Wild Wild Life: 3-Day Itinerary
The area around Asheboro and Lexington is in the geographic center of NC, and many of the things North Carolina is famous for can be found here. Take this three-day tour to discover delicious barbecue and wine, experience our artistic heritage, and feel the thrill of a NASCAR legend’s victory. We’ve even got a world-class zoo for you to explore!
Get up close and personal with the animal kingdom at the North Carolina Zoo, then discover the art and history of NC pottery making in Seagrove.
Explore two of NASCAR legend Richard Childress’ passions: auto racing and winemaking.
Experience the history of a racing dynasty, then get back in touch with nature on a hike in an national forest.
With so much to see and do in the area, we recommend the following 3-day itinerary. Enjoy your visit by mixing and matching events to your particular interest. Be sure to check days and hours of operation for each venue.
On your first day, spend the morning at the North Carolina Zoo. Set in the rolling hills of the Uwharrie Mountains just south of Asheboro, the North Carolina Zoo is the largest walk-through natural-habitat zoo in the country and offers more than 500 acres, five miles of trails, and 1,000 animals. With excellent gift shops and three on-site restaurants serving burgers, sandwiches and salads, you may want to spend the entire day, but other adventures await you in pottery country.
Have lunch at the zoo, or tool down Alternate Highway 220 south to Seagrove and enjoy a full menu of country fare at Seagrove Family Restaurant. Afterwards, learn about North Carolina’s long-standing pottery tradition and view the works of local potters at the North Carolina Pottery Center and the Museum of North Carolina Traditional Pottery. Several galleries are located in Seagrove, but if you travel Highway 705 and Alternate Highway 220, you’ll find over 80 potters in their own studios and galleries. Most are well-marked, so just pull off the highway to watch them at work and purchase pieces for your collection. Finish off your day with dinner at Something Different Steaks in Asheboro, where the NY strip is also a work of art.
Day two finds you on the road to Lexington, where you’ll find art, wine and NASCAR awaiting you. Start at the Richard Childress Racing Museum just north of Lexington in the little town of Welcome. This 47,000 square-foot facility houses 47 racing vehicles, 22 of which were driven by the legendary Dale Earnhardt. Sixteen video screens illustrate key victories in RCR history, and six NASCAR Winston Cup championship owner's trophies are on display. You can also see race cars being built in the nearby “Cup Shop," home to all three of RCR's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams.
All of that racing around will have you ready for lunch and a quiet stroll in a vineyard. Indulging one of his passions, NASCAR team owner Richard Childress opened Childress Vineyards not far from his racing complex, and The Bistro at Childress Vineyards offers pasta, sandwiches and salads. After lunch you can tour the winery to see how Childress’ award winning wines are made, and then sample those same wines in the tasting room, named one of America’s Top 25 Tasting Rooms by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Later, browse the wine shop for a souvenir or wine accessory.
More browsing and shopping can be found at the Bob Timberlake Gallery, where you’ll find the “sophisticated casual” style of this internationally known realist painter in everything from original art prints to home furnishings. Then find out why Lexington is known as the “Barbecue Capital of the World” when you dig into a dinner of real pit cooked barbeque at The Bar-B-Q Center. Finish the day with NASCAR action at Caraway Speedway. Friday nights feature late model super trucks and Saturdays offer late model stock car racing.
On day three, start your engines at the home of the King, seven-time Winston-Cup Series Champion Richard Petty. Since 1949, the Petty Family racing dynasty has helped shape NASCAR, and the Richard Petty Museum in Randleman tells the family’s story and houses its cars, trophies and awards from decades of dominance. Later, go from four wheels to two as you see one of the South’s finest collections of antique and classic Harley’ Davidson motorcycles at the American Classic Motorcycle Museum. Or, take to the air at the North Carolina Aviation Museum & Hall of Fame where you’ll see an all air-worthy collection of vintage warplanes from WWII to the Vietnam era.
For lunch try San Felipe Mexican Restaurant which serves some of the best Mexican food north of the border, or pick up great milkshakes and chili dogs at the Dixie Express drive-thru on your way to the Uwharrie National Forest for a picnic and a hike in the wilderness. The Birkhead Mountains Wilderness Area features 5,160 acres of pristine forests at the northern end of the ancient Uwharrie Mountains and has several designated hiking trials. The evening will find you ready to relax and dine at Timothy’s, which offers tantalizing steaks and seafood.
Where to Stay
- The Duck Smith House Bed & Breakfast (Seagrove) – A 1914 farmhouse located in the heart of pottery country. Full breakfast, wireless Internet and four country decorated rooms.
- Banjo Creek RV Resort and Campground (Asheboro) – 70 full hook-up sites, 130 sites with power and water, lodge, game room, swimming pools, 9-hole mini golf course, laundry facilities, hiking trails and wireless Internet access.
- Asheboro Inn (Asheboro) – Interior corridor rooms, outdoor pool, fitness center, continental breakfast, wireless Internet access, pet friendly.
Where to Eat
- Seagrove Family Restaurant (Seagrove) – breakfast, lunch, Friday dinner
- Something Different Steaks (Asheboro) – lunch, dinner
- Childress Vineyards Bistro (Lexington) - lunch
- The Bar-B-Q Center (Lexington) – breakfast, lunch, dinner
- San Felipe Mexican Restaurant (Asheboro) – lunch, dinner
- Dixie Express (Asheboro) - lunch
- Timothy’s (Asheboro) – lunch, dinner
added: March 18, 2009
updated: March 23, 2009
Ideas & What To Do
If it’s a stellar experience you seek, a visit to The University…
In the early 1800s, you could hardly cross North Carolina without…
North Carolina has been on the move since before European settlers…
Some rivers you ride. This one you conquer.The U.S. National…
In this setting, it’s hard to decide what’s on display.At…
The area around Asheboro and Lexington is in the geographic center of…