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It’s just an hour north of Raleigh or Durham, making it the perfect spot for a day trip or weekend get-a-way.
With a historic downtown (they call it uptown), vineyards, shopping, and even a barn quilt tour, it’s the ideal spot for any traveler.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Fun Things To Do In Roxboro, NC
This historic movie theater will catch your eye when you visit Uptown Roxboro. Built in 1949, it opened as a movie house with tickets priced at just 15 cents for children, 42 cents for adults.
Several local organizations have worked to keep the building in superb condition, including restoring the Nouveau style murals that flank each side of the stage.
You can catch a free movie here the first Friday of every month or enjoy fantastic community theater productions like “The Wiz” and “Oklahoma.”
The Kirby also has a performing arts series that has brought in names like Branford Marsalis and The Count Basie Orchestra. This weekend, I’ll be catching Johnny Peers and the Muttville Comix Show with dogs performing tricks and acrobatic marvels. I can’t wait!
213 N Main St, Roxboro, NC 27573 The Kirby Theater
In my opinion, Mayo Lake is one of the best-kept secrets in North Carolina. We purchased a home on this lake when we discovered how peaceful and private it is. We’ve turned it into a successful vacation rental as well as a fun family retreat.
Mayo Lake has a gorgeous shoreline because the trees are protected, which has left an abundant habitat for wildlife, including deer, fox, opossum, beaver, bobcat, black bear, and hundreds of species of birds.
My family frequently encounters wildlife there, including beaver, eagles, herons, loons, fox, muskrats, and otters.
One thing we usually don’t encounter is other boaters. It always surprises me how few people use this lake, even though it’s the perfect spot for water-skiing, paddle-boarding, fishing, and swimming.
This lake has many amenities, including a boat launch, fishing pier, canoe rentals, playgrounds, campgrounds, amphitheater, cabins, disc golf course, and several miles of pristine hiking trails.
When visiting my lake house, I often bring my dogs here to run and explore.
Below is a jet ski ride I took on Mayo Lake. You’ll notice that I’m almost the only one the lake.
Located just west of Mayo Lake is lovely Lake Hyco. It’s larger than Mayo but has more boat traffic.
Hyco lake has many of the same amenities as Mayo, like disc golf, campgrounds, cabins, and amphitheater. Hyco does have one nice advantage, however, and that is the family-friendly swimming beach.
205 Kelly Brewer Rd, Leasburg, NC 27291 Hyco Lake Park
Nestled among the historic homes in Uptown Roxboro is The Person County Museum of History. There is so much to see here, including several out-buildings, that I can only highlight a few. Hopefully, you’ll get a chance to go there yourself!
Enos Slaughter is one of the many famous people that came from Person County that you’ll learn about in the museum. They have a whole room dedicated to him where you’ll find signed memorabilia, a one-of-a-kind baseball bat collection, and a valuable baseball card collection.
Slaughter was born in Roxboro in 1916 and joined the St. Louis Cardinals at age 22. He went on to become one of the world’s greatest outfielders of all time and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985. He played a total of 19 seasons in the Major Leagues, 13 of those with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Above are original dishes that actually came from the Titanic. It just so happens that there were two people from Person County on this doomed vessel.
The first person, Oscar Scott Woody, was working on the ship as a mail carrier. (Many people don’t know that the Titanic was commissioned to transport mail and was carrying 6 million letters and packages at the time.) Woody died while trying to drag several bags of mail to the upper deck in an attempt to save them.
Nassef Cassem Abimona, also from Person County, was returning to America to help run a family restaurant. As the ship sank, he jumped into the icy water and swam to one of the lifeboats, where he helped to rescue five more passengers.
One of the fascinating buildings you can see when you visit the museum is the Van Hook Subscription School. Built in 1810, it is one of the oldest schools still standing in NC, if not the oldest. It measures just 10 by 15 feet yet housed 20 students. The floor was dirt, and the windows were holes cut into the walls with no covering.
It was called a “subscription school” because students would pay a subscription price of $5.00 per session. William Whitefield was just 12 years old when he became the first teacher of the school 204 years ago.
You’d be surprised what the punishments were for misbehaving children in the 1800s. You can find these rules on display in the schoolhouse, or even pick up a copy in the museum gift shop.
There are so many more interesting things to see at this museum like the bell tower, tobacco barn, general store, African American history, and Victorian-era china that I suggest you plan a couple hours or more for your visit here.
