Suggested Weekend Itinerary...
Arrive on Friday in time for some retail therapy, whether it's back to school time or shopping for the holidays, Carolina Premium Outlets has great deals! There are national chain restaurants near your hotel, like Outback Steakhouse, Buffalo Wild Wings, Panera Bread, or a local Mexican favorite, San Marcos. If you want local chef-driven options in Downtown for dinner, check out SoDoSoPa, Simple Twist or Under the Oak, a farm to table dining experience.
Looking for a little nightlife, venture out to Double Barley Brewing, they have a small bites and sandwiches menu, a beer garden for sitting outside and may have live music! They definitely always have tasty craft beer on tap!
Saturday's Activity Options
After a sleep-in morning (if you choose) and breakfast at your hotel, venture down to the Ava Gardner Museum and discover how a local farmer's daughter was discovered and became one of Hollywood's most loved stars. The fashion of Ava is always popular, as are the exhibits featuring Frank Sinatra and her other co-stars. The tour of the museum takes about 1 hour, so following the museum, stroll through Downtown Smithfield on the Historic Walking Tour or head down to the Buffalo Creek Greenway and walk along the Neuse River for a bit. By then you will be ready for a lunch stop, and for a light lunch try Gotham's New York Deli or The Diner, a local favorite! All the downtown restaurants suggested for Friday night's dinner are also open for lunch.
Options for the afternoon include tours and tastings nearby at Hinnant's Vineyard or bring your bike and spend the afternoon on a JoCo Bike Route and really get on the road. Do you kayak? Get out on the Neuse River at the Smithfield Boat Ramp and paddle for the afternoon. If you aren't too tired from a full day of activities, enjoy dinner followed by a movie at the historic Howell Theatre in downtown Smithfield. Built in 1935, the theater is one of the oldest in the state still showing films, and at very affordable prices.