Recently we were asked what the top 10 things to do in Wilkes were. We have put our heads together and come up with the list! Below are the things we feel Wilkes does best.
1. Local Shops. Wilkes has some really great locally owned stores. Each has such great character, wonderful owners, and speciality items you won’t find anywhere else. A few of our personal favorites include; Cook’s Sporting Goods, Ivy Ridge Traditions, Quick Frame, and Gloria Sews.
2. Get Outside. Located by a beautiful body of water, Wilkes residents have access to fishing, boating, hiking, mountain biking, and camping! W. Kerr Scott Lake truly has something to offer for everyone. Whether you want to drive out to the lake for a low key evening of watching the sunset on the water, or an extreme day of jet-skiing on the lake, you can do that here! The lake also has 30+ miles of mountain bike trails that can not only be used for biking, but hiking or trail running (just look out for mountain bikers!).
3. Take in a Movie. Wilkes is fortunate to have two theaters, both offering a different experience for movie-goers. The Liberty is nestled in quant Downtown North Wilkesboro in an original downtown building. The Liberty offers movie-goers a more traditional theater experience with two screens. Two Rivers Cinemas is a brand new theater in Wilkesboro, with six movie screens and stadium seating. Both have delicious popcorn, fizzy drinks, and candy available to munch on during your feature film.
4. Visit a State Park. Stone Mountain State Park is in the northeast part of the county and a huge tourist draw. Visitors come from all over the state and country to hike, climb and camp at Stone Mountain. Whether you are an avid climber or just a beginner level hiker, Stone Mountain has something for you! Check out the link below for more info!
5. Do a Tasting. Wilkes is part of the Yadkin Valley, which is known for its’ wonderful vineyards and wineries. Visitors can check out the Yadkin Valley Wine Trail and pick and choose which ones sound the best to them. Most vineyards have set hours for tastings and tours. They also sell their wine by the bottle and case.
6. Attend a Concert. Due to the music history in this part of the state, Wilkes is known the ‘Heart of Folk’. The last weekend of April brings a four day music festival to Wilkes known as MerleFest. This festival is a tribute to Merle Watson and his father, Doc Watson. Americana and bluegrass music is the dominate genres to be heard at MerleFest, but there is truly a little bit of everything. A new festival called Carolina In The Fall will begin in September 2015 and will be a celebration of the music, food and beverages of the region. The festival will be hosted by The Kruger Brothers. Music on Main is a concert series that features local and national bands once or twice a month. This series features smaller shows at Talia Espresso in downtown North Wilkesboro, and bigger name bands at the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame at the Heritage Museum in Wilkesboro.
7. Chow Down. Most would assume since Wilkes is located in the south that we only have southern restaurants, but that is not the case! We have Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Mexican, Italian, American, and several really great BBQ joints. There are also several ice cream and frozen yogurt shops for those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth. Check out the link below for local eateries:
8. Appreciate the Visual Arts. Wilkes is lucky to have a great art gallery featuring talented artists. The art gallery also does wine & paint nights for the community. These events are every 1st Thursday of the month and can also be scheduled for private groups on other nights. The art gallery also does birthday parties, wedding receptions, and corporate events.
9. Get Fit. The Wilkes Family YMCA and the Wilkes Express YMCA have special classes available for individuals of all ages. Whether you are interested in an intense pilates session or a beginner level swim class for kids, the Y has you covered. There are leagues that also meet and play different team sports throughout the year. Choose which activity sounds most like you and get active!
10. Tie the Knot. Wilkes is home to several beautiful wedding destinations. It seems that the newest trend in weddings is to have an outdoor ceremony and if this sounds like what you are interested in, Wilkes has lots of options. With everything from our local vineyards and wineries, to outdoor chapels and rustic barns, Wilkes has something to offer everyone!