309 North Main Street, Roxboro, NC 27573 Person County Museum
Welcome to the Boar’s Nest in Hazzard County. Okay, it’s really in Rougemont, NC, but you’ll feel like you’ve walked right on to the set of one of the most beloved TV shows of the 70s and 80s.
My husband and I happened upon it while driving in the North Carolina countryside. It’s definitely a hidden gem, yet visitors from all over the world have visited including, Italy, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
Owner and curator, Tracey Duke, has collected an impressive amount of memorabilia, including autographed items from stars of the show. He’ll kindly take you on a tour while he shares his knowledge and passion for the show.
Tracey has used photos from the real set of the show to painstakingly recreate the outside and inside of the Boar’s Nest, Cooter’s office, and Boss Hogg’s office.
And feel free to plant yourself right into the scenes Tracey has recreated for the perfect photo-op.
My husband does a pretty good imitation of Cooter at his desk, while I feel right at home in Boss Hogg’s chair with a wad of cash in my hand.
When Tracey recreated Boss Hogg’s office, he carefully replicated everything right down to the pink-flowered wallpaper and pictures on the wall.
Kids (and adults) will have a great time playing the Dukes of Hazzard video game as well as playing with the electric race car track.
I let my husband have the honors of sitting in the Hazzard County Police car. He is, after all, a major Dukes of Hazzard fan. When he was a kid, his family traveled to meet the stars in person, and he was able to get Daisy Duke’s autograph.
4647 Helena Moriah Rd., Rougemont, NC 27572 Dukes Of Hazzard Museum
If you want to make your kids happy, take them to this family entertainment center on the south end of Roxboro, NC. You’ll love all there is to do here.
Start your day off with a movie and then hit one of the restaurants or dessert spots.
Palace Pointe has a diner, pub, sweet shop, and many snack stops.
7 – Uptown Roxboro Shopping
Spend some time strolling the streets of Uptown Roxboro. You’ll love the stores and restaurants housed in the beautiful, historic buildings.
Every member of my family loved our trip to Carol’s Collectibles. This thrift shop only carries items from estate sales, ensuring you are getting unique antiques, furniture, decor, and other items.
My kids loved finding comic books from the 60s and 70s there.
Some of the other fun shops you’ll find are Russell’s Ltd and Specialty Design Company, which are both filled with lovely clothing and home decor.
While you’re still in Uptown Roxboro, stop for a drink at Black Creek Brewery or 1792 Beer Company. Person County Museum is also close by.
8 – Downtown Shopping
There are a few stores in downtown Roxboro that I really enjoyed visiting.
Above is Madison Marketplace where you can find home decor, scented candles, body lotions, and more.
Truth Books and Gifts is the only Christian store for several miles around, but there’s so much more here than Christian items. I found a lot of great gift options like cute mugs, cards, and t-shirts.
The owner has the cutest dog ever that hangs out in the store. I’d stop by just to see him.
219 Madison Blvd, Roxboro, NC 27573 Madison Marketplace
By the end of October, the store dresses up their front porch with Christmas decorations. People drive for miles to take their Christmas pictures there.
One of the fun things to see is the giant handmade Christmas tree the owners have made to hold their Christmas village collection.
201 S Madison Blvd #5461, Roxboro, NC 27573 Truth Books and Gifts
Southern Treasures has consignment and handmade furniture, as well as prints, dishes, lamps, and other household items. Last time I was there, they even had antique knives and guns for sale.
They have an impressive collection of wine for purchase and host a wine tasting every 3rd Saturday from 2:00 – 6:00, which includes light refreshments.
719 Durham Rd, Roxboro, NC 27573 Southern Treasures
Last year, I did a lot of my Christmas shopping at Yoder’s Country Market. This store is full of handmade Amish items from jams and candy to bulk foods and housewares.
It’s located 30 minutes away from Roxboro in a small town called Blanch, NC, and it’s worth the drive.
While at Yoder’s, order a delicious sandwich with meat from Amish country or pick up a homemade dessert.
Here’s another gem I discovered while out cruising the countryside with my husband. Located in Hurdle Mills, NC, just 15 minutes from Roxboro, you can fulfill all your butcher shop needs at this cute country store.
Not in the mood for meat? Peruse the isles to find all kinds of candy, snacks, Ashe County Cheese, and BBQ sauces.
You’ll also find a fantastic selection of jams and jellies as well as the perfect country ham.
