Things We Love to Do in JoCo!

We are always excited for our friends, neighbors, and visitors to join us in enjoying all the activities, tastes, sights, and sounds we love experiencing in JoCo! Read below to learn about popular restaurants, breweries, attractions, shops, and more!

Dine at One of the Many Locally-owned Restaurants in the Area

From our BBQ Trail to our unique local red hot dogs, and each of our family-owned farm-to-table restaurants, JoCo is at the top of the Rural Food Movement. ​We can't wait to explore our food scene with a fresh perspective! Find a full listing of all of JoCo's restaurants here.

An array of platter with various food items on them from Under the Oak in Smithfield, NC

Enjoy a Drink at One of the Stops on the Beer, Wine, & Shine Trail

There are now 7 stops along this craft beverage trail in JoCo: Broadslab, Deep River, Fainting GoatGregory Vineyards, Hinnant Winery, and InStill Distillery. We love to gather with friends and other craft beverages enthusiasts in beer gardens and on patios.

Learn more about traveling along the #JoCoBWST! Cheers to clinking glasses together in person! 

People on the outside patio at Deep River Brewery in Clayton NC.

Visit an Area Museum

Learn about 19th-century rural farming techniques, explore the unique collections from centuries of small-town life, and even get to know the real Ava Gardner - Hollywood legend and JoCo native. There are well-curated museums located all around Johnston County that are great to visit. 

The Ava Gardner Museum has even been remodeled recently, so if you haven't been lately you haven't seen several brand new exhibits!

A view of the Ava Gardner Museum Library room with bookcases and glass case exhibits.

Attend Events, Concerts, & Classes!

There are some events we love to attend annually in our JoCo towns, such as the 301 Endless Yard Sale and Christmas parades; but there are also smaller activities that happen throughout the year, such as art classes and trivia nights. We love strolling streets full of local vendors and enjoying live concerts with all of our friends and neighbors! Find what events are coming up by looking at our county-wide events calendar.

Tents set up with shoppers at the 301 Endless Yard Sale in Johnston County, NC.

Catch a Show Live@The Rudy

Several times a year Live@The Rudy in Downtown Selma puts on a thematic, funny, and musical performance that crowds have enjoyed for decades; Christmas is a special time of year at The Rudy and we hope we'll all be singing along to our favorite seasonal songs there this coming holiday!

Two men in suits, hats, and glasses sing and dance with a live band on a blue lit stage

Feel the Power of Motorsports

Spend a day under the sun or a night under the stars in a grandstand that rattles and hums from the power of the roaring motor engines. The GALOT Motorsports Park in Benson hosts weekend racing events on the weekends throughout the year, not to mention special events like monster trucks and a crash derby.

GALOT Monster Truck event held near Benson, NC.

Spend a Day on the Farm

Many of our area farmers are open to the public with produce stands, u-pick options, and CSA box programs. We especially enjoy seasonal events and fun activities that bring families to the farm - bounce houses, corn cribs, and kids playing fun games together under the summer sun or in the cool fall. Read more about Agritourism in JoCo here.

Enjoy a trolley ride on the Lazy O Farm, located near Smithfield, NC.

Spend An Afternoon Browsing the Many Main Street Boutiques

From Benson to Clayton to Smithfield and beyond, each downtown in JoCo has its own welcoming vibe. Spend an afternoon gazing into window-front displays, unhurriedly perusing through locally-made decor, sweet treats, antiques, and more. Our destinations' retailers pride themselves on the shopping experience they offer to customers. Find a full listing of shopping opportunities in JoCo here.

A close-up of a trey of jewelry at Royal & Co boutique in Benson


Float the Neuse River with Friends

Spend a lazy day making your way down the Neuse River with a group of friends on kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, or just innertubes. Let the warm sun and cool water melt the stress away.

If floating isn't your thing you could go hiking, camping, bird-watching, or picnicking with your friends at the outdoor facilities dotted across JoCo's beautiful, rural landscape. Check out Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center or Clemmons State Forest!

Kayaking on the Neuse River in Johnston County, NC

Shop 'Til You Drop at the Carolina Premium Outlets

Need to switch up your style or restock your closet? Get discounts on brand-name clothes, shoes, athletic gear, backpacks, and everything in between! The Carolina Premium Outlets has a favorite store for everyone - Kate Spade, Nike, Michael Kors, Columbia, and more! 

The Gap tower at Carolina Premium Outlets in Smithfield, NC.

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