17 of the Best Things to Do in Duplin County (Duplin Winery and Even More!

Last Updated on August 3, 2021

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If you plan to visit Western NC, please check beforehand to see if the area is safe following the recent flooding. Officials have closed some sections of Pisgah National Forest (including Forest Heritage Scenic Byway and Blue Ridge Parkway stops) to keep visitors out of danger. Please respect signage and local guidance.

Duplin County is best known for Duplin Winery, the largest wine producer in North Carolina and the entire Southern United States. While we definitely recommend you come home with a bottle or three, we’ve found that there are many more things to do in Duplin County to pair with that delicious wine!

With small-town charm and rolling farmland, Duplin county welcomes everyone to fall in love with their locally-owned shops and outdoor adventures. We’re sharing it all in this guide, along with some places to go nearby.

Here’s how we’ve organized this guide:

  • 5 Seasonal Things to Do in Duplin County (Annual Events)
  • 12 Things to Do in Duplin County (plus Where to Eat)
  • Where to Stay 
  • Nearby Things to Do in Duplin County (Day Trips)

This post is part of our series on the best things to do in North Carolina, especially in Eastern NC!

Duplin County Facts and Background Info

Located within easy access of I-95 and I-40, Duplin County includes the North Carolina towns of Kenansville, Wallace, Warsaw, and Beulaville. You might recognize Beulaville for Mike’s Farm but that wonderful place sits on the Onslow County side, with Swansboro and Jacksonville.

Known for being the center of North Carolina’s coastal wine region, Duplin is an excellent destination to relax and take in the beautiful countryside. 

Duplin Winery agriculture

With agricultural roots, Duplin County is responsible for a lot of the food that North Carolinians consume. In addition to sweet potatoes, corn, and vegetables, the county also is a key player in meat production.

The annual Poultry Jubilee recognizes and celebrates this importance.

Things to Do in Duplin County NC

From locally-owned shops, delicious home-cooked meals, and Southern hospitality, Duplin is the definition of small-town charm.

Seasonal Things to Do in Duplin County (Annual Events)

  • Carolina Strawberry Festival in May is an annual festival that takes place in Historic Downtown Wallace. In addition to the famed strawberries, this event features entertainment, games, food, and vendors. 
  • Blue, Brew, & Que Festival in September is all about barbecue! Enjoy the rich flavors and smell of smoke at this annual event in Duplin County, where they offer a barbecue cook-off, vendors, food, beer, and music.
  • NC Muscadine Festival in September celebrates North Carolina’s state fruit, the muscadine! With more than 250 wines from across North Carolina available for tasting, this family-friendly event also includes live music, food, and a shag contest. 
  • Veteran’s Day Celebration in November is the oldest celebration in the nation that is held annually in Warsaw. First organized in 1921, it honors all those who have served our country. 
  • Poultry Jubilee in November is a celebration of Duplin County’s role in our poultry consumption! Pulling out the World’s Largest Frying Pan and cooking up some chicken, this family-friendly event brings festival-goers from all over!

Things to Do in Duplin County ALL Year

For this section, we’re going to share things to do in Duplin County, broken down by its four main towns in ABC order.

Beulaville

The Country Barn

The Country Barn

When you step inside The Country Barn in Beulaville, take a deep breath to take in the scents. This country store, run by the Mennonite community, features fresh homemade bread, cheeses, and freshly churned butter.

Ann’s Thai Kitchen

Anns Thai Kitchen Duplin

In the land of muscadines and Southern food, you just might need a little bit of spice. You won’t find much information on Ann’s Thai Kitchen, but you’re just going to have to trust us!

Ann hails from Trat, a coastal region in Thailand with dense jungle and clear blue waters. All of the locals rave about Ann’s authentic Thai cooking, so please do yourself a favor and try a meal here!

Whipporwill Campground

Horseback riding Duplin County

Whipporwill Campground offers miles of trails specifically maintained for equestrians in the area between Duplin and Onslow counties. On the weekends, you’ll often find events going on at the arena and plenty of fun to be had.

Enjoy a trail ride, fish, or even stay for a weekend at the campground!

Horses can be reserved ahead of time to ride the trails at Whipporwill Campground, and they can also arrange for beach rides with enough notice!

Duplin Square Market

Duplin Square Market shopping in Duplin

Duplin Square Market is an incredible place to do some shopping and pick up some souvenirs! The antique store is filled with hidden treasures and refurbished gems.

Take some time to walk around, and we guarantee you’ll find something you love!

Kenansville

Liberty Hall Plantation

Liberty Hall Duplin

Said to be the finest restoration of a Southern plantation home in North Carolina, Liberty Hall Plantation in Kenansville was built in the early 19th century. Today, you can tour the main house and its twelve outlying buildings.

The Filling Station

The Filling Station Duplin things to do

Don’t leave Duplin without one trying one of the “best burgers in town!” The Filling Station is a local Kenansville haunt that serves fresh ground chuck burgers from the grill.

They typically have diners lined up for miles! Keep in mind that this restaurant, like many in Duplin County, is cash-only.

Rose Hill

Duplin Winery

mothervine Duplin
Vines cut from the Mother Vine in Manteo at Duplin.

Muscadines are the only grape native to North Carolina, which Duplin Winery in Rose Hill takes full advantage of. They use a 200-year-old recipe to produce sweet and sippable wines.

A family-run operation, Duplin Winery has been a pillar of North Carolina Heritage for three generations.

When producing at total capacity, Duplin Winery makes 8,000 bottles of wine in an hour–and they sell it all too! The popular brand of wine can be found at grocery stores and wine shops across the nation.