The owner runs a small, quaint cafe right next door called Flat River Cafe, which I plan to check out next time I’m in Hurdle Mills.
9570 Hurdle Mills Rd, Hurdle Mills, NC 27541 Hurdle Mills Market and Butcher Shop
Located in Alton, VA, Virginia International Raceway has been voted one of the top 6 race courses in the nation. The course offers professional and amateur auto and motorcycle racing, as well as many other events.
For just a 30-minute drive North from Roxboro, you can catch a race here or even drive a race-car yourself! (See video below.)
For just a 30 minute drive North from Roxboro, you can catch a race here or even drive a race-car yourself! (See video below.)
In the mood for drag racing or a good tractor pull? Roxboro Motorsports is the place to go.
With a 1/8 mile track, they host mud racing, bracket racing, motorcycle racing, and even concerts and car shows. Winners of a race can get up to $2000 for 1st place.
I spend a lot of time in Roxboro visiting and managing my vacation rental. I’m not there enough to buy a gym membership, and that’s why I love Rox Fitness. You can get an all-day pass for just $6.00.
They have all the training equipment I need, and they also offer Zumba, Yoga, Pilates as well as a tanning salon.
As you can see in the picture, it’s not crowded either.
910 N Madison Blvd, Roxboro, NC 27573 Rox Fitness Center
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert at wakeboarding, this is the perfect spot to learn and improve your skills.
Riders travel from all over the world to experience this award-winning wakeboard park. They feature a beginner’s cable, which is the easiest way for a first-timer to get up. Riders are then given many options to advance to more difficult levels.
Historic Stagville is one of the largest plantations in North Carolina. Incredibly, the plantation originally covered 30,000 acres, which produced tobacco and cereal grains as well as livestock.
Today it covers over 70 acres of preserved land. Above is the Bennehan House, which was built in 1787.
At its peak, the plantation had 900 slaves. Below is one of the buildings where slaves were housed.
The plantation also has a yeoman farmer’s home (a yeoman is a farmer that worked the land alongside any slaves they owned), family cemetery, massive timber-framed barn, and numerous historical plantings including the Osage Orange tree.
Most of the scenes from the independent film, “Union Bound” were filmed at Stagville Plantation. The movie is based on a true story about a Union soldier who was captured in the Civil War and then escaped with the help of slaves.
I know about the movie because my son, Jeremy, was a sound editor for it. I’d highly recommend it.
Built in 1815, Ary Mount is a Federal-style plantation home that sits on 265 acres.
The interior features a 14-foot ceiling height, which is unusual for this era, and the home was the first major residence built of brick in the area.
The home has been furnished with Federal period antiques and decorative art. Ayr Mount features guided house tours and a one-mile hiking trail called the “Poet’s Walk.”
376 St Marys Rd, Hillsborough, NC 27278 Ayr Mount Plantation
Barn quilts are brightly painted squares that help tell the history of the site where they hang.
The first barn quilt was made by Donna Sue Groves in Adams County, Ohio, who wanted to honor her mother by hanging a painted quilt on her barn. The project turned into a series of 20 quilts that became a driving tour bringing many visitors to the area.
Since then, the love of barn quilts has exploded all over the U.S. with quilt tours in almost every state.
The Person County Barn Quilt Trail features around 30 barn quilts spread over the beautiful backroads of Person, Randolph, and Rockingham Counties.
The slideshow above shows you some of the bright and colorful barn quilts you’ll get to see on the trail. All pictures are courtesy of Jamie Harris Photography. You can purchase many of the above pictures at An Artist’s Emporium in Roxboro.
If you’d like your own barn quilt for indoor or outdoor decor, here are a couple of great choices from Amazon.
My son, Jacob, loves rock climbing and is always looking for a spot to go bouldering.
Luckily, he found this secret spot just outside of Roxboro on Woodsdale Road. Directions to the site can be found here. This is private property, so enter at your own risk, but all information we could find suggests the owner is okay with visitors.
You’ll know you’ve found the place by the sign on the road that tells visitors to park on the street, not his driveway to access the site. Then you’ll walk down a long gravel path to a farm.
Once you cut through the farm, you’ll find an entrance to the woods with a trail to the rock. It took us about 15 minutes from where we parked our truck. It’s a gorgeous, peaceful spot, but of course, climb at your own risk.
Have you visited any of these spots in Roxboro, NC? If so, let us know in the comments!