Published by Carl Hedinger. Last Updated on September 23, 2023.
Rocky Mount sits just off I-95 and is shared by both Edgecombe and Nash counties, though much of it resides in the latter.
It’s a wonderful spot in Eastern North Carolina, and there are plenty of fun things to do in Rocky Mount. Our favorites include the immaculate Rocky Mount Mills, the city’s incredible (and kid-friendly) parks, restaurants, and places to grab some NC beer.
Inside our guide, we’ll cover these fun places, where to eat, and more finds from our frequent visits to the area. Here’s how we’ve organized this guide, in case you’re looking for something specific:
- Where to Stay
- Things to Do in Rocky Mount
- Outdoor Things to Do in Rocky Mount
- Indoor Things to Do in Rocky Mount
- Restaurants in Rocky Mount
- Rocky Mount Breweries
- More Things to Do in Rocky Mount (Related Posts)
A visit to Rocky Mount is featured in our guide covering the best things to do in North Carolina and our NC Bucket List book. We’ve also included Rocky Mount among our favorite day trips from Raleigh and also, from Durham.
Whether you’re a new resident, a frequent visitor, or a local, we’re leaving no detail behind. If you live in the Rocky Mount area and are wondering, “What are the best things to do near me?” we think this NC travel guide will help you out!
Where to Stay
River & Twine
If you’re looking to “keep it small, y’all,” you should stay at River & Twine, NC’s only tiny home hotel. There, you can enjoy some of the cutest boutique tiny houses in NC. There are 20 tiny options to choose from and lots of space outdoors to swing a hammock or enjoy a bonfire.
River & Twine is nestled in the Rocky Mount Mills Campus, so you’ll be within walking distance of delicious food, local beer, and your fill of books.
Things to Do in Rocky Mount, NC
Rocky Mount Mills
Speaking of Rocky Mount Mills, the beautiful 82-acre campus is one of the best places to go in the Rocky Mount area. It’s perfect for a visit, a stay, and even to live!
Beer lovers will never run out of new beer to try, as the campus also serves as a brewery incubator. Rocky Mount Mills also has a plethora of restaurants, the Tar River to explore, and cozy spots to sip coffee and read your favorite novel at Books and Beans.
We’ll cover all these spots in more depth shortly, but first, we want to cover our favorite outdoor things to do in Rocky Mount MC.
Outdoor Things to Do in Rocky Mount
There are plenty of fun ways to explore nature in Rocky Mount! Whether you’re one for games, water, or hikes, we have you covered below.
Sunset Park is a mini amusement park complete with a train, splash pad, carousel, skate park, playground, disc golf course, tennis courts, and more! Enjoy the park for just $5 a day or rent it out for your next gathering.
You can paddle, bike, and hike the trails of Rocky Mount. The 7-mile Tar River Trail connects three of the city’s big parks: Sunset Park, Battle Park, and Martin Luther King Jr. Park. There’s no better way to explore nature than Rocky Mount!
On nice days, you’ll see plenty of people on the riverbanks, wading in the water or riding it with a boat in search of some fish. We’ll get to that last part shortly!
Kayaking on the Tar River
If you’re into kayaking, you can launch a boat via the Tar River Paddle Trail. There are ten canoe and kayak access points. Feel free to bring your own kayak or canoe or book a tubing or kayaking trip via Tar River Life.
Disc golf courses are spread throughout Rocky Mount. Courses like Sunset Disc Golf Park, Farmington Disc Golf Course, Englewood Park, and the Sports Complex Disc Golf Course are all highly rated and a great way to spend a day in Rocky Mount.
City Lake is a beautiful piece of land where you can meet some ducks, explore some sculptures, and take a relaxing stroll.
Rocky Mount has plenty of fishing holes between all the creeks, ponds, rivers, and dams. Deloach Branch, Polecat Branch, and Rocky Mount Millpond Dam are a few of the many popular spots.
You can explore an interactive map of all the best spots through Hook and Bullet.
Take a step back in time at Stonewall Manor in the heart of Rocky Mount. The manor is on the National Register of Historic Places and is open for tours.
