It’s not a big place and not on the list of the most scenic places to see in North Carolina, but there are good things to see in Salisbury NC. Its old centre is well preserved and super pretty and there are gorgeous hiking opportunities around. Here’s an overview.
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Hall House Museum
The first museum I visited in Salisbury was the Hall House Museum, which is small but really rich in history. Already from the outside, it looks like a beautiful remnant of times gone by. Beautifully painted in pristine white and decorated with intricate lace ironworks, it is hard to overlook.
I originally just wanted to walk around the grounds (it’s free) and have a peek at the small herb garden and outhouse.
But it was an incredibly cold day, it being late autumn in North Carolina, and the nice lady who ran the tours inside waved me in and then a tour rushed in after me, so I decided to stay. (The tour even covered the entrance cost of $5 and I joined them.)
Basically, the entire house museum chronicled the lifespan of the building and its connection to the Hall family and their local impact. The house was built in 1820 as a Girls Academy but turned into a domestic residence and then purchased and redecorated in 1870 by Doctor Josephus Hall.
The house was passed on through the generations and remained pretty much in its original state, down to the furnishings, wallpaper, dinnerware and even the window décor. Do take the guided tour, I learned a lot!
- Address: 226 S Jackson St, Salisbury, NC 28144
- Opening times: March-Dec, weekends 1pm to 4pm
- Fee: 5 USD
Thanks to local efforts 125 historic homes were saved from demolition and restored. They were handed over to families who would follow the preservation guidelines and take good care of them.
Not all houses can be turned into homes. But as a result of this, you can now walk the Historic Centre of Salisbury NC and admire beautiful buildings from times gone by. These are definitely some of the coolest things to see in Salisbury NC.
Old Stone House/ Michael Braun House
Another major attraction in Salisbury NC is the Old Stone House. It was built by a German immigrant in 1766 and is now the oldest known building in Rowan County! You can find it near the Granite Quarry, which produced over 3500 tons of granite.
After being left abandoned for a long time, the German-style colonial building has been fully restored and can be visited. If you’re lucky, you might see volunteer Robbie Cochran, who likes to dress up in Colonial attire.
- Fee: $3 (adults)
- Address: 770 Old Stone House Rd, Salisbury, NC 28146
Historic Salisbury National Cemetery
If you have a thing for cemeteries like I do, this one should be on your list. Not only is it interesting due to its old tombstones. Since 1999 it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the history behind it is fascinating (and tragic) as well.
During the American Civil War, prisoners of war were kept at the local cotton mill. Originally, only 500 people were supposed to be kept here but it rose up to 10,000! (Salisbury only had 2000 residents at that time.)
The inmates’ health became increasingly critical and deaths were a daily norm, being a staggering 28% at times. As a result, trenches and mass graves were dug out, which later became the cemetery. (And working here also scarred Dr Josephus Hall, who stopped his medical practice after the war.)
- Address: 202 Government Rd
- Fee: none
Chestnut Hill Cemetery
D. Josephus Hall and his family was buried here. You can quite easily make out his tombstone as it’s rather large and encircled by an iron fence. It’s a very peaceful place to take a stroll and soak up some sun on a nice day, too.
- Address: 1134 S Main St, Salisbury, NC 28144
Cauble Creek Vineyard
If you’re a wine lover, you cannot miss a visit to Cauble Creek Vineyard in Salisbury. The sprawling estate specializes in Muscadine wines.
A wine tasting is the best way to begin exploring this beautiful place and learning about the culture of wine in the area. They even offer non-alcoholic ciders and grape juices if you’d like to taste their amazing products but don’t drink (like me).
The vineyard holds fun events all year round such as live music, wine and paint days, and vineyard yoga. Therefore, check out their calendar before you visit to see what exciting activities are planned during your visit to Salisbury’s vineyard.
- Address: 700 Cauble Farm Rd, Salisbury, NC 28147
- Opening times: Thursday-Saturday 11am – 6pm, Sunday 1pm – 6pm
Waterworks Visual Arts Centre
The Waterworks Visual Arts Centre is a nonprofit art museum in Salisbury working to provide diverse opportunities in the arts to all people. This 60-year old museum is open 6 days a week completely free of charge, making it one of the best free things to do in Salisbury, North Carolina.
The museum has a varying mix of exhibitions, including a sculpture garden, an exhibit of art from talented kindergarten through 12th grade students, as well as many exhibits from local artists.
Take a look at the event calendar on their website to get excited about the artists and exhibits that will be available during your visit.
- Address: 123 E Liberty St, Salisbury, NC 28144
Old English Cemetery Rowan County Clerk of Court
Rowan Museum Inc
The Rowan Museum is a Salisbury history museum situated in a 19th century courthouse that survived the Stoneman’s Raid. The building is one of the best representations of antebellum architecture in North Carolina.
