Any excuse is a good excuse to plan a fun and special night out with your partner or group of friends. Lucky for you, Johnston County offers a variety of culinary experiences and activities guaranteed to woo the wine connoisseur, art lover, or music fan. We’ve compiled a list of the best ideas for a date night or friend group outing in JoCo!


Stop by one of JoCo’s family-owned wineries to enjoy a tour of the picturesque landscapes and taste an array of flavors.

Sit back and relax in a wicker rocking chair at Hinnant Family Vineyards in Pine Level.

This vineyard features over 100 acres of grapes and offers tours to the public. Get a taste for their award-winning wine by sampling their selection of sweet and dry wines or ordering a wine flight. Recreate the magic at home by purchasing some of their cheese and jam to pair with a bottle of your choosing.

Gregory Vineyards in Angier (tour pictured below) is perfect if you’re looking to continue your wine tasting into the night without feeling hungry. With Lane’s Seafood & Steakhouse on site, visitors can take in the lakefront views while enjoying their meal. They also have a distillery on the property where you can learn all that goes into making moonshine. To end your night, stop by the gift shop and grab a bottle of their muscadine wine to take home.

Great food and drink is always available for couples and friends to share a night out. Stop by Clayton to enjoy the tastings at brand new Crawford Cookshop, or local fav Clayton Steakhouse, followed by a specialty cocktail at Revival 1869, where live jazz music is a Saturday night favorite. Craving tacos and chips? Make it a date at San Marcos Mexican Restaurant in Smithfield. And don’t forget to dine in at Anthony’s Italian Pizza & Pasta for some savory Italian food. Their cannoli are the perfect after-dinner sweet treat -- to share or not to share?

Couple Enjoys Gregory Vineyard Tour


For centuries, art has allowed us to express love in new ways. Come try it out yourself by creating a masterpiece at Pottery Camp in Clayton, where you can paint your own clay and even purchase take home kits for a fun night in. Clay not your style? Grab your paint brushes for Wine & Design and unwind at their in studio date night. Sip your favorite wine while learning to paint a featured design on your own canvas. While you’re at it, book a couples workshop at Hammer & Stain or bring your friends to learn a new DIY! You’ll take home your very own handmade wooden sign, jewelry, or giant lawn activity to remember the night.


The fun doesn’t stop there! JoCo has an awesome assortment of live entertainment venues and shows located throughout the county. Catch the latest Rom-Com at Smithfield Cinemas which features stadium style seating and 3-D movies. Enjoy the sounds of live jazz music at Revival 1869 (pictured below). If you and your loved one enjoy trivia or games on your night out, check out events at Deep River Brewing in Clayton or Salvaged Heirlooms in Benson.

With all this to do and more, you’re sure to have a fun and romantic night out in Johnston County!

Maleah Christie, a co-owner, making a drink at the speakeasy-style bar using a blowtorch, Revival 1869, in Clayton, NC.