Charming Piedmont Towns
Take A Culinary Road Trip
It’s been said, “We know how to feed you in North Carolina,” and there is no better time than this to satisfy your sweet tooth by planning your next getaway in North Carolina. Prepare to embark on a whirlwind tour of culinary experiences, from Raleigh to Mayberry, and discover what makes the South so sweet.
“The Sweet South” itinerary takes visitors on a trail touching on significant sites throughout the Piedmont region including the “Home Furnishings Capital of the World” and Snappy Lunch, a Mount Airy tradition for over 50 years. Take a trip through North Carolina’s Piedmont and enjoy a trail that offers endless temptations for the senses.
Day One – Smithfield:
Begin your journey in Smithfield, where you can spend the morning with one of MGM’s legendary stars of the 1950s. The Ava Gardner Museum is dedicated to sharing the life of the Johnston County native. Uncover her rise to greatness through an extensive collection of photographs and artifacts spanning her successful career.
It’s four miles to Selma, where you can travel back in time and meander through a two-and-a-half-century-old grist mill at Atkinson’s Milling Company, built while North Carolina was still a colony.
Browse through the 80 stores of Carolina Premium Outlets and save on their special deals. There’s an impressive range of stores where you can find everything from clothing to luggage to house wares and gifts and much, much more.
After that, you’ll be ready to sit for a spell. Delight to the sweet sounds of the American Music Jubilee Theatre. Sing along with your old favorites and enjoy some comedy skits. Matinee and evening shows are available.
Day Two – Raleigh:
Today, it’s time to go to market – the Farmers Market! Drive forty minutes from Selma to our capital, Raleigh. At the Farmers Market you'll find the in season fruits and vegetables, plus homemade baked goods, sauces and crafts. The market is host to seasonal events, including craft fairs, the Chili Fest and the North Carolina Battle of the Sauces. Try lunch at Big Ed’s City Market Restaurant, a local favorite that is host to southern cooking at its best and is known for their delicious country breakfasts.
It’s an hour to Chatham County, where you can enjoy a slice of the “sweet South” on a tour of the Southern Supreme Fruitcake Factory in Bear Creek. A tradition since 1984, Southern Supreme started in a family garage that had been converted into a kitchen. Visit the showroom to learn the full success story and be sure to sample a savory slice of fruitcake!
Next, you’re on the trail to High Point where, after an hour of cruising through the scenic North Carolina countryside, you’ll find yourself in the “Home Furnishings Capital of the World.” Home to the biannual International Home Furnishings Market, the largest event of its kind in the world, High Point offers more than 70 retail furniture outlets for you to peruse.
Day Three – High Point:
Need some help getting that one room in your house “just right?” Search for the perfect decor at the Atrium Furniture Mall located in the heart of "Home Furnishings Magic Mile" in downtown High Point. The Atrium Furniture Mall offers over 20 distinctive stores representing almost 700 lines of fine home furnishings, art, oriental rugs, accessories and linens.
It’s about half an hour to your next stop, the one-of-a-kind Körner’s Folly in Kernersville. This has been called the “Strangest House in the World.” Built in the late 1800s by Jule Gilmer Körner, the house features 22-rooms on seven levels, with ceiling heights ranging from six to 25 feet. The home is open year-round for walk-in tours.
It’s just 15 minutes away to Old Salem, founded in 1766 and now one of America’s most authentic and well-documented colonial sites with 100 restored and reconstructed buildings. Visit Winkler Bakery and learn the secrets of rolling out the world-renowned super-thin Moravian cookies. The bakery, established in 1800, still bakes their famous recipes daily and serves them hot from the wood-fired oven. Grab a couple for the road!
Day Four – Mount Airy:
Forty minutes from Winston-Salem, you’ll find another not-to-be-missed North Carolina destination, Mount Airy. This is the hometown of Andy Griffith and the inspiration for the fictional town of Mayberry. Stroll down the picturesque Main Street and go back to a time when life moved more slowly. Relax in the rocking chairs on the porch of the Main Oak Emporium and prepare yourself for the highly acclaimed pork chop sandwich at Snappy Lunch, a Mount Airy tradition for over 50 years. Mentioned on The Andy Griffith Show, Snappy Lunch is Mount Airy's oldest eating establishment. You won’t forget this one-of-a-kind North Carolina offering.
added: January 3, 2009
updated: August 30, 2011