spent reading a book on the beach and enjoying a cold glass of sweet tea in between classes at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Upon graduation, she met her partner, Cameron, and they traveled the world together crossing 85 countries and seven continents. After, many years of international travel they settled down a bit and launched Lost in the Carolinas to share their experiences about and travel tips on South Carolina and North Carolina.

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