Media Itineraries by Time, With Interstates & Exits

 

 

1 hour – Stop for Lunch
 

Option 1 - SoDoSoPa

Exit 95 off I-95
Address: 146 S. Third St., Smithfield, NC 27577
Phone: (919) 205-1076

Whether from Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, or the Carolinas, southern BBQ is the sweetest and most sultry taste around. SoDoSoPa’s southern comfort food is sure to satisfy any appetite. Their recipes have been gathered over six generations and across three families with strong roots in the south and its tradition of BBQ and soul food. Experience their down-home cooking for yourself. You'll never forget your first time! You'll be back for more.

Option 2 - Simple Twist

Exit 95 off I-95
Address: 227 E. Market St., Smithfield
Phone: (919) 938-0377

Exit 312 off I-40
Address: 5638 NC Hwy 42 W., Suite 212, Garner
Phone: (919) 661-5566

Entrepreneurs and locals Nate and Colleen Roby started with one restaurant locale called Simple Twist. Founded on the idea of fresh, locally sourced food based on mixed Southern and American cuisine with a twist, the couple now helms 3 locations in the county and have recently opened a bottle shop and tap room that serves beers from Johnston County and North Carolina’s craft breweries.

Option 3 - Redneck BBQ Lab

Exit 319 off I-40
Address: 12101-B NC Hwy 210 Benson, NC 27504
Phone: (919) 533-7675

Offering pulled pork, brisket, turkey, ribs and chicken. And true BBQ sides such as slow-cooked baked beans, green beans and collards like your mama used to make, jalapeno mac and cheese, and slaw. The Redneck BBQ Lab is owned and operated by members of the Redneck Scientific competition BBQ team. In 2016, they finished as the number four in the nation in Kansas City BBQ Society rankings.

 

3 to 5 hours – Explore & Eat


Option 1 - Visit the Ava Gardner Museum and Lunch at SoDoSoPa
 

Ava Gardner Museum

Exit 95 off I-95Ava Gardner Museum
Address: 325 E. Market St. Smithfield, NC 27577
Phone: (919) 934-5830

One of the greatest movie stars of all time is from Johnston County, NC. Tour her museum in Downtown Smithfield to see costumes, personal effects, scrips, letters, and other items that tell the story of Ava’s life, loves, and career. The Ava Museum is well curated with rotating exhibits and special events offered throughout the year.

SoDoSoPa

Exit 95 off I-95
Address: 146 S. Third St., Smithfield, NC 27577
Phone: (919) 205-1076

Whether from Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, or the Carolinas, southern BBQ is the sweetest and most sultry taste around. SoDoSoPa’s southern comfort food is sure to satisfy any appetite. Their recipes have been gathered over six generations and across three families with strong roots in the south and its tradition of BBQ and soul food. Experience their down-home cooking for yourself. You'll never forget your first time! You'll be back for more.
 

Option 2 - Visit Broadslab Distillery and Lunch at Redneck BBQ Lab
 

Broadslab Distillery

Exit 79 off I-95
Address: 4682 NC Hwy 50 S. Benson, NC 27504
Phone: (919) 207-1366

Jeremy Norris opened Broadslab Distillery, right off I-95, with the help of his grandfather -- teaching him the recipes passed down now for five generations. Jeremy does all the farming, distilling, and production on his dirt to bottle product so that he can control every process and ingredient. He also gives the tours, so you’ll get to hear him talk about the 100 plus years of history that Broadslab is built on.

Redneck BBQ Lab

Exit 319 off I-40
Address: 12101-B NC Hwy 210 Benson, NC 27504
Phone: (919) 533-7675

Offering pulled pork, brisket, turkey, ribs and chicken. And true BBQ sides such as slow-cooked baked beans, green beans and collards like your mama used to make, jalapeno mac and cheese, and slaw. The Redneck BBQ Lab is owned and operated by members of the Redneck Scientific competition BBQ team. In 2016, they finished as the number four in the nation in Kansas City BBQ Society rankings.
 

Option 3 - Visit Tobacco Farm Life Museum and Lunch at Stormin’ Norman’s
 

Tobacco Farm Life Museum

Exit 107 off I-95
Address: 709 N. Church St., Kenly, NC 27542
Phone: (919) 284-3431

The Tobacco Farm Life Museum has been preserving the history and cultural heritage of Eastern North Carolina farm life for more than 30 years. Come visit and step back in time to a turn-of-the-century homestead, including a restored house and detached kitchen, smokehouse, log tobacco barn, and even an outhouse. The 6,000 square foot museum features both permanent and rotating exhibits on farm life, southern medicine, domestic skills, rural social life, and artifacts.