But Duplin Winery didn’t always make muscadine wine! In the 1970s, brothers Dan and David Fussell decided to grow grapes for a New York winery. After four years, when grape prices started to fall, they ended up with an excess of grapes.

In an attempt to use up their inventory, the Fussell family started producing their own wine.

It wasn’t easy, as tax laws changed and made it difficult for the winery to succeed. When Americans learned about the health benefits of muscadines in the 1990s, however, the business started to boom. 

Duplin winery production tanks

Today, Duplin Winery is the largest in the South, seeing over 100,000 visitors at just the Rose Hill location. They expanded to include another tasting room in Myrtle Beach, SC, in 2015, with plans to expand to Panama City Beach, FL.

While at Duplin Winery for a tasting, make sure to sit down and enjoy a meal! The Bistro at Duplin Winery serves delicious meals, from their sandwiches to their dessert. We recommend the Bistro’s Grape Hull Pie.

With 14,000 tons of muscadines found on the premises, it’s no surprise that there’s a grape dessert on the menu. Give it a try and tell us what you think! 

World’s Largest Frying Pan

Duplin Rose Hill Frying Pan

How many times in your life can you say you’ve visited the world’s largest frying pan? Fifteen feet in diameter and weighing two tons, this roadside oddity can be found in Rose Hill.

It’s said to be able to cook 365 chickens at one time! 

Wallace

Mad Boar

We never encountered a pub in North Carolina with such elaborate windows and decor as those found at Mad Boar! This Wallace restaurant serves delicious American-style cuisine with a laidback atmosphere and live music.

If you’re really into the pig theme, make sure to order a pint of Pig Pounder beer out of Greensboro

Burney’s Sweets and More

Looking for something sweet to compliment your weekend in Duplin County? Burney’s Sweets and More is a North Carolina bakery with locations all across the state.

While the original bakery comes out of nearby Elizabethtown in Bladen County, stopping at their Duplin County location is a MUST.

With such a large selection of confectionary delights, it can be hard to pick just one, but we recommend their iconic fried croissant! Light, buttery, sweet, the croissant is everything that dreams are made of.

Downtown Wallace Shopping

Shopping in Duplin NC

Downtown Wallace also houses some cute shops. Wander up and down the main street, and you’ll find cute clothes and accessories at Cavenaugh’s Gifts, Pink Willow, and The Little French Hen.

Warsaw

The Country Squire

The Country Squire Duplin

Built in 1961, The Country Squire sits on seven acres and is one of the top things to do in Duplin County! The restaurant harkens back to a simpler time, with hand-hewn log walls and Tartan decor.

Don’t be surprised if you hear a bagpipe or two! Owner Iris Lennon mixes their Scottish heritage with country surroundings to make delicious food and tasty wines. 

Think you’re hungry? Try the Kilt Buster challenge! If you can devour a 72-ounce steak plus all the sides in under an hour, the meal is on the house. 

The restaurant is also known for its steaks and delicious Korean beef for those of you with a smaller appetite. Extend your stay into a whole weekend, as The Country Squire offers quaint and comfortable accommodations.

Where to Stay in Duplin County

When booking your weekend in Duplin County, there are several great locations to rest your head. We stayed at The Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Wallace, and the rooms were clean and comfortable, the staff friendly and helpful.

If you’re looking to stay further north on I-40, there is also a Quality Inn in Warsaw. 

Local options for accommodations in Duplin include the Vintage Inn at The Country Squire.

Uncorked Duplin has great vacation packages that you’ll want to check out too!

Nearby Things to Do in Duplin County’s Neighbors (Day Trips)

Mike’s Farm

Mikes Farm near Duplin County NC

Mike’s Farm is technically in Onslow County despite its Beulaville address. Enjoy an afternoon at the farm by saying “hello!” to the animals and laughing at a dinner show.

While dining at the family-style restaurant, devour some of the most incredible mac n’ cheese that has ever been made!

Jacksonville

Jacksonville NC Freedom Fountain near Duplin County NC

Jacksonville is home to Camp Lejeune and many brave marines. While in Jacksonville, check out Lejeune Memorial Gardens, chow down on some delicious international cuisine, or enjoy an educational program at Sturgeon City.

From here, you can also enjoy Topsail Island, home to some of the best beaches in North Carolina!

Swansboro

Saltwater Grill Swansboro NC near Duplin County

Swansboro is quickly becoming one of our favorite small towns! Rich with history and right by the water, there is so much to do here. Hop on a boat, enjoy the pristine nature at Bear Island, go shelling, walk across a sandbar–the possibilities are endless!

Finish your trip to Swansboro with a meal at Saltwater Grill for their famous Angels on Horseback, a bacon-wrapped scallop and shrimp served over crab risotto and a lobster cream sauce.

Wilmington

Battleship NC Wilmington near Duplin County

Wilmington and its amazing beaches are less than an hour away from Duplin County. In fact, Duplin makes a great stopping point along I-40 on your way to Wilmington!

Learn about their history by climbing aboard Battleship North Carolina, check out the trains at the Wilmington Railroad Museum, and enjoy the city’s fantastic breweries!

Ready to Explore these Fun Things to Do in Duplin County?

We know Duplin County is recognized as a wine-lovers destination. But between those tasty sips, we think you’ll love exploring the rest of this area.

Hop on a horse, grab some delicious food, and dig into this wonderful Eastern North Carolina county. Spend some time enjoying the slower pace of life in Duplin County!

If you’re familiar with this part of North Carolina, we’d love to know about your favorite things to do in Duplin County. In case you’ve never made it out here, tell us about the first things you want to do upon arrival.

More Things to Do in Duplin County’s Eastern NC Neighbors

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