The exhibits in the museum reflect the life and history of Rowan County. A visit to this museum is the best way to learn about the rich and unique history of the area during your visit. Guided tours of the museum are available Friday-Sunday from 1 PM to 4 PM.
- Address: 202 N Main St, Salisbury, NC 28144
- Opening times: Fri-Sun 1pm-4pm
- Fee: 3 USD
Dunn’s Mountain Park
Dunn’s Mountain Park is a beautiful 83 acre protected park in North Carolina. It has tons of hiking trails to explore, jaw dropping scenic views, and quaint picnic spots for an extended lunch break.
Speak to any local park attendant to learn more about the ecosystems in the area and what is being done to protect them.
A day wandering around Dunn’s Mountain Park is a perfect, relaxing way to spend your time in Salisbury, North Carolina, and will leave you feeling refreshed and energized for all your other activities.
- Address: 1740 Dunns Mountain Rd, Salisbury, NC 28146
A visit to Grevious Gallery in Salisbury is a truly once in a lifetime experience. This break room and art space is built for you to work through whatever it is that may be weighing you down.
Let go of your stress by throwing and smashing bottles, dishes and glassware. It’s a therapeutic and unique way to let out any stresses and tensions from your travels or life back home. Screaming and obscenities are allowed and even encouraged!
Walk ins are accepted, but reservations are preferred to help prevent long wait times. Choose from three different package options on their website. Each package offers different items to be smashed. It might just be a great helper when dealing with a bout of anxiety during your travels.
Once you’ve worked through your feelings, check out the awesome gallery filled with unique artwork made from the broken glass and pottery.
- Address: 111 W Bank St, Salisbury, NC 28144
- Fee: starting from 25 USD
Rowan Public Library
On a cold winter day, the library headquarters is a great place to stop for a visit. Yes, to warm up, but it’s also very central and you can reach many attractions of Salisbury within a short walk.
For instance, Hall House is just behind the building in the centre. Next to it is a historic well and a beautiful church as well.
The Rowan Public Library has multiple branches and is free to visit. There are special events taking place too, such as prewrapped books for kids or Cards for a Cause.
- Address: 201 W Fisher St, Salisbury, NC 28144
Rowan Public Library Historic well
Historic Salisbury Mural
Are you into street art? There’s a large mural depicting historic Salisbury in much detail. It’s really pretty and shows you what the streets could have loked like a 100 years ago.
The mural was created in 1980 by Cynvia Rankin and restored in 2001. You can find it at the parking lot behind Wells Fargo.
- Address: 130 South Main Street
Patterson Farm Market & Tours, Inc.
Do you enjoy picking your own food? In the spring, you can pick your own strawberries and in autumn it’s pumpkins at Patterson Farm.
Besides strawberries and pumpkins, they grow tomatoes, peppers, muscadines and poinsettias, too. You can pair your visit with their educational events to learn more about food production. They also host geocaching tours.
- Address: 10390 Caldwell Rd, Mt Ulla, NC 28125
First Methodist Church Church Creek
Things to See near Salisbury
North Carolina Transportation Museum
Located in the neighboring town of Spencer, North Carolina, the North Carolina Transportation Museum is a massive 60 acre site filled with unique interactive exhibits.
The museum is located on the site of what was once the Southern Railway Company’s largest steam locomotive repair facility.
There is a ton to see here, including an authentic train depot, antique automobiles and a 37-bay Roundhouse that’s full of dozens of locomotives and rail cars. The museum offers guided tours as well as seasonal train rides.
Be sure to check the calendar on their website before your visit to be up to date on any special events happening at the museum. Admission for adults is $6.
- Address: 1 Samuel Spencer Dr, Spencer, NC 28159
Boone’s Cave Park
It might be in Lexington, but it’s really close to Salisbury and perfect for a day trip. Spanning 110 acres, Boone’s Cave Park is a beautiful park that is essential to any North Carolina visit. The park was established in 1909 by the Daniel Boone Memorial Association, in memory of the American pioneer of the same name.
It’s a great place for hikers, offering tons of hiking trails along rolling hills and through enchanting forests. After all, 46 acres of the park are designated as a Natural Heritage Site.
In addition, it’s a truly beautiful place full of unique wildflowers, and is a great place to get out and get some fresh air on your trip to North Carolina.
What about the cave, you might wonder. It’s said that in 1772 Daniel Boone lived in it. Later, he built a house, whose replica you can still visit. It’s possible to camp in the park. (Fees apply for that.)
- Address: 3552 Boones Cave Rd, Lexington, NC 27295
- Fee: none
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