Stormin’ Norman’s

Exit 107 off I-95
Address: 404 S. Church St., Kenly, NC 27542
Phone: (919) 284-0061

Stormin’ Norma’s is a family-owned and operated restaurant serving-up eastern style BBQ and sides in a quirky atmosphere. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available and there is also a drive-thru for those that need their ‘que on the go!

*Hint: From Exit 107, go one exit south on I-95 for a photo op at the Kenly 95 Petro travel center; the front of the building boasts a 1/3 replica of the Cape Hatteras Light House.

 

6 to 8 hours – Spend the Day


Option 1 – Explore the Beer, Wine, and Sine Trail
 

*please note that hours of each craft beverage location vary and that 6 to 8 hours won’t be enough time to explore all of the trail. We recommend you pick your top 3 and work to fit those in. Deep River, Double Barley, and Gregory have food options at certain times and there are plenty of local restaurants in the area as well.

Hinnant Family Vineyards

Exit 98 off I-95
Address: 826 Pine Level-Micro Rd., Pine Level, NC 27568
Phone: (919) 965-3350

A North Carolina tradition since 1972, Hinnant is the largest muscadine vineyard in NC with more than 100 acres of grape vines. Meet wine maker Bob Hinnant as he takes you through the genesis of Hinnant from vineyard to winery. Then, check-out the tasting room to sip on double gold winning Electric Pelican, Bob's wine of choice!

Deep River Brewing

Half Mile from Bus Hwy 70
Address: 700 W. Main St., Ste 102, Clayton, NC 27520
Phone: (919) 585-2296

Deep River is Johnston County's first legal brewery and many of their beers include locally sourced vegetables, fruits, hops, and grain. Meet owners and brewers Paul and Lynn Auclair, engineers turned entrepreneurs who work to brew a wide range of beer styles so that every visitor to the tap room can find something they like. The historic space Deep River occupies in downtown Clayton was a cotton spinning mill and has been brought back to life by utilizing old barn wood on the walls.

Gregory Vineyards

5 miles from Exit 319 off I-40
Address: 275 Bowling Springs Dr., Angier, NC 27501
Phone: (919) 894-7700

This picturesque 135 acre working farm showcases hills of planted vineyards, a winery, a distillery, and a tasting room where you can sip on double gold winning Mary Elizabeth and Lee Love wines. Meet winemaker Lane Gregory as he takes you through the history of the sweet muscadine grapes that grow in eastern North Carolina.

Broadslab Distillery

Exit 79 off I-95
Address: 4682 NC Hwy 50 S. Benson, NC 27504
Phone: (919) 207-1366

Jeremy Norris opened Broadslab Distillery with the help of his grandfather -- teaching him the recipes passed down now for five generations. Jeremy does all the farming, distilling, and production on his “dirt to bottle” product so that he can control every process and ingredient. He also gives the tours, so you’ll get to hear him talk about the 100 plus years of history that Broadslab is built on.

Double BarleyDouble Barley Employees

On US Hwy 70
Address: 3174 Hwy 70 W., Smithfield, NC 27577
Phone: (919) 934-3433

Double Barley is JoCo’s second brewery and specializes in dark brews with a higher ABV which you can taste in a taproom with a rustic but modern feel. They also have an excellent in-house menu. Try an cheese plate appetizer, pizza, sandwich and more from the Double Barley kitchen.
 

Option 2 – Ava and Outlets
 

Ava Gardner Museum

Exit 95 off I-95
Address: 325 E. Market St. Smithfield, NC 27577
Phone: (919) 934-5830

One of the greatest movie stars of all time is from Johnston County, NC. Tour her museum in Downtown Smithfield to see costumes, personal effects, scrips, letters, and other items that tell the story of Ava’s life, loves, and career. The Ava Museum is well curated with rotating exhibits and special events offered throughout the year.

Simple Twist

Exit 95 off I-95
Address: 227 E. Market St., Smithfield, NC 27577
Phone: (919) 938-0377

Entrepreneurs and locals Nate and Colleen Roby started with one restaurant locale called Simple Twist. Founded on the idea of fresh, locally sourced food based on mixed Southern and American cuisine with a twist, the couple now helms 3 locations in the county and have recently opened a bottle shop and tap room that serves beers from Johnston County and North Carolina’s craft breweries.

Carolina Premium Outlets

Exit 97 or 95 off I-95
Address: 1025 Outlet Center Dr., Ste. 905 Smithfield, NC 27577
Phone: (919) 989-8757

The Carolina Premium Outlets are by-far the largest draw of visitors to the county. The outlet center features 80 national brand stores like Coach, Brooks Brothers, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, The Gap, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and many others. Located right on I-95 at Exit 95 the location offers travelers discounted brand-name shopping and a break from the road.

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