A Visitor’s Guide to Asheboro, North Carolina: The Heart of NC
The Heart of North Carolina refers to the small-town gems of Asheboro, Randleman, and Seagrove. While travelers on I-73/74 pass by the signs frequently, how many people stop to look around? I know I drove by several times, not knowing what amazing treasures these towns held. It is places like this that really stir my heart and make me so anxious to share my finds, giving new meaning to the Heart of North Carolina.
Where to Dine in Asheboro
While there are typical chain restaurants in Asheboro, there are also impressive local eateries, some of which are even farm-to-table.
Something Different Restaurant and Catering, serving American and International food in a casual setting, has delicious varieties of kabobs. I did not expect to find such a diverse menu of ethnic eats in this part of North Carolina, but every bite of the food I ate at Something Different was done quite well. Start with the Hummus Platter. It is maybe the best I’ve ever eaten outside of Turkey. I had the Bayou Chicken for dinner which was extremely flavorful, served over rice with sautéed onions, tomato, mushrooms and peppers in Cajun tomato sauce. Something Different’s owner is from Turkey so maybe that is why everything I tasted was so fabulous!
Upscale Bia’s Gourmet Hardware is impeccable for fine dining. Bia’s serves locally sourced ingredients, a feature I am always proud to support. The Jarret Bay Oysters and Charcuterie & Cheese Plate are amazing, but the velvety Pimento Cheese Fondue is a life-changer! For dinner, the Scottish Salmon and Petite Filet Mignon are both delicious choices. Bia’s Gourmet Hardware desserts are the wow factor here, so save room. I recommend the Chocolate Pots de Creme, with fresh whipped cream and salted caramel.
What to Do in Asheboro
The North Carolina Zoo
Asheboro is home to the North Carolina Zoo, one of the top-rated attractions in the state. This isn’t your typical zoo; it’s the world’s largest (over 500 acres) so be prepared to walk and spend a good portion of your day here. The North Carolina Zoo is a natural habitat zoo with plenty of animals to showcase in their natural habitat so you will not find animals in cages and steel here. You can feed giraffes, watch polar bears swim, admire the elephants, ride a carousel, or take a Dino bus. The North Carolina Zoo also has a wonderful aviary with 3,000 tropical plants and exotic birds.
Pro tip: Animals are more active in the earlier part of the day, so plan your visit accordingly.
Four Saints Brewing Company
Stop by the Four Saints Brewing Company for a beer sampling or flight. Although a brewery, it is a fantastic neighborhood hot spot where families meet to have a tasty brew, eat from the local food truck outside, socialize, play games, and just relax. Being a travel/food writer, I’ve toured many breweries around the United States and none were as wholesome or friendly as the Four Saints Brewing Company. My favorite beers were the German Hefeweizen and the Omie Blonde Ale. No aftertaste!
Nascar King Richard Petty’s Museum and Garage are only 10-15 minutes away from Asheboro in the town of Randleman. You don’t have to be a NASCAR fan to love every minute of this intriguing museum, filled with winning cars, Petty family memorabilia, awards, and a working garage. You might even see Richard Petty himself like we did. What a nice man he was, taking time out to speak to us, pose for photo-ops, and converse with the rest of the visitors.
Last but not least, visit the world-famous Seagrove Pottery, only 20 minutes away. Spread over nearly 70 individual studios, the highly-sought-after pottery and crafts attract visitors from around the world. It is home to the largest community of potters in the country. Make sure Owens Pottery is on your list of studios to visit; their vibrant red pieces are breathtaking!
Where to Stay in Asheboro
The Fairfield Inn and Suites Asheboro is perfect for your travels. It is affordable (under $100), stylish, comfortable, and offers a tasty complimentary deluxe continental breakfast. I found the staff extremely friendly. The breakfast server went out of her way to make conversation with her guests, pick up after them, and have the buffet looking top-notch. The hotel features a heated indoor pool and hot tub.
Asheboro, North Carolina Is Special
Asheboro is a place that you will want to run home and tell your friends and family about. There is something special about the tight-knit community, friendliness of the locals, and laid-back charm that the town of 25,000 offers. You will be happy that you visited! Safe travels.