Indoor Things to Do in Rocky Mount
There are plenty of indoor activities awaiting you in Rocky Mount during the winter months or rainy days.
The Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciences
The Imperial Centre offers a solid answer for people wondering what to do in Rock Mount, NC, on a rainy day.
For starters, the Community Theatre is where you can enjoy a show and get involved!
There’s also a hands-on science museum for kids. Your little ones will have a blast learning and exploring how the world works.
The Cummins Planetarium is also on-site and features the latest full-dome video and laser light shows. The Arts Center is full of exhibits to peruse and workshops to make your own masterpiece.
Bel Aire Arts Center
Another lovely place to see local artists is the Bel Aire Arts Center. This center showcases the vibrant community of artists through a variety of mediums.
You can also find Willow Tree Yoga here, offering a zen way to slow down and enjoy your day.
Nash County Farmers Market
The Nash County Farmers Market in the Rocky Mount Mills Historic District is the perfect place to support local farmers and produce. It’s also a great way to stay connected to the community.
- April to November: Saturdays 8:00 am to 1:00 pm.
- June to August: Saturdays 8:00 am to 1:00 pm & Tuesdays 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
Rocky Mount Event Center
Also, be sure to keep up with the Rocky Mount Event Center’s calendar! This 165,000-square-foot multipurpose facility was made for elaborate entertainment and athletic events.
The event center includes eight basketball courts, sixteen volleyball courts, climbing walls, and a ropes course.
Restaurants in Rocky Mount
Books and Beans
If you need a spot to rest and caffeinate, then you’ll want to wander over to Books and Beans. They even have you covered for breakfast and lunch!
B&B is the only independently owned book and coffee shop in Rocky Mount and is owned by novelist and New York Times bestselling author Etaf Rum.
Folks have enjoyed the lovely atmosphere, fresh floral arrangements, and perfectly balanced vintage and modern decor here since 2019. The coffee they serve is of the highest quality, locally brewed through Durham-based Counter Culture.
Step back in time as you dine with Tap@1918, housed in a restored 100-year-old cotton mill home. They are known for their mix of 20 local, continental, and international beers on tap.
A mixologist is also ready to serve up some delicious cocktails. Accompanying their drink selection are Chef Justin Gaines’s delectable menus (as seen on Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay and Chopped) and Rocky Mount restaurateur Lou Reda.
Rocky Mount’s pizza enthusiasts love the artisan craft pizza baked over a wood-fired stove at Tipsy Tomato. You can find the perfect local craft beer to pair with your Italian pizza for the full experience.
Rocky Mount Breweries
As we mentioned, the biggest challenge when visiting Rocky Mount Mills is choosing which brewery you’ll explore first!
Here are your four options:
Rocky Mount Brewing
Rocky Mount Brewing is a collaborative umbrella effort between Celeste Beatty and Briana Brake.
Beatty is credited as the first Black woman to own a brewery in the United States and runs Harlem Brewing Company out of New York. Spaceway Brewing is Brake’s brewery, but she also brews for HBC as Rocky Mount Brewing.
Hopfly Brewing Company
From the Rocky Mount Mills incubator to a 1700-square-foot taproom, we have Hopfly Brewing Company. Brewmaster Cameron Schulz expanded his brewery to make this brewery a delicious and comfortable spot to visit.
You might even get your beers served to you via a roller-skating server!
Koi Pond Brewing Company
Rocky Mount’s first craft brewery offers a family-friendly and dog-friendly atmosphere, perfect for enjoying a cold beer with your favorite people and furry friends. Koi Pond Brewing Company has been serving since 2016 and often has live music, yard games, and plenty of outdoor seating to enjoy.
Ready to Dig Into These Fun Things to Do in Rocky Mount?
We hope you enjoy these fun things to do in Rocky Mount! We’ll keep updating this list as new activities pop up in the area. In case you find those activities before us, please feel free to let us know here!
We’d also love to hear about your experiences in Rocky Mount and what your favorite of all the Rocky Mount NC things to do are here or in our Facebook Group.
Photos and videos in the latter are very